Videos: Anne Heggtveit, Alpine Skiing

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My father introduced me to the alpine disciplines. I don’t know why, I don’t think there were that many girls competing in cross-country racing at that time in Ottawa and so it was natural there were races being held on a regular basis so I got into it. But dad had of course a great influence on my racing career, and I think he recognized that I was extremely competitive and I think that became obvious when we’d have to ski from the car into the lodge, I had to be the first one there.

Each year there was an Olympic or a World Championship. Powers that be the Ski Association and whatever would bring a team together for those few months. And then that would be dissolved. So it was that way until 1959 and the Canadian Ski Association decided that – Lucile had won her two medals in ’58 and proved that you need to be in Europe every year to compete against the best if you’re ever going to beat them. So in ’59 I was the beneficiary of that knowledge when the Canadian Ski Association brought together a ski team of young racers to go to the European circuit. That was sort of a first. And then in ’60 of course it was another year a team was brought together for the Olympics.

The conditions in Squaw Valley, the courses were beautifully prepared. There were two courses, the first run was quite different than the second run. The first run was the type of course that I really liked. It required agility and short, short turns and you had to be very agile. The second run was a type of course that I didn’t like as much, sort of longer, smoother turns. But fortunately I had such a huge margin in the first run that I was able to sort of relax a little bit for the second run and not have to take any unnecessary chances.

Standing on the podium in Squaw Valley was certainly exciting and exhilarating but there was a mixture of feeling because that had been my goal from age 8 until 21 and it sort of was the end of a chapter. But to have actually achieved my dream made it extra special.

Winning the Order of Canada, being nominated was very special. And the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award is another very special award in my life. Canada’s Top Female Athlete, those two awards I’m very, very pleased to have.

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