Cindy Nelson was the first great downhill racer the U.S. produced – male or female. In addition, for most of the late 70’s, she was the top U.S. woman at all the alpine events. Her career is remarkable not only for her success in the downhill but for its longevity She first made the U.S. ski team in 1971 and competed through the 1984 Winter Olympics. Nelson was forced to miss the 1972 Olympics with a dislocated hip, but before the 1976 Olympics, she won two World Cup downhills, a World Cup giant slalom, and was ranked in the top ten in the World overall.
After her bronze medal in 1976 she continued to race, winning another World Cup downhill in 1979, and ranking fourth overall in that year. A medal hopeful at Lake Placid in 1980, she was unable to come through with a podium finish. She competed on the World Cup Circuit thru 1984, competing at the Sarajevo Olympics, and won her sixth and final World Cup Victory in a Super-G at Verbier in January 1983.