Photo by John Wieland

The 2000 Disabled Skiing World Championships in Enzère, Switzerland, weren’t turning out the way Muffy Davis had hoped. In the downhill, she never finished a run. In the super G, usually Davis’ best event, her ski broke on the second gate. Frustrated and angry, she approached her next event, the giant slalom, in very un-Muffylike fashion. “I always preach the importance of a positive attitude,” says Davis, “but at that point I just wanted to get it over with. I didn’t care how I did, I just went out there and skied.”

She won the gold.

“It made no sense to me,” says Davis. “What happened to staying positive?” Determined to learn from every experience, she theorizes, “I guess I just needed to hit bottom, to lose all my expectations–and just ski.” The World Championships didn’t come close to shaking Davis’ belief in the power of positive thinking. It’s unlikely anything ever will.

Born to Ski
Muffy Davis was born to ski. Growing up in an athletic family in the ski country of Sun Valley, Idaho, she was skiing at age 3 and racing at 7. A year later, she told her mother that God had made her to be a ski racer. Davis’