Founding Partner, Gold Mettle
Champion of Charities
Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Director
Kerrin Lee-Gartner became the first Canadian to win an Olympic Downhill on February 15, 1992 at the Albertville Olympics. It remains the only Olympic gold in downhill for any Canadian skier in Olympic history. She overcame tremendous adversity and defied injuries which could have ended her career.
Kerrin joined the Red Mountain Racers at age 6 where she raced until she made the National Team. At 15, the provincial ski team said Kerrin didn’t have what it took to make it as a racer, and she was told to give up the sport. Less than a year later, at 16, Kerrin raced her first World Cup Downhill and was named to Canada's National Team.
During her ten year International career, Lee-Gartner proudly represented Canada at three Olympic Games and four World Championships. Over the course of her career she won three Canadian downhill championships and earn 49 top ten finishes at the World Cup, World Championship and Olympic level.
Lee-Gartner retired from racing at the end of the 1994 season and is now raising her daughters Riana and Stephanie with husband Max. Kerrin considers herself a full time mom with several part time jobs - ski analyst for CBC sports, speaking engagements, charity work and volunteering both on and off the ski hill with young racers and students. Golf keeps Kerrin’s competitive spirit alive and she recently broke the 70 barrier and became a scratch golfer.
Kerrin is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame (1993), the Olympic Hall of Fame, and both the B.C. and Alberta Halls of Fame. She received the Velma Springstead Award in 1992 for Canada’s Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year and her sportsmanship and leadership was honoured when she was awarded the John Semmelink Memorial Award. Kerrin was also awarded the Order of British Columbia (1992) and decorated with The Canadian Meritorious Service Medal. More recently she was named Alberta’s Female Athlete of the Century.
DREAM | IMAGINE | BELIEVE
As a shy little girl, I always dreamed I would win the Olympics. It was wished for on every birthday as I blew out the candles and on every falling star. I would shake the magic 8 ball until it gave me the answer I was searching for, I was relentless…
As it turns out, the dreaming was the easy part for me. I could dream big, but I had no idea what to do with my giant imagination.
By sheer determination and will, I made it past the non believers and found myself on the National Team at age 17. I was extremely fortunate to work with sport psychologist Terry Orlick. Terry gave my imagination focus. He taught me to learn… and he taught me how to apply the lessons learned which unlocked my true potential.
My mind became one of my greatest strengths and I excelled in the mental attributes needed to overcome adversities, two major knee reconstructions and the every day setbacks. I learned how strong I was, how tough I was and how much I wanted to believe.
I could just imagine…
Every athlete has a favorite coach, the coach that makes all the difference. The one that knows exactly what to say and when to say it, the one that makes you believe… I did too, I married him ;)
Max’s coaching philosophy works, it simply works. It isn’t about the gold medal at all costs. It is nurturing the potential of the athlete and team, empowering them to grow, and allowing them to believe. Max’s philosophy works!