Olympic memories; Kristin Krone finds happiness in a cup of coffee
“I was the luckiest person in the world.”
That’s how Truckee’s Kristin Krone remembers her two trips to the Olympics and a career that put her at the top of downhill skiing for nearly 10 years.
Though many remember Krone for the particularly spectacular fall she took on Meribel in Albertville, France, at the 1992 Olympic Games, it is only one moment in an otherwise brilliant skiing career that took her around the world to ski against the best in her field.
Krone, now 30, looks back on the Olympics and the spill which broke her hand and injured both knees, with fondness.
“Oh yeah, I can watch the video (of the crash),” said Krone. “It was a shame I fell, and I think a lot of people felt sorry for me, but I don’t feel sorry for myself.”
It was an 18th-place training run that caused Krone to hang it on the line and go for speed during the Olympic race.
“I had been racing conservatively (in training and trials), so on race day I said, ‘this is it, you’ve got to go for it.’ I was willing to risk my life and it was worth it,” Krone said.
Krone recovered from the crash, coming back to her best level yet that autumn, but she said the desire to race just wasn’t there anymore.
“Here I was at a point where I’d always wanted to be and it just didn’t sit well,” said Krone.
She decided to quit the Ski Team and finish college. Krone had started at the University of Wyoming, but dropped out to pursue racing.
“I ate at the Olympic table and I didn’t want to keep eating there,” said Krone. “I felt like it was enough.”
Still, she looks back on the Olympics as the experience of a lifetime.
Her memories of Calgary in 1988 are blurred, she said, because of the overwhelming nature of the experience.
“I hardly remember being in Calgary. I was so intent on treating it like any other race I blocked it out. The next time I was determined to have more experiences. I have a lot more memories of the village and the people (from Albertville, 1992),” said Krone.
Krone remembers feeling proud to represent the USA in the Olympics, a feeling she said she didn’t get when skiing World Cup races.
She also said she is “camped out” in front of her television during this year’s broadcast, and the coverage brings back a flood of memories.
After quitting the team, Krone said she intentionally distanced herself from skiing in order to prove herself without riding the Olympic coattails.
“That was kind of stupid in retrospect,” said Krone. “I had a lot of opportunities I could have capitalized on.”
Six years later, however, Krone is doing just fine.
Success with java
For the last year and a half, she has owned and operated Truckee River Coffee Roasting, a small roasting house and cafe located in the Crossroads Shopping Center.
“I’m a coffee drinker,” Krone said, sipping a dark coffee roasted in her store. “You can’t get a normal cup of coffee in Europe.”
Krone has translated her passion for skiing into a love for coffee.
“I like the way it’s roasted and the way it tastes.”
Her shop is decorated with posters of St. Moritz and Innsbruck, which sit above photos of an early Squaw Valley and other Olympic memorabilia.
She had her racing trophies displayed until they fell recently.
Slowly but surely, Krone is re-entering the world of skiing. Once a week she teaches a master’s class at Squaw Valley.
“I look forward to that day,” said Krone. “Friday’s now my favorite day of the week.”
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