Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Celebrates the Induction of an Historic Canadian Sport Legends Class
June 18, 2015
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame - Calgary, June 17, 2015: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, for the first time ever, inducted an historic Canadian Sport Legends Class this evening to celebrate its 60th anniversary and to recognize 2015 as the "Year of Sport" as declared by His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is the highest sporting honour in the country. The Canadian Sport Legends Class is a group of sport heroes whose contributions were primarily before 1955 and spanned nearly 150 years of Canadian sport. These diverse Athletes and Sport Builders include war heroes who gave their lives for our country, indigenous and black athletes who broke down racial barriers, women who overcame gender inequality, and remarkable pioneers of Canadian sport.
To honour this remarkable group of people, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame unveiled a Legends Exhibit this evening which includes incredibly rare artefacts. Highlights include a golf club from 1898 that was carved out of a tree branch and a brass buckle from 1999 celebrating the 75th anniversary of the invention of the one-handed bareback rigging. The new gallery includes other amazing artefacts, photos and videos from almost 150 years of Canadian sport and is open to the public on June 18, 2015.
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, located at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, features 52 exciting and fun interactive exhibits including a virtual sports simulator that allows visitors to test their skills kicking field goals, shooting baskets, striking out batters and shooting against a virtual hockey goalie. The museum also houses Canada's largest collection of Summer and Winter Olympic Games artefacts including torches and medals dating back to 1896.
A special White Hat presentation took place for all 2015 Inductees and Honoured Members of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame who were in attendance including: Michelle Cameron Coulter, Danielle Goyette, Craig Forrest, Kerrin Lee-Gartner, Lui Passaglia and Serge Savard.
"We are proud to be able to share stories of the achievements of our inducted Honoured Members so that we can inspire all Canadians to be the best they can be in all aspects of life," said Mario Siciliano, President and CEO, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
For full biographies of the Canadian Sport Legends Class, please click here.
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Honoured Members and 2015 Inductees
during a special White Hat Ceremony.
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Canadian Sport Legends Class, Athletes
- George Burleigh (1914-1984) - the youngest swimmer ever to represent Canada at 1930 British Empire Games.
- William (Billy) Cecil Christmas (1879-1941) - achieved elite levels in four sports: rugby, hockey, lacrosse, and boxing.
- Alex Decoteau (1887-1917) - exceptional Track and Field athlete and Canada's first full-blooded aboriginal police officer in a municipal force.
- Carol Ann Duthie (1937-2001) one of the youngest water skiing champions in Canada.
- Alfred "Cam" Ecclestone (1911-1982) - Canada's best fastball player of the first half of the 1900s.
- Lawrence "Larry" Gains (1900-1983) - heavyweight boxer and pioneer for future black athlete contenders.
- Robert John "Golden Boy" Goldham (1922-1991) - five-time Stanley Cup champion.
- Gerald Gratton (1927 - 1963) - first Canadian to compete in an Olympic Games weightlifting competition.
- Robina Higgins Haight (1915-1990) - nine-time national title winner in javelin, shot put and ball throw competitions.
- Barbara Howard (1920 - ) - fastest female sprinter in the British Empire and first ever black female athlete to represent Canada.
- Bill Isaacs (1914-1985) - the most outstanding lacrosse competitor during the 1930s and 1940s.
- Joe Benjamin Keeper (1886-1971) - First Nation Olympic long distance runner and WWI veteran.
- Winnie Roach Leuszler (1926-2004) - the first Canadian to swim the English Channel in 1951.
- John "Johnny" Wilfrid Loaring (1915-1969) - Canada's top track athlete in 1938.
- Harry (Xul-Si-Malt) Manson (1879-1912) - the only player of indigenous descent to play on the three Nanaimo premier soccer teams from 1897-1905.
- Vincent Churchill "Manny" McIntyre (1918-2011) - the first black Canadian to sign a professional baseball contract.
- Robert McLeod (1913-1958) - one of the Top 25 Canadian Cyclists of the 1900s.
- AileenMeagher (1910-1987) - Olympic Games track and field superstar.
- Albert Murray (1887-1974) - the youngest winner of the Canadian Open in 1908.
- Charles Murray (1882-1938) - along with his brother Albert, they are the only brothers to this day to have each captured Canadian Open championship titles.
- Alf Philips (1908-1994 - two-time Olympic diver and record holder not beaten by a Canadian for more than 70 years.
- Robert Pirie (1916 - 1984) - he held every Canadian swimming title from 50 yards to 2 miles including the world record in the 200m by 1939.
- Robert "Bobby" Powell (1881-1917) - tennis champion with accomplishments not repeated by another Canadian tennis player in more than 100 years.
- Ernest Harvey Pulford (1875-1940) - national champion in ice hockey, lacrosse, football, boxing, paddling and rowing.
- Robert Scotty Rankine (1909-1995) - 1930s track and field hero.
- Hilda Ranscombe (1913-1999) - one of hockey's great players.
- Eileen Whalley Richards (1923-2015) - North American Speed Skating Champion.
- Mary Rose Thacker (1922-1983) - figure skating phenomenon.
- Elizabeth Whittall (1936-2015) - Pan Am Games swimming champion.
- Rhoda and Rhona Wurtele (1922- ) - identical twin skiing pioneers and champions in the 1940s and '50s.
Canadian Sport Legends Class, Builders
- Earl Bascom (1906-1995) - the father of Modern Rodeo.
- Frank Calder (1877-1943) - first president of the National Hockey League/strong advocate against racial discrimination in the NHL.
- James Creighton (1850-1930) - the Father of Ice Hockey.
- Norton Crow (1878-1929) - advocate for amateur sports and the expansion of physical education in schools.
- Sidney Dawes (1888-1968) - instrumental in building and the establishment of Whistler Mountain, B.C.
- Jan Eisenhardt (1906-2004) - proponent of sports and recreation for all Canadians.
- Alexandrine Gibb (1891-1958) - women's rights in sport advocate and sports journalist.
- Cecile Grenier (1907-2003) - champion for children's and women's physical education.
- Phyllis Griffiths (1905-1978) - women's sports writing pioneer.
- Frederick James Heather (1890-1976) - Canadian cricket pioneer.
- Frank Read (1911-1992) - one of the world's top rowing coaches from 1950-60.
- Melville Marks "Bobby" Robinson (1888-1974) - Founder of the Commonwealth Games.
- William Shuttleworth (1834-1903) - the driving force behind the beginnings of baseball in Canada.
- Henry Sotvedt (1908-1982) - pioneer of skiing and ski jumping/Canada's first Olympic ski jumping coach.
- Stanley Thompson (1893-1953) - world-renowned golf course architect.
About Canada's Sports Hall of Fame: Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is an international award-winning facility with over 40,000 square feet of inspiring experiences featuring 12 galleries, 52 hands-on interactive exhibits and a collection of more than 95,000 artefacts. Each year, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame selects the country's most influential and inspiring Athletes and Sport Builders who are inducted as Honoured Members. Our mission is to share the stories of their achievements so that we can inspire all Canadians to be the best they can be in all aspects of life. Induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is the highest sporting honour in Canada. Please visit www.sportshall.ca to learn more about our education programs, facility rentals and corporate retreats.
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