This week marked the passing of a pioneer; a skier that pushed for acceptance of women in the park, pipe and big air competitions. Sarah Burke who passed away at only 29 and was a pioneer that pushed the boundaries for Women.
Today marked the birthday anniversary of two other pioneers that pushed the boundaries for Female skiers. Rhona and Rhoda Wurtele are still active, enjoying snow and turned 90 years young today.
Like Sarah, Rhona and Rhoda were an inspiration primarily to girls skiers, but their accomplishments and passion transcended genders.
We featured the Fabulous Twins one year ago on Friday Night Video (English and français). There weren’t any Olympics Games due to the War when they were in their prime. They had just turned 14 prior to the 1936 Olympics and were injured at the next games in 1948. Read about them; their autobiography is a fascinating read.
Recently there was a great article by Peggy Curren in the Montreal Gazette:
At 90, thrill of the hill still beckons for Wurtele twins
Here is a quote from the story:
MONTREAL – Rhona Wurtele Gillis still gets a kick out of a fresh dump of snow.
She just can’t kick it quite the way she did in her heyday.
“I’ve slowed down a bit. Can’t go as fast, so it’s not as much fun,” said Gillis, 89, who lives in Pointe Claire. “But it’s wonderful to get out on the hills whenever we can.”
Decades before Nancy Greene strapped on her skis and became a national darling, Rhona and her sister Rhoda Wurtele Eaves were the hottest thing on Canada’s slopes.
Video from the Montreal Gazette: Rhona Wurtele says ‘Get out and move’
Rhona Wurtele talks about her life on the ski slopes with her twin sister Rhoda. Montreal’s Wurtele twins were the most famous women athletes when they were growing up in the 1940s and they remain active today.
Les jumelles Wurtele fêtent leurs 90e anniversaire de naissance aujourd’hui. Pionnière dans le sport, tout comme Sarah Burke, elles ont poussé les limites de ce que les femmes peuvent faire sur ski. Voici un vieil article de 2008 de Ronald King de La Presse.
Citation de l’article:
C’est une histoire qui commence en 1933 sur un saut à ski qui existait sur le mont Royal dans le coin de Côte-des-Neiges. Un garçon défie ses jeunes soeurs jumelles de 11 ans d’essayer le grand saut réservé aux garçons. Les deux gamines répondent «tout de suite» et c’est le début d’une longue vie de sportives et de casse-cou qui va passer par les Olympiques de Saint-Moritz en 1948.