- fl. 1980-2017
Bob Turgeon was a coach at Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp in the early 1980s.
Bob Turgeon was a coach at Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp in the early 1980s.
Tina Symko is a Whistler resident and environmentalist who has been active in promoting sustainability. She received a Master of Resource Management from Simon Fraser University and moved to Whistler circa 1999. During her first several years in town, Symko was a dedicated volunteer for AWARE (Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment), serving on some of its working committees, such as Valley Bottom Wetlands and Whistler’s Wilderness Backyard. She also coordinated the Watershed Management Plans for the River of Golden Dreams and Crabapple Creek, helped implement the Natural Step Framework for the Whistler Sustainability Project, and worked with organizations such as the Langley Environmental Partners Society, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, and Greenpeace.
On November 15th 2001, she was appointed as Project Coordinator for AWARE. In this capacity she was responsible for fundraising, networking, organizing committees, and working with the board of directors. By this point, she had already published a number of papers in the field of environmental sustainability. Symko further contributed to Whistler in the following years by contributing photographs to the ‘Picturing Whistler: Local Faces, Local Spaces’ exhibit at the WMAS circa 2004, and writing several articles for Pique Newsmagazine (2002-2006).
Symko has been heavily involved with the Olympic Games. She was the Information Centre Manager for the Vancouver 2010 bid from 2002 to 2004, and the Senior Manager of Environmental Management & Stability for VANOC from 2002 to 2010. She began consulting with the Sochi Olympic organizers in 2010, culminating in a trip to Russia in 2012 to lead a workshop on the Forest Stewardship Council.
Tina Symko remains active in the Whistler community, having worked with Youth Services at the Whistler Public Library since 2011 and coached the Whistler Figure Skating Club since 2013. She is currently a Senior Associate for Ponsford and Associates Management Consulting.
Toni Sailer was one of the greatest alpine skiers of all time, and for many years he was the head coach of Whistler's Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp. He was born Anton Englebert Sailer in Kitzbühel in 1935, where he was trained as a glazier and tin smith.
Sailer won more than 170 major ski races and helped to shape Austria's image as a skiing nation. At the 1956 Olympics in Cortina, Italy, Sailer became the first skier to win all three alpine gold medals at a Winter Olympics. In addition to these Olympic victories, he also collected seven world championship gold medals and one silver.
At the age of 23 he retired from competition and went on to become a film and singing star, playing the leading role in more than 20 movies. In the later 1960s Sailer was recruited by Roy Ferris and Allan White, owners of the Cheakamus Inn, to lead the summer ski camp they organized on Whistler Mountain.
For more than a decade Sailer spent his summers in Whistler, coaching young ski racers. Members of the camp's coaching staff included Nancy Greene Raine, French innovator Patrick Russel, Greg Lee and freestyle legend Wayne Wong.
Sailer married his first wife, Gaby Rummeny, in Vancouver in 1976. They had a son together named Florian. Years after Rummeny passed away Sailer got remarried to a woman named Hedwig Fischer.
Sailer also produced Toni Sailer skis in Canada during the early 1970s and served as technical director of the Austrian Ski Federation between 1972 and 1976. As well, for many years Sailer was the race director of the prestigious Hahnenkamm downhill in his hometown of Kitzbühel.
In 1985, Sailer was awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and in 1999 he was awarded Austria's sportsman of the century.
He died of cancer in Innsbruck, Austria in 2009 at the age of 73.
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.
David 'Dave' Murray was a Canadian alpine ski racer, a member of the Crazy Canucks, and a pivotal figure in Whistler's ski history. Born in Vancouver, Murray first took up ski racing at age 15 and joined the Canadian National Ski Team at 21 in 1974. He was one of the three founding members of the Crazy Canucks (along with fellow ski racers 'Jungle' Jim Hunter and Dave Irwin) and reportedly acted as the moderator and "conscience" of the group, according to teammate Steve Podborski. Murray participated in two Olympic Games - at Innsbruck in 1976 and Lake Placid in 1980, at which he finished tenth in the downhill - and three FIS World Championships (1974, 1978, and 1982). He competed on the FIS World Circuit for six years. Although Murray never won a World Cup event, he finished in the top ten 15 times, four of these being in his best season (1975/76). He was ranked first place overall in the 1979 Shell Cup Canadian National Championships, and won second place in the 1977 Shell Cup Giant Slalom, the 1978 FIS World Cup Downhills at Les Houches and Schladming, and the 1979 and 1981 Canadian National Championships Downhill. He was named BC Athlete of the Year in 1979.
Following the 1981/82 season, Murray retired from competitive skiing and returned to British Columbia. He became the director of skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb, founding the world-renowned Dave Murray Ski School in 1988. He headed the newly-christened Dave Murray Summer Ski Camps (replacing the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camps) from 1984 until his death in 1990, coaching children and youth aged 10-18 on Whistler Glacier. He also headed Masters camps for adults. In addition, Murray became National Chair of the Canadian Masters Alpine Series, served as a Level III Coach for the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation and a Level III Instructor for the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, and acted as a product consultant and spokesperson for many companies involved in the ski industry. In 1985, he was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame.
