USC film grad and actress Stephani Victor is living her own gold medal, if improbable script. Loading her car in 1995, she was pinned against her vehicle when an out-of-control car veered into her driveway. In order to save her life, both of her legs were amputated. Stephani’s will to live was astonishing and she was determined to overcome this unthinkable, catastrophic experience. While in intensive care, this actress/film director had a dream of making a documentary film about her recovery. Suddenly her life’s worst tragedy became the backdrop of her most important film, “The Lengths I will Go”. Three years and 11 reconstructive surgeries later, she too k her first adaptive skiing lesson. Since then, she has won five Paralympic medals, four World Championship titles and five Overall World Cup titles.
In 1999, promoting a role in a movie during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, she took her first adaptive ski lesson. The athlete in her told Victor she could medal at the 2002 Paralympics (she did); the filmmaker in her said Paralympic gold would be the perfect ending for her movie.
For most people marriage is a highlight year. Not only did Victor wed her longtime coach Marcel Kuonen, she then added to the season highlight reel, winning gold in the Slalom at the 2006 Paralympics. Her Paralympic run became the sought after climax to her documentary. “Thanks to Marcel, I have my gold medal ending”. Her documentary’s post-production schedule would be put on hold while Stephani took her skiing career goals to another level. She won the Overall World Cup title in 2007 and seized two more globes in Giant Slalom and Slalom. In 2009, she won an impressive three World Championship gold medals and one silver medal in Korea, elevating her to an unrivaled contender for Vancouver. In 2010 she continued to dominate with her best Paralympic performance yet. She finished with two silver medals in Giant Slalom and Slalom and became the first ever gold medalist in the super combined, just as Bode Miller had won weeks before at the same venue.
Stephani’s film and ski racing accomplishments have been the subject of many television shows including ABC’s 20/20, The View, The Life, The Best Damned Sports Show Period and E! News. Most recently she appeared in a national Coca-Cola commercial and several British Petroleum print advertisements for the Vancouver Olympics. Stephani was featured in the documentary film “lology” and the Ski Channel’s feature film “The Story” currently in theaters. Through her extensive media coverage she became a much sought after motivational speaker. General John A. Weida made Stephani an honorary Wing Commander of Hill Air Force Base after her moving presentation to over 3,000 airmen and women that resulted in the lingest period of no reported DUI incidents. Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah, has repeatedly included Stephani in his impressive keynote line-up for his annual Women’s Conference where she has spoken alongside Leslie Stahl, Marie Osmond and Dana Perino to name a few. Stephani has been speaking and appearing on behalf of The Hartford Insurance Group for over five years as part of an exclusive Athlete Ambassador program to positively change public attitudes and perceptions about disability. Corporate clients recognize the power of Stephani’s message especially when delivered alongside Olympic Athletes, such as Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety, Apolo Ohno and Katherine Reutter.
Stephani’s passion for pursuing excellence and living life to the fullest includes giving back to her community. She has volunteered on the Council for Disability Awareness. She has tirelessly contributed her voice by giving moving presentations to prison inmates, inner city schools and fundraising events for multiple non-profit organizations including Spirit Awakening Foundation and Shane’s Inspiration. Stephani was chosen by the USOC to serve as an Athlete Ambassador for Team for Tomorrow to spread the Olympic ideals of peace, goodwill, tolerance, and harmony.
Whether Stephani is speaking to corporations, inner city schools or racing down the slopes, those around her realize Stephani Victor possesses the rarest of gifts: the ability to positively inspire, motivate and lead.
- 2010: Gold medal, super combined; silver medal, slalom and giant slalom – Paralympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada
- 2010: Third place downhill – World Cup, Sestriere, Italy
- 2010: ESPY Award Nominee
- 2009: Paralympic SportsWoman of the year
- 2009: Adaptive Athlete of the Year Ski Racing Magazine
- 2009: Gold medal, slalom, giant slalom and super combined - IPC World
- 2009: Gold medal, slalom - U.S. Adaptive Alpine Skiing National Championships
- 2007: Overall World Cup champion
- 2007: Slalom & giant slalom overall World Cup champion
- 2007: Gold medal, giant slalom and slalom - U.S. Adaptive Alpine Skiing National Championships
- 2007: ESPY Award Nominee
- 2007: Adaptive Athlete of the Year Ski Racing Magazine
- 2006: Gold medal, slalom - Paralympic Winter Games, Torino, Italy
- 2006: World Cup slalom champion
- 2005: Gold medal, slalom - U.S. Adaptive Alpine Skiing National Championships
- 2004: Gold medal, slalom; silver medal, Super G; bronze medal, downhill - World Championships
- 2004: Slalom champion - World Cup
- 2003: Gold medal, super G and giant slalom - U.S. Adaptive Alpine Skiing National Championships
- 2002: Bronze medal, downhill - Paralympic Winter Games, Salt Lake City, Utah
- 2002: Salt Lake Olympic Torchbearer
- 2000: Gold medal, slalom - U.S. Adaptive Alpine Skiing National Championships