Karen Percy was entered in all five disciplines of alpine skiing but only had three starts in her Olympic debut at Calgary 1988. She was under the additional pressure of being a “home town” favourite and having had surgery on a broken thumb four weeks prior. On Nakiska Mountain, Percy won Canada’s first medal on day seven of the Games becoming a national hero. Three days later, the Banff native finished third in the super-G for her second medal. Percy had become Canada’s first double medalist in skiing since Nancy Greene at Grenoble 1968. She came dangerously close to winning a third bronze medal finishing just off the podium in fourth in the combined.
Refusing to specialize, Percy competed in all alpine disciplines, joining the national team in 1984. She had 45 World Cup starts with five podium finishes (33 top-10 finishes), four World Championships with one podium finish (1989 downhill silver) and competed in seven consecutive Canadian Championships from 1983 to 1989.
Percy attended Banff Community High School. After her retirement in 1990 she married former Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League (NHL) player and Director of Hockey Kevin Lowe and had three daughters and one son (an NHL draft pick). She has been heavily involved in charity work particularly Waterkeeper Alliance (North Saskatchewan River Keeper President), Compassion House, the Zebra Foundation and Go Centre. During Vancouver 2010, Percy was the broadcast analyst on the women’s alpine events for the Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media consortium.
Percy was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1995. She was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1988 and received an Olympic Champion Award at The Tribute to the Champions in 1989. In 2005, she was inducted into the Banff Sports Hall of Fame.
|1988 Calgary||Skiing - Alpine||Combined - Women||4|
|1988 Calgary||Skiing - Alpine||Downhill - Women||Bronze|
|1988 Calgary||Skiing - Alpine||Giant Slalom - Women||DNF|
|1988 Calgary||Skiing - Alpine||Slalom - Women||DNF|
|1988 Calgary||Skiing - Alpine||Super-G - Women||Bronze|