The Canadian National Alpine Ski Team comprises athletes who are, or who will, participate in events on the World Cup circuit and/or the Olympic Games. Both men and women have a national team and a different coaching staff. Athletes who are not yet ready or old enough to take part at the highest level of competition are thus placed on the development team, while members who have earned a permanent spot are on the senior team. The Canadian National Alpine Ski Team has participated in every Winter Olympic Games since its inception in 1956, winning at least one medal in each Games.
Women have dominated Canada’s Olympic medal count in alpine skiing, starting with Lucile Wheeler who won downhill bronze at Cortina d’Ampezzo in 1956. Anne Heggtveit got the first gold four years later in the slalom at Squaw Valley in 1960. Nancy Greene was Canada’s first double medallist in alpine skiing, winning giant slalom gold and slalom silver at Grenoble in 1968. Karen Percy has a pair of bronze medals from Calgary in 1988, in the downhill and super-G. Gold medals were also won by Kathy Kreiner in the giant slalom at Innsbruck in 1976 and Kerrin Lee-Gartner in the downhill at Albertville in 1992.
Famous internationally for their daring assaults on the toughest, iciest courses, the "Crazy Canucks" took the international press by storm in the 1970s and 1980s. Ken Read, Steve Podborski, Dave Murray, "Jungle" Jim Hunter, and Dave Irwin challenged the Europeans on the World Cup circuit at a level previously unseen. These skiers provided consistent excitement with 14 World Cup victories and dozens of top 10 placings. Under coaches Glenn Wurtele and former Austrian coach Heinz Stohl, a new, younger group of men, including Rob Boyd, Brian Stemmle, and Felix Belczyk, emerged in the mid-1980s, with Boyd winning at Val Gardena, Italy, in 1987 and at home in Whistler, BC, in 1989. In early 1988 Belczyk won Canada's first Alpine World Cup supergiant slalom, in Leukerbad, Switzerland.