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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.
Functions, occupations and activities
Director of skiing at Whistler Blackcomb
Founder of the Dave Murray Ski School (1988)
Head of the Dave Murray Summer Ski Camps (1984-1990)
National Chair of the Canadian Masters Alpine Series
Level III Coach for the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation
Level III Instructor for the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance
Product consultant and spokesperson for companies involved in the ski industry