Picabo Street: I Only Pushed My Dad Down The Stairs Because He Pulled Out My Hair
An emotional Picabo Street relived the nightmare that derailed the Olympic legend's life and landed her in handcuffs.
The Olympian claims she called the cops in December 2015 after her father, Roland, who is diabetic, became belligerent and confused after his blood sugar dropped to a dangerous level.
She told IE that she was afraid her 76-year-old father was going to hurt her.
“I was petrified because at this point, he had never gotten his hands on me before,” she said.
Picabo said Roland attacked her by grabbing her hair before she says they both fell down the stairs.
“Two handfuls on either side of my neck and I put my hands on his chest and he stumbled backward and we both fell over,” she said.
The man suffered cuts to his elbow and neck, police said.
The 44-year-old single mother of three cares for both of her parents in her Park City, Utah home.
In a call that Picabo made to 911, her mother, Dee, could be heard taking her husband’s side in the call.
Picabo told the 911 operator: “Oh my God, he pulled so much hair out of my head.”
“You attacked him,” her mother said.
“He attacked, oh my God, are you kidding me? He scratched me on my face,” she said.
The skier who captured Olympic gold in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, was arrested and charged for domestic violence. She pleaded not guilty.
“I was literally feeing I was going to crawl under a rock and in a hole and hide because nobody's ever going to ever understand,” she said.
Both of her parents signed affidavits supporting their daughter.
Her father wrote: “The entire episode was my fault and Picabo was only defending herself.”
Picabo's lawyer Joe Wrona is adamant that prosecutors and police rushed to judgement.
‘She should not have arrested,” he said. “They can destroy lives simply by filing a criminal charge.”
Four weeks ago, the prosecution finally dropped all charges.
"I cried several times over just thinking how that chapter is done and I can start rebuilding my life," she admitted.
She told IE that the December incident was the first time she had called for help in dealing with her father's episodes.
“When his blood sugars drop, he starts to act like a drunk,” she said.
Picabo Street scored victories in nine downhill events in World Cup races during her career.
She won a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in the women’s super-G event. She was the first American woman to win the World Cup downhill season title in 1995, and in 1994 she won a silver medal in the downhill.
She most recently worked as an analyst for Fox Sports during the 2014 Winter Games from Sochi, Russia.