U.S. Ski Team alpine racer

Passing Date: 
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tori Pillinger Robinson, 51, a former U.S. Ski Team alpine racer, died August 26 after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

Born December 18, 1966, Tori grew up in Park City, Utah, a community that recognized her talent and supported her pursuit of the sport to its highest level. As a member of the U.S. Ski Team by age 17, Tori ascended to the A Team, distinguishing herself as a gutsy competitor and supportive teammate.

In December 1987, she was a top prospect for the 1988 Olympics when a violent finish line crash shattered her body and her Olympic dreams. The crash changed the FIS regulations to prohibit solid finish line poles. Repaired by team doctors Grady Jeeter and Richard Steadman, Tori fought through recovery and returned to the team briefly, until back issues forced her to retire in 1989, at age 23.

From there Tori pursued her nursing degree at the University of Utah, then became a whitewater river guide and emergency room nurse in California. On the river she met the love of her life, Marek Robinson, and together they traveled the world’s wilder places—by foot, boat, bike, ski and truck—eventually starting a family and settling in Coloma, California. From that home base, Tori and Marek “roadschooled” their kids in places like Bora Bora, Tahiti, Spain, Morocco and Mexico.

From the start of her cancer diagnosis in 2011, to the final weeks of her life, Tori lived with an irrepressibly positive outlook and encouraged all with the inspiration to “liveliketori.” In the midst of chemotherapy, she rallied to attend Dr. Steadman’s tribute in Beaver Creek last December. The entire Robinson family came
to the Squaw Valley World Cup last March, where Tori made her final run. She leaves behind her husband of 24 years, Marek, and their two daughters Stella and Zoe. —Edith Thys Morgan 


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