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authority records
Skier

Murray, Julia

  • CA-BC-MJ005
  • Person
  • b. December 23, 1988

Julia Murray is a retired Canadian skier and the daughter of 'Crazy Canuck' Dave Murray and freestyle legend Stephanie Sloan. Her father died when she was only 22 months old. Born and raised in Whistler, she learned to ski in her early childhood and started alpine racing at age eight. She later switched from racing to ski cross, becoming one of the four inaugural members of the Canadian National Ski Cross Team in 2007. Throughout her career she would achieve three World Cup podium finishes.

Murray competed in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games despite having an injured knee; she had previously supported Whistler's Olympic bid by speaking in front of the International Olympic Committee and the Prime Minister at the age of 13. She came in 12th place in the Olympic debut of the ski cross event. The following year, suffering from a second injury, she achieved a second-place finish at the FIS World Championships. In 2012 Murray retired from professional skiing so as to not aggravate her injuries further.

Following her retirement, Murray completed a Communications Diploma from Capilano University, launched the Ski With an Olympian program with Whistler Blackcomb, started her own cereal company, Jules Fuel, and a food blog, Hooked on Plants, and acted as an announcer at ski cross events. She married fellow Canadian freestyle skier Davey Barr in 2018.

Oldfield, Graydon

  • CA-ON-OG001
  • Person
  • b. 1973

Graydon Oldfield is a former member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team who competed in the Alpine World Cup Ski Tour and the 1993 Labatt Blue Downhill at Whistler Mountain. He was crowned Canadian Champion in 1997 and received an Alumni of the Year Award in 2004. Oldfield retired from skiing in 1999 and joined ScotiaMcLeod, for which he is currently Senior Wealth Advisor and Associate Director of Wealth Management. He is also president of the Barrie Cycling Club, former Chair of Gilda's Club Simcoe Muskoka, and a mentor to business students at Georgian College. He lives in Barrie, Ontario.

Oppliger, Paulo

  • CL-OP001
  • Person
  • b. November 16, 1971

Paulo Oppliger is a Chilean former alpine skier who competed in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics and the 1993 Labatt Blue Men's Downhill and Super G at Whistler Mountain.

Paul, M.

  • CA-PM001
  • Person
  • fl. 1993

M. Paul is a Canadian skier who served as a forerunner at the 1993 Labatt Blue Men's Downhill at Whistler Mountain.

Percy, Karen

  • CA-AB-PK001
  • Person
  • b. October 10, 1966

Karen Percy is a retired Canadian skier from Edmonton, Alberta. At the height of her career she was one of the world's top female alpine skiers, with a total of 25 top ten World Cup finishes, four World Championships, and 7 consecutive Canadian National Championships. She won bronze in Downhill and Super G at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, for which she was Canada's flag bearer at the closing ceremony. She became a Member of the Order of Canada the same year, and was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1992.

Podborski, Steve

  • CA-ON-PS001
  • Person
  • b. July 25, 1957

Steven 'Steve' Gregory Podborski is a former downhill ski racer and member of the 'Crazy Canucks.' Born in Toronto, Ontario, Podborski started skiing at two-and-a-half years old at Craigleith Ski Club. He joined the Canadian alpine ski team in 1973 and made his World Cup debut the following year at the age of 17, scoring two top ten finishes in his first season. He made his Olympic debut at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, winning the bronze medal at the downhill; he had planned to debut at the previous Games but been forced to cancel due to a knee injury. His third-place win at the Games made him the only Crazy Canuck ever to win an Olympic medal, as well as the first North American man to do so in the downhill. In 1982, he became the first North American to win the World Cup season title in downhill skiing. In total, he won 8 World Cup downhill races (including the famously difficult Hahenkamm race, twice) and finished within the top 10 in 34 more. He retired after the 1984 season.

After retiring, Podborski continued to contribute to the sports world. He covered snowboarding for Olympics on CBS in 1998, cycling and Tae Kwon Do for NBC in 2000, and freestyle skiing for NBC in 2002 and 2006, and commented on three Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Whistler/Vancouver 2010). He was on the bid committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics, responsible for international relations. He was named Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi (2014). He worked for Telus from 2003 to 2017, achieving the position of National Director, Community Sports. In June 2017, he became President and CEO of Parachute, an organization focusing on injury prevention in sports.

Podborski has received many honours, including the Order of Canada in 1982, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985, the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1986, the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Ontario Sport Hall of Fame in 1987.

Polig, Josef

  • IT-PJ001
  • Person
  • b. November 9, 1968

Josef Polig is an Italian former alpine skier who participated in the World Cup from 1988 to 1995 and won a gold medal in alpine combined at the 1992 Winter Olympics. He competed in the 1993 Labatt Blue Men's Downhill and Super G at Whistler Mountain.

