Nancy Greene Raine
Hall of Fame Class of 1969
Winner of five gold medal national championship awards of the United States Ski Association and an Olympic championship, this outstanding Canadian skier was the top female skier from North America in the late 1960’s.
Nancy Greene Raine was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and is without a doubt, one of the finest female skiers Canada has ever produced.
Never timid on the slopes, Nancy was nicknamed “Tiger” for her attitude and the way she attacked a course. Nancy’s potential was recognized by her coaches early in her career. Her abundance of talent with solid coaching and a fierce determination to succeed allowed her to claw her way to the top of the international ski circuits. Nancy came to the Canadian National Team through the junior ranks and in 1960 was a member of the Canadian Team which competed at the Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley. She was an Olympian again in 1964 at Innsbruck, placing seventh in the Downhill, the best showing in the event by a North American, established her as a true world class athlete.
In 1967 Nancy found herself in a rather unique situation. She realized that a first place in the world cup races, the final races of the cup for 1967, could vault her to the top and win the cup for Canada. Two obstacles stood in her way: Marielle Goltschel and Annie Famose of the powerful French team. Goltschel had 169 World Cup points and Famose had 158 points. Solidly in third place, Nancy had 151 points. She had to sweep all three events at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming races. Nancy won the slalom with a few problems and the downhill (always the toughest) was in front of her. Her attitude, “If I don’t win it, it isn’t the end of the world,” helped her ski well and win it with her usual relaxed style. She was the World Cup Champion of 1967.
Nancy’s career really took off after the 1967 feat. She was World Cup winner again in 1968 and, equally important, representing Canada in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, she won a gold medal in the giant slalom and a silver medal in the slalom.
She also won five United States Ski Association National titles, the Dominion Championships, as well as the Roche Cup and dozens of other titles in Canada and the United States, making her one of the greatest woman skiers in North American ski history.
Her fame made her the heroine of every young female skier in North America and the mailbags full of mail bore testimony to that. Nancy felt she would cheat someone by not answering, personally, the letters received from youngsters. Because it was a truly impossible task, she wrote a book, Nancy Greene, An Autobiography, and dedicated it to those hundreds of children whose letters she just hadn’t had time to answer.
This petite bundle of dynamite was a world class personality as well as a world class athlete. Nancy married Al Raine, the head coach for the Canadian Ski Team, after her Olympic triumphs. Together they had a major impact on the development of Whistler as an internationally renowned ski resort. By the mid-1990’s, they had sold their Whistler properties and purchased the Sun Peaks Resort in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Nancy was voted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame on an age-wavier for preeminence and skill in 1969.
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