I started skiing at the age of fourteen on the Mountains across the bay from Vancouver, B.C. Canada. I skied on Hollyburn Mountain for the first five years and belonged to the Vancouver Ski Club (Viski). Gus and Daisy Johnson, who were prominent ski shop and ski school owners, took me under their wing and showed me how to wax my skis and gave me instruction on how to turn them. They also encouraged me to compete in the local Vancouver ski races.
Within a few years I was winning races and loved it all. I think I had more 'guts' than knowledge of technique in those days. If I did not fall, I usually won the race. Later on, I moved my skiing from Hollyburn Mountain over to Mt. Seymour Mountain and there I joined the Mt. Seymour Ski club and continued to ski race for several more years.
There were three mountains to ski outside of my hometown of Vancouver B.C. They were called Hollyburn, Grouse and Mt. Seymour and when I started to ski race I did so on all three. This meant taking a pack with everything you needed for a three day weekend, plus my ski boots, skis and poles, then hiking approximately 2000 ft. elevation with the entire load, up to the ski area for the race. Sometimes you were lucky and there would be some old truck making its way up a dirt road and you could load all your gear into the truck for a quarter of a dollar.
I was named to the Canadian Ski Team in 1950 and competed in the FIS World Ski Championships which was hosted by the United States; the event took place at Aspen, Colorado. In those days we were not funded by any Government or National Ski associations to attend or travel to big races, so with the help of the Mt. Seymour Ski Club and their fund raising efforts and encouragement, I was able to go.
Back then, every two years, we had an international event. The Olympics, and two years later the FIS World Ski Championships. I was fortunate to spend a few months in Davos and St. Moritz, Switzerland, hoping to improve my technique for the up and coming big races.
However in the photo above, you see my only claim to fame. I missed the pre-jump and the photographer was in the ideal position to shoot this picture which was sent all over the world. It was even in the Police Gazette, a paper or magazine similar to the ones you see in the Grocery stores today.
Once back home, I was stiff and sore from several falls, and I was ready to quit ski racing and think of other things. Before going to the World Championships, I had met my future husband at a party on Mt. Seymour and this really prompted me to quit ski racing and get married. For the next few years I taught skiing in Canada and in the United States
In 2006, at the age of seventy-eight, I enjoyed skiing, both downhill and cross country (skate skiing). I looked forward to the first snow of the season with as much excitement to-day as I did when a teenager. And I enjoyed skiing with my granddaughter and favorite son.
In 2007, while trekking in Nepal, I broke my left leg. A year later, I had a complete knee replacement and now use a wheelchair and walker.
In 2009, at the age of eighty-one, I went snow skiing again thanks to Sun Valley Adaptive Sports.
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