Hall of Famer
For Mike Irwin, the lure of the World Cup could be found right next door when he grew up living beside his idol, national team skier Reto Barrington.
Mike followed Reto’s racing career and achievements closely and knew that he wanted the same for himself. With highly-supportive parents (Jeannie & Joe), and many ski days at Paskapoo and Happy Valley, to training under the keen eyes of Mike and Norbert Wiegele in the Lake Louise Ski Club, the foundation of future success was set.
After five seasons of World Cup and Europa Cup racing, Mike’s highlights included a bronze medal in a Europa Cup speed event and two top-15 results in World Cup downhill races. And like many Canadian ski racers, a trip down the Streif at Kitzbuhel was another memorable and milestone moment. “Nothing was better than my three years of racing the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuhel. It was an incredible experience,” says Mike. “The Canadians dominated the event and all of us skied our best that week every year. My Mom and Dad came and watched and it was a thrill of a lifetime.”
Even after retirement from the Canadian team, ski racing was never far away. Mike raced on the Ontario University circuit while attending Western University where he graduated with an honours in Economics. Shortly after graduation, Mike joined the brokerage firm Raymond James. He continued his winning ways leading the Alberta Stock Exchange team at Interbourse, the world’s largest international ski event held annually for all involved in the financial industry. Mike was crowned World Stock Exchange Ski Champion 10 times in his career.
Back in the corporate world in Calgary, Mike took on organizational and leadership roles. He served as past Chair of Alberta Alpine and a Director of Alpine Canada. Mike was also the Chief of Race at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 as well as several World Cup events held in Canada. He was the Race Chair for the World Junior Ski Championships at Panorama Mountain Resort B.C. in March 2022.
The support of ski racing in the Irwin Family runs deep. His father, Joe, was one of the founding patrons of the Petroleum Club fundraising event for the Canadian ski team, established in 1968. Mike has carried on this tradition, 47 years later.
Mike was recently inducted in the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame as an Alumnus of both the Canadian and Alberta ski teams. He continues to live in Calgary, is married to Missy and he is the proud father of four.
- Canadian Alpine Ski Team alumni, sport leader and international event organizer.
- Past Chair of the Alberta Alpine Ski Association and Board of Directors of Alpine Canada.
- Chief of Race for: FIS Alpine World Cup events at Panorama (2007); Whistler (2008); 2010 Olympic Winter Games; Nor-Am events at Panorama (2007to present); and 2022 FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships.
- Member of the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame (2015).
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.