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Irwin’s condition upgraded

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Doctor’s upgraded the condition of Dave Irwin, a former Canadian downhiller and one of the original Crazy Canucks, from critical and stable to serious and stable on April 7.

He was taken off life support systems on April 6, and is now breathing again on his own. He has also emerged from his coma, although he is still in a reduced state of consciousness. He has since been moved from the intensive care unit of the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary to another unit.

"We’re thrilled with his progress and we’re very optimistic about his future," said Dorothy Irwin, Dave’s sister.

Irwin hit his head during a training run at the Export ‘A’ Extreme Skiercross at Sunshine Village on March 23. He was wearing a helmet when he caught air in one of the easier sections of the course and hit the snow head first.

At a press conference following the accident, his doctors said that of the people who suffer this kind of brain injury, one-third made a good recovery, one-third are left disabled and dependant, and one-third do not survive.

Thousands of people have offered words of support for Irwin and his family through the Alpine Canada Web site at getwelldave@canski.org .

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Irwin, Ken Read, Dave Murray and Steve Podborski put Canadian skiing on the map with their showmanship and go-for-broke performances on the World Cup downhill circuit. Irwin’s best finish was a gold medal in the World Cup downhill at Schladming, Austria in 1979.

He is a member of five different Canadian sports halls of fame.

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