Whistler is home to an exceptional number of ski champions, media stars, and otherwise accomplished athletes. One of the most under-appreciated is Stephanie Sloan. Many people know Stephanie as the wife of the late ski racing legend Dave Murray of Crazy Canuck fame, or perhaps as the mother of Olympic skier-cross competitor Julia Murray. Fewer realize that Stephanie is actually a more decorated competitive skier than either of them, combined!
From 1976-1981 Stephanie competed on the World Cup freestyle circuit, earning 57 podium finishes and claiming the overall world championship 3 times. Moguls was her strongest discipline, but as the overall title combined results from aerials and ballet as well, she was definitely no one-trick pony!
She and husband Dave both retired from the World Cup scene around the same time, and transitioned into post-competitive life as coaches and mentors for the sport. While Dave is well-remembered for his namesake ski camps, Stephanie made a huge contribution to the sport as well through the women’s-specific camps which she launched during the 1982/83 season.
While teaching skiing to women was nothing new, there were few, if any, women-only programs focused on all-mountain techniques and able to cater to advanced skiers. As this newspaper clipping from The Province indicates, these were well-rounded clinics for serious skiers.
With their winter programs established, the next step was to operate year-round carrying on Whistler’s heritage as a premier destination for summer glacier skiing. Stephanie and Dave launched hugely successful summer skiing camps, with friends and colleagues from the Canadian National teams making up a large portion of the coaches. While lots of serious and high-performance training happened on the Whistler Glacier during the summer, Stephanie couldn’t resist a little fun and did photo shoots while skiing in a bathing suit nearly every summer.
We were fortunate enough to have Stephanie into the museum this past week, sharing her many stories and photos from her life, both competing on the world tour, then growing the sport of skiing with Dave here in Whistler.
To learn more about her storied career, make sure to swing by the Whistler Museum on Sunday February 21st for our next Speaker Series event. The topic will be “Celebrity Athletes and the growth of modern skiing.” Speaking alongside Stephanie will be John Smart, former Olympic freestyle skier and founder of world-renowned Momentum Ski Camps, and Rob McSkimming, VP-Business Development and former Snow School Director for Whistler-Blackcomb. See you there!
When: Sunday February 21st; Doors at 6pm, show 7pm-9pm
Where: Whistler Museum (4333 Main Street, beside the Library)
Cost: $10 regular price, $5 for museum members
We expect this event to sell out, so make sure to get your tickets early. To purchase tickets stop by the museum or call us at 604.932.2019.
I first met Stephanie when I was head of marketing at Labatt’s and sponsor of the new sport of Freestyle in Canada. It was at a world cup event at Mount St Anne in Quebec, late 70’s. She was world champ at the time and a vision of beauty in an all white outfit when we were introduced. She immediately ripped me apart for Labatt’s not sponsoring women’s events at the time. She was right and we soon did….and I was pleased to see a pic in the story showing her with a Labatt bib. Later as VP Marketing for Whistler Mountain we met again and after putting together the Dave Murray Masters camps, Stephanie proposed creating a women’s only camp program, which I liked but needed a sponsor to make it happen. I approached my friend Rob Fletcher, then of Grey Beverage, to sponsor her program under the 7 up branding……and the SS program began and had a long successful run.
Glad to say that Stephanie and Julia remain good friends today
Thanks for the extra context Mike!
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