GRANDMA'S SIX WINTER OLYMPICS

1988 – Calgary, Canada

Just prior to her first Olympic appearance in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada, Anne was diagnosed and treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer). Although the cancer returned several times during her sports career, her cancer was kept hidden from the public through three Olympic appearances until it was revealed in a front page article of the Washington Post prior to the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Anne was the first woman from the Virgin Islands to compete in the Winter Olympics and the oldest athlete competing in the luge events.

Final Standings: 16th overall in Women’s Luge Singles (Time: 3:09.237)


1992 – Albertville, France

During the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France, Anne became the first athlete to compete with a camera on board. (A feat that was nominated for an Emmy in technical broadcast achievement.) She was also the oldest luge athlete at the Games.

Final Standings: 24th overall in Women’s Luge Singles (Time: 3:14.342)


1994 – Lillehammer, Norway

In the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, Anne became the first athlete to create an on-line diary (of course now known as a "blog") which was an exclusive on AOL. Anne was the oldest female competitor in any sport. She was dubbed "Grandma Luge" by her fellow athletes during these Games.

Finished: 20th overall in Women’s Luge Singles (Time: 3:20.831)


1998 – Nagano, Japan

At the Nagano Winter Olympic Games, Anne became the oldest female athlete to ever successfully compete in the Winter Olympic Games in ANY sport (an older athlete participated as a skier in a previous Games but was unable to finish the competition).

Final Standings: 24th overall in Women’s Luge Singles (Time: 3:30:707)


2002 – Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.

Anne became the oldest woman to ever compete in the Winter Olympic Games (a record she would break in the 2006 Winter Games in Torino). In a World Cup race a year before the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games Anne crashed and suffered a devastating head injury. Using a remarkable new therapy she was able to come back and qualify for the Olympics. Her story was featured in multiple publications including, "Path to Victory" New Testament distributed by IBS; "More than Gold" pocket guide 2002 distributed by Southern Baptist Ministry; "Fallen But Not Forgotten," "Our Hunger for Heroes" distributed by athletes in Action; "In Pursuit" women’s evangelistic outreach magazine joint project of Athletes in Action and Fellowship of Christian Athletes; "Olympics 2002 Sports Heroes" by Mark Littleton, published by Zonderkidz. Anne was also a select Winter Olympic athlete on TheGoal.com and created an online Olympic diary for the www. goal.com.

Final Standings: 26th overall in Women’s Luge Singles (Time: 2:58.429)


2006 – Torino, Italy

In the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, Anne broke her own record as the oldest woman to ever compete in the Winter Olympic Games (a record she previously set in 2002).

Anne became the first woman over 50 to qualify for the Winter Olympics. Anne wore a red helmet in these Games and told reporters at the time, "The red helmet is in honor of women over 50 ... that we can go out and do what we want to do. It’s a big deal for a lot of women that someone over 50 is going out there and doing it."

Remarkably, Anne became the first woman to ever qualify for 6 Winter Olympic Games. In the Opening Ceremonies the Italian commentators call her "Nonna Olympia" or "Grandma Olympics." In a ceremony at the Olympic Village, the Major presented Anne with an Olympic Torch in honor of her achievement.

Final Standings: During a practice run at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Anne crashed and broke her wrist and her scapula forcing her out of the competition.

About Anne
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Grandma Luge's Crash
Grandma's Six Winter Olympics
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Photo courtesy of Dean Villanueva.

 
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