Nancy Greene

The Humble Tiger

Nancy Greene Raine is as Canadian as they come. As the most decorated ski racer of all time to come out of the Great White North, she has cause to be proud. But when the skier nicknamed “Tiger” answers her phone, the stereotypically Canadian “Aww shucks” inflection sings through the speaker, and she thanks me for the opportunity to tell her story. Before we begin, she compliments The Ski Journal and calls me “a real pro.” The friendly humility catches me off guard. After all, this is Canada’s Athlete of the Century. I am but a lowly admirer.

With her aggressive skiing style, Nancy Green Raine dominated the international circuit and spotlight throughout the late ’60s. Born in Canada’s capital of Ottawa in 1943, her ski career flourished when her parents relocated to the Kootenay region of British Columbia to raise her in the same mountains in which they were born. It was the beginning of a path that would culminate at the 1968 Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France, where—in a true Cinderella story—she battled injury to take gold and silver medals…

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