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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of February 20 - 26, 2002


Beekeeper’s daughter was the first Olympian

Ann Jeanette Winn Albrethsen of Gannett

The Wood River Valley’s first Olympic skier was a member of the 1948 American team that competed with athletes from 28 other countries at St. Moritz, Switzerland.

It wasn’t the famous Gretchen Fraser from Washington State, who won America’s first Olympic medals at St. Moritz and became closely identified with the Sun Valley resort.

Her name was Ann Jeanette Winn, the daughter of "The Bee King of the Wood River Valley," Maurice Winn. Like Fraser, Winn was a slalom skier and one of 77 women at St. Moritz.

She was the only Idahoan on the Olympic ski team that included racers like Andrea Mead, Becky Cramer, Paula Kahn, Dodie Post, Alice Choire, Brunhilde Gresmoen and Rose-Marie Stewart.

The Winn family, which included Maurice and his wife Lavina, and Ann’s brother Sammy, moved to Gannett from Bellevue in 1928 to live in a cheese factory building which Maurice modified for processing his annual honey crop. He once had 500 hives between Hailey and Picabo.

Ann learned skiing on Baldy from instructor Sebby Arriaga and scooted around the slopes with locals like Jimmy Griffith and Kenny Zimmerman and Les Outzs. After the Olympic tryouts were held on Baldy in March 1947, she made the team.

She achieved no great notoriety in skiing, but Ann Winn Albrethsen has left a lasting legacy.

Hailey’s Blaine County Museum contains an exhibit featuring a mannequin wearing Ann Winn’s 1948 Olympic uniform, complete with skis, boots, bindings, poles and Ann’s eyeglasses under the goggles.




The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.