Jill Kinmont




Jill Kinmont Boothe (February 16, 1936 – February 9, 2012, at age 75) Born in Los Angeles, California, Kinmont grew up in Bishop and learned to ski race at Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In early 1955, she was the reigning national champion in the slalom, and a top prospect for a medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics, a year away. While competing, at the age of 18, in the giant slalom at the prestigious Snow Cup in Alta, Utah, on January 30, 1955. she suffered a near-fatal accident which resulted in paralysis from the shoulders down. That same week she had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, dated January 31, 1955. Kinmont was engaged to "daredevil" Dick Buek (1929–1957), at the time of his death, according to her autobiography. After her rehabilitation, she went on to graduate from UCLA with a B.A. in German and earned a teaching credential from the University of Washington in Seattle. She had a long career as an educator, first in Washington and then in Beverly Hills, California. She taught special education at Bishop Union Elementary School from 1975 to 1996 in her hometown of Bishop. She was an accomplished painter who had many exhibitions of her artwork. Kinmont was the subject of two movies: The Other Side of the Mountain in 1975, and The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2 in 1978. Both films starred Marilyn Hassett as Kinmont. At age 40, she married trucker John Boothe of Bishop in November 1976, and they made their home in Bishop until shortly before her death. Ruth Rhines, senior deputy coroner of Carson City, confirmed that Jill Boothe died February 9, 2012, at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. A cause of death has not been reported and Rhines could not confirm reports that Boothe died of complications related to surgery. She lived 57 years past her paralyzing ski accident and is buried in the East Line Street Cemetery in Bishop. Boothe was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1967.

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