Christine Smith

Christine Smith
Skiing - 1965

Christine Smith was born in Cooma in 1946 and spent most of her childhood near Jindabyne, close to the NSW ski fields. Christine’s ability on the slopes soon became apparent as she was the 1961 NSW Junior Champion skier and in 1962 she came 2nd in the Australian National Open Championships held at Thredbo.

Christine had her first taste of international competition in 1961 when she was selected in the Australian Team to ski against New Zealand.

In 1963 Christine won the Tyrolean Junior Championships in Austria winning both the downhill and the slalom events and was Australian Champion in the giant slalom.

In August 1963 at the very young age of 16 Christine was selected to represent Australia in the 1964 Winter Olympics which were held at Innsbruck in Austria.

Ross Milne, a fellow member of the Olympic team, fell and was killed in his first training run in Austria. Naturally this affected the morale of the team very much but despite this Christine skied admirably and finished in the twenties in both the downhill and the slalom. In one of the combined events Christine set a time never previously bettered by any male or female Australian skier in any Winter Olympics.

After returning from the Olympics Christine competed in the Australian Championships and was named Women’s Champion after winning each event. These were the downhill, the slalom, the alpine combined and the giant slalom. In the giant slalom event she won by almost 10 seconds from her nearest rival.

In 1965 Christine again represented Australia when she competed in the World Skiing Championships at Portillo in Chile. On her return she turned professional and was a leading ski instructor with Andi Krallingers Ski School at Perisher for a number of years.