Celebrating 50 years of world class skiing

Al Raine and Nancy Greene Raine taking in the sights and sounds of the 50th Anniversary of the World Cup in Aspen in March. | PHOTO submitted

Standing in the gates at Jackson Hole, Wyo., Nancy Greene knew she needed just two more points to take the lead in the World Cup circuit.

Greene understood what she had to do, she said, “Go fast and win.” She said she had studied the course with her coach and realized she could sneak a gate to make up precious seconds, but while she stood in the gates the racer in front of her crashed, wiping out the gates.

“I needed them to get put back in the exact same spot,” Greene said. “And the guy announcing at the bottom of the course didn’t realize there was a speaker at the top. He was saying I had to win and really putting the pressure on.”

Greene crashes during a race. Photo supplied.

That moment, Greene said, is when instead of being intimidated she began to laugh.
“I started to laugh and floated out of myself and saw it for what it was. An important moment, but not the most important of my life.”

Seconds later she was on the course, snuck the gate and gave the course her all. She won the race by seven one hundredths of a second. The win earned her the 1967 World Cup’s first cumulative points overall title.

Her success in Jackson Hole came after a challenging season, but Greene pushed hard to make up races and stay near the front of the pack.

Fifty years later, in March 2017, Greene travelled to Aspen, Co., with her husband Al Raine to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the World Cup and her victory.

Greene has her photo taken by media. Photo supplied.

While not Jackson Hole, Aspen also holds a special place in Greene’s heart after she won the World Cup giant slalom and overall title there in 1968. She was fresh off of winning silver and gold at the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble.

Greene watches a race. Photo supplied.

“It was interesting to see how the mountain has changed,” Greene said. “It shocked me.”
She said she was also happy to reunite and ski with competitors and industry members, many of whom she and Raine hadn’t seen for years.

Raine, the current mayor of Sun Peaks, also has a long World Cup career to reflect on. As Greene retired from the team, he took over as coach in May of 1968 and stayed for
five years.

While coaching he created a race series, started and improved funding programs for athletes, and helped gain respect for Canada on the European racing circuit.

The trip to Aspen gave him a chance to reflect on his time with the team and watching the World Cup grow and evolve for the past fifty years.

“I still get up in the middle of the night to watch live,” he said. “So going to Aspen was great fun. Many coaches were still there and the racers were great.

“Seeing it live right in front of you is different.”