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Eight Decades a Skier
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Virginia “Ginny” Reed has a number of rustic cabins on her ranch south of Bellevue.
 
 
Saturday, January 2, 2021
 

STORY BY LESLEY ANDRUS

PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

 To say that Ginny Reed is the epitome of the active senior is truly an understatement.  This petite 88-year-old is a dynamo, especially on Bald Mountain.

 Adopted as an infant by loving parents, Ginny grew up in Brentwood, Calif. At age 9, she threw herself into figure skating.  She was so good she landed a role in a movie with Sun Valley legend Sonia Henie.

 
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Ginny Reed was a faithful attendee of lunches at The Senior Connection before the pandemic forced Chef Brian Ahern to convert to to-go meals. PHOTO: Lesley Andrus
 

 She could have had a career in either skating or film--she was in “Daddy Long Legs” with Fred Astaire and “Living It Up” with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. But a snowstorm in Yosemite sent her in another direction.

 Ginny, then 10, had accompanied her parents to Yosemite to ice skate. But a huge blizzard hindered their activities.

 “We had to ski to get around,” remembered Ginny.  “And I loved it so much I traded ice skating for skiing.”

After that trip, Ginny pursued skiing with a passion that has never left her.  She joined ski teams in middle school and high school and earned the title of “Southern California Ski Queen.” With it came a trip to ski resorts all around the Western United States and Canada.  Her husband, Buck Martin (she married young and briefly) was a ski instructor in Yosemite, and he accompanied her on the tour.

 
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A plethora of ski and sailing medals occupies one room in Ginny Reed’s home.
 

 Ginny spent a year at college in Colorado but decided she’d rather ski and race.  She raced all over the world, picking up many national championships and a few world titles, including the Canadian and Swedish national championships.

It wasn’t until 1968 that Ginny was able to move full time to Sun Valley, a place she had loved “right off the bat” the first time she visited. She bought a 125-acre ranch in the Bellevue Triangle and began teaching with the Sun Valley Ski School—something she did more than 20 years.

 The amazing thing about Ginny’s skiing trajectory is not only the trophies she has won but the length of her career.  In 1988 at age 58 Ginny entered the world of Masters ski racing, continuing to pile up trophies and awards.

 A cracked pelvis and a broken femur at the 2011 Masters Nationals at Copper Mountain only slowed her down for a few months.  The following year she was at the Masters Nationals in Park City, and in 2014 at age 84 she competed in the Alpine Masters National Championships in Sun Valley.  The following year was a cakewalk, as she was the only one in her class.

 
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Ski equipment has come a long way since Ginny first began racing.
 

 When the snow melted for summer Ginny turned to sailing, competing in races from Newport, R. I. to Bermuda where she competed in a 5 day race that was documented in Life Magazine. She also competed in sailing competitions from San Diego to Acapulco and, when she docked she showed off her tennis prowess, winning a silver medal in the World Series Games just 11 years ago.

 Ginny says she has had a few husbands, her favorite being Frank Rupert.  She fondly recalls his boat and their frequent trips to Catalina Island. Her son, Chris Martin, lives on the ranch she owns in his own house. He has given her several grandchildren, one of whom lives in Stanley.  Over the years they have had five horses and some cattle.  Now she has two dogs--a Great Pyrenees and a border collie--and one cat. 

 Ginny’s amazing athletic abilities and her contributions to the community were recognized several years ago when she was the Bellevue Public Library’s pick for the Blaine County Historical Museum Heritage Court. 

 

 

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