Savijarvi, Liisa

Liisa Savijarvi, alpine skier (b at Bracebridge, Ont 29 Dec 1963). Off to an early start at age 14 months, she began racing at 8 and was competing nationally by 14. In a sport increasingly dominated by specialists, she excelled in all of the alpine disciplines, as demonstrated by her 1985 Canadian championship results: champion in Giant Slalom, second in Super Giant Slalom; third in Slalom and Downhill, and therefore a decisive winner of the Overall Alpine championship. Too large and powerful for international slalom competition, she concentrated on the other 3 events, achieving 10 World Cup top 10 finishes in 1986, including a win in the Super Giant Slalom (Furano), a second in the Downhill (Badgastein) and a fourth in the Giant Slalom (Banff). A serious fall in a World Cup training run at Vail in March 1987 shattered her right knee and crushed a vertebra. She made a brief return to the World Cup circuit in 1988 before her injuries forced her into retirement.

Liisa Savijarvi continued her involvement in the sport following retirement, and she has been instrumental in the development of ski programs across Canada, both as coach and administrator. She was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum in 1997.