Dave Murray tragically died from skin cancer in Vancouver at the age of 37. He was survived by his wife, Stephanie Sloan, a freestyle skiing pioneer and world champion, and 22-month-old daughter, Julia. Sloan continued running the Dave Murray Summer Ski Camps throughout the 1990s, while Julia grew up to join Canada's Ski Cross Team and Compete at the 2010 Olympics. Dave Murray was honoured with induction into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. The downhill course on Whistler Mountain was named in his memory in April 1991; it hosted World Cup Downhill and Super-G races from 1993 to 1995, was used for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and is noted as being among the best downhill runs in the world.
Ernie F. McCulloch was a renowned Canadian skier of the mid-20th century. He was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. McCulloch's ski career began in 1945; originally a ski jumper, he soon switched to alpine racing and achieved tremendous success. He defeated the entire French Alpine team in the Quebec Kandahar in 1949, won the US National Giant Slalom Championship, the North American Championship, and the Harriman Cup in 1950, and was voted the "Skier of the Half Century" the same year. Throughout the early 1950s he enjoyed further victories (1951 North American Championships, 1951 and 1952 Harriman Cup, 1951 Peruvian Cup, 1952 Kandahar, 1952 US National and International Downhills, 1953 Ryan Cup) as well as competing in the 1952 Olympic Winter Games in Oslo, Norway.
McCulloch also served as a ski instructor. Early in his his career he was coach to the young Canadian ski champion Lucile Wheeler, travelling to Banff with her to compete in the 1948 Canadian Championships. He later served as the director of the Mont Tremblant Ski School and the Blue Mountain Ski School. During this time he tirelessly re-evaluated and improved his methods for teaching skiing, resulting in Mont Tremblant enjoying a worldwide reputation for excellence under his leadership. He was also made President and Chief Examiner of the Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance in 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1961, and coached the Canadian Olympic Alpine Ski Team in 1956. He authored several instructional books on skiing, including Learn to Ski (1955), Ski the Champion's Way (1967) and Ski Easy ... The New Technique (1973).
McCulloch was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1984.
Don Lyons was a ski coach for the Canadian Women's Downhill and Super G teams in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.
Britt Janyk is a retired Canadian alpine skier who specialized in downhill, super G, alpine combined, and giant slalom. She is the daughter of former Whistler councillor and national ski racer Andree Janyk, and the brother of World Cup alpine skier Michael Janyk. Born in North Vancouver, she learned to ski on Whistler Mountain in her early childhood and joined the Whistler Mountain Ski Club as a teenager in 1996.
Janyk debuted in the World Cup in 1999. She started out with slalom and giant slalom, but after nearly losing her place on the team, switched to speed events and excelled. During her career as a skier for Alpine Canada, she scored 18 Top 10 finishes in World Cup Competitions, including two podium finishes in downhill races. Both of these - a first place at Aspen and a third at Lake Louise - came in the 2007-08 season, during which Janyk placed third overall. Her Olympic debut was at the 2010 Winter Games in Whistler; she received a sixth place finish in the downhill.
Janyk retired from professional skiing the following year, but remains active in the sports world. She provided commentary for the 2012-2013 Alpine Skiing World Cup through Eurosport and the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic skiing event through the Olympic Broadcasting Service. She has been an ambassador for Right to Play since 2008, a participant in Ski With an Olympian since 2012, and a salesperson at Peak Performance and a U12 Ski Coach with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club since 2015. She was also a board member of the Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation for eight months in 2011-12.
Andrée Vajda Janyk was a Whistler councillor, school trustee, skier, coach, and volunteer who won numerous awards for her dedicated service to the community. She skied competitively in her youth and went on to serve as a coach, a founding member of the Blackcomb Ski Club, and a volunteer for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. Two of her children, Britt and Mike, became Olympic skiers. With a degree in kinesiology from Simon Fraser University and a master's from the University of Brussels, she was a strong advocate for health and fitness, leading the first Fitness Leadership Certificate Program at Capilano University, serving on the national First Summit on Fitness Committee, and running a food co-op to promote eating organically.
Janyk served twelve years as a school trustee in the early 2000s, pushing for a more student-centered learning model during the reorganization of School District 48. She was also instrumental in the growth of youth soccer in Whistler, founding the Whistler Youth Soccer Club with her friend Bob Calladine. In 2011, she was elected to Council for a three-year term, then re-elected in 2014. One of her most important achievements during this time was the creation of the Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee, for which she served as the Council's first ever appointee. She was still serving on Council at the time of her death from cancer in 2017.
Janyk received many honours, including being named the Whistler Cup Volunteer of the Year, BC Alpine Volunteer of the Year, and Sport BC Community Hero. In 2010 she was crowned Whistler's Citizen of the Year. The Andrée Vajda Janyk Sports Field at Cheakamus Crossing was named in her memory in 2018.
Ellen Burka was a Dutch-Canadian figure skater, coach, and Holocaust survivor. She received the Order of Canada in 1978 and was has been inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1996), the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame, the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. She was the mother and coach of Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Petra Burka.