Hall of Famer

Liisa Savijarvi

Affiliated Discipline(s): Alpine
Hometown: Bracebridge, ON
Active Career Period: 1979 – 1988
Induction CSHF: 1997
Induction Category: Alpine: Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super G Active
World Cup event (super G) on 2/3/86 in Furano, Japan. 1st - Liisa Savijarvi (center) 2nd - Sieglende Winkler 3rd - Pam Fletcher. National Alpine Ski Team.

Liisa Savijarvi first achieved prominence as an emerging alpine ski racer in 1980 at the age of 17 with superb performances in the Ontario and Canadian Junior Championships and the Pontiac Cup. She was appointed to the National Alpine Training squad in the same year and two years later, in 1982, she became a member of the Women’s National Alpine Ski team.

Appointed to the “A” team in 1987 and ranked one of the best ski racers in the world, she was the only Canadian female racer to train in Downhill, Giant Slalom and Super G. Sadly, her promising career ended prematurely on March 17, 1987, when she suffered severe leg injuries and crushed vertebra in a horrendous training run accident at Vail, Colorado.

Unable to recover her previous form, she retired from the National Team a year later in March 1988.

Following her retirement, she continued to be involved in the skiing world as a Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance Level ll Instructor, a Level lll Coach with the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation and co-proprietor of “Ski Escape”, an independent travelling ski school with operations in four provinces and 30 programs across Canada.

In 1986, she was named Ski Racing’s Alpine Skier of the Year and awarded the National Alpine Ski Team (NAST) Kodak Award of Excellence in the same year.

Competitive highlights (top 15 placings only)

1978
Joined the Southern Ontario Division Ski Team (December 1978)

1979 — 1980
1st place, Giant Slalom event, Elbert Series, Winter Park & Steamboat Springs, USA
2nd place overall, Ontario Championships, Collingwood, Ontario
1st place, Slalom event, Pontiac Cup, Edelweiss Valley, Quebec
3rd place overall, Pontiac Cup circuit final standings
3rd place, Giant Slalom, Canadian Alpine Junior Championships final standings
7th place, Combined events, Canadian Alpine Junior Championships final standings

1980 – 1981
7th place, Giant slalom, NOR AM circuit final standings
5th place, Downhill, Canadian Alpine Championships final standings

1981 – 1982
4th place, Overall, NOR AM circuit final standings
3rd place, Giant Slalom, NOR AM circuit final standings
2nd place, Giant Slalom, Canadian Alpine Championships final standings

1982 — 1983
1st place, Giant Slalom, Canadian Alpine Championships, Stoneham, Quebec
5th place, Slalom event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Le Relais
3rd place, Super G event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec
7th place, Downhill event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec
3rd place, Overall, NOR AM circuit final standings
2nd place, Giant Slalom, NOR AM circuit final standings
3rd place, Downhill, NOR AM circuit final standings

1983
13th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Mont Tremblant, Quebec

1984
15th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Megeve, France
3rd place, Combined event, FIS World Cup, St Gervais, France
4th place, Giant slalom event, FIS World Cup, St Gervais, France
9th place, Giant slalom event, XlV Olympic Winter Games, Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
10th place, Super G event, FIS World Cup, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec
9th place, Giant slalom event, FIS World Cup, Waterville Valley, USA
5th place, Slalom event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Relais
1st place, Giant Slalom event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Stoneham, Quebec
3rd place, Super G event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec
7th place, Downhill event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec

1985 – 1986
12th place, Overall standings, FIS World Cup circuit
5th place, Downhill standings, FIS World Cup circuit
2nd place, Super G standings, FIS World Cup circuit
3rd place, Overall, NOR AM circuit final standings
6th place overall, Downhill, FIS ranking
3rd place overall, Super G, FIS ranking

