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First taking to the slopes at the age of 5, this future Olympian developed his skiing talents on the hills around Thunder Bay throughout the 1970s. Focusing his attention on freestyle skiing, he participated in all three disciplines of the sport, including aerials, ballet, and moguls. A member of the Lake Superior Ski Division, he earned a spot on the Ontario team in the early 1980s, claiming back-to-back overall titles at the Shell Cup Canadian Junior Nationals in 1982 and 1983.

It was in the freestyle discipline of ballet skiing (also known as 'acro') that he would truly leave his mark as one of Canada's best-ever athletes in the sport. Serving as a national team member for eight seasons, between 1984 and 1992, he claimed four national senior freestyle ballet titles ('85,'87,'89 & '91) and represented his country with distinction at events around the world. Competing in the first ever FIS Freestyle World Championships in 1986, he put in an impressive 5th place showing. At the 1989 and 1991 World Championships, his 3rd place finishes in ballet saw him on the podium at both events.

Known as a skier with great strength who possessed the ability and willingness to perform big moves, he consistently impressed the judges with his action-packed routines. In his over 80 World Cup competition starts, he made it to the podium a total of 17 times and earned over 60 top-10 finishes. In overall World Cup standings, he placed 6th or higher for the majority of his career, placing third in the World Cup series for both the 1986-87 and 1990-91 seasons.

Named to the 1988 Canadian Olympic team and considered a potential medallist in the demonstration sport of freestyle ballet, he suffered a devastating fall in slushy snow conditions that saw him out of medal contention and finishing 12th overall, a placement he repeated at his second Olympic appearance in 1992 in Albertville.

Throughout his career, this exceptional athlete also contributed to the building side of his sport, having served as a coach, volunteer, and athlete representative, and as the Team Leader for the Canadian Freestyle team at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. Retiring from competition following the 1991-92 season, David turned his attention to another sport, earning his golf course management and CPGA certifications and currently serves as the General Manager of the Kelowna Golf and Country Club.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25th, 2010

David Walker

Freestyle Skiing
Thunder Bay
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