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Sharon and Shirley Firth

Sharon and Shirley Firth

Gwich’in First Nation

Induction Category:

Year Inducted



Twin sisters Sharon and Shirley Firth were members of Canada’s national cross-country team for an unprecedented 17-consecutive years competing on the World Cup circuit. Between them, they won 79 medals at a variety of racing distances at the national championships and competed in four winter Olympic Games in 1972 at Sapporo, Japan, in 1976 at Innsbruck, Austria, in 1980 at Lake Placid, New York, USA, and in 1984 at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. She and her sister were the subjects of a CBC Documentary entitled The Olympians: The Firth Sisters. Shirley and Sharon were in the PBS TV Episode 2010 Series of Molly of Denali “Stand Back Up.” They were also on a Canada Postage Stamp: Canadian Women in Winter Sports 2018.

Sharon Firth had been awarded the John Semmelink Memorial Award from the Canadian Ski Association in 1972, the Commissioner’s Award from the Government of the Northwest Territories in1981, the Order of Canada in1987, was inducted into the Canadian Ski Museum and Skiing Hall of Fame in 1990, and she received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. Sharon also received the 2005 National Aboriginal Achievement Award, inducted into the 2008 Banff Sport Hall of Fame, and received the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 2012. In addition to hall of fame inductions, she was also named to the 2012 Northwest Territories Sports Hall of Fame and 2015 Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Order of Sport. In 2017 Sharon received an honorary doctorate of law degree and was an adjunct professor in 2018. She also received the 2018 Order of Northwest Territories.

Shirley was voted Canadian Women's Nordic Skier of the Year six times by Ski Racing Magazine, and was inducted into the Canadian Ski Museum and Skiing Hall of Fame in 1990. After marrying, Shirley lived in Europe for over 20 years, receiving a teaching diploma in 2002 from the University of Paris. She won 42 Canadian national championship medals including 29 gold, 10 silver and 3 bronze. Shirley died on April 30, 2013.

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