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Crazy Canucks: Winning on the world cup skiing circuit

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.

Over the past four years, the team has been travelling across Europe in an old Volkswagen bus with 30 pairs of skis on top. Today all four made the top 10; their strongest team-showing yet. The Canadian boys are ranked first, second, seventh, and ninth in the most recent race, in Schladming, Austria.  Ken Read acts as spokesperson for one proud Canadian team in this CBC Radio interview.
• Ken Read won the race, Dave Murray came second, Dave Irwin was seventh and Steve Podborski came in ninth.

• The team shared information more freely than their European competitors. After racing, one skier would tell the next what approach to take on the run. They taught each other, truly functioning as a unit.

• Read and Irwin both came from skiing families and learned to ski as toddlers. Read was born in Michigan and grew up in Calgary and Vancouver. Irwin first skied at his parents ski resort in Thunder Bay. Podborski started skiing as a young boy in Toronto. It was the boy from B.C., Dave Murray, who didn't learn to ski until he was 12, but he took to the sport immediately.
Medium: Television
Program: The Fifth Estate
Broadcast Date: March 6, 1979
Guests: Dave Irwin, Steve Podborski, Ken Read, John Ritchie, Andy Shaw
Host: Ian Parker
Duration: 9:54
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.
World Cup race footage: International Ski Federation

Last updated: February 13, 2014

Page consulted on February 13, 2014

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