Isabel Coursier Bronze Statue
Luna Legacy will pay tribute to local historical personality Isabel Coursier on the 100th anniversary of her capturing the women’s world title in ski jumping through the commission of a life-sized bronze statue of Coursier for public permanent display.
Born in Revelstoke in 1906, Isabel Coursier grew up in a time when sport was largely unavailable or unpracticed by women. At the age of 16, Coursier captured the women’s world championship title in ski jumping, speeding down the ‘Boy’s Hill’ at Mount Revelstoke, breaking a world record by jumping a distance of 84 feet. Unlike the other “glider girls” who were forced to jump holding the hand of a male skier, Coursier insisted on jumping solo. She used stiff and heavy wooden jumping skis with leather and metal bindings, while her boots were high, laced ones. Coursier remained the world champion for seven years and retired in 1929 with her world record uncontested. A pioneer for women in her sport, Coursier continued to win championship titles throughout the 1920’s throughout North America. In 1923 she received a medal and standing ovation for her prowess at a ski tournament at Rainier National Park in Washington. She was the first female allowed to jump over the famous ‘Cote-De-Neige’ ski jump in Montreal and in 1928, beat her own record in Revelstoke by jumping 103 feet. Described by the Calgary Herald in 1927 as “fearless and graceful”, Coursier is a Revelstoke icon who was a trailblazer for women’s ski jumping, however, she has received little recognition in comparison to her male contemporaries such as Nels Nelsen. She died October 16, 1980 at the age of 74. In 2002, Coursier was inducted into the Ski Canada Honour Roll.
Arts Revelstoke is currently fundraising for this bronze statue of Isabel Coursier to be displayed in downtown Revelstoke.
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Abernethy has an extensive history of producing bronze statues with 60 castings on permanent public display including historic figures like Glenn Gould and Oscar Peterson. The Isabel Coursier statue will follow the same standards she has set for construction, casting, and installation. She shares her time between Vancouver, BC and Wellesley, ON. creating unique sculptures that capture the likeness of her subject. With extensive historical research, conceptual conversations and playful creativity, Abernethy creates timeless works of art that evoke the imagination.