||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2013)|
November 6, 1955 |
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
|Achievements and titles|
|World finals||5 time World Cup winner|
Read was a member of the Canadian alpine ski team, known colloquially as the "Crazy Canucks", from 1973 to 1983, and competed in two Winter Olympics. While born in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Canadian parents, Read has lived his entire life in Canada, residing in Vancouver, Kingston, and Calgary. He became the first Canadian male (and North American male) to win a World Cup in Val-d'Isère, France on December 7, 1975 in the downhill. He went on to win four more World Cup downhill races and, in 1980, his point total placed him second in downhill in the World Cup competition. Read was the first non-European to win both the Austrian downhill Hahnenkamm and the Swiss race Lauberhorn at Wengen. These two victories complimented his 1978 win at Chamonix, France in the Arlberg-Kandahar, ski racing's oldest classic event.
Read was named Canada's Athlete of the Year in 1978 (Lou Marsh Award) and Canadian Male Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1980. In 1991 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Following his retirement from competition in 1983, Read became a broadcaster with CBC TV Sports and columnist. He also launched the "Breath of Life" Ski Challenge which over the next 23 years raised over $3.8 million for Cystic Fibrosis research. Two movies have been produced covering the careers of the Crazy Canucks: the documentary "The Dream Never Dies" (1980) and a TV movie called "Crazy Canucks" (2004), which is based on a novel he and Matthew Fisher wrote called "White Circus" (1987).
From June 2002 to July 2008 he served as President and CEO of Alpine Canada Alpin, the National Sport Organization for alpine skiing in Canada. Under his direction, the management team, coaches and athletes moved Canada's ranking on the FIS World Cup from 14th (2002) to 6th (2008), fully integrated the alpine skiing disabled program (Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team), which was ranked #1 in the world, secured the finances of the organization including a substantial reserve fund for future athlete development, created a long-range athlete development plan (Aim-2-Win) and published a long-range strategic plan. Over this six-year period, under his leadership Alpine Canada established three National Training Centres, worked closely with Winsport Canada to establish the first glacier training venue in North America (Camp Green at Farnham Glacier), established a snow testing lab, was a key leader within the group of sport leaders than established "Own the Podium" which enabled Canadian winter sport to take top spot (by gold medal ranking) at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, introduced the Long Term Athlete Development Plan (LTAD) and established numerous athlete development programs to create a high-performance stream for athletes at all levels.
After resigning from Alpine Canada in July 2008, he moved to the Alberta Alpine Ski Association to work with younger athletes and athlete development programs, between September 2008 and May 2010. In May 2010 Read was named Director, Winter Sport for Own The Podium (OTP), Canada's high performance program supporting athletes and National Sport Organizations in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, resigning in April 2013. In this period, Canadian winter sport moved into the #1 position in both gold medal and total medal count, topping out with 19 gold medals and 37 total medals in 2012 as ranked by World Championship results.
Read has been active within Canadian and international sport for over 40 years, initially as the founding Chair of the Canadian Olympic Association Athletes Council and subsequently member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes Commission (1985–1998). He served as Chef de Mission for the 1992 Canadian Team to Barcelona, where the Canadian Team won 18 medals including a record 7 gold medals. In 1988, Read was named to the International Ski Federation's (FIS) Alpine Committee Executive Board, overseeing the discipline of alpine skiing. More recently Read was named to lead the FIS Youth and Children's Coordination Group and Alpine Youth and Children's committee.
As of October 2006, Read is a co-owner of the Mount Norquay ski resort in Banff National Park. and resides in Calgary with his wife Lynda (also an alumnus of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team) and three sons. He is an alumnus of the Ottawa Ski Club and Lake Louise Ski Club. The Read family are members of the Banff Alpine Racers, located at Banff Mount Norquay, Alberta.
- In the 2006 episode of Corner Gas titled "Physical Credit", Oscar meets with Ken Read to try to persuade him to create an Olympic medal category higher than gold. Read responds that the other countries wouldn't agree to it. Oscar says the old Ken Read would have done it, the Crazy Canuck Ken Read. Read responds that he's not crazy anymore, with Oscar acknowledging it and then claiming that he is now useless.
- FIS-ski.com - race results - Ken Read
- FIS-ski.com - World Cup season standings - Ken Read - 1975-83
- Ski-db.com - results - Ken Read
-  - current employment
Notes and references
- "Olympics". sports-reference. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "honor roll - the champions, men, downhill". Kitzbüheler Ski Club. Retrieved 2008-08-27.[dead link]
- The Dream Never Dies at the Internet Movie Database
- Crazy Canucks at the Internet Movie Database
- [dead link]
- "Corner Gas" Physical Credit (2006) at the Internet Movie Database
|(Tied with Graham Smith)
Lou Marsh Trophy winner