Taft Alumni Hall of Fame  TAA Logo

Cara (Dunne) Yates, JD, 1988

Cara Dunne-Yates (1988)After losing her eyesight to cancer at age 5, Cara began skiing with stepfather, Richard Zabelski, her sighted guide. She competed on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team from 1982 (at age 11) to 1989, specializing in downhill, giant slalom and Super G events, and winning silver and bronze medals in several Disabled Olympics Games.

While at Taft, she was a top student, serving on the Academic Decathlon team. She attended Harvard University and later completed a law degree at UCLA law school. Recurrence of cancer stalled plans to return to competitive skiing, yet she began tandem bike riding, competing with a partner in the 1996 summer Paralympics Games in Atlanta, Georgia as the defending U.S. champions.

Respected by her sighted peers, she earned many honors for her athletic achievements, her courage and the inspiration she has brought to others.

Cara died in 2004, survived by her husband Spencer Yates and two children.