Rossland’s own Nancy Greene Raine has a career record many up-and-coming athletes and politicians would be envious of.
Along with being a multiple Olympic, world and national ski champion, she has received numerous Canadian awards and achievements.
Born in Ottawa May 11, 1943, she moved to Rossland at age three and grew up in the Alpine City where she learned her skills on the ski hill that would make her a future world champion.
“The thing that sticks out about Rossland and Trail to me is the local support for their athletes. Seeing athletes come from other places where they don’t get as much support really shows, I wouldn’t be where I was without the support of the town,” said Greene Raine while on the slopes at Sun Peaks resort where she is the director of skiing.
“Some of the top skiers have come out of Red mountain, just look at George Grey and Kimberely Joines. I have been following them and will be cheering them on at the Games.”
Greene Raine was named Canada’s official Olympic ambassador for the upcoming 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The symbolic role as ambassador will engage Canadians and international audiences and ensure a federal presence throughout the Games.
Now a senator for B.C. personally chosen by the premier, she will be at the opening and closing ceremonies as well as being one of the faces for Canada throughout the Games.
Skiing and politics are very different careers, but Greene Raine has embraced the change of scenery and dress code.
“I have more of a respect for politicians and the work they do. If people think it’s just fun and games, it’s definitely not,” she said.
She won gold in giant slalom and silver medals in slalom at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympic and won World Cup titles in 1967-1968.
Greene Raine has 17 Canadian Ski Championship titles, three U.S. Championship titles, 13 World Cup victories in 1967-1968, more than any Canadian and many more victories under her belt.
She has also won and been granted the Officer of the Order of Canada, Order of Dogwood, Canadian Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Woman of the Year, Citizen of the Year (Whistler), Canadian Female Athlete of the Century, and more as well as being given honorary doctorate of Laws from the University College of the Cariboo and Royal Roads University.
Greene Raine is also a member of the National Sports Hall of Fame, B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Honour Roll of Skiing and the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame among others.
“Being chosen as the Olympic ambassador is very nice, it’s a great chance to be a part of the Games from a government point of view,” said Greene Raine.
“I’ll be based in Whistler throughout the Games and it should be a fun time, I’m very excited.”