Women of the Winter Olympics: Vintage Photos of Awesome Athletes

Shadow Vue:

Fifteen-year-old Andrea Mead Lawrence, the first American alpine skier to win Olympic gold, training in 1947.


Six-time U.S. national figure-skating champion Gretchen Merrill, St. Moritz Olympics, 1948.


Originally posted on LIFE:

Ever since the first Winter Olympics in 1924, women athletes have competed for gold with the same intensity, grace and power as their male counterparts — even if, in ’24, the only events in which women were allowed to take part were figure- and pairs-skating. In 2014 at Sochi, meanwhile, competitors from around the globe will put it all on the line in 98 events across 15 disciplines, from figure-skating to ice hockey to — finally — ski jumping for both men and women.

Here, in acknowledgement of the long, icy, often-uphill trail that sportswomen have had to navigate through the years, LIFE offers a series of Winter Olympics photos from the 1940s to the 1970s — pictures featuring the still-famous (Peggy Fleming, Lidiya Skoblikova, Andrea Mead Lawrence) as well as more than a few largely forgotten female athletes who made a mark in the Olympics, whether they medaled…

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