Raine, Al

  • CA-BC-RA001
  • Person
  • b. October 22, 1941

Al Raine was one of the original Whistler aldermen and played an instrumental role in the creation of Whistler Village and the opening of Blackcomb Mountain. Born in Vancouver, he started skiing in his late teens and spent three years (1962-1965) in Europe honing his skills. After returning to Canada, he worked at the Red Mountain Ski Area in Rossland, B.C. and coached the Ski Hawks in Montreal before being hired by the Southern Ontario Ski Zone to organize and lead a junior program in the area. Raine's success in this task led to his appointment as Head Coach and Program Director for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in 1968. The Canadian team rose to new heights in the late 60s and early 70s due in part to Raine's drive, innovation, and management skills.

Al Raine and his wife, ski champion Nancy Greene, built a cabin in Whistler in 1970. This served as their summer home while Nancy coached at the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp on Whistler Glacier. The same year saw the birth of the couple's twin sons, Charlie and Willy.

In 1973, Raine quit his position with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and moved to Whistler full-time. The BC government was seeking someone with the skills and experience to oversee the development of Whistler as a tourist resort and promote the expansion of skiing in the province. Raine fit the description perfectly. He was chosen as Ski Area Coordinator of British Columbia in 1974. The following year, when Whistler was made an official Resort Municipality, Raine became one of the first aldermen under Mayor Pat Carleton. He acted as a liaison between the municipality and the provincial government, assisted in the building of a sewer plant for the valley, and helped plan and coordinate the development of Whistler Village. In the face of opposition from large property owners, he accompanied Carleton to Victoria to get provincial approval for the creation of the Village and came back successful. He was the first to propose developing Blackcomb Mountain as a ski hill (in 1976) and received a joint bid from the Aspen Ski Corporation of Canada and the Canadian Federal Business Development Bank. Raine led the negotiation of a 50-year lease and land use contract, resulting in the opening of Blackcomb in 1980.

Raine's duties as Ski Area Coordinator took him beyond Whistler, assessing 45 different areas throughout British Columbia for their potential as ski sites. At this time he also worked as a consultant for the A.R. Resort Planning Group. His projects included carrying out studies for the BC heli-ski industry, devising a master plan for Hudson Bay Mountain, and evaluating the ski potential of areas such as Big White, Shames Creek, Tod Mountain (now Sun Peaks Resort) and Snow Basin (in Utah).

In 1980, Raine stepped down from his positions and became General Manager of the Whistler Resort Association. He was responsible for scheduling events, taking reservations, promoting tourism, and providing information about Whistler to guests. He resigned from this position in 1982 for health reasons and spent two years teaching skiing in Switzerland. During this time he also assisted Crans Montana in its successful bid to host the 1987 World Alpine Ski Championships. In 1984 he moved back to Whistler to help with the development of Nancy Greene's Olympic Lodge. He was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Raines moved to Sun Peaks in the B.C. interior during the 1990s and continue to operate Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge there. Al Raine was elected Mayor of this resort town in 2010.

Read, Ken

  • CA-AB-RK001
  • Person
  • b. November 6, 1955

Kenneth ‘Ken’ John Read is a former alpine downhill ski racer and member of the Crazy Canucks from 1973 to 1983. He participated in the 1976 and 1980 Winter Olympics and the 1978 and 1982 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Read was the first Canadian and North American to win a men’s Downhill World Cup race, and the first non-European to win the Austrian downhill Hahnenkamm and the Swiss race Lauberhorn. In total, he won four downhill World Cup races during his career. He was named Canada’s Athlete of the Year in 1978, Canadian Male Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1980, a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991, a Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame inductee in 1985, a Canada’s Skiing Hall of Fame inductee in 1986, and an International Ski Racing Hall of Fame inductee in 2010. He and his fellow Crazy Canucks were inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2006.

After his retirement, Read continued to contribute greatly to Canadian sport. He became a broadcaster with CBC TV Sports, launched the “Breath of Life” Ski Challenge to raise money for cystic fibrosis, served as President and CEO of Alpine Canada Alpin (2002-2008), worked with youth in the Alberta Alpine Ski Association (2008-2010), was named Winter Sport Director of Own The Podium (2010-2013), founded and chaired the Canadian Olympic Association Athletes Council, served as Chef de Mission for the 1992 Canadian Team to Barcelona, sat on the FIS Alpine Committee Executive Board (starting 1998), and more. He currently resides in Calgary, where he grew up.

Rey, Denis

  • FR-RD001
  • Person
  • b. February 9, 1966

Denis Rey is a retired French alpine skier who competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics and the 1993 Labatt Blue World Men's Downhill at Whistler Mountain.

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