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Nancy Greene: sellout?

When Nancy Greene first broke out on the skiing circuit in the 1960s, she was called "Nice Nancy" because of her fresh-scrubbed, wholesome goodness. With time, Greene earned herself a new nickname — Tiger — because of her technical superiority and extraordinary fearlessness. CBC Archives explores Greene's metamorphosis from rookie skier to Olympic champion to Athlete of the Century.

"I've just heard a lot of people say 'If I see Nancy Greene do one more Mars bars commercial, I'm gonna slam the television set right off,'" CBC host Peter Gzowski insists. In this unusual interview, the former media darling comes under serious scrutiny for selling out. Greene defends her decisions. "Everybody wants their amateur heroes to be Simon Pure and above all the crass commercialism," she counters. "But I feel good about what happened and I really don't regret any of the involvements that I've had."
• Greene was an outspoken advocate for amateur athletic funding. When Greene was competing, she worked as a secretary for $300 a month to supplement her finances.

• Greene also endorsed General Motors, the Bank of Montreal and the Rossignol Ski Company. But the savvy businesswoman was sure to give back to her sport. She persuaded GM to sponsor the Pontiac Cup for junior racers. She also struck a deal with Mars where for each candy wrapper submitted, the company would donate a penny to the Canadian National Ski Team.

• In this interview, Greene also discussed her endorsement of the Nancy Greene Ski League. Greene's husband Al Raine and Kell Antoft developed the league in 1968 and asked Greene to attach her name to the program. Raine and Antoft, who felt that young skiers faced too much pressure to win races, set up a system where teams would compete against each other. NGSL graduates include Crazy Canucks Steve Podborski and Olympic champions Kerrin Lee-Gartner and Karen Percy.
Medium: Radio
Program: This Country in the Morning
Broadcast Date: Nov. 10, 1973
Guest(s): Nancy Greene
Host: Warren Davis
Interviewer: Peter Gzowski
Duration: 15:08

Last updated: March 2, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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