Hall of Famer
Alan (Al) E. Raine
Raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Al Raine’s introduction to skiing began late in his teenage years. His goal to become an excellent skier and competitor took him to Europe in 1962 at the age of 21 where for three years he honed his skills achieving both his goals before returning to Canada in 1965. He worked at the Red Mountain Ski area, Rossland, British Columbia, for a winter before moving to Montreal, Quebec where he coached the Ski Hawks in 1966 and 1967.
Establishing a reputation for coaching excellence, he was hired by the Southern Ontario Ski Zone to organize and coach a junior program throughout the region. His organizational skills, enthusiasm and coaching qualities enabled the young Ontario team to achieve excellent results and did not go unnoticed by Canada’s national alpine association. In 1968, he joined the Canadian Alpine Ski team as Head Coach and Program Director, a position he held with distinction until 1973. It was during this period that Canada’s athletes emerged as a real threat to the dominance of the European nations.
New standards and a number of innovative programs were established for the national team:
1. It was the first team to use a wind tunnel to study the aerodynamics of downhill skiers.
2. A supplier program was introduced to ensure continuous and substantial funding for the national team and allow the establishment of a national ski team endorsement pool.
3. To raise the standards of competitive skiing throughout North America in cooperation with the United States Ski Association, the Can-Am series was introduced, later known as the Nor-Am Series.
4. An innovative introductory program for youth, the now-famous Nancy Greene Ski League, was developed.
In addition, Al Raine introduced a number of innovative performance oriented programs related to fitness evaluation, performance incentive, psychological assessment and planning.
It was a consequence of his enthusiasm, management ability and development innovation that promoted the emergence of the most famous Alpine downhill team in Canadian skiing history, the “Crazy Canucks”.
After his departure from active coaching in 1973, he remained active in the skiing world as a private consultant until 1975 advising on ski area development projects throughout Canada and the western United States
From 1975 until 1980, he worked as a consultant to the British Columbia Ministry of Lands, Provincial Ski Area Coordination. In this capacity, he was responsible for the planning, development and implementation of British Columbia’s ski area policy, and the assessment and approval process for the development of ski areas and related tourism potential.
The Public Proposal Call seeking a developer for Blackcomb Mountain was also included in his responsibilities as was negotiation of the subsequent 50-year lease and land use contract for the development. At the same time, the conceptual planning of Whistler Village and associated area development strategy approved by the Province of British Columbia was also his responsibility.
In 1980, continuing in his role as a consultant with A. R. Resort Planning Group, he worked on 11 projects including studies on the British Columbia Heli-ski industry, and a variety of projects involving Big White ski area, Tod Mountain (later Sun Peaks Resort), a ski area evaluation reports for Shames Creek, Terrace, British Columbia, and Snow Basin, Ogden, Utah, and a master plan for Hudson Bay Mountain, Smithers, British Columbia.
In 1981, he was appointed Executive Director of the Whistler Resort Association with responsibilities for marketing and public relations, a position he held until 1982 when he resigned for health reasons.
From 1982 until 1984 he took a sabbatical and moved to Crans Montana, Switzerland where he taught tennis and skiing. Enlisted by the Office de Tourisme, he assisted Crans Montana in its successful bid to host the 1987 World Alpine Ski Championships.
In 1984, he moved back to Whistler, to plan the development and secure the financing for Nancy Greene’s Olympic Lodge in Whistler Village. After several successful years, he and his wife, Nancy Greene Raine, moved to Sun Peaks Resort, near Kamloops, British Columbia where they operate Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge. He continues to be actively involved in the search for and evaluation of potential ski areas.
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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National Alpine Ski Team 1969-70 [1st row]: Sue Graves, Judy Crawford, Betsy Clifford, Laurie Kreiner, Diane Culver [2nd row]: Peter Duncan, Rod Hebron [3rd row]: Bert Irwin, Robert Fugere (coach), Gilbert Mollard (coach), Al Raine (head coach), Peter Franzen (coach), Ed Champagne (manager), Michael Culver [4th row]: Keith Shepherd, Dan Irwin, Graham Ness, Dave Bruneau, Gerry Rinaldi. Canadian Ski Association / Alpine Office / Lolly Moss.
1971-72 National Alpine Ski Team [L to R]: Nancy Greene, Reto Barrington, Russel Goodman, Diane Culver, ?, Doug Woodcock, Carolyn Oughton, ?, Derek Robbins, Diane Pratte, Paul Carson, Peter Bellos, Virginia Honeyman, Doug Temple, Luc Dubois (coach), Rick Hunter, Betsy Clifford, Aidan Ballantyne, Mike Culver, Judy Crawford, Al Raine (alpine program director), Jim Hunter, Robert Butler (coach), Don Lyon (coach). McLeod and Yee Photography / 9600-04.
National Alpine Ski Team 1971-72 [top row]: Al Raine (Alpine Program Director), Diane Pratte, Diane Culver, Judy Crawford, Robert Butler (coach) [bottom row]: Betsy Clifford, Laurie Kreiner ~ Rene Korot for St-Tropez Enrg., St Leonard.
Al Raine – 1968. Alpine Canada Alpin
Nancy Greene and Al Raine at 1988 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.