Hall of Famer
Phil Chew has made a lasting and influential impact on the sport of para alpine as both an athlete and a coach.
Phil was born in Blackburn, England, April 7th, 1952. He immigrated to Canada at 4 years old and grew up in North Vancouver. He has been living in Whistler since 1983.
Phil was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was 25 years old. He underwent a year of chemotherapy and lost his right leg at the hip. Terry Fox was one of his hospital roommates. During treatment Phil heard about disabled skiing and decided to take up the sport. After first successfully learning how to ski, he decided to pursue para-alpine ski racing.
Phil joined the BC adaptive and CADS programs in 1978 and the Para-Alpine Ski Team in 1982. He was a member of the Canadian National Para Ski Team for ten years and competed as a Paralympic athlete in National, World, and Olympic events from 1982-1992.
Phil retired as a competitive skier with an impressive career, winning multiple Canadian, European and World Championship medals in Slalom, Super-G, Downhill and Combined. He also demonstrated GS ski racing to the International Olympic Committee in Sarajevo 1984 and Calgary 1988. He received three Athlete of the Year Awards; two in BC (1986 and 1987) and a National Athlete of the Year award in 1987.
After retiring from the Para National Ski Team, Phil decided to take up coaching and became the first Level 3 Coach with a disability. He coached for 21 years and trained 24 athletes who moved up to the National Team, among them Paralympic and World Championship medallists.
Being a former para athlete meant Phil could relate to his athletes on a more meaningful level. He took great pride in recruiting disabled athletes to help them get the most out of life through sport. Phil is the founder of “Building our Best”, a three-day training camp designed to introduce disabled skiers to para-alpine ski racing.
Phil fought both a mental and physical battle to become one of the world’s top para skiers of the 1980s and 1990s. More than three decades later, amongst his many achievements, Phil has competed in the Whistler granfondo bike race, a gruelling 122-kilometre ride up the Sea-to-Sky Highway with more than 1,700 metres of climbing.
Sport opened up a whole new world for Phil. Today skiing and cycling are still a big part of his life. He met his wife Patty through skiing. He has two wonderful sons Kirby and Jordan and continues to enjoy a great life in Whistler.
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments. Copyright © 2022, Canadian Ski Museum & Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.