Lucile Wheeler

Lucille Wheeler ( born January 14, 1935 in Saint- Jovite, Quebec ) is a former Canadian alpine skier. In the Alpine World Skiing Championships in 1958 at the Austrian town of Bad Gastein, she was two-time world champion in the downhill and giant slalom. In the Alpine combination she won a silver medal. Two years earlier, she had already won at the Olympic Winter Games 1956 in Cortina d' Ampezzo, a bronze medal in the downhill.


Wheeler grew up in the Laurentians in the village of Saint - Jovite. There, her family was instrumental in expanding the area of a ski area. Thus founded her grandfather George Wheeler at Mont Tremblant ski resort the famous Gray Rocks. Lucille Wheeler learned at the age of two years, skiing and so showed great talent that they ran against older runners soon. At the age of ten she was in a downhill race at Mont Tremblant, which was open to runners of all ages, Seventh. At twelve, she was Canadian junior champion and at age 14 she qualified for the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Aspen. However, her parents thought she was too young to miss school can, and did not allow her to participate in this event.

At the beginning of the 1950s it was still very difficult for Canadian skiers to practice their sport, because the Canadian government hardly financially supported the skiing and professional training could only be funded by own work. The parents of Lucille Wheeler, who recognized the talent of her daughter, brought the cost of multiple training stays on in Kitzbühel. This effort paid off. At the Olympic Winter Games 1956 in Cortina d' Ampezzo, she won the bronze medal in the downhill and was the first Canadian female skier in the history of the games that could win an Olympic medal. Two years later, a spectacular performance at the World Ski Championships in Austria's Bad Gastein, as they double world champion was in the downhill and giant slalom and Alpine combined the world title just missed.

For this performance, Wheeler was in 1958 as outstanding Canadian athlete of the year awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy and incorporated into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1959 she announced her retirement from competitive sport. In the course of her career, she won three Canadian championship (departure in 1953, 1953 and 1955 combined ).

Wheeler played on the side of Réal Charette in an educational film a ski instructor. This film was in 1960 awarded by the American Library Association as Best Educational Film in the sports field. A few years later she married the American football legend Kaye Vaughan. With him she lived first in Ottawa, but moved in 1967 in the ski resort of Knowlton. There both two children went great. In high school, the neighboring town of Cowansville organized Wheeler ski lessons, the children should introduce them to the sport.

In 1976 she was awarded the Order of Canada, the highest civilian Merit of the State, distinguished and incorporated into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Wheeler's success led to a significant increase in spending by the Canadian government for the promotion of skiing. As a result of the changed funding conquered from the early 1970s, the so-called Crazy Canucks until then by Europeans dominated the World Cup scene. Also helped their successes nationwide to increase the popularity of skiing considerably. Wheeler served as a figurehead for the ski region in the province of Quebec.