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Crazy Canucks: Irwin tumbles, Read wins

They burst onto the European ski scene in the '70s, flying down the most challenging hills with a kamikaze flair. Within a year of competing on the World Cup circuit these fearless Canadian boys were beating the Europeans at a game they'd never lost. Dave Irwin, Ken Read, Dave Murray and Steve Podborski were the Crazy Canucks – young, wild, and skiing as fast as they could.

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Dave Irwin is gaining a reputation for his spectacular wipe-outs. Some journalists have called him a walking stretcher. Today, Irwin loses control at more than 110 km/h and bounces several hundred yards. Thankfully, though it seems impossible, he suffers only a strained neck.
His fall is entertaining enough to outshine Read's second first-place win of the year. With back-to-back wins in Kitzbuhel, Austria, and Wengen, Germany, Read is having one of his best seasons ever.
• Irwin had to sit out two full ski seasons, in a career spanning nine years of competitive skiing. Altogether, he suffered five major injuries while he was a World Cup skier.

• Coaches said the Crazy Canucks had very different personalities. There was Murray (Mur), the laidback guitar player, Irwin the ladies man, Read the politician and Podborski (Pod), the youngest, who just wanted to have a good time.

• Four years earlier, Irwin had an equally devastating fall. After shooting to the edge of the course, Irwin slid along the protective bales of hay then careened across to the other side of the run where he knocked out a cameraman. Irwin said Serge Lange, the founder of the World Cup, walked up to him at the bottom of the hill and said, shaking his head in disbelief, "Crazy Canuck... Crazy Canuck."
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Jan. 18, 1980
Host: George McLean
Duration: 0:56

Last updated: February 13, 2014

Page consulted on July 22, 2014

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