Diana Golden, born in Lincoln, MA in March of 1963, lost her right leg to cancer at age 12. Within seven months, with the help of the New England Handicapped Skiing Association at Mount Sunapee, NH, she had learned to ski again.
Diana began skiing competitively on the ski team at Lincoln-Sudbury High School in Lincoln, MA. She raced as part of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team from 1979-1982, during which time she earned a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College, and again from 1985-1990.
During the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, adaptive skiing was introduced as a demonstration sport, and Diana led her team in a USA medal sweep in the Women’s Disabled Giant Slalom.
After retiring from ski racing, Diana became a motivational speaker. She became internationally famous for her ability to inspire crowds and traveled the world delivering her positive message of overcoming obstacles with persistence and commitment to goals.
In 1992, at age 29, Diana was diagnosed with breast cancer and following years of treatment and a brief return to public speaking, in 1996 she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, a treatable, but incurable condition.
She returned to New England from Colorado and reconnected with Steve Brosnihan, a freelance cartoonist she had known at Dartmouth College. Brosnihan and Golden fell in love and were married in August 1997.
Golden succumbed to cancer in August 2001, at the age of 38. Golden’s legacy includes the Diana Golden Race Program, hosted by Disabled Sports USA, and The Golden Opportunities Fund, which are both designed to support grassroots adapted alpine ski and snowboard racing.
- World Disabled Ski Championships: 10 gold medals
- U.S. Disabled Alpine Championships: 19 gold medals
- 1988 Winter Olympics (Calgary): Gold medal in Women’s Disabled Giant Slalom
- U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame
- International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame
- Flo Hyman Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation in 1991
- U.S. Ski Association Beck International Award
- U.S. Ski Association Buddy Werner Award
- Named “U.S. Skier of the Year” by Skiing Magazine, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the North American Snow Journalists Association in 1988
- Honorary Degree in Pedagogy from Rhode Island College
- Inaugural Presidential Medal for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement from Dartmouth College
- Spokesperson for ChapStick Lip Products, Jeffries & Company, Kellogg Frosted Flakes, Subaru of America, Whitetail Ski Resort, and The Jimmy Fund
The Golden Rule:
In 1985, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) instituted the “Golden Rule,” enabling disabled ski competitors in able-bodied events to race as early seeds in all USSA-sanctioned events. The early starts for disabled skiers make it possible for them to avoid the deep ruts that can form over the duration of a racing event.
The Golden Opportunities Fund:
Established shortly before her passing, the goal of The Golden Opportunities Fund is to provide financial assistance for young, disabled athletes striving for excellence. The fund is administered by Disabled Sports USA.
Diana Golden Race Development Program:
The Diana Golden Race Development Program links youth racers with training and competition opportunities in their local areas, and provides support to the race programs offered through the DSUSA national chapter network.