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authority records
Ski instructor

Sailer, Toni

  • AT-ST001
  • Person
  • November 17, 1935 - August 24, 2009

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.

Murray, Dave

  • CA-BC-MD003
  • Person
  • September 9, 1953 - October 23, 1990

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.

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.

Turgeon, Bob

  • CA-BC-TB001
  • Person
  • fl. 1980-2017

Bob Turgeon was a coach at Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp in the early 1980s.

White, Russ

  • CA-BC-WR001
  • Person
  • b. c. 1921 fl. 2007

Russ White was the oldest ski instructor on Whistler Mountain as of 2007. He was featured in the short film Extreme Seniors, focusing on elderly Whistlerites leading active lifestyles.

Wong, Wayne

  • CA-BC-WW001
  • Person
  • b. October 17, 1950

Wayne Wong is a Canadian ski champion and the innovator of freestyle/'hotdog' skiing. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential skiers of the 20th century.

Born in Vancouver, Wong had his first ski lesson at the age of 11. In 1971, as a ski school instructor at Mount Seymour, he was persuaded by friends to enter the inaugural National Championships of Exhibition Skiing at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. Wong won third place, launching a career that would see him receive international acclaim. He pioneered an unrestricted, inventive new style of skiing, characterized by daring stunts such as the "Wong Banger" and "Wongmill."

Wong was a member of the K2 and Salomon Freestyle Ski Teams from 1972 to 1976, achieving numerous victories. He was the Europa Cup Freestyle Champion in 1973, the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Skiing Champion and the Japanese International Freestyle Skiing Champion in 1975, and the World Powder 8 Champion in 1984, 1986, and 1987. Wong was also a Level 4 Certified member of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and served as a member of the CSIA's Interski team in Czechoslovakia in 1975. He served as the director of the freestyle section of the Toni Sailer/Dave Murray Summer Ski Camp in Whistler from the early 1970s until the 1990s. He has appeared in countless ski movies and was a torch bearer for the 2002 Winter Games.

Award and honours received by Wayne Wong include: named Skiing Magazine's Freestyle Skier of the Year for 1972, named one of Skiing Magazine's 25 Most Influential Skiers of All Time in 1999, voted as one of Ski magazine's Top 100 Skiers of All Time in 2000, received Guardian Angel Award for his dedication to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2004, named one of Powder Magazine's Top 48 Greatest Skiers of Our Time in 2006, received Frances Williams Preston Award from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Research Center in 2008, and was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 2009 and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2012.

McCulloch, Ernie

  • CA-QC-ME002
  • Person
  • 1926 - August 28, 1987

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.

Bienvenu, Yves

  • FR-BY001
  • Person
  • fl. 1958-1976

Yves Bienvenu was a member of the French National Ski Team from 1958 to 1963. Prior to this, he had achieved great success as a young skier, winning the French Junior Downhill and the International Junior Championships. He went on to become one of Canada's finest ski instructors. Beginning in 1967, he worked as an Advanced Racing coach at the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp in Whistler, continuing this work until at least 1976. In addition, he served as racing coach for the Eastern Townships Ski Zone, senior member and demonstrator for the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance, director of the Raymond Lactot Ski School, and senior representative for Raymond Lactot Ltd. (the distributor for Rossignol skis and Trappeur boots across Canada).

Askevold, George

  • US-AG001
  • Person
  • fl. 1970s

American ski instructor and champion freestyle skier who won many major hot dog competitions in both the Eastern and Western US, including the 1973 Eastern Freestyle Championships. Askevold coached at the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp in the 1970s.