In honour of the Winter Olympics beginning this week in China, our history feature focusses on a past gold medal winner from Timmins.
Museum director-curator Karen Bachmann takes us to Innsbruck, Austria on Friday the 13th of February, 1976, and women’s skiing.
“The giant slalom skier who won was actually from Timmins, and that is Kathy Kreiner.”
Kreiner had been on the World Cup circuit for years and despite some good showings, wasn’t a perennial podium favourite. So there she was, in an Olympic final.
“Kathy went down the hill first. Her sister (Laurie) was number 27 to go down the hill,” says Bachmann, “so she went down the hill, set the time and it actually stood.”
German Rosi Mittermaier, who was trying to win her third gold of the Games, had to settle for silver.
Bachmann tells us that the victory in giant slalom was a big surprise to a lot of people. “Especially to Kathy, who had sent her clothing home already, because she figured she was going home, so she sent all her good stuff home first.”
Now with a gold medal presentation and other celebrations, Kreiner needed help with clothing. Her sister Laurie lent her some boots, a trainer contributed some other clothes, and someone from the Olympic committee gave her a blouse.
Next Monday: The hero’s welcome home awaiting our gold medal winning skier.