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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

KERRIN LEE-GARTNER

Inducted in 1995

Member Details

Date of Birth: September 21, 1966
Place of Birth: Trail, British Columbia
Sport: Alpine Skiing
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1991-1993

Canadian championship - downhill

1992

Albertville Olympic Games - Gold medal, downhill

Velma Springstead Trophy – Canada's outstanding female athlete

Honoured Member KERRIN LEE-GARTNER
Inspire

Story

Canada has a long and proud winter sport tradition. In the 1970s and 1980s the daredevil style of the Canadian men's alpine skiing team, the "Crazy Canucks", made downhill skiing a familiar sport for Canadians. But it took Kerrin Lee-Gartner in 1992 to accomplish what no Canadian athlete had ever done: win a gold medal in the Olympic downhill. Perhaps her fame was meant to be, growing up as she did in Nancy Greene's hometown, but Lee-Gartner was an accomplished international skier from an early age. At 17, she joined the alpine development group, the national "C" team a year later, in 1984, and the "B" team in 1986. From 1988 to 1994, Lee-Gartner was a fixture on the women's national alpine skiing team, specializing in the speed events on the World Cup circuit. Despite a constant struggle with injuries, which included two complete knee reconstructions, Lee-Gartner won the downhill at the World Cup event in Vail, Colorado, in 1987 and between 1991 and 1993 won three straight national downhill championships. Beginning in 1988, Lee-Gartner represented Canada in three Olympic Games. A 15th-place finish in Calgary gave only a hint of what was to come four years later in Albertville. There, on the challenging Meribel course, Lee-Gartner skied the race of her life, winning Canada's first-ever Olympic downhill gold medal. She finished the season ranked fourth in the World Cup downhill standings, improving to third in 1993. Overall, Lee-Gartner competed in 84 World Cup, World Championship, and Federation International de Ski (FIS) races and finished in the top-ten 46 times. Lee-Gartner continued to ski competitively through the 1994 Olympic Games. In Lillehammer she represented Canada in both the downhill and super-G, finishing eighth in the latter. She retired from competitive skiing following the Games. In 1995, she began a second career as a television commentator on skiing broadcasts. Lee-Gartner has received numerous honours for her athletic accomplishments, including induction into the Canadian Olympic and Canadian Skiing Halls of Fame.


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