Nancy Greene Raine

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Nancy Greene Raine
Senator from British Columbia
In office
January 2, 2009[1] – May 11, 2018
Nominated byStephen Harper
Appointed byMichaëlle Jean
Personal details
Nancy Catherine Greene

(1943-05-11) May 11, 1943 (age 80)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political partyConservative
Other political
Al Raine
(m. 1969)
Medal record
Women's alpine skiing
Representing  Canada
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1968 Grenoble Giant slalom
Silver medal – second place 1968 Grenoble Slalom
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1968 Grenoble Giant slalom
Gold medal – first place 1968 Grenoble Combined
Silver medal – second place 1968 Grenoble Slalom

Nancy Catherine Greene Raine OC OBC OD (born May 11, 1943) is a former Canadian Senator for British Columbia and an Olympic alpine skier voted as Canada's Female Athlete of the 20th Century. She was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Greene Raine won the giant slalom in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.

After being appointed to the Senate in 2009, Greene Raine retired on May 11, 2018, when she reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

She is the mother of retired alpine skier Willy Raine.


Greene was born on May 11, 1943, in Ottawa, Ontario. She moved with her family to Rossland, British Columbia, before she was three years of age. Rossland is a mountainous area and the site of the first ski competition ever held in Canada in 1897. Greene began schussing at a young age and while in high school she competed in the Canadian Junior Championships. She would go on to win 14 World Cup victories by 1968.


Nancy Greene (left) at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games

Nicknamed "Tiger" because of her "go for it" attitude and her aggressive style of skiing,[tone] she won the Canadian ski championship nine times and the United States championship three times. In 1967, Greene broke the European domination of the sport, winning the inaugural World Cup. That year she won seven of 16 events, taking the over-all title with four giant slalom victories plus two in slalom and one in downhill. Her accomplishment earned her Canadian "Athlete of the Year" honours.

In 1968 she won the World Cup title again plus, at that year's Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France, she captured a gold medal in the giant slalom, by one of the largest margins in Olympic history, and a silver medal in the slalom. For the second time, she was named Canada's "Athlete of the Year".

Following her retirement from competition, she made a major contribution to Canadian sport by accepting an appointment to the federal government's "Task Force on Sport For Canadians". During this period Greene also did promotional work for various companies including Rossignol, Pontiac, and Mars Inc. In a 1970s television commercial for the latter product, she was seen to discard the wrapper onto a ski slope in the course of consuming the product. This minor act, coming at a time of nascent environmental sentiment, appears to have entered the public memory as references to it have dogged her over the years.

Married with twin boys, Greene and her husband Al Raine were instrumental in the early development of the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort in Whistler, British Columbia, and then later in the development and promotion of skiing at Sun Peaks Resort, just north of Kamloops. The expansion of the resort was not without controversy as some Native groups opposed the move, and protesters occupying the new site were removed by arrest under a provincial injunction.[3]

Greene is the director of skiing at Sun Peaks Resort and skis almost every day. She and her husband built Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge, where they make their home. Dedicated to the promotion of her sport for more than 30 years, the Nancy Greene Ski League has been an important entry-level race program for young children.

Over the years, Greene has been the recipient of numerous awards including her country's highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada. She has been honoured with the naming of "Nancy Greene Provincial Park" and "Nancy Greene Lake" in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia's Kootenay region. A stretch of Capilano Road in North Vancouver was renamed Nancy Greene Way. In 1999, her name was engraved in Canada's Walk of Fame and she was voted Canada's female athlete of the century in a survey of newspaper editors and broadcasters conducted by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News.

In 1990, Greene and husband Al Raine were encouraged by the BC provincial government to pursue the development of a new ski resort in the Melvin Creek Valley, between Mount Currie and Lillooet, both predominantly Native communities. Perhaps coincidentally, the rough road accessing the area was paved and upgraded at this time by the government as an extension to highway 99, the main road from Vancouver to Pemberton. Despite opposition from Native groups,[4] backcountry recreationists, biologists, and environmental organizations,[5] the project received approval from BC's Environmental Assessment Office in 2000, but has been stalled in a series of protests and blockades since.

In 1993, Greene announced her support for the right-wing Reform Party of Canada.[6]

In April 2005, Greene was named chancellor of Thompson Rivers University.[7]

In 2006, Greene-Raine contributed a small part of one of her Olympic competition skis to the Six String Nation project. Part of that material now serves as the second reinforcing strip on the interior of Voyageur, the guitar at the heart of the project.[8]

On January 2, 2009, Greene took her seat as a Conservative member of the Senate of Canada. After her 75th birthday, Greene retired as a senator.[9]

She was named Olympic Ambassador for the 2010 Vancouver games.[10] On February 12, 2010, Greene lit the Vancouver Olympic cauldron along with fellow Canadian sports icons Steve Nash, Rick Hansen, Catriona Le May Doan, and Wayne Gretzky.

Major awards[edit]

Nancy Greene (1968 Winter Olympics)

Olympic results[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1960 16 31 26 not run 22 not run
1964 20 15 16 7
1968 24 2 1 10

World championship results[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1960 16 31 26 not run 22
1962 18 30 18 5 18
1964 20 15 16 7
1966 23 DNF 4 DNF
1968 24 2 1 10 1

From 1948 through 1980, the Winter Olympics were also the World Championships for alpine skiing.
At the World Championships from 1954 through 1980, the combined was a "paper race" using the results of the three events (DH, GS, SL).
Normally held in February, the championships were in August in 1966.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Senate of Canada: List of Senators". 16 December 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  2. ^ "A Short Biography". Nancy Greene. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  3. ^ "No One is Illegal – Vancouver » Blog Archive » Cloud over Sun Peaks".
  4. ^ "[NatNews-north] $500-million ski resort in Melvin Creek watershed resurrected by the Raines".
  5. ^ "Melvin Creek / Cayoosh Ski Development". Archived from the original on 15 August 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Olympic star Nancy Greene backs Reform," Ottawa Citizen, 15 September 1993, A4.
  7. ^ "Canada's Female Athlete of the Century named TRU Chancellor". / 28 February 2005. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  8. ^ Jowi., Taylor (2009). Six string nation : 64 pieces, 6 strings, 1 Canada, 1 guitar. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 9781553653936. OCLC 302060380.
  9. ^ Harper, Tyler (5 May 2018). "B.C.'s Nancy Greene Raine says goodbye to politics". Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Canada's Olympic Ambassador named". 15 January 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  11. ^ Kernaghan, Jim (28 February 1968). "Barrage of receptions can't stop Nancy". Toronto Star. Toronto, Ontario. p. 20. Retrieved 22 December 2023 – via
  12. ^ "Diamond Jubilee Gala toasts exceptional Canadians". CBC. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012.

External links[edit]