In ’06, Murray Wood infiltrated the Talon Crew as a pre-Vancouver-Olympic–spy and has been returning ever since making his tenth coming this year. He took his ’06 gathered intelligence home to serve as Chief Gate judge for the men at the ’10 Vancouver Olympics.
Originally from Vancouver but living in Whistler these days, he got started volunteering for big league ski racing at the World Cup there in 1989 with hometown boy, Rob Boyd, stepping atop the podium for downhill. Having heard the call for volunteers, he became part of the Whistler Weasel Workers. (I found that the Whistler Weasel Workers actually even have their own Wikipedia entry while unbelievably our beloved Talon Crew does not!) Named after a section of the Whistler downhill course called “The Weasel” they are the north of the border equivalent of the Talon Crew. The “Weasel” section is to Whistler’s Race Course as the “Brink” is to the Birds of Prey.
February’s World Championship here was the second Worlds’ notch in his belt, having served at Bormio in ’05. He calls the ’15 Champs the most brilliant ski racing he has ever seen. He remarked on the thrill of watching the men’s downhill from the Pump House with racers disappearing below Pete’s Arena yet following the competitor via crowd noise as they hit each section of the course before they returned to view flying into the stadium. He was Chief Gate Judge for the women at the ’15 Champs and returns to this year’s BOP as Chief Gate Judge working with Tom Evans.
Having known Canadian speedster Manny Osborn Paradis since age 9, Murray was looking forward to seeing him run the BOP course this week. Manny raced with Murray’s daughter and she hasn’t forgiven Manny since he locked her in a locker at the ski club cabin when she was 12 years old. She’s 30, mellowed over the incident and has left ski racing for a law degree and London.
Next on his calendar are the Canadian Championships at Whistler in March where he will be Chief of Race for the slalom. He teaches race official courses with one coming up at Whistler next week and several more throughout the winter. He’s also a regional technical delegate with a race mid-January.
Oh yea, and before all this he did have a day job as an Informational Technology guy.