Fernie local

Fernie’s 80-year old athletic inspiration

At 80-years of age, Geoffrey Seagram continues to ski, every day. Previously, he was Calgary's first pediatrician.

At 80-years-old, Geoffrey Seagram continues his daily practice of walking from his home on Timberline Crescent, up to the hill to ski.

Before coming to Fernie in 1991, Seagram spent the majority of his life practicing medicine. After going through medical school, he completed his general surgical residency, and then two years of pediatric surgery. After this, Seagram worked with a pediatric surgeon in Miami for his travelling fellowship, then in the newborn nursery at UC San Francisco. From there, Seagram was welcomed back into Alberta in 1972, as the first pediatric surgeon at the Foothills Hospital and medical school. Seagram was the only pediatric surgeon in Calgary for eight years.

In his time off, he went west to ski in the mountains.

“It was a tough slog for a while,” he said, noting how he wasn’t welcome by other surgeons at the time, until the practice of a pediatrician was accepted as a separate sub-specialty.

“I used to say to them, I haven’t come to steal anything from you, I’ve come to show you how to do things properly,” he said with a laugh.

Seagram was later chosen to be the Chief of Medical for all the men’s ski race events at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

Newborn surgery was the most rewarding aspect of Seagram’s career; being able to help a newborn with a defect, and send them home with the family, healthy and well.

“Part of the satisfaction, is (that) you’re dealing with kids; they have their whole life to live. So if you can do something early on and make them have a better life for it, then all the better,” said Seagram.

It was this aspect of his career which brought about a love for kids, and so when Seagram moved to Fernie in 1991, he became a ski coach. Now one of the oldest active ski coaches in Canada, he is inspiring young Fernie athletes to become doctors, physiotherapists and other medical professionals after the conclusion of their ski racing careers.In the summer months, he remains an active tennis coach in a club program near his cottage in Ontario.

All of these accomplishments earned him a spot on the Fernie’s Skiing Wall of Fame in 2014, in the category of Snow Sports.

Now, when he’s in Fernie and not skiing, Seagram spends his time carving. He’s handcrafted many beautiful pieces including fish, slalom skiers, totem poles and one of his most recent pieces of work, a replica of the Vogue Theatre. He originally took up the practice of carving when he was on call as a surgeon, waiting for the phone to ring.

Seagram believes he has lived a very healthy lifestyle. He attributes his health to the simple practice of eating well, consuming a limited amount of alcohol, as well as daily exercise, something he calls ‘Ski-o-therapy’.

“Exercise is good for you,” said Seagram. “It’s good for your body, it’s good for your brain, you’ve got to work out.”

Just Posted

Ghostriders accelerating towards playoffs

Fernie’s first playoff game of the season is this Sunday, February 25 in Sparwood.

Fernie Snow Drags; an ongoing tradition

Like wild animals filled with an everlasting rage, sleds flew down the… Continue reading

Shypitka reacts to BC budget

Kootenay East MLA laments increased taxation, spending

Critical Condition: ‘People are dying from treatable medical conditions’

Problems with ambulance service policies are systemic and province-wide, advocacy group leader says.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

BCHL Today: Merritt’s Buckley nets scholarship and Vees slam Salmon Arm

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Crowns asks for more time in Victoria double murder of young sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Tired of ‘big city life’? One-stoplight town hosts contest to lure in city slickers

Contest by BC Rural Centre hopes to attract city folks to a small town in the Kootenays

Most Read