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Nancy Greene balances skiing, schooling and training

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 is training hard with the newly formed Canadian National Ski Team. Featured in this CBC Television documentary, she faces a rigorous regimen of school, skiing and training. In a typical day, Greene finishes her classes before noon and hits the ski hills by 1 p.m. She scoffs at the suggestion that she's missing out on the typical student life. "We know what we want, we know where we're heading and we're working towards it," she says resolutely. 
. Currie Chapman, one of Greene's teammates on the Canadian National Ski Team, said Greene was a gritty and gutsy skier. "She didn't compete against the other women. She was competing against the men," Chapman told the CBC. "She had such tenacity, such single-mindedness of what she wanted to do. If she wasn't in the top three or four, including the men on the team, in time trials, she was disappointed and would work even harder."

. The Canadian women's team was one of the first to integrate weightlifting into their training. Coach Verne Anderson told the Globe and Mail, weightlifting "not only develops strength but confidence. With that confidence the skiers try feats they wouldn't normally, simply because of knowing they are strong enough to attempt them." - Jan. 4, 1966.

. Sportswriters also remarked on Greene's strength and tenacity. "No one was close," Vancouver Sun columnist Jim Kearney said. "She was the first woman skier to do extensive weight training and it showed - at the end of a long run when the other skiers were gasping she smiled and waved." - Vancouver Sun, March 4, 2003.
Medium: Television
Program: Telescope
Broadcast Date: Dec. 21, 1967
Guest(s): Nancy Greene, Charlie Kaufman
Host: Fletcher Markle
Duration: 5:57
Footage courtesy of the International Ski Federation and Alpine Canada.

Last updated: March 20, 2012

Page consulted on January 22, 2014

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