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Harry Wheeler

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games (non-medal events)
SexMale
Full nameHarry Roberts•Wheeler
Used nameHarry•Wheeler
Born25 October 1903 in Saint-Jovite, Québec (CAN)
Died10 November 1995 in Cowansville, Québec (CAN)
NOC Canada

Biography

By 1920 Harry Wheeler was already known in his home province of Quebec as a talented skier and, by the end of the decade, as a dog sled racer as well. He established the Gray Rocks Inn in 1930, which served as both an expansion of the ski resort founded by his father George in 1905 and a kennel that bred the common ancestor of the Seppala Siberian Sleddog and the Siberian Husky. He used some of those animals to compete in the dog sled demonstration event at the 1932 Winter Olympics, where he placed fourth in a field of twelve starting competitors. Wheeler continued racing through the end of the 1930s and operated his kennel until 1950, by which point the two Siberian breeds had begun to branch out from each other.

Perhaps Wheeler’s greatest claim to fame, however, was his role in developing the Mont Tremblant Ski Resort in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. After meeting American broadcaster Lowell Thomas at the Olympics, Wheeler convinced Thomas, as well his wealthy business acquaintance Joe Ryan, to travel to Quebec and ascend the mountain. Ryan was so impressed with the view from the top that he invested heavily in the development of the area. Wheeler, meanwhile, was busy helping found a ski school at Gray Rocks and working with the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance to bring about consistent instruction methods across the country. He was inducted into the Canada Ski Hall of Fame as a builder in 1986 and his daughter Lucille was a bronze medalist for Canada in the downhill event at the 1956 Winter Olympics.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Winter Olympics Dogsled Racing CAN Harry Wheeler
Dog Sled Racing, Open (Olympic (non-medal)) 4

Olympic family relations