February 16, 2006
Anne Heggtveit: 1960 - Squaw Valley, California
By GEORGE GROSS -- Sun Media
Canadian fans were unhappy that the United States hockey team robbed Team Canada of the gold medal and it seemed that there wouldn't be another gold medal for Canada. Certainly not in the women's slalom.
The contingent of Canadian journalists was housed in a motel about 20 miles from the Olympic site, a nice drive on a sunny day. Andy O'Brien, the late sports editor of Weekend Magazine, exclaimed: "Boy, what a wonderful morning. The sun is shining, the snow is glistening, Canada's Anne Heggtveit is schussing down the hill, winning a gold medal and answering questions in the press room. I can just see her standing on the podium, microphone in her hand."
Everybody in the car laughed. Even the late Jack Sullivan, sports editor of Canadian Press. No Canadian journalist was on the hill watching the race, because nobody gave any Canadian woman a chance..
Finally, when the car stopped in front of the press room entrance, the Canadian media couldn't get in - the place was jammed with other foreign journalists. Anne Heggtveit had indeed shocked the world, including silver medallist Betsy Snite of the U.S. and bronze medallist Barbara Herneberger of Germany, by winning the gold medal and was busy obliging everyone who had any questions for her.
I was fortunate because I knew her well. She not only gave me an interview for the Toronto Telegram, but she wrote a story under her byline for John Bassett's newspaper.
Indeed an unforgettable moment in her and my Olympic history.