It is with great sadness to family and friends, and the Western Canadian ski community that Alfred Gottlieb (Fred) Bosinger passed away on December 12.
The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame recognized Fred Bosinger as their 2016 Honoured Lifetime Builder. Fred’s nearly fifty years of dedication as an industry partner of ski racing, event organizer, official, volunteer and a parent who supported the passion of thousands of aspiring young ski racers across Western Canada was notable.
Born in Switzerland, Fred moved to Montreal in 1967 where he met the love of his life, Margaret. His love of skiing brought him to the Canadian Rockies. First to Red Mountain, then in the early 80’s Fred and Margaret moved their young family (Pete, Rob, and Anna) to Banff. Where they became integral pillars in the community.
From the shores of the Zürichsee, the nearby Swiss Alps hover above Switzerland’s largest city. From his hometown, the mountains ignited a passion for skiing in a young Fred Bosinger. “But I was a city kid, so ski racing was more a dream than a reality.” says Fred in 2016.
It was skiing that brought Fred and Margaret to Canada in 1971, first to Quebec and then to Rossland, BC where the young Bosinger’s (Anna, Pete and Rob) were drawn to the Red Mountain Racers and the historic legacy of the famous club. “There was just no way the resort manager’s kids were not going to be involved with ski racing!”
Hosting the Canadian Championships in 1972 at Red Mountain drew Fred and Margaret into the organizational world of the sport. “It was the first taste of what was involved in the holding of major events, especially the construction of the downhill track on Granite Mountain, requiring all the resources that the resort and the racing club could muster, including the secretarial skills of my wife Margaret. I probably should call my time at Red Mountain my ski racing apprenticeship.”
With a move into the senior management team at Sunshine Village, Fred was also able to bring his race experience to lead the World Cup races staged at the Alberta resort in 1985 and 1986, where he served as Chief or Race. These events were key in building the volunteer base needed to prepare for the hosting of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games.
Not satisfied to limit his contribution to ski racing as a race organizer, Fred took on another leadership role as a regional Technical Delegate. “Being a regional TD gave me the opportunity to help in the grassroots events, in many ways some of my most rewarding moments.” He also became a familiar face in the start hut at Canada’s World Cup races in Lake Louise, serving as Start Referee for more than a decade. So when the Olympics returned to Canada in 2010, the experience and passion ignited from 1988 positioned Fred as the ideal man at the start for the alpine events in Whistler.
Before retiring from the ski industry, Fred helped establish a new annual fun spring event built around the dual slalom format for athletes from U14 to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. After a family tragedy, with the untimely passing of son Rob in 2005 to cardiac arrhythmia, the event was re-named the Rob Bosinger Memorial Race Weekend, or the “Bozo Cup” (Rob’s nickname as a popular member of Canada’s World Cup team and coach). It’s a family event with the entire Bosinger Family and ski racing community gathering to support a fun weekend which generates funding and awareness to the Canadian Sudden Adult Death Syndrome Foundation (www.bozocup.com) and a scholarship in Rob’s name, awarded to the top male and female U16 athlete in Alberta. This race has also given a number of Canada’s top current athletes experience with the dual slalom start gates and format, providing a foundation for Canada’s success in the new “Nations Team Event” at the world level.
The passion and life-long commitment to ski racing by Fred and Margaret have influenced the entire Bosinger family. Anna, Rob and Peter raced with Red Mountain and the Sunshine Ski Club. Rob and Pete graduated to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, with Pete representing Canada at the 1988 Games in Calgary and Rob being named to three Canadian World Championship teams. Both moved into the coaching ranks and Pete was Manager of the Alpine skiing events for the 2010 Games and is currently the Executive Director of the Banff Alpine Racers.
Fred has always been supportive both in actions and spirit to the athletes, coaches and volunteers that form the bedrock of our sport. From his early years he singled out (former BC Alpine Chair) Jim Haight, who “showed me the ropes at the start of my racing involvement”. While in ski resort management, Fred worked closely with Jimmie Spencer (retired President of the Canada West Ski Areas Association), “I saw him as a mentor, exemplary leader and a strong supporter of ski racing in Western Canada” as they worked together to establish and manage the CWSAA Racer Pass that enabled top athletes in BC and Alberta to train and race cost-effectively while working towards the Canadian Olympic Team. It should be no surprise he graciously acknowledges those who he worked alongside over five decades, but reserves the highest praise for his partner in life: “last but not least my dear wife Margaret who in her own right was an acclaimed Race Secretary and who has put up with me for over 50 years!”
Fred’s passion for skiing was contagious. He will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.
Rest in peace.
Source: Alberta Alpine