1985
9th place, Combined event, FIS World Cup, Santa Catertina, Italy
12th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria
6th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria
10th place, Giant Slalom event, FIS World Ski Championships, Bormio, Italy
4th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Banff, Alberta
13th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Banff, Alberta
10th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Val d’Isere, France
1st place, Overall, Canadian Alpine Championships
3rd place, Slalom event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Fortress Mtn, Alberta
1st place, Giant Slalom, Canadian Alpine Championships, Fortress Mtn, Alberta
3rd place, Downhill event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Banff/Sunshine, Alberta
2nd place, Super G, Canadian Alpine Championships, Banff/Sunshine, Alberta
1st place, Giant Slalom event, NOR AM circuit, Stoneham, Quebec (April 5th)
1st place, Giant Slalom event, NOR AM circuit, Stoneham, Quebec (April 6th)

1986
11th place, Combined event, FIS World Cup, Maribor, Slovenia
2nd place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Badgastein, Austria
7th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Badgastein, Austria
11th place, Combined event, FIS World Cup, Badgastein, Austria
15th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Puy St Vincent, France
7th place, Super G event, FIS World Cup, Puy St Vincent, France
9th place, Super G event, FIS World Cup, Megeve, France
7th place, Giant Slalom event, FIS World Cup, Valzoldana, Italy
4th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Furano, Japan
1st place, Super G event, FIS World Cup, Furano, Japan
4th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Sunshine, Alberta
4th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Vail, USA
3rd place, Super G event, FIS World Cup, Vail, USA
13th place, Giant Slalom event, FIS World Cup, Bromont, Quebec
5th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Val d’Isere, France
3rd place, Downhill event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Mont Ste Anne Quebec
1st place, Downhill event, North American Championships, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec
2nd place, Super G, Canadian Alpine Championships, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec
2nd place, Giant Slalom event, Canadian Alpine Championships, Stoneham, Quebec

1987
11th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Mellau, Austria
9th place, Downhill event, FIS World Cup, Pfronten, Germany
7th place, Super G event, FIS World Cup, Pfronten, Germany
8th place, Downhill event, FIS Race, Crans Montana, Switzerland
3rd place, Giant Slalom event, Europa Cup

 

Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments. Copyright © 2021, Canadian Ski Museum. For Personal/Educational use only. All Rights Reserved.

Liisa Savijarvi 1986. Alpine Canada Alpin.

Women’s National Alpine Ski Team c. 1985 [back]: Laurie Graham, Andréa Bédard, Karen Stemmle, Karen Percy [front]: Kerrin Lee, Liisa Savijarvi, Diana Haight. Alpine Canada Alpin.

National Alpine Ski Team c. 1980 [top row]: Don Lyon (coach), Peter Kopp (coach), Lynn Lacasse [bottom row]: Cathy Huser, Liisa Savijarvi, Angela Gougeon. Alpine Canada Alpin.

National Alpine Women's Olympic Ski Team 1984
National Alpine Women’s Olympic Ski Team 1984 [top row]: Andréa Bédard, Laurie Graham, Diana Haight [bottom row]: Liisa Savijarvi, Gerry Sorensen, Karen Stemmle. Alpine Canada Alpin.

National Alpine Ski Team c. 1984 [back row]: Kerrin Lee, Kellie Casey, Ann Taciuk, Karen Stemmle, Kendra Kobelka [front row]: Heidi Cowan, Diana Haight, Karen Percy, Liisa Savijarvi. Alpine Canada Alpin / C81-15194.

National Alpine Ski Team 1984-85 [top row]: Andréa Bédard, Laurie Graham, Diana Haight, Josée Lacasse [bottom row]: Kerrin Lee, Karen Percy, Liisa Savijarvi, Karen Stemmle. Alpine Canada Alpin.

