Dawn Titus – Defining The Envelope 

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But she and husband Kevin hadn't anticipated the call. "Turns out the Whistler Mountain Ski Club was looking for a coach. Was Kevin interested?" Dawn smiles. "So Kevin told Bruce: 'I'd love to come, but I have twins on the way. Can you match my teachers' salary?' And they did!" The idea, she says, was to spend a year at Whistler and then head back home to Ontario." Another long pause. "But now - after nearly 30 years - you look at what's come to fruition and you gotta believe that it just didn't happen by chance..."

The Titus family moved to Whistler in the fall of '83. Dawn says they were embraced by the community the moment they set foot in town. "The people at the ski club were amazing. Marliese and Dave Torrence, Betty and Terry Hale, Bill and Sue Damn. They became "instant family". From the very start, it felt good."

But it couldn't have been all that easy. Whistler in the early 1980s was hurting. A devastating recession had chased all the speculative money out of town. Only the hardcore believers remained. As for amenities for young families, there wasn't much.

"I arrived in Whistler with two-week old twin boys," recounts Dawn. "And one of the first things I did was join Susie Mortensen's fitness class." She laughs. "That's where I met Marilyn McIvor, community Public Health nurse. She looked at me and said: 'Hey a new mum. Nobody told me there'd be another new mum in this class.' She too had just given birth. So we became instant friends."

But McIvor had a plan. "By November," remembers Titus, "Marilyn had gone back to work and I'd become her baby Ashleigh's nanny. 'After all,' she'd told me, 'you're already taking care of two newborns. What's one more?'" Another long stretch of laughter. "So there we were - Morgan, Joren, Ashleigh and me. It was a great winter..."

So how did she feel about her former protégé's Olympic gold medal race last year? "Hard to put into words," she admits. "But to see Ashleigh finally find her place - to see her perform like that on the world stage. It was totally amazing."

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