Hall of Famer

Bruce Carnall

Affiliated Discipline(s): Alpine
Date of Birth / Death: 1911 - 2004
Hometown: Toronto, ON / Peterborough, ON
Active Career Period: 1919 - 1985
Induction CSHF: 1985
Induction Category: Alpine: Downhill
Bruce Carnall. CSHFM Collection.

A true, passionate, and innovative ski enthusiast, Bruce Carnall’s interest in skiing began in 1919 in Toronto at the age of eight. The Telemark Ski Club soon adopted him as their mascot and when that club became the Toronto Ski Club, he was their first Junior Member.

He passed their Third-Class Test and, much later, was awarded their first-Class Test or Gold on his record in ski competitions. As a true amateur, Bruce took part in all events but specialized in Alpine racing and bushwhacking. He competed with distinction in the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA) Rating A division in numerous Dominion Championships receiving 2-bronze medals in Banff, Alberta, and 3-silver medals and 3- bronze medals in the Ontario Championships. He also competed in the Quebec Championships, the Quebec Kandahar race and events at the international, regional and club levels.

At the height of his racing career, in 1940 he went overseas as a Canadian naval officer and served at sea in European waters for six years. Every year, he managed some skiing ranging from Iceland to Algeria. In 1944, he won all of the Open and Officers’ events at the Mediterranean Theatre Inter-Services Ski Championships held in Sicily at Monte Etna — including one event that may have been a world first for Super G.

In 1961, he successfully completed the CISM (Conseil International du Sport Militaire) (International Military Sports Council) ski and winter survival qualification held in Norway and led a Royal Guard (elite Norwegian ski troops) patrol in guideless high-level night maneuvers at Norefjell, Norway.

About 1928, Bruce began seriously to develop “crazy” tricks on skis. This led to 360 degree turns, intricate skating steps, rolls, and spectacular front flips with and without traverse twists (photo in Canadian Skiing 1931, page 63). He is, arguably, the father of Canadian Freestyle skiing and used 6′ 9″ skis in all these tricks.

Since 1932 when his first piece on skiing’ was published in the Toronto Ski Club’s influential The Ski-Runner, Bruce has made many text and photographic contributions to a number of publications including the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA) Canadian Ski Yearbook, (1935-40), Ski Canada, Ski Club of Great Britain (SCGB) British Ski Yearbook and Ski Survey, Scottish Ski Club Journal for 1983 and Ski Kawartha Country.

Group of skiers at Rosedale Golf Club, and members of Toronto Ski Club in 1926, Toronto, ON. [L to R]: Frank Henry, Bob Burns, M. Algie, Alex McLaren, Mary Gasson, Bruce Carnall, Ted Punchard, Grant Burn, Polly Leary, ?, The Truax Sisters,?, Gord. Adams, ?, W. Piper, Hal Watson, Don Benedict, Harvey Springer & Len Brasier. CSHFM Collection.

c.1936. Quebec-Kandahar Race, skier wearing #9 bib taking off third pitch at top. CSHFM Collection.

Bruce Carnall and Canadian Ski Museum Chair, Erle Bergh, at 1991 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Bruce Carnall and Canadian Ski Museum Chair, Erle Bergh, at 1991 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.
Inductee John Eaves at 1988 Induction ceremony
[L to R]: Inductee John Eaves, Bill Tindale and Bruce Carnall at 1988 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.

1988 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony [L to R]: Betty Grinnell,?, Ray Grinnell, Bruce Carnall. CSHFM Collection.

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