In his prime, Ed Day was one of the top cross-country skiers in B.C., Canada and the world.
Day was born in New Zealand and grew up in Kimberley. He first jumped onto a pair of skis at the age of four and was introduced to cross-country when he was 12. With his natural ability and work ethic, he quickly became a rising star at the provincial and national levels.
Day made his first appearance in Prince George in December of 1962. He was 13 years old at the time and came to the city to attend a week-long training camp led by Bjorger Pettersen. Throughout his high school years, he kept returning to Prince George to train and to attend races. He continued his visits even while he was a university student in Vancouver and, in 1971, skied here in the Canadian Olympic trials for the 1972 Games in Sapporo, Japan. Day didn’t qualify for those Olympics but was making a name for himself inside his own country.
Day and his wife, Pat, moved to Prince George in 1973 after his graduation from UBC. By this time, he was a member of the national team and was almost always on the medal podium on race days. At the 1973 Canadian championships, held at Tabor Mountain, he placed third in the men’s 50-kilometre race and also helped his relay team to a bronze medal. At the 1974 championships in Mount St. Anne, Que., he was part of a second-place performance in the men’s relay. The next year, when nationals were in Burns Lake, Day was golden in the 15km and 30km distances and also powered the relay team to top spot. As well, he placed second in the 50km race and his overall performance at the championships earned him the Shell Cup as top aggregate winner.
At the same stage of his career, Day also represented Canada at numerous international events. Some of the races he attended were: the 1973 Niassma Games in Sapporo, Japan; the 1974 North American championships in Big Sky, Montana; the 1974 world championships in Fallun, Sweden; and the pre-Olympics in 1975 in Innsbruck, Austria. The next year, back in Innsbruck, he reached the pinnacle of his sport when he competed for Canada at the Winter Olympics.
After Day retired from international racing, he continued to ski recreationally and won the Caledonia Loppet twice.
From 1975 to 1981, Day resided in Valemount, where he worked for School District 57. But, he remained a member of Prince George’s Hickory Wing Ski Club. He returned to Prince George later in 1981 and served as an executive, race organizer and coach for Hickory Wing and the Caledonia Nordics.
Day continued to give his time to local cross-country skiing until 1996 and his impact on the sport is still felt today.