- b. July 12, 1954
Dave Irwin is a former alpine ski racer and member of the 'Crazy Canucks.' Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, he learned to ski at the age of 3 on his father's ski resort and was chosen for the Canadian National Ski Team at 17. Although his original area of expertise was the slalom - he won the 1972 Can-Am Slalom title, earning him that year's NOVA Cup as Canada's most improved skier - Irwin later switched to downhill. His first World Cup appearance was at Schladming, Austria in 1973; he came in 14th. Two years later, again at Schladming, he became the second Canadian male to win a World Cup downhill event. Other first-place wins for Irwin included the 1979 Europa Cup downhill event in Verbier, Switzerland, and the 1980 U.S. National Championships. He represented Canada in two Winter Olympics - Innsbruck 1976, at which he finished 8th, and Lake Placid 1980, at which he finished 11th. He won bronze at the 1982 World Cup Downhill in Whistler, retiring the next month. Overall, he finished in the Top 15 in seventeen different races over his career.
Irwin sustained many injuries during his career, the first being a concussion which sent him to the hospital for five days before the 1976 Olympics. Another severe concussion kept him out of the competition for almost two years prior to the 1980 Olympics. After his retirement, he sustained a traumatic brain injury while training for an Export A Skier-Cross event in 2001. This put him in a coma for three days and resulted in severe memory loss. Irwin and his fiancee Lynne Harrison later created the Dave Irwin Foundation for Brain Injury. This organization was dissolved in 2016.
Irwin received a Sport Excellence Award from the Government of Canada at the 1982 Tribute of Champions, and a John Semmelink Memorial Award from the Canadian Ski and Snowboard Association the same year. He was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1992. He currently lives in Canmore, Alberta.