During World War II, in occupied Norway, Norwegian skiers
destroyed a heavy water facility that could have given the Hitler the atomic bomb.
In the mountains of Italy, the legendary US Army 10th Mountain Division
-- skiers, mountaineers, and snowshoers --
forced the surrender of Nazi troops
in a battle that began on February 18, 1945.
Norwegian American Gretchen Fraser, a skier from the state of Washington.
In 1948 at the first Winter Olympics after the Second World War,
she had the best time in the first run of the slalom.
But at the starting gate waiting to begin her second run,
the telephone linking the top of the course to the finish
failed. She waited seventeen eternal minutes in the cold,
still won the race.
Gretchen Fraser, the first American woman to win Olympic Gold in skiing,
taught skiing to war veterans with disabilities.
She died on February 17, 1994
at the time of the Winter Olympics in Norway.