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McIntyre steps down

PAUL ROBBINS, Special to the Record

Liz McIntyre was arguably the ultimate in being what the other pro sports would call a player’s coach.

After competing in three Olympics (and capturing the moguls silver medal in Lillehammer in 1994) and coaching in two more, McIntyre says she is done. She has resigned as moguls head coach for the U.S. Ski Team so at 41 she can chase some other challenges, some other fun.

She doesn’t have any definite plans, she said in a cell phone interview, "but it’s time to let someone else come in."

Park City’s Jillian Vogtli, a two-time Olympian agrees.

"She was my roommate when I first made the Ski Team. What a role model I had, and she’s always been there. I really feel like Liz is the glue of the team. What an incredible woman in every way. She gave it everything, heart and soul.

"She came in with a fresh perspective. She remembered things that bothered her as an athlete, and she always made certain she put the athletes first," Vogtli recalled. "And, as a woman, to get the respect of male athletes and other male coaches, too takes quite a person, male or female."

She also competed in three World Championships, including a fourth-place showing in 1989. Somehow, she missed a national title, but as everyone would agree, she has nothing to apologize for, as an athlete or as a coach. U.S. gold may be the only thing she missed.

"It’ll be quite new, having nothing to do with skiing," McIntyre said, "but I’ve been doing it for a really long time and I think it’s time for me to do something else in my life."

For her part, despite the heights she scaled as an athlete, her top memories, she said, are as a coach, perhaps "because that’s been in the forefront for these last eight years. I really like what we did as a team for four or five years, starting in ’99. That team was such a close, hard-working group. They’ve all been hard-working, of course, but those years were particularly enjoyable," McIntyre said.

And that medal in Lillehammer? "Yeah, that was pretty special. I’m proud of the way I skied, but it really doesn’t define me. It was so great my family could be there and share it with me. And I thought those Olympics were so great. The Norwegian fans and spectators got it; in Torino, it was a show but in Lillehammer it was a way of life, and I’m so glad I could take part in it."

She laughed a bit as she noted, "I have to figure out what I’m going to do, hopefully use some of that Dartmouth education I have, maybe take some more classes and see where that leaves me. I didn’t want to be making a decision at 55 and ask, ‘What am I going do next?’

"I’d like to do something with energy policy, perhaps, or green buildings, something in that realm. You never know what’s going to turn up. It’s been a great job and I’ve worked with some great people. I’ve still got some people I need to call and chat with."

And where does the modest medallist keep her 1994 Olympic medal, arguably the biggest billboard of her greatness? "Oh, that’s in the underwear drawer."


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