National Alpine Ski Team 1985 [top row]: Currie Chapman (head coach), Jim Kirby, Gary Athans, Chris McIver, Scott Shaver, Glenn Wurtele [2nd row]: ?, Don Stevens, Felix Belczyk, Paul Boivin, Todd Brooker, Chris Kent [3rd row]: Laurie Graham, Andréa Bédard, Karen Percy, Karen Stemmle, Josée Lacasse [bottom row]: Liisa Savijarvi, Diana Haight, Kerrin Lee Gartner. Alpine Canada Alpin.

National Alpine Ski Team 1985-86 [top row]: Todd Brooker, ?, Mike Tommy, Derek Thussler, Gary Athans, Alain Villiard, Paul Boivin, Don Stevens, Don Lyon (coach), Currie Chapman (coach), Max Gartner (coach), Carl Petersen (Fitness Co-ordinator) [2nd row]: Piotr Jelen (coach), Germain Barrette (coach), Bruce Henry (coach), ?, Felix Belczyk, Rob Boyd, Istvan Balyi, Glenn Wurtele [3rd row]: Jim Kirby, Andréa Bédard, Jim Read, Chris Kent, Brian Stemmle, Dan Moar, Chris McIver, Diana Haight, Scott Shaver [4th row]: Karen Stemmle, Laurie Graham, Kerrin Lee Gartner, Liisa Savijarvi, Kellie Casey, Josée Lacasse, Karen Percy. Alpine Canada Alpin.

National Alpine Ski Team 1986 [back row]: Glenn Wurtele (coach), Don Stevens, Rob Boyd, Todd Brooker, Mike Tommy, Carl Pettersen (fitness co-ordinator) [middle row]: Diana Haight, Andréa Bédard, Felix Belczyk, Chris Kent, Jim Read, Brian Stemmle, Kellie Casey [bottom row]: Karen Percy, Josée Lacasse, Laurie Graham, Karen Stemmle, Liisa Savijarvi. Alpine Canada Alpin.

Women’s National Alpine Ski Team 1986-87 [top row]: Michelle McKendry, Karen Percy, Liisa Savijarvi [bottom row]: Karen Stemmle, Ann Taciuk, Currrie Chapman (coach). CSHFM Collection.

Women’s National Alpine Ski Team 1987-88 [top row]: Lucie LaRoche, Kerrin Lee, Michelle McKendry [bottom row]: Karen Percy, Liisa Savijarvi, Karen Stemmle. Alpine Canada Alpin.

National Alpine Ski Team 1988 [back row]: Rob Boyd, Don Stevens, Ralf Socher, Alain Villiard, Peter Bosinger, Mike Tommy [2nd row]: Mike Carney, Rob Crossan, Felix Belczyk, Jim Read, Dan Moar, Greg Grossman, Brian Stemmle, Rob Bosinger [3rd row]: Josée Lacasse, Kerrin Lee, Nancy Gee, Kendra Kobelka, Michelle McKendry, Liisa Savijarvi, Andréa Bédard [bottom row]: Lucie LaRoche, Kellie Casey, Karen Stemmle, Laurie Graham, Karen Percy. Alpine Canada Alpin.

Keith Nesbitt, Canadian Ski Museum Chair, with Inductee Liisa Savijarvi at 1997 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.

Liisa Savijarvi winning World Cup event (super G) on 2/3/86 in Furano, Japan. National Alpine Ski Team.

1985 Canadian Alpine Skiing Championships Recap (Speed Events) | Vintage Ski Video

Todd Brooker, Laurie Graham, Karen Stemmle and Lisa Savijarvi on race course live.

Precision Skiing, 1994 World Technical Skiing Championships | Vintage Ski Video

The inaugural World Technical Skiing Championships was held on Blackcomb Mountain in April of 1994. Events included Precision Skiing, Steeps, GS Racing and Moguls. Notable competitors included Tamara Mckinney, Lisa Savijarvi, Pam Fletcher, Marc Garcia, Felix McGrath, Mathias Berthold, Steve Mahre, and Freestyle legend Wayne Wong. Hosts Lynn Warll and Steve Podborski present this recap of the Precision Skiing Events.

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