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Muffy Davis, 2020 Women of the Year

Representative

Idaho State Legislature

 

Muffy Davis, 2020 Women of the Year honoree.

Rep. Muffy Davis won her seat in the Idaho House of Representatives in November 2018, capturing more than 56% of votes to become one of just 14 Democrats serving in the 70-member Idaho House of Representatives.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” Davis said, “but it’s very hard work.”

Davis knows plenty about hard work though. An athlete since the age of three when she first began skiing, the Sun Valley native soon began training to compete in the Olympic Games. In her teens, Davis was a top-ranked junior ski racer seemingly destined to join the Olympic ski team.

However, her dreams of competing and winning medals were nearly destroyed at the age of 15.

It was early in the morning on Bald Mountain in Sun Valley — the mountain she’d trained on her entire life. Fresh snow and ice had forced her to train on a different run though, and as she approached a sharp turn, she lost control.

Traveling at more than 45 miles per hour, Davis went through a safety fence and slammed into two trees.

“I flew 15 feet and hit the first tree with my back,” she said. “I bounced off that tree and hit a second tree with my head.”

The impact shattered her helmet, and the crash left her paralyzed from the chest down.

“It was devastating at first, but I had an amazing support system. My community, my family, my friends,” Davis said. “What I’ve learned is that we’re stronger than anything that can happen to us.”

Davis feared her dreams of being a competitive athlete were over, but after learning about the Paralympic movement, she transferred her childhood dreams of competing in the Olympics to her new dream of competing in the Paralympic Games. After graduating from Stanford University, she put her aspirations of med school on hold and moved to Utah to begin training.

It paid off. Davis won a bronze medal at the 1998 Nagano games in Women’s Slalom, and three silver medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City games in Women’s Giant Slalom, Women’s Super G and Women’s Downhill.

She wasn’t done yet though. Following the birth of her daughter, Davis took up handcycling. At the 2012 games in London, she won a record-setting three gold medals in the sport.

Click on the cover to view the digital edition of the 2020 Women of the Year publication.

Davis currently serves as a governing board member of the International Paralympic Committee, and serves on the USOC Paralympic Advisory Committee. Davis is also the founder of the Idaho Women’s Athletic Foundation and a member of the International Women’s Forum.

Outside of her work as a legislator, Davis said she spends as much time as she can with her 11-year-old daughter and her husband. And though her focus has shifted from competing athletically to serving her constituents, Davis still spends as much time outdoors as possible.

“Part of why I moved back here is the outdoors,” she said.

Davis said she is very honored to be named one of IBR’s Women of the Year for 2020.

“We have so many amazing women in this state,” Davis said. “And this is a big year (as we celebrate) 100 years of women’s suffrage.”

About Ryan Lowery