Native Americans can take pride that Tennis icon Billie Jean King, a Cherokee, and Ted Kennedy, descendant of an honorary Iroquois Chief, did wonders to create equal opportunities for girls/women in sports and education in America and abroad. By enforcing the 1972 Title 1X Education Amendments Act, they actually helped restore those equitable traditional ways of the First Americans, which were interrupted in the last 150 years.
Heart-warming steps toward realizing a dream of creating a Native American Olympic Team were made at Oklahoma’s City’s “American Indian Sovereignty Symposium” on June 4, 2009. At the sports panel Bill and Jack Thorpe, sons of the late Jim Thorpe, voted the “Greatest Athlete in Modern Times,” joined forces and then offered critical resources to help Indian youth vie for the 2012 London and 2014 Russian Olympics.
“To spirited applause by the ‘phenomenal’ female champions honored at the ’35th Annual Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame Benefit’ in Denver on March 8, Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee received the prestigious ‘Pioneer Award’ for helping their dreams come true. In 1975, Suzy led the Title 1X March in DC that led to giving equal opportunities to women in school sports,” said guest Cleo Arellano (Apache), a Bank of Omaha executive and supporter of the Native American Olympic Team Foundation (NAOTF), co-founded by Chaffee.
Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee will be honored at the 35th Annual Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame Awards banquet at Denver’s Marriott Tech Center Hotel on March 8. “Suzy deserves the ‘Pioneer Award’ for birthing freestyle skiing, Title 1X and inspiring ski areas to share the joy of skiing with tribal youth,” said Joan Birkland, executive director.
On October 7, 2008, Carrie Holmes, 30, and a team of international skydivers became the first to skydive from above Mount Everest. With oxygen tanks and custom high altitude jumpsuits, the 16-person team broke a world record when they jumped from above the summit and landed in the highest drop zone ever—at 12,350 feet in the nearby village of Syangboche. —As told to Bryn Fox
“I’m so proud of Delaney,” said Olympian Billy Kidd (Abenaki), now Captaining the Native American Olympic Ski Team. “He’s the fastest six-year-old on skis. Four runs means he was consistently fast,” said Kidd, who put Delaney and his grandparents, Kathy and Lou of Pine Ridge, SD, under his wing, including jobs. And the pint-sized phenomenon got coaching at Steamboat’s Winter Sports Club, producer of over 60 Olympians.
“I think it is wonderful that ski areas have been inviting the tribes back to ski and snowboard, which inspired them this winter to share their earth-honoring prayers and snowdances for all U.S. Ski Areas. It would be wise to further explore and expand such cross-fertilization,” said Stanford Climatologist Dr. Stephen Schneider, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner as part of the Intergovernmental Panel for Change Climate (IPCC) team, who has been working with the Native American Olympic Team Foundation.
Graduating Hawaiian and Maori Stanford Fellows and Native American Olympic Team Foundation’s (2nd from left) Dick Enersen and Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee, who have been exploring tribal solutions to “Keep Winters Cool” with Nobel Laureate Dr. Stephen Schneider.)
Telluride, Colorado, April 11 – On Closing Day for Spirit Mountain, Wisconsin, 14 yr old ‘Honor the Earth Princess,’ Mariah Cooper (Lac Courte-Oreille-Oneida), a Native American Olympic Hopeful, led their first Snow Gratitude Ceremony. They joined Steamboat, Telluride, Ascutney (VT) and Arizona Snowbowl in ceremonies expressing appreciation for one of the best American snow years,“ said amazed Olympic skier Suzy “Chaptick” Chaffee, Native Voices Foundation (NVF) sponsor.