Hall of Famer

Robert Swan

Affiliated Discipline(s): Alpine
Hometown: Chelsea, QC
Active Career Period: 1964 - 1968
Induction CSHF: 2018
Induction Category: Alpine
Bobby Swan competed for Canada at the 1964 and 1968 Winter Games. He’s been a Whitewater regular ever since. Photo: Tyler Harper / Bobby Swan Collection.

Swan competed in the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics. One of the original members of Canada’s national ski team when it was solidified in Nelson, B.C., in 1964, where he spent five years. Swan focused almost entirely on the technical events, especially the slalom. He was the 1962 Canadian junior slalom champion and had five top -10 finishes in slalom and giant slalom on the World Cup circuit in 1967 and 1968. He was on the national team until 1968 and then competed on the pro tour. He won three U.S. Masters championships and eight Canadian Masters Championships.

Swabber, as he was known to his teammates back in the ’60s, has been skiing almost every day of every winter since he was a teenager growing up near Ottawa. He and the others didn’t know it at the time but as they were racing down the slopes achieving what were at that time spectacular results, they were carving the way for the legendary Crazy Canucks Ken Read, Steve Podboski and others, as well as creating the building blocks for the future of alpine ski racing.

Swan’s passion, some would say unordinary, with ski racing has led him down a different path than his teammates. While many of his teammates became successful business people, Bob Swan never left the ski hills. Bob enjoys the quiet of his cabin in the woods which he built himself near Salmo BC. On his 13-acre property, he sets up a slalom course in the winter so he can practice his technique. He enjoys hiking up and then racing the 15 second course. Happiness has always been the key to life for Swabber. A simple life and enjoyable with his long-time lady friend Margaret Thast who he has been with for over 30 years.

Today, Swan at 75 years of age still trains and races.


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.

This photo of Swan is on the cover of a calendar released in 1967 in Europe. Photo Bobby Swan Collection.

Canadian alpine alumni were in Nelson on Saturday to induct Bob Swan into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame. Former teammate Emily (Beauchamp) Ringheim, who passed away the same day, was also remembered. L-R back row: Currie Chapman, Dan Irwin, Peter Duncan, Keith Shepherd, Bertie Irwin, Dan Hadley. Front row: Peter W. Webster, Barbie Walker, Nancy Greene Raine, Bob Swan, Steph Townsend, Judy Leinweber, John Ritchie. Photo: Tyler Harper (Sep. 18, 2018)