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Bill Irwin

Full name: William Archibald "Bill" Irwin
Gender: Male
Born: March 24, 1920 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died: February 9, 2013 in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Country: CAN Canada
Sport: Alpine Skiing, Ski Jumping, Cross Country Skiing, Nordic Combined

Related Olympians: Brother of Bert Irwin; Father of Dave Irwin.

Biography

Alongside his brother Bert, Bill Irwin rose to prominence in the Canadian amateur skiing scene during the late 1930s and early 1940s, capturing first place in the Western Canadian Championships in 1937, 1939, 1941, and 1942, and the Vancouver Ski Classic in 1940, 1941, and 1942. After serving in the Canadian Army from 1943 through 1945, he quickly returned to form and qualified for 1948 Winter Olympics in six events: the downhill, the slalom, and the combined in alpine skiing, the 18 kilometers in cross-country skiing, the individual in Nordic combined, and the normal hill, individual in ski jumping. This meant that he missed only one individual event at the Games, the 50 kilometer cross-country ski. Despite his versatility, however, his best finish was 36th in the alpine combined competition. Coming up short at the Olympics, however, does not diminish his accomplishments, as he won over 200 trophies across all of the skiing disciplines, nationally and internationally, until his retirement from active competition in 1955.

Irwin began skiing at the age of nine, influenced by his father Bert “Pop” Irwin, who was manager of the Amber Ski Club and builder of Canada’s first cable-handle rope tow in 1934. Bill’s career was a winning one from start to finish: he won his first “Potato Race” in 1930 and his last “Over the Hill Downhill” in 1983. Outside of competition he taught Scottish Commandos how to ski and founded the Loch Lomond Ski Area and Club near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He was awarded the Ontario Tourism Award in 1975 for his promotion of skiing, and was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 2000. His son Dave became an Olympic skier himself (1976 and 1980) and was a member of the Crazy Canucks, a group of Canadians who, during the 1970s and 1980s, gained a reputations as fast and reckless skiers.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Men's Downhill Canada CAN 60T
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Ski Jumping Men's Normal Hill, Individual Canada CAN 39
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Men's Slalom Canada CAN 50
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Cross Country Skiing Men's 18 kilometres Canada CAN 81
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Nordic Combined Men's Individual Canada CAN 37
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Men's Combined Canada CAN 36

Men's Downhill

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Final Standings 60T 3:41.3

Men's Normal Hill, Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank PTS D
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Ski Jumping Canada Final Standings 39 175.1
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Ski Jumping Canada Jump 1 NP 56.0
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Ski Jumping Canada Jump 2 NP 54.0

Men's Slalom

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T PT
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Final Standings 50 3:01.6
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Run 1 51 1:40.4 0:00
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Run 2 45 1:21.2 0:00

Men's 18 kilometres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Cross Country Skiing Canada Final Standings 81 1-44:43

Men's Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank PTS T D
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Nordic Combined Canada Final Standings 37 280.00
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Nordic Combined Canada Cross Country Skiing, 18 kilometres 39 99.00 1-44:43
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Nordic Combined Canada Ski Jumping, Normal Hill 30 181.0
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Nordic Combined Canada Ski Jumping, Normal Hill Jump 1 AC 51.0
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Nordic Combined Canada Ski Jumping, Normal Hill Jump 2 AC 51.0
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Nordic Combined Canada Ski Jumping, Normal Hill Jump 3 AC 51.5

Men's Combined

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank PTS T PT
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Final Standings 36 39.25
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Downhill 45T 25.71 3:41.3
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Slalom 33 13.54 2:45.6
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Slalom Run 1 37 1:32.9 0:00
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Alpine Skiing Canada Slalom Run 2 21 1:12.7 0:00