November 17, 2021

An Alberta Ski Racing and Coaching Institution for 50 years!

Canmore, AB – Mark Stein’s first day skiing was as an 11 year old on the downtown riverbanks of his hometown at the Edmonton Ski Club. In one amazing afternoon he discovered his lifetime passion.

Because of that discovery, Mark went to a book signing and met Nancy Greene. She told him of the Ski Program that she had just started and encouraged him to join to join the Nancy Greene Ski League that winter.

 Moving up to the ESC Alpine Program, Mark made rapid progress winning his first race at 14 and by age 15, entered his first FIS race. At 16 Mark was selected to Alberta North Zone Ski Team. As a full-time High School student, Mark only raced a few events.

At 18, the real Ski Racing Adventure began. Mark travelled to Austria for the Winter and Instructed Skiing and raced in local events.  He went to several World Cup events including Kitzbuhel and the passion for Ski Racing was reignited. 

Upon his return to Edmonton, Mark began his Studies at the University of Alberta and was Alpine Chairman of the just resurrected University of Alberta “Bears Ski Team”. During the 3 Seasons on “Da Bears”, Mark competed in Pontiac Cup Races, Shell National Championships and Nor Am races and had several FIS Race Podiums in Alberta, including the Sir Norman Watson Downhill. Upon Graduation from the U of A, the Bears asked Mark to Coach the next season, an offer he accepted. A 1 season job turned into an amazing 20 season relationship! 

While Coaching at the U of A, Mark also raced 2 seasons on the PWA Pro tour, qualifying for most events. He also raced in the Canadian Masters Program that evolved into a 10 year relationship of racing and coaching.

Mark gained his CSCF Level 1 Certification while Coaching at the U of A, and was encouraged by his Wife Leanne, Gord Brown and Keith Robinson of the CSCF, to pursue higher coaching levels. He attained his  Level 3 on First attempt.

Mark is currently a Fully Certified at the PL Level Coach. A Coaching Highlight was being awarded the CSCF “Dave Murray Coach of the Year” in 2009. Mark was Head Coach of the ESC for 15 years and is now starting his 3rd. Season as U16 Head Coach at Rabbit Hill Alpine.

“I am very proud to say I have sent athletes to high level ski racing, including the Alberta Ski Team and the NCAA,” said Mark. “Every Season I’ve had Athletes Win or Podium in Provincial races, qualify for Nationals and Whistler Cup as well as a Provincial and National Champion”.

Mark has stated that “A Passion and a Plan that has led to Success regardless of the Ultimate level you achieve. You learn the same life lessons as you try your best. My Coaching Philosophy has always centered around the Athlete and directing them to discover the right internal cues to learn how to ski their best. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then feeling the correct way to ski is worth a thousand pictures! If I have a passionate and motivated Athlete that is not improving, I see it as my fault and I find another coaching tactic to get through”.

The Sport of Skiing has really defined who Mark is, from that very first run at the ESC 50 years ago! His lifelong Friends all come from skiing. Mark stated “I’ve had the chance to Coach and ski with hundreds of people aged 6 to 70. As my passion, it’s never felt like work. I get to enjoy watching young people grow up while we are having great fun blasting around in the beautiful Rockies It’s far more than just turning around red and blue sticks in the Snow!”

That, is Mark Stein.

The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to recognize Mark Stein, our 2021 Honoured coach, alumni athlete and sport leader, for a lifetime of passion for ski racing and providing leadership to young athletes, families and volunteers of our sport.

Author: Dave Greig.

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