Steve Podborski

Steve Podborski bigraphy, stories - Alpine skier

Steve Podborski : biography

July 25, 1957 –

Stephen Gregory Podborski, (born July 25, 1957) is a Canadian former World Cup and Olympic downhill ski racer.

After racing

Podborski was on the bid committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, responsible for international relations; he also worked as a sports newscaster in Salt Lake City. He has worked as a commentator for American television for the last three Winter Olympics. He covered freestyle skiing for NBC in 2006 and 2002, and snowboarding for Olympics on CBS in 1998. Steve also covered the Olympic Games in Athens for NBC doing play by Play with Paul Sherwen for Cycling as well as play by play for Tae Kwon Do.

In 2003, Podborski joined the Telus telecommunications firm, leading to a position of National Director, Community Sports.

Podborski has been named the Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014.

Racing career

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Podborski grew up in the Don Mills community and started skiing at the age of two and a half at Craigleith Ski Club in Craigleith, Ontario. He joined the Canadian alpine ski team in 1973 and made his World Cup debut in 1974 at age 17. He was a member of the Crazy Canucks, and won the bronze medal medal in the downhill at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

In 1982, Podborski became the first and is still the only North American to win the World Cup season title in the downhill. In total, he won eight World Cup downhill races, including the notorious Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel, Austria, which he won twice (1981-82). In 34 more races, he finished in the top 10. He retired following the 1984 season at age 26. Podborski was on the podium in World Cup races 20 times in approximately 100 races with 8 victories.

Erik Guay is the only other Canadian to win a World Cup season title (Super-G, 2011) though with 3 World Cup career wins, 1 in Downhill. Ken Read came close to winning the World Cup Downhill title (downhill, 1980) finishing second.

National honours

In 1982, Podborski was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982. He was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1987, the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1988, and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.