Shirley Firth-Larsson

Cross Country Skiing
Induction Year: 

Shirley Firth-Larsson was a product of a pioneering program to introduce skiing to Canada's North. Shirley and her sister, Sharon, dominated the Canadian women’s cross country skiing scene for many years. They were among the first Aboriginal women to compete in various international cross country ski competitions including four world ski championships.

From 1972 to 1984 Shirley & Sharon represented Canada in four consecutive Winter Olympics; a streak only equaled by speed skating legend Gaetan Boucher. Their determination and grit throughout the years has left an inspiring note for all of those in the Northwest Territories and beyond.

Competitive Accomplishments:

  • Competed in 4 World Ski Championships 1970, 1974, 1978 and 1982
  • Competed in 4 Olympics 1972 Sapporo, Japan, 1976 Innsbruk Austria, 1980 Lake Placid New York and 1984 Sarajavo Yugoslavia
  • Shirley won 42 Canadian National Championship medals  - 29 Gold, 10 Silver and Sharon won 37 Canadian National Championship medals - 19 Gold, 14 Silver and 4 Bronze
  • Member of the Canadian National Cross Country Ski team from 1970-1984
  • NWT Commissioner's Award 1981
  • The Order of Canada 1987
  • The Queen's Golden Jubilee Award 2002
  • Induction into the Canadian Ski Museum Hall of Fame 1991
  • 2002 CBC Documentary "The Firth Sisters From the Tundra"
  • Sharon obtained the 2005 National Aboriginal Achievement Award and Shirley obtained the honor in 2006
  • 2007 "Chief & Champions" Documentary on Sharon & Shirley Firth
  • 2008 Inducted into the Banff Sports Hall of Fame
  • The Queen's Silver Jubilee Award 2012

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