Washington bronze medalist reminisces on Olympic success, 50 years later

SPOKANE, Wash. — As the world watches star athletes compete in Beijing, all eyes were on a Washington woman living out her dream in the 1972 Olympics in Japan.

Susie Luby, who was Susie Corrock back then, brought home a bronze medal in downhill skiing for the United States.

Luby said her run in the Olympics was one of her biggest accomplishments in life, but it does not define who she is today. She’s proud of her skiing journey, but also her family and the life and career she built in Spokane.

Luby’s medal sat in a shoebox for years. Now, it has found a new spot in her home and heart as she sees the Olympics in a new light all these years later.

“I think that the older I get, the more I appreciate it,” Luby said, reminiscing on her success.

Luby was only 20-years-old when she skied at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

She brought home one of only eight medals the United States won that year.

“This was right in the middle of Title IX. Of those eight medals, the U.S. men’s hockey team won a silver metal, and the other seven individual metals were all women,” Luby said.

Luby said when she competed, there were only 35 events in the Olympics. Today, there are 108, and the skiing competition is at new heights.

“The sport has gone to a level that is just unbelievable.”

Luby said current athletes feel a pressure today she never did because many people did not believe she would even place.

“Not a lot of people out there probably had any belief that I could accomplish this, but I believed I could,” Luby said. “I had trust in myself. I had trust in my abilities, and I had trust in the work that I had done and the process I had gone through.”

Luby’s bronze medal is just one piece of who she is and what she has accomplished from the slopes of Japan, to the life she created in Spokane.

“A lot of times, people anticipate that winning this metal would define you, but I would never want it to define me. I have other things in my life that I feel are equally of value,” Luby said.

The Olympic star has her eyes on her next goal: mastering curling.

But for now, she plans to focus on strengthening her golf skills at home.

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