As an 18-year-old, Gaby Schiess emigrated to the United States to work as a ski instructor. She married American Dick Andersen, and obtained US citizenship. As a runner, however, she still competed for Switzerland, winning the 3,000 m in the 1972 Swiss Championships. Andersen-Schiess subsequently focused on road running, first recording a Swiss best time in the marathon in 1973. After a career break, she returned to win two marathons in 1983 (Minneapolis-St. Paul and Sacramento), and bettered the Swiss record in both the marathon and the 10,000 m. This qualified her for the inaugural women's marathon at the 1984 Olympics. Running in 20th position, she missed the last drink station, and became fully dehydrated in the warm Los Angeles sun. It took her seven long minutes to cover the final 500 m inside the Los Angels Coliseum, limping along the track and waving away medical assistance in order to avoid disqualification. While pictures from Andersen-Schiess' (successful) struggle to make it to the finish went around the world, the runner herself quickly recovered, being released from medical attention after just two hours.
Personal Best\: Mar â 2-33:25 (1983).