Published: March 1, 2014

Billy Kidd and Jimmie Heuga

Fifty years ago, Billy Kidd (Econ’69), left, and Jimmie Heuga (PolSci’73), right, became the first American men to win Olympic medals in skiing. Racing slalom in the 1964 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria, Kidd won the silver and Heuga won bronze.

CU head ski coach Bob Beattie, center, served as the U.S. team coach, and the team also included Buddy Werner (A&S’64) and Bill Marolt (Bus’67). This group is largely credited with elevating U.S. skiing in the international community, says David Plati (Jour’82), the university’s associate athletic director.

“Only our parents and Bob Beattie thought we had a chance to win a medal,” Kidd recalled to Plati.

Heuga died at the age of 66 on Feb. 8, 2010, 46 years to the day he won his bronze Olympic medal. He had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1970.

Photography by Billy Kidd