CANOE NAGANO '98 ISP DIRECTORY
Brian Stemmle - Alpine Skier
Residence: Aurora, Ont.
Club: Georgian Peaks
On national team since: 1985
Even if Brian Stemmle never wins a gold medal on the World Cup ski curcuit, he
will definitely go down in history as one of the most courageous of athletes in
a sport defined by courage. Stemmle's career, and his life, almost ended eight
seasons ago when the Aurora skier crashed on the unforgiving Hahnenkamm course
at Kitzbuehel, Austria, and suffered a broken pelvis and terrible internal
But over the next couple of years he fought back, shocking the ski world by
winning the gold medal at the 1990 Pan-American downhill championships in Las
Lenas, Argentina, his first major race since the accident.
Stemmle, considered one of the most talented natural ski racers on the circuit,
has made it to the World Cup three times during his 13-year career on the
national team, most recently a second-place finish at the downhill stop in
Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany two seasons ago - his first medal on the circuit
in almost nine years. A stubborn knee injury put a damper on his performance
last season, but Stemmle is determined not to leave the sport until he wins a
gold medal on the World Cup circuit or captures a medal in either the downhill
or Super-G events at the Nagano Olympics this February.
Also a standout in golf and hockey, Stemmle's sister Karen was a long-time member
of the women's national team.