Crazy Canuck to head Alpine Canada 

Ken Read
  • Ken Read

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"The story about the coaches and the president dominated last year, but my stance on that is that it was last year," Read said. "The thing that got lost was the rest of the team, where there was some promise, where there were some good stories."

For example, Genevieve Simard was named the World Cup rookie of the year. Allison Forsyth earned a silver medal in a World Cup GS at Copper Mountain. Thomas Grandi made a strong comeback and Jean-Philippe Roy a strong debut with moderate success for the men’s technical team. Quebec racer Sophie Splawinski won the overall NorAm title. Whistler’s Britt Janyk won the Europa Cup GS title.

"There were stories, but as we move forward there needs to be a lot more of them, not just the occasional ones," said Read. "The goal for this organization is to produce winners, and in order to do that in ski racing you can’t hang your hat on one champion. There have to be a number of them.

"By having a number of competitive athletes, you create an atmosphere where they support and push and feed off each other, and that creates a competitive environment – like the Crazy Canucks, like we’ve had on the women’s speed team in the past, and kind of like we have now with Allison (Forsyth) and Genevieve (Simard), (Melanie) Turgeon and Anne-Marie Lefrancois, (Thomas Grandi) and J.P. Roy."

During his 10 year World Cup career (1973 to 1983), Read won five World Cup downhills. In 1975, he was the first non-European to ever win a World Cup downhill.

He earned 14 World Cup medals, raced in two Olympics, and was named Canada’s male athlete of the year twice.

He is a member of the Order of Canada, an inductee into the Canadian Sports hall of Fame and Canada Ski Museum.

Read is also a member of the International Ski Federation (FIS) alpine executive board, and has been a member of the Canadian Olympic Association since 1981.

Once he retired from competitive skiing, Read earned an economics degree and built a successful national event management company. To date, his charity work has raised $2.8 million.

He has remained deeply involved in sports, and in April was honoured with the Bruce Kidd Award for his lifetime commitment to athlete leadership.

"I’ve always been actively involved in the ski team, since before I was a member of it. My parents were quite actively involved at all levels, from club to the provincial association, to what was then the Canadian Ski Association."

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