Dave Irwin, Ken Read, Dave Murray and Steve Podborski were the Crazy Canucks – young, wild, and skiing as fast as they could. They burst onto the European ski scene in the ’70s, flying down the most challenging hills with a kamikaze flair. Within a year of competing on the World Cup circuit these fearless Canadian boys were beating the Europeans in a sport they’d never lost.
The First North American to win
In 1975, Ken Read became the first North American to win a World Cup downhill race. For a period of about ten years, the Crazy Canucks challenged the European ski establishment and changed the course of ski racing history in Canada. From 1974 to 1984 the four of them won a total of 39 World Cup podiums (including 14 first place finishes), one World Cup Downhill Title, and an Olympic bronze medal. Their success would inspire the national ski program and succeeding generations of alpine racers.
Ironically neither of us ski.