Author Tags: Sports
Florence Peterson (born 1928), Sally Mitchell (born 1963) and Janet Love Morrison (born 1962) co-wrote Whistler Reflections (West Vancouver: Terra Bella Publishers, 1995), an illustrated album of photos and text about the explorers, loggers and assorted settlers of the Whistler resort area long before it became a popular destination for monied skiers, golfers and conventioneers.
The Crazy Canucks: Canada's Legendary Ski Team (Harbour 2008) $34.95 978-1-55017-432-8
[BCBW 2008] "Sports"
The Crazy Canucks: Canada’s Legendary Ski Team
North Vancouverite Janet Love Morrison interviewed more than 70 people in preparation for CBC’s 1997 skiing documentary Life and Times: Those Crazy Canucks. Consequently CBC’s Peter Mansbridge has supplied the foreword for Morrison’s coffee table book, The Crazy Canucks: Canada’s Legendary Ski Team (Harbour $34.95) about the rise of Canadian downhill racers such as Ken Read, “Jungle” Jim Hunter, Dave Murray, Dave Irwin and Steve Podborski during the 1970s, known collectively as the Kamikaze Canadians, as well as Neus Wunderteam (new wonder team).
“The Europeans think it’s inconceivable that a Canadian could beat them,” said Dave Murray. When the team arrived to compete in Argentina in the summer of 1975, Jim Hunter observed, “When we got off the plane we all looked like commandos. We were all in t-shirts and jeans. Irwin walked over and picked up a ski bag holding eight pairs of skis. He threw it on his shoulder like it was box of toothpicks. There was a sense of BOOM!—we had arrived.”
After Ken Read became the first non-European to win a World Cup downhill event—at Val d’Isère in 1975—the world took notice of the handsome, yellow-suited Canucks who had arrived to compete in a rusty old Volkswagen van. Dave Irwin (“the original Crazy Canuck”) won Canada’s second downhill victory at Schladming, Austria, the same year. Irwin and Read had joined the national team in 1971. Podborski became the first North American to win the World Cup title in 1982, the year Irwin retired. Read retired in 1983; Podborski made his final run at Whistler in 1984.
Rob Boyd of Whistler became the first Canadian male to win a World Cup downhill event in Canada in 1989.