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Minnetonka Beach woman continues alpine skiing success at 79

Lilla Gidlow returned from Austria after winning gold and bronze at the Winter World Masters Games.

At Buck Hill in Burnsville there's one skier who trains there that many people know and look up to.

"She's got a lot of respect on the hill," said one skier.

Lilla Gidlow is that skier.

"Somebody who is 60 comes up to you and says I want to be like you when I grow up," said Gidlow.

You may ask why people know her. Just take a look around her Minnetonka Beach home and all the medals she's won over the year.

Gidlow started Master Ski Racing in the early 90's. 

"I've medaled almost every year since 1993," said Gidlow.

She returned just this past weekend from Austria.

"Winter World Masters Games in Innsbruck which is really the Masters Olympics," said Gidlow.

She won a gold medal in the slalom and bronze medals in the giant slaloms in her age group.

"Which is beyond my expectation," said Gidlow.

She was the oldest woman participating in Alpine Skiing at the event at the age of 79.

So what motivates Gidlow to keep going?

"I guess I don't know how to sit very well," joked Gidlow.

She says the determination likely started 20 years ago.

"Had a tumor removed on the inside of my spinal cord and took a couple years to learn how to walk and ski again and you feel like you want to keep going," said Gidlow.

Whatever the motivation is, she's not done. She has a bunch of races lined up in the coming months. 

She hopes to continue her alpine skiing legacy for years to come.

"There's 85-90 still racing," said Gidlow. "So as long as it's good motivation I'll keep doing it."

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