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Original Issue

Swiss Bliss


Stephani Victor appeared in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in 2007, when she was featured in FACES IN THE CROWD for winning the slalom at the Winter Park Open. She was 37 and coming off a gold-medal performance in the same event at the 2006 Paralympics. Skiing wasn't the original plan for Victor. In 1995, after graduating from film school at USC, she was in a car accident that resulted in both of her legs being amputated above the knee. She put her filmmaking skills to use by making a documentary of her recovery called The Lengths I Will Go. After 11 surgeries, the Ames, Iowa, native started adaptive skiing in 1999, and she won five Paralympic medals and four world championships before retiring in 2014. Now 48, Victor is back on the slopes—but for a different team. Her husband of 12 years, Marcel Kuonen (who is also her coach), is a native of Switzerland, and she will represent his homeland at the Paralympics in PyeongChang in March. It's another comeback in a life full of them. Said Victor, "[It is] the perfect opportunity to thank my longtime Swiss coach and husband."