Sarah Will won four golds at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
As we approach the Americas Paralympic Committee’s (APC) 20th anniversary on 1 August, we continue counting down its best moments in history.
USA’s alpine skier Sarah Will outstanding performance on home soil at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Paralympic Games enters at No.18.
The multiple-Paralympic champion made her Paralympic debut at Albertville 1992, claiming two golds. She followed that up with three more titles at Lillehammer 1994.
Four years later, she won three golds and one silver in Nagano, Japan, increasing her medal tally even more. But she saved the best for last.
In 1995, Salt Lake City had been chosen host city for the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, giving Will a unique opportunity to retire on a high note in front of her home crowd.
On 7 March 2002, Rice-Eccles Stadium was packed with over 40,000 people who witnessed the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Paralympics.
The total number of tickets made available rose was raised from 225,000 to 248,000, such was the demand.
Will began her quest for quadruple gold by winning the women’s slalom LW10-12 with a time of 2:35.14, ahead of Sweden’s Cecilia Paulson (2:41.97) and Japan’s Kuniko Obinata (2:42.73).
USA then performed a clean sweep in the women’s super-G LW10-12, with Will (1:35.83) taking the top spot, followed by Muffy Davis (1:45.05) and Lacey Heward (1:39.17).
The same podium was repeated in the women’s giant slalom LW10-11. This time, Will achieved an overwhelming victory with a time of 2:56.60. Davis (3:19.96) and Heward (3:08.73) finished far behind.
Will’s (1:45.89) last gold came in the women’s downhill LW10-12. Davis (1:50.50) and USA’s Stephanie Victor (1:48.43) completed the top-three.
With this historical performance, Will reached the 12 Winter Paralympic golds, the most by any participant not only from her country but outside Europe as well.