Clarita Heath Bright - Clarita Heath Bright, ’36 Olympian

Passing Date

Clarita Heath Bright, '36 Olympian, dead at 87

US Ski Team report

BROOKLINE, MA  - Clarita Heath Bright, a U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame member who raced on the first U.S. Olympic alpine ski team in 1936, died at the age of 87.

Born in Pasadena, CA, she was an 18-year-old named Clarita Heath when she was named to 1936 Olympic Team as alpine racing became an official Olympic sport with just one event, the combined, mixing a run of downhill with two runs of slalom. She also raced in the 1937 World Championships and would go on to win the U.S. combined championship in 1942. Bright was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968.

She learned to ski on a family trip to Kitzbuehel, Austria, and later was a ski instructor in Sun Valley, ID. She also coached Ingrid Bergman for ski scenes in the movie "Spellbound."

Bright continued to ski into her 80s. Her late husband, Alex Bright, also was a member of that '36 team which competed in Garmisch, Germany, and was one of the earliest members elected to the Hall of Fame; he was inducted with the fourth group in 1959.

Her first husband, William Reiter, was a Navy pilot who died in the Pacific during World War II. She married Bright 16 years later and moved to the Boston area. She was survived by two daughters, a son and six grandchildren.