RED Mountain Resort Heroes | Nancy Greene
If you’re not from Canada, not a dedicated ski racer or you were born after the 1970’s, you might be forgiven for being unfamiliar with Nancy Greene and the way she captivated the attention of a nation. Raised in Rossland and nurtured as a skier at the Red Mountain resort from the age of 3, Greene eventually grew to become the undisputed greatest female ski racer of the 1960’s.
In a sport dominated by Europeans, Nancy Greene not only won the overall title in the inaugural World Cup in 1967, she took gold (giant slalom) and silver (slalom) medals in Grenoble’s 1968 Winter Olympics – two thirds of the total take of Canada’s Olympic medals that year.
In two years of World Cup racing, Greene took the overall title in both seasons. She also placed first in World Cup races a total of 13 times, a record amongst Canadian skiers that still stands today. Greene ultimately won 3 US Championship titles and 9 Canadian championship titles before retiring from amateur racing at the age of 24.
Greene leveraged her national hero status by working with Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Task Force On Sport For Canadians and promoting the Canadian Ski Team. A foray into television commercials for Mars Bars and General Motors as well as a promotional position with the Rossignol ski company continued to build her profile in Canada and abroad.
Nancy and her husband played a large role in expanding Whistler and Blackcomb mountains while helping Whistler Village gain the international reputation it has today. Nancy is the honorary chairman of the namesake Nancy Greene Ski League which helps inspire Canadian youth to take up ski racing.
Greene has received a number of honors and awards including being named the Canadian Female Athlete of The Century, receiving the Order Of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor and having a provincial park in British Columbia named after her. She is a member of the National Sports Hall Of Fame and both the Canadian and US Ski Halls Of Fame. In 2009 Greene was appointed to the Senate Of Canada.
Even though Rossland is a tiny town of less than 5000 people, it has a world class ski hill that has been instrumental in nurturing talents like Nancy Greene. The Red Mountain resort has grown from one of the oldest ski hills in North America to an award winning, multi mountain resort with more than 2600 acres of skiable terrain.