CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Nancy Greene wins Olympic Gold in Grenoble

The Story

At the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, Nancy Greene goes from fair to good to great. She begins the Games with a mediocre 10th-place finish in the downhill event. "I felt disgusted, disturbed, sorry for myself, desperate," she would describe later in her autobiography. Greene goes for broke in the slalom and wins silver. But to Greene, this is merely a consolation prize. "I haven't had my biggest day yet," she tells the Globe and Mail on Feb. 14, 1968. In her last race, the giant slalom, Greene goes all out. With technical precision, Greene executes a flawless run. She beats second-place skier Annie Famose of France by a whopping 2.64 seconds, the largest margin in the history of the event. CBC Radio interviews the golden athlete in this report. 

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News Special
Broadcast Date: Feb. 15, 1968
Guest(s): Nancy Greene
Reporter: Fred Sgambati
Duration: 2:11

Did You know?

•Before the 1968 Olympics, Greene suffered a painful injury in Bad Gastein, Austria. On a practice run she slipped and injured the ligaments in her right ankle. In the lead-up to the Olympics, Greene's training and confidence suffered. She recalled in her autobiography, "I was the reigning World Cup champion, but I was in the peculiar position, in the eyes of the other skiers, of the press and, most of all, of myself, of having to make a comeback in the Olympic Games."

•When Greene finished her gold-medal run, a cluster of random numbers appeared beside her name on the scoreboard. A common myth holds that Greene broke the clock in Grenoble. The true story is that Greene's time was so much faster than the second-best time that an automatic override delayed the true posting until officials could confirm her time.

•Greene described the Grenoble giant slalom run as her greatest race ever. "I don't know whether I made a mistake or not. I only know that I attacked the course with everything I had. I just worked and skied and worked some more," she told the Globe and Mail, Feb. 16, 1968.

•New York Times reporter Fred Tupper wrote this enthusiastic account of Greene's race: "She flipped her poles to gain time as she threaded the holes ahead. Her technique was flawless, control complete. She flew through the last gates, barely wriggling her hips in disdain. When her time lighted up the scoreboard, the crowds massed deep over the slopes, whistled in disbelief."


Ski Queen Nancy Greene more