The Crazy Canucks were a brash group of Canadian skiers who went to Europe to race against the best downhillers in the world and ended up creating a Canadian legend! In 1975, on December 7 at Val D'Isere France, Ken Read was the first North American male to ever win a World Cup downhill. Two weeks later at Schladming Austria, Dave Irwin won the downhill beating the competition by 2:00.84 seconds, was almost four seconds faster than "Der Kaiser" Franz Klammer of Austria.
The Term "Crazy Canuck" was coined by Serge Lange after watching the skiing and the "go for broke" style of Dave Irwin, "Jungle" Jim Hunter, Ken Read, Steve Podborski and Dave Murray. Very quickly, sports journalists throughout the skiing world were using the phrase to describe this group of Canadian skiers who were challenging the Europeans at their own sport.
From 1974 to 1984 when the last of the original "Crazy Canucks" retired they had earned 17 World Cup wins, one World Cup title, one Olympic bronze medal and two World Cup medals. From 1978 to 1984 a Crazy Canuck was in the top five in 57 of 67 races.