Nancy Greene

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The Honourable
Nancy Greene Raine
Nancy Greene at Sun Peaks in 2000.jpg
Senator from British Columbia
Assumed office
January 2, 2009[1]
Nominated by Stephen Harper
Appointed by Michaëlle Jean
Personal details
Born (1943-05-11) May 11, 1943 (age 74)
Ottawa, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Al Raine
Medal record
Women’s alpine skiing
Representing  Canada
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1968 Grenoble Giant slalom
Silver medal – second place 1968 Grenoble Slalom
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1968 Grenoble Combined

Nancy Catherine Greene Raine, OC OBC OD (born May 11, 1943) is a Canadian Senator for British Columbia and a champion alpine skier voted as Canada's Female Athlete of the 20th Century. She was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Greene moved with her family to Rossland, British Columbia before she was 3. Rossland is a mountainous area and the site of the first ski competition ever held in Canada in 1897. The child of avid skiers, Greene began schussing at a young age and while in high school she competed in the Canadian Junior Championships. She would go on to become Canada's most decorated ski racer, male or female, in her day with 14 World Cup victories by 1975.


Nancy Greene (left) at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Nicknamed "Tiger" because of her 'go for it' attitude and her aggressive style of skiing, she won the Canadian ski championship nine times and the United States championship three times. In 1967, Greene broke the European domination of the sport, winning the inaugural World Cup. That year she won seven of 16 events, taking the over-all title with four giant slalom victories plus two in slalom and one in downhill. Her accomplishment earned her Canadian "Athlete of the Year" honours.

In 1968 she won the World Cup title again plus, at that year's Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France, she captured a gold medal in the giant slalom, by one of the largest margins in Olympic history, and a silver medal in the slalom. For the second time, she was named Canada's "Athlete of the Year."

Following her retirement from competition, she made a major contribution to Canadian sport by accepting an appointment to the federal Government's "Task Force on Sport For Canadians." During this period Greene also did promotional work for various companies including Rossignol, Pontiac and Mars Inc. In a 1970s television commercial for the latter product she was seen to discard the wrapper onto a ski slope in the course of consuming the product. This minor act, coming at a time of nascent environmental sentiment, appears to have entered the public memory as references to it have dogged her over the years.

Married with twin boys, Greene and her husband Al Raine were instrumental in the early development of the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort in Whistler, British Columbia, and then later in the development and promotion of skiing at Sun Peaks Resort, just north of Kamloops, British Columbia. The expansion of the resort was not without controversy as some Native groups opposed the move, and protesters occupying the new site were removed by arrest under a provincial injunction.[2]

Greene is director of skiing at Sun Peaks Resort and skis almost every day. She and her husband built Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge, where they make their home. Dedicated to the promotion of her sport for more than 30 years, the Nancy Greene Ski League has been an important entry-level race program for young children.

Over the years, Greene has been the recipient of numerous awards including her country's highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada. She has been honoured with the naming of "Nancy Greene Provincial Park" and "Nancy Greene Lake" in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia's Kootenay region. A stretch of Capilano Road in North Vancouver was renamed Nancy Greene Way. In 1999, her name was engraved in Canada's Walk of Fame and she was voted Canada's female athlete of the century in a survey of newspaper editors and broadcasters conducted by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News.

In 1990, Greene and husband Al Raine were encouraged by the BC provincial government to pursue development of a new ski resort in the Melvin Creek Valley, between Mount Currie and Lillooet, both predominantly Native communities. Perhaps coincidentally, the rough road accessing the area was paved and upgraded at this time by the government as an extension to highway 99, the main road from Vancouver to Pemberton. Despite opposition from Native groups,[3] backcountry recreationists, biologists, and environmental organizations,[4] the project received approval from BC's Environmental Assessment Office in 2000, but has been stalled in a series of protests and blockades since.

In 1993, Greene announced her support for the right-wing Reform Party of Canada.[5]

In April 2005, Greene was named chancellor of Thompson Rivers University.

On January 2, 2009, Greene took her seat as a Conservative member of the Senate of Canada.

She was named Olympic Ambassador for the 2010 Vancouver games. On February 12, 2010 Greene lit the Vancouver Olympic cauldron along with fellow Canadian sport icons Steve Nash, Rick Hansen, Catriona Le May Doan and Wayne Gretzky.

Major awards

Olympic results

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1960 16 31 26 not run 22 not run
1964 20 15 16 7
1968 24 2 1 10

World championship results

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1960 16 31 26 not run 22
1962 18 30 18 5 18
1964 20 15 16 7
1966 23 DNF 4 DNF
1968 24 2 1 10 1

From 1948 through 1980, the Winter Olympics were also the World Championships for alpine skiing.
At the World Championships from 1954 through 1980, the combined was a "paper race" using the results of the three events (DH, GS, SL).
Normally held in February, the championships were in August in 1966.

See also


  1. ^ "Senate of Canada: List of Senators". 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  2. ^
  3. ^[email protected]/msg01407.html
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Olympic star Nancy Greene backs Reform," Ottawa Citizen, 15 September 1993, A4.
  6. ^ "Diamond Jubilee Gala toasts exceptional Canadians". CBC. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 

External links

  • Senator Nancy Greene Raine at the Parliament of Canada
  • Official site: Nancy Greene
  • CBC Digital Archives – Ski Queen Nancy Greene
  • Profile at ski-db
  • "Nancy Greene". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC.  – Olympic results
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Li Ning
Final Olympic torchbearer
with Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash and Wayne Gretzky

2010 Vancouver
Succeeded by
Callum Airlie, Jordan Duckitt, Desiree Henry, Katie Kirk, Cameron MacRitchie, Aidan Reynolds, and Adelle Tracey
Preceded by
Stefania Belmondo
Final Winter Olympic torchbearer
with Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash and Wayne Gretzky

2010 Vancouver
Succeeded by
Irina Rodnina and Vladislav Tretiak
Academic offices
Preceded by
New position
Chancellor of Thompson Rivers University
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