The Canadian Origins of Skiing and Snowboarding
As we time-travel back in our minds, we can put ourselves into the shoes of the first pioneers of skiing, a sport first founded 22,000 years ago.
The development of skiing as a sport in the Ottawa Ontario and Gatineau Quebec region owes much to the enthusiastic involvement of Ted Devlin. In 1918, he promoted the idea of forming the Cliffside Ski Club. This became a reality in 1919 and grew rapidly to a thousand members in a very short period (due in no small part to the very popular annual Ski Ball under the patronage of the Governor General of Canada which he organized and promoted and to which membership of Cliffside was a necessary prerequisite for attendance).
He participated, in cooperation with the Ottawa Ski Club, in the construction of ski jumps in Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa that were well known for nationally prominent meets.
He was also the prime mover behind the building of Cliffside’s first clubhouse at Fairy Lake and the construction of the Ottawa area’s second jumping tower. At the inaugural event to celebrate the tower’s construction, he invited famous jumpers from Europe to participate.
By way of a special attraction, he invited two Dartmouth U.S.A. students, Carleton and Bowler, famous for performing a tandem somersault off a tower jump. Needless to say, a large crowd gathered to witness the event — “The attendance was unbelievably large, and never before or since have the locals experienced such a large gathering”.
His influence was also more widely felt as a devoted promoter and vice-president of the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA).
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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