Paul Stutz: Honoured Alberta & Canadian Ski Team Alumni
Blazing a pathway to athlete leadership on and off the snow.
Canmore, AB – Our 2021 Honoured Alberta/Canadian Team Alumni, Paul Stutz, has had a lifelong journey of ski racing with several significant accomplishments only a Canadian ski racer named “Stutzy” can claim. He has a familiar face and a family name in the ski racing community. Paul is often the guy racing down the mountain sporting a full denim cowboy outfit… including a hat! He truly represents what it means to be a Canadian ski racer and is known to many as a mentor, friend, and a fierce competitor.
Born and raised in Banff, Paul’s father John and mother Patricia signed him up for the Bow Valley Quickies program with the Banff Alpine Racers at the young age of five. Mount Norquay naturally became a second home for Paul, quickly learning each run and short cut on the mountain. He watched as Norquay grew with the construction of new lodges, runs and features. He skied there so often that today he could probably race down any of runs with his eyes closed! Norquay continues to be a place his family cherishes. Paul and his spouse, Ali recently introduced their daughter, Stella, to the very same program that helped raise him. Now Paul claims his current position as “Ski Dad to Stella Stutz of the Bow Valley Quickies”. In a few years Stella will grow to understand that her dad isn’t just a “Ski Dad”, but one with a long list of accomplishments on the ski circuit, and a Hall of Famer.
Paul recognizes his accomplishments would never have taken place without the tremendous support of his family and sponsors. He also recognizes the many influencers of his ski career and is forever grateful for the passion and dedication that his coaches showed him, as they truly helped him succeed as an athlete. Under the guidance of many coaches, namely Wade Rettie, Richard Jagger, and Peter Rybarik, Paul navigated the ski racing world. Paul mentions he was lucky that these three coaches entered his life at crucial ages and stages, launching Paul’s career to the next level and helping to prove his promise as a top skier in Canada.
Coaches were an integral part of Paul’s success but the humble Banff boy neglects to mention his talent, and as many would agree his incredible work ethic and competitive edge. He demonstrated these attributes during his time on the Alberta Ski Team and on the National Ski Team where he was honoured to represent his Province and Country. The combination of talent, comradery and coaching propelled Paul to become a 4-time National Champion, a 2-time NorAm Overall Slalom Champion, and achieve a career highlight on the beautiful slopes of Kitzbuhel, Austria where he placed 7th in the World Cup combined event.
Following Paul’s athletic career, he has continued to stay involved in Alpine Ski Racing in many different roles: as athlete representative for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, member of the Board of Directors for Alpine Canada, a Brand Ambassador and Race Program Assistant for Fischer Skis, a Ski Coach for International Masters Ski Academy Camps and continues to be a Sponsor and Supporter of Alberta Alpine. Many athletes a few years younger than Paul would also recognize him for volunteering at Christmas camps and giving back by training with the local clubs. A former coach of Paul’s, Wade Rettie, sums it up nicely “Paul has the respect of the community for not only the way he pursued his athletic goals but for being a contributing member of the community”. Wade coached Paul on and off for close to decade and they remain close today.
What advice would such an accomplished athlete share to athletes and parents? “The challenges you face today, turn you into the person you need to be for tomorrow!” Paul is proof of the lifelong lessons that kids and young adults can only gain through athletics. “I could have never imagined the importance of the life skills and lessons I was learning and developing while I was chasing my friends down a mountain. The work ethic, the resilience, the teamwork, and the mental toughness, that skiing taught me, have all helped me pave a new path as a father, a husband, and a real estate professional.”
The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to recognize Paul Stutz, our 2021 Honoured Alberta and Canadian Alpine Ski Team Alumni, for a lifetime of passion for ski racing and ambassador to the sport.
Author: Geoff Irwin