Nancy Greene reflects on Grenoble Olympics 1968

By Adam Donnelly
February 9, 2018 - 4:07pm Updated: February 9, 2018 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS --- It's been almost 50 years since Nancy Greene-Raine wove her way down the slopes of Chamrousse in the women's giant slalom at the 1968 Olympic Games.   With silver already around her neck in the slalom, there was only one result on her mind.

"I had come 10th in the downhill and was very depressed, and then came second in the slalom", says Greene-Raine, "I was determined to win gold in the giant slalom."

The giant slalom is a technical race, and at the time, was Green-Raine's strongest event.

"I was the dominant racer and I focused and I won it." says Green-Raine. "Oh my God, it was so great, it was such a nice feeling.  I can still remember the details about the race, and the day, and everything."

1968 was a big year for the 24 year old racer who grew up in Rossland, B.C. --- she was coming off a Lou Marsh Award as Canada's Outstanding Athlete the year before, and had been tearing up the slopes in the World Championships heading into Grenoble.

"A month or so before the Games I had a bad fall.  I sprained my ankle really badly, and in a way that took the pressure off --- because with that accident as an excuse I wasn't worried --- I just took every event as it came."

That approach carried Nancy to the top of the podium --- and built an unstoppable momentum for the rest of the 1968 season.

"After the Olympics I won every race for the next three or four weeks, in all events" says Greene-Raine.  "It was a nice feeling."

Since retiring from competition after the 1968 season, Nancy Greene-Raine has gone on to accomplish so much more in her personal life --- including being named Canada's Female Athlete of the Century.

But to this day, when the Olympics are on it's a special time for the 1968 gold medallist.

"There are kids with unbelievable talent.  And it's a question of igniting the desire in them to go to be the best in the world.  Everytime there's an Olympics there's a chance for that to take place --- to ignite that fire in a kid to want to be the best in the world." 

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