Steamboat’s Shannon Dunn-Downing elected to U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame

Shannon Dunn-Downing, a graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, competed in the first Olympics with snowboarding events in 1998 in Japan. She won a bronze medal in women's halfpipe, becoming the first female from Steamboat to win an Olympic medal.
Shannon Dunn-Downing/Courtesy photo

Legendary Steamboat Springs snowboarder Shannon Dunn-Downing has been elected into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2022.

Dunn-Downing began her career in Steamboat. She is the first U.S. snowboarder and Steamboat’s first female to medal at an Olympic Games, which happened in Nagano, Japan, in 1998. 

While the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame is in Ishpeming, Michigan, the induction ceremony will take place at Big Sky Resort in Montana on March 25. 

“I’m totally honored to be inducted; it’s a big deal,” Dunn-Downing said. “Snowboarding is such a young sport, and I’ve been retired for 20 years. Now that I’m at the age to be in the Hall of Fame is kind of funny. Time went by so fast, but it’s crazy looking back at my accomplishments.” 

On top of earning a bronze medal at the Nagano Games, Dunn-Downing accumulated an incredible list of achievements over her storied career. 

She was the first woman to land a multitude of halfpipe tricks in competition, including the Frontside 540, Backside 540, Frontside 720, McTwist and Frontside Rodeo 720.

She is also a two-time X Games medalist, competed in two Olympic Games (Nagano in 1998 and Salt Lake City in 2002) and was inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame in 2016. 

“A really standout memory was my first pro contest in 1990 at (Arapahoe Basin Ski Area), and that was where I got to not only see, but be a part of the event with pros like Craig Kelly, and that’s where I met my friend Tina Basitch,” Dunn-Downing said. 

Shannon Dunn-Downing rides her snowboard while sporting a Steamboat Springs headband in the 1990s.
Tom Ross/Courtesy Photo

Fellow snowboarding legends Terry Kidwell and Basitch will be inducted alongside Dunn-Downing in March. Dunn-Downing said they are both iconic snowboarders that she looked up to and remembers seeing featured in magazines. 

Together, Dunn-Downing and Basitch became the first women to go off the jump in a Red Bull Big Air competition in Europe. The two have even worked together to design women’s outerwear for snowboarding, as well as creating the first women’s pro model snowboard. 

Reflecting on her early years of snowboarding, Dunn-Downing attributes a lot of her love for the sport to her time in Steamboat. 

She moved from Chicago to Steamboat at 9 years old and said the way that the mountain was integrated into the town really stood out to her. 

She added that despite starting out as a skier, it only took one ride on a snowboard for to find her true passion, and she is ecstatic with how her career turned out. 

“I learned when Steamboat first allowed snowboarding in 1988, and I fell in love with it,” Dunn-Downing remembered. “We had such a really fun culture of a small group of snowboarders, so you knew everybody on the mountain. If someone came from out of town, you would make sure to meet them and ride with them. I’m just happy to add snowboarding to Steamboat’s legacy.”

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