Greene, Nancy

Nancy Greene, alpine skier (b at Ottawa 11 May 1943). Raised in Rossland, BC, Greene only began serious racing at age 14. Outstanding ability led to her selection to the 1960 Olympic team after only 2 years of racing. After finishing 22nd in the Olympic giant slalom, she became determined to match her roommate Anne HEGGTVEIT's victory. During the early 1960s she had several major US and European victories, but was inconsistent. Her aggressive style caused several injuries, including torn ligaments in the 1966 world championships. Resolving to try for more control she achieved remarkable results, concluding the 1967 season with 3 straight victories to win the World Cup. In 1968 she continued her domination of the sport, winning an OLYMPIC gold medal in the giant slalom on 15 Feb with a wide margin of 2.68 seconds. Later in the Games she won a silver in the slalom. She also accumulated an additional 9 straight victories and her second World Cup that year. In all, when Greene retired at the top of her game at age 24, she had amassed 17 Canadian Championship titles and had garnered 13 World Cup titles (a record that still holds). In 1967 she was made a member of the ORDER OF CANADA, was named Canada's Athlete of the Year (and again in 1968), and was inducted into CANADA'S SPORTS HALL OF FAME. In 1999 Greene was named the Canadian female athlete of the century by the Canadian Press and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University College of the Cariboo. In 2002 she was awarded an additional honorary doctorate from Royal Roads University.

Well into retirement Greene continues to both inspire the next generation of athletes and to contribute to the sport and the surrounding community. She is an ardent promoter of ski tourism in BC, and has assumed administrative positions at several alpine resorts in the province, including Sun Peaks, of which she is now director. In addition, the Nancy Greene Ski League, of which Greene continues to serve as honorary chairman, was formed in 1968 in affiliation with the Canadian Ski Association (now Alpine Canada), its goal to introduce young athletes to ski racing. Greene has also served as chancellor of Thompson Rivers University, and in 2009 she became a senator in the BC government.