October 24, 2019

A dedicated athlete who now shares her passion for ski racing as a valued leader of the Canadian Medical Team

For over thirteen years, Dr. Marcia Clark has been giving back to her community. Professionally, as Chief of Surgery and the Calgary South Health Campus Hospital, through teaching as an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Calgary and by volunteering to her sport with the Canadian Ski Team and supporting the athletes on snow for training or racing.

“Ski racing helped me learn to set goals, achieve those goals, learn from failure, and gain confidence in myself and abilities” shared Marcia. “I was once told that I couldn’t be an orthopaedic surgeon because of the strength needed and the tools I would have to use. Skiing helped with giving me strength, and when I think of all the bindings I put on (a fall job at Abominable), how much ski tuning I did, and all the knitting I did in the van…. I wanted to prove those naysayers wrong.”

Marcia certainly did prove them wrong. Her Dad, Ted, introduced her to skiing through the Banff Kinsmen Ski School program. She joined the Banff Alpine Racers and went on to become one of Canada’s top junior athletes, winning the Cavendish Cup (Pontiac GMC Cup series equivalent), racing in the 1986 Sunshine World Cup downhill, taking home a bronze medal in the 1988 Canadian Championship slalom and forerunning the 1988 Olympic Winter Games.

Turning her attention to academics in 1991, Marcia earned her undergraduate degree racing NCAA with the University of New Mexico Lobos. “Earning a scholarship for NCAA helped me to think of skiing as a team sport and challenged me as a student” shared our Marcia. “I wouldn’t be a surgeon if I didn’t learn that I had the abilities to achieve in University and I think it was due to the support and competitiveness of my teammates at the University of New Mexico that pushed me along.”

Marcia attended the University of New Mexico for her undergrad and in 1996 started Medicine at the University of Calgary. She then went on to the University of Alberta, specializing in Orthopaedic Surgery.

Marcia is now a valued member of the Canadian Ski Team Medical program, traveling to volunteer her support for our World Cup athletes and through her sports medicine clinic in Calgary. She also provides medical care to numerous sports teams including Calgary Wolfpack Rugby, to the football University of Calgary Dinos, International Speed Skating and the Montreal Formula One Motor Racing Grand Prix.

“I really like this quote from Woody Allen,” says Marcia. “Eighty percent of life is showing up. The other 20 percent is asking for help”. “This has held so true in many things in life, from getting up early to head to the hill, to tuning skis, to showing up to change policy for patient care, etc. I have so many examples in life. Showing up – you’re committed, asking for help – you know your limitations. Plus, so many things in life don’t get done without teams and other people together”. So, her advice for young athletes is similar: “Show up…no matter how you feel. Just being there you’ll find your community and mojo. It is noticed when you don’t show up. You will always gain something by showing up.”

The bonds of the ski community are strong from her racing days. “There is so much interconnectedness,” says Marcia. “Someone that you met and were friends with 25 years ago, turns up again in a different setting and the friendship continues.” Her children are following their mothers’ passion. “Now, seeing the community of my home club and how my kids – Aiden (FIS athlete), Adeline (U14 athlete) and Iain (U12 athlete) have embraced skiing and the fellowship within the club. I love connecting with the community of parents in the club and racing circuit too”.

Join us to recognize the tremendous contribution and the continuing dedication and enthusiasm of Dr. Marcia Clark as our Honoured Alberta and Canadian Ski Team Alumni as she is inducted into the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame.

The 2019 Class will be inducted at the Highest Peak Gala, hosted at the Markin-McPhail Centre at WinSport in Calgary on Wednesday, October 30th. This event was first held in 1968, to support ski racing excellence in Alberta and western Canada. The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame event is a legacy event with the goal to support future champions in the province, with all proceeds invested into Alberta Ski Racing programs.

 

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