Canada Post’s ‘Women in Winter Sports’ honours NWT’s Firth sisters
Four-time nordic skiing Olympians Sharon Firth and Shirley Firth Larsson, born in Aklavik, star in new Canada Post stamps celebrating women in winter sports.
The stamps and first day covers were unveiled on Wednesday, just over two weeks before the 2018 Winter Olympics begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Created by Vancouver business Subplot Design Inc, the Women in Winter Sports stamps feature action shots of the Firth sisters alongside wheelchair curler Sonja Gaudet; hockey hall of famer Danielle Goyette; 1960s alpine skier Nancy Greene; and Clara Hughes, who won medals at both summer and winter editions of the Olympics as a cyclist and speed skater.
Explaining the Firth sisters’ inclusion, Canada Post says the duo “transformed Inuvik into a hotbed of nordic skiing … and dominated their sport from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.”
Sharon and Shirley each competed in four Olympic Games and four world championships. Their joint national championship medal tally stands at 79, including 48 national titles.
Shirley passed away in 2013 at the age of 59. Her husband Jan Larsson, alongside daughters Marie and Nina, represented Shirley at a ceremony in Wednesday inside Calgary’s Canada Sports Hall of Fame.
Inuvik, where the sisters lived and trained while growing up, celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Top of the World Loppet on April 7 and 8 this year. A special edition of the event will welcome athletes and interested fans from across the territory and country, to celebrate the Beaufort Delta’s ski heritage and its contribution to the Canadian Olympic team.