Image: Billy Kidd

Billy Kidd

Billy Kidd, born in 1943, American Alpine skier. Kidd became the first male skier from the United States to win an Olympic medal in Alpine skiing when he placed second in the slalom at the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

William Winston Kidd was born in Burlington

William Winston Kidd was born in Burlington, Vermont, and raised in Stowe, Vermont. He joined the U.S. Ski Team in 1962, but missed much of the 1963 season because of an injured ankle. At the 1964 Olympic Games Kidd stood in sixth place after his first run but exploded in his second run to finish just 14 hundredths of a second behind gold-medal winner Pepi Stiegler of Austria, taking the silver. In the giant slalom, Kidd finished seventh.


Kidd, known for wearing a cowboy hat while he skied, also won the U.S. national championship in the giant slalom in 1964. He was often sidelined by injuries for the next few years, but still managed several victories on the World Cup circuit, outperforming even the legendary Jean-Claude Killy from France. At the 1968 Olympic Games in Grenoble, France, Kidd came in fifth in the giant slalom, and he finished seventh in the overall Alpine World Cup standings that year. He continued competing while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned an economics degree in 1969. In 1970 he won the gold medal in the Alpine combined, which combines the results of a slalom and a downhill race, at the world championships in Val Gardena, Italy. That victory gave Kidd the distinction of being the first American man to win an Alpine gold in world championship competition.

After winning his gold medal in the 1970

After winning his gold medal in the 1970 world championships, Kidd began skiing in professional events. He retired from competition in 1972 and later served as a television commentator.

Recommended for you

Read more about the full history of the world


Karakorum, capital of the Mongol Empire during most of the 13th century. The vicinity had evidently been occupied much earlier than the time of the...



Karamanli, Turkish family that ruled the region of Tripoli on the Barbary Coast of North Africa from 1711 to 1835, nominally under suzerainty of th...


Karelian Isthmus

Karelian Isthmus, land bridge in northeastern Europe, between the Gulf of Finland on the west and Lake Ladoga on the east, connecting Finland with ...