Fifty years ago, Senator Nancy Greene Raine won Olympic gold in the giant slalom ski race on February 15, 1968.
It was a dominant performance. Flying down the course at the Grenoble Olympics, Senator Greene Raine beat the next best skier by an astonishing 2.64 seconds — still one of the largest margins in Olympic ski racing.
“I raced in three Olympics, each with different memories,” she recalled. “Fun at the first, disappointment at the second and satisfaction at the last one — so winning the medal by such a big margin felt really good.”
Senator Greene Raine also won the silver medal in the Olympic slalom that year then put together a string of World Cup victories that resulted in her second overall World Cup title, cementing a legacy that would see her recognized as Canada’s female athlete of the century.
The British Columbia senator has 13 World Cup wins, 17 Canadian titles and three U.S. Ski Championships to her name, and is now featured on a Canada Post stamp in recognition of her achievements.
As a senator, she remains a passionate advocate for health and fitness; she has introduced legislation to prohibit the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to kids and she played a key role in the creation of a comprehensive Senate report on the rising rate of obesity in Canada. Her bill to establish the first Saturday in June as National Health and Fitness Day received royal assent on December 16, 2014 and is currently endorsed by close to 300 communities across Canada.