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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

GEORGE,JR. ATHANS

Inducted in 1974

Member Details

Date of Birth: February 6, 1952
Place of Birth: Kelowna, British Columbia
Sport: Water Skiing
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1966-1975

Consecutive Canadian Championship titles

1971

Inducted into Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

Overall World Championship title

1972-1973

Canadian Amateur Athlete of the Year

1973

Overall World and World Slalom titles

1974

Named to Order of Canada

Honoured Member GEORGE,JR. ATHANS
Inspire

Story

For George Athans, winning was just a matter of course. But for Canadians, George Athans on the course was awe inspiring. Athans distinguished himself as one of the most talented and accomplished competitive water skiers in Canada. From 1966 to 1975 he reigned as Canadian Senior Champion, breaking 28 Canadian records and winning ten consecutive national titles. He competed in his first world championship at the age of 15, won his first world championship in 1971, and topped that achievement by winning the 1973 world championship as well as the world slalom title. This made him the first Canadian world champion in the sport since Charles Blackwell in 1953 and only the third skier, at the time, to win consecutive world crowns. His father, George, Sr., was a former diving standout and the two hold the distinction of being the only father-son combination in the Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame. Athans, Jr. was also an excellent alpine skier who turned down an invitation to join the Canadian national alpine ski team in 1969 in favour of being able to combine training with going to school. Since his retirement, Athans has kept a high public profile as a sports reporter for CBC Television in Montreal and works in the TV business as an award-winning producer and director.


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