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74OLYMPIC REVIEW www.olympic.org/athletes MY GAMES Iwas 16 when I went to the Olympic Games for the first time, in Squaw Valley. I had made the team at the last minute and raced as a real rookie. I wound up rooming with Anne Heggtveit, who won a gold medal in the slalom. She was a veteran and was focused on winning and I was just the new kid on the block with my eyes wide open, taking everything in. When it was all over and she won her gold medal, I said, ‘If she can do it, I can do it,’ and that’s where I set my goals. The Games in Squaw Valley were really special. The pageantry was great. They released the doves and the clouds broke and the sun shone and it was just magic. I just tried to do my best. There was a little daily newspaper that came out for all the athletes, and it said, “Overheard at the start, Nancy Greene of Canada was one of the last racers down in the downhill and she was asked if she was nervous. She said, ‘Heck, no. Why should I be nervous? If I crash, nobody’s heard of me anyway.’” I think I came 21st in the downhill, which was pretty good for a rookie. In 1964, at the Games in Innsbruck, Austria, things were completely different. The Austrians are big ski racing fans, so those events were very intense. I had come first in the previous World Championships and thought I could get an Olympic medal. In hindsight, I wasn’t ready. I ended up eighth in the downhill, and 15th or 16th in the giant slalom. Four years later in Grenoble, I was probably the only Canadian that was an odds-on favourite to win. I had won the World Cup the year before and was strong in all three events. The first event was the downhill and I made a waxing mistake and ended up in tenth place. I was bitterly disappointed. The next event was the slalom, which is always a bit of a gamble because you have to go for it and take chances and anything can happen. I eventually came second, so I won a silver medal – but it wasn’t the colour I wanted. When I went on to win the gold medal in the giant slalom, the feeling was just incredible. I won by 2.68 seconds, which is a huge margin of victory. Back then, giant slalom was one run. It was the kind of course that suited me, being very long, with a steep, icy pitch right at the bottom, and I just put absolutely everything into the run. I went through the finish, and I spun round and I looked at the clock, and my heart stopped because my time wasn’t on the board. I was so far ahead, and they had a fail-safe mechanism on the scoreboard so, for a split-second, they double-checked, and I thought “Oh my God, they’ve missed my time.” Then I saw all the digits on the board change and I knew I’d had the best time. And then I saw my run and I knew that nobody could touch me. The next few days were just a blur, really.  Right Greene (centre left) celebrates with slalom gold medallist Marielle Goitschel (centre) in Grenoble MYGAMES NANCY GREENE THE TWO-TIME OLYMPIC MEDALLIST, NOW AN AMBASSADOR FOR VANCOUVER’S 2010 GAMES, COMPETED IN THREE EDITIONS OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES AND WON GOLD WITH HER VERY LAST CHANCE GRENOBLE 1968 .. Women’s Giant Slalom .. Women’s Slalom INTERVIEW: KATE ZIMMERMAN