Karine Ruby

The First Woman Snowboarding Champion

Snowboarding was contested in the Olympics for the first time in 1998. The inaugural women's event, the giant slalom, was delayed one day because of a snowstorm. Twenty-year-old Karine Ruby of Chamonix, France, was the overwhelming favourite, having won seven of the eight pre-Olympic World Cup competitions.

She had no trouble living up to expectations. Ruby's first run time of 1:09.33 led the field by an impressive 1.97 seconds. She protected her lead with a relatively careful second run and won by 1.83 seconds. She also participated in the Salt Lake City Games in 2002 and earned the silver medal in the giant slalom.