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Helen BLANE

Great Britain
TeamGreat Britain
Alpine SkiingAlpine Skiing
Games Participations1
First Olympic GamesGarmisch-Partenkirchen 1936
Year of Birth1913

Biography

Helen Blane was just 2½ years of age when her father, Sir Charles Blane, was killed in the Battle of Jutland in 1916, whilst commanding HMS Queen Mary. Helen started skiing at the age of 12 at Villars, in the Swiss Alps, where she holidayed each winter with her mother. After leaving school, Helen spent time skiing in Switzerland, France and Austria, and in 1935, when just 22, she joined the Great Britain ladies’ team and competed in the Olympics and World Championships the following year. Blane also appeared in the Worlds of 1937, 38 and 39, captaining the Great Britain team in the last of those years at Zakopane in Poland, after which she travelled to Czechoslovakia and won the Czech International Championship just before the outbreak of World War II.

After the War, Blane became an independent skiing judge, and placed great emphasis on the safety aspect of courses, also making sure the rules of the sport were observed. She served on Olympic and World Championship juries, and also managed the British ladies’ team at four Olympics. Having been a member of the Ladies’ Ski Club for more than 20 years, she served as president 1951-54, and from 1955 was a Great Britain representative on the International Ski Federation (ISF) ladies Alpine committee for more than 20 years. From 1964-91 Blane ran the most popular event on the Kandahar Ski Club calendar, the Martini Citadin race for competitors who did not live in the area. She also introduced Masters skiing in the region, for people over the age of 30. Blane was the chair of the Kandahar Club 1962-67, having been a member since the early 1930s. From the early 1950s, she also devoted a large part of her life to the brownie and guide organisations. Blane was honoured with the MBE in 1979 for services to skiing, and in 1983 became only the second woman to be elected an Honorary member of the ISF.

Olympic Results

Athlete Olympic Results Content

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