Tribute to Rhona and Rhoda Wurtele – Ski Pioneers
March 6, 2013 to December 15, 2015
Summary of the exhibition
“Skiing is not only a sport, it is a way of life.”
Now in their nineties but still full of vitality, twins Rhona and Rhoda Wurtele can be counted among the most brilliant of Québec and Canadian athletes of all time.
In their youth, they excelled in all sports but their dream was to master the 38-metre ski jump set up high on the Mont-Royal. At age 11 only, it was all done. From that time on, they were two of the brightest stars in the skiing universe.
Having got to know the Laurentian slopes backwards, they stood on the top podium in every competition.
In 1943, Rhoda defeated her nearest rival by the remarkable time of 24 seconds in the Classique Taschereau, held at Mont Tremblant and featuring the best athletes of the day.
Over the years, Rhona picked up 47 medals and Rhoda 76 in some of the most prestigious North American and European downhill skiing events. Only Mars, the God of War (in 1940 and 1944), and injuries in 1948 prevented them from making their mark during the Olympiads.
In 1956, they helped set up the Ski Jays, the first ski school for children in North America, and then the Ski Chicks for girls aged 8 to 12. Then followed the Twinski Club for women, whose members, joined sometime later by the men, are still enjoying runs down various Laurentian ski slopes today. Here’s solid proof of the dictum that to a well-born soul, value can’t be measured by the number of years.
Credits and acknowledgements
Research, concept & writing
Michel Allard, Sylvie Lebeau
Michel Allard, Sylvie Lebeau, Gilles Dazé
The LSM would like to thank the Chambre de Commerce de la Vallée de St-Sauveur for their financial support without which this exhibition would not have been possible.