CBC Digital Archives

Nancy Greene at 1964 Olympics

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.

Nancy Greene's strategy is simple: "just go like hell." But while Greene has a winning attitude and enough spunk to spare, she is not yet at her technical best. The Canadian skier is in Innsbruck for her second Olympics. She is interviewed in this CBC Radio report following a difficult run in the giant slalom race. Greene has just placed 16th. 
• At the 1964 Olympics, Greene had the best North American finish in the downhill, placing seventh. She finished 16th in the giant slalom and 15th in the slalom.
• Alpine skiing became an official Olympic event at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games in Germany. Women and men competed in the slalom and downhill events. At the 1952 Olympics, the giant slalom race was introduced to the Olympic program. The super giant slalom, also known as the Super G, was added at the 1988 Calgary Games.

• In the slalom event, a skier makes two runs down two different courses each with between 50 and 60 gates. Slalom tests an athlete's reflexes and balance.
• The giant slalom is much like the slalom but is much longer and has less gates so the skier goes faster. Today giant slaloms have two shorter runs, but in Greene's era there was only one, much longer run which rewarded conditioning and stamina.

• The Super G is the newest event and takes place on the same terrain as the downhill, but with more gates and no practice runs. It rewards experience and judgement.
• In the downhill, skiers do not have to contend with gates and instead try to cut a straight line down the slope.
Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Feb. 3, 1964
Guest(s): Nancy Greene
Reporter: Don Wittman
Duration: 2:22

Last updated: March 20, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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