Media release on behalf of Alpine Canada Alpin:
CALGARY, AB (April 10, 2015) – Chris Williamson, one of the worlds most decorated para-alpine athletes, announced his retirement from competitive ski racing, ending his 17-year career.
Williamson, of Toronto, ON announced his retirement at the Sport Chek Canadian Nationals Championships in Mont Ste. Anne Quebec on Mar 27, 2015.
Most recently Williamson won a bronze medal in slalom in Sochi in the visually impaired category, with guide Nick Brush, having fought back from injuries sustained in 2012 and 2013.
Williamson competed in the visually impaired category for 17 seasons, which makes him the longest standing member of the Canadian Para Alpine team, as well as the most decorated competitor earning Gold, Silver & Two Bronze medal at the Paralympic games, 13 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships medals, 8 IPC Crystal Globe’s (14 disciplines titles) and 105 IPC World Cup podiums, 56 of which were victories.
An athlete, who was known for his love for speed and ability to dream big, always felt the hunger to work hard in order to accomplish his goals.
“Chris was the hardest worker I have met on the ski hill,” said Jean-Sebastien Labrie, Head Coach of the Canadian Para Alpine team. “When you combine talent and hard work, it is a recipe for success which Chris has proven repeatedly.”
Driven by his desire to win, Williamson’s motivation was witnessed by all. However, it wasn’t always smooth for Williamson, as he was no stranger to injury, but he would be the first to say all the bitter defeats resulting from injuries made the victories that much sweeter.
“These past 17-years have been amazing,” said Williamson. “There has been a lot of physical turmoil, just with the number of injuries and surgeries I have had to deal with. The most amazing feeling is putting on that yellow speed suit; It is one of those things. Every once and a while there is a sport that has a certain colour and with Alpine Canada it has always been that yellow speed suit. I am so honoured to have been able to wear it and race for my country.”
“Chris' desire to win and be the best was his motivation. He loved to win,” said Brianne Law, Athletic Director of the Canadian Para Alpine team. “He sacrificed a lot to be a racer – he got married, had two kids, held down a job, had many injuries and was still was one of the fastest skiers in the world during his time on the team. There were so many times he could have hung up the boards, but he was determined.”
Williamson, was the team veteran and had proven numerous times that his dedication, commitment and focus would provide results not only on but also off the hill. In addition to training, Williamson balanced both working full-time and spending time with his wife and two kids back in Ontario.
The passionate and competitive skier would continue to race, as long as his body would let him, however he knows it is time to retire and is looking forward to continue to spend time with his family in Markham, ON.
Williamson is proud of the development and growth of para-sport during his career and he hopes awareness will continue to grow, as the inclusion of the sport increases
Personally, he is interested in increasing his involvement at the local club level. Williamson expressed his interest in becoming involved in officiating, possibly becoming a TD. “That way they could say the gate judge was blind,” joked Williamson.
As Williamson reflected on this career, he said, “I’ll mostly miss the camaraderie with my team members as we are a family.”
Williamson wanted to share these final words with his many coaches, guides and teammates, “Thank you for the support and believing in me and not giving up on me through my injuries or allowing me to give up on myself.”
- 105 IPC World Cup podiums (including 56 victories)
- 13 world championship medals (two gold)
- 8 IPC Crystal Globes
- 14 IPC Discipline Titles
- Multiple National championship Titles
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA ALPIN
Alpine Canada Alpin is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners and donor's along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medalists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community. To learn more, please visit alpinecanada.org
Director, Marketing & Communications
Alpine Canada Alpin