Olympic greats Wickenheiser and van Koeverden highlight 2022 inductees into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

At a time when the pursuit of sport in this country faces enormous challenges and is under national scrutiny, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame announces a group of individuals who have made a positive impact on so many areas of play.

The group honored this year includes four-time Olympic hockey champion and doctor Hayley Wickenheiser, Olympic kayaking champion Adam van Koeverden, who is now MP for the Ontario riding of Milton, and John Tavares, Canada’s greatest professional lacrosse player. . the story.

Paralympic swimming legend Tim McIsaac, who won 28 medals in four editions of the Games between 1976 and 1988, as well as football great Dwayne De Rosario, who played for the national team and became one of the most great players in the history of North American professional gaming.

The all too often overlooked and underrated museum in Calgary has once again demonstrated that there is much about Canadian sport that is not only good, but also excellent and worthy of serious admiration.

The Class of 2022 announcement reveals a spirit of diversity and inclusion that sets it apart from other sports sanctuaries where the only prerequisite for entry is performance.

At this Hall of Fame, a lasting contribution to the community and the reflection of values ​​that enrich the Canadian cultural landscape count as much as the goals scored, the home runs hit or the games won.

WATCH l Wickenheiser leads on and off the ice:

Hayley Wickenheiser has always led the pack on and off the ice

Hayley Wickenheiser won a world championship at 15, led Canada to five consecutive Olympic gold medals and made waves in health care and hockey.

With 10 new inductees, there are now over 700 members of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the class of 2022 includes athletes, builders and trailblazers from eight different sports as well as a prominent broadcaster and storyteller.

“This diverse class of 2022 includes Olympians, Paralympians, sport builders, sport icons, Order of Canada recipients, educators, military veterans, national team members and champions. world,” said Olympic curling medalist Cheryl Bernard, President and CEO of the Canada Sports Palace. Fame.

“These are ordinary Canadians who have done extraordinary things and have not stopped there. They are compelled to go beyond their success and give back to their communities as builders, mentors, ambassadors and role models. “

The Builders category welcomes three new members. Tricia Smith is an Olympic medalist in rowing and a transformative leader in the Canadian Olympic movement who has become one of the most influential women in international sport.

The late Edward Lennie, a respected Inuvialuit Elder, is known as the “Father of the Northern Games”. He has spent much of his life preserving traditional Arctic sport and has been instrumental in transforming the Arctic Winter Games into an international event that not only features intense competition, but creates also cultural awareness and diversity.

Adam Van Koeverden has won four Olympic medals, including gold in K-500 at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

The Chatham baseball team broke down racial barriers

Iconic sportscaster Brian Williams is widely recognized as “Mr. Olympic” in Canada and over the course of his 50+ year career he has identified with a kaleidoscope of unifying national events such as the Gray Cup of Canadian football, the Commonwealth Games and television. host of 12 editions of the Olympic Games.

Two pioneering teams were rewarded this year. The Preston Rivulettes dominated women’s hockey in the 1930s and inspired generations of players in Canada. The Chatham Colored All-Stars made baseball history as the first team made up of black players to win an Ontario provincial championship in the 1930s.

The team was formed in a town that was once a stop on the famous Underground Railroad delivering slaves to freedom in Canada. The stars left an indelible mark on the game more than a decade before American Jackie Robinson emerged and overcame discrimination in Major League Baseball to create chances.

Class of 2022 receives Order of Sport

The class of 2022 will also receive the Order of Sport and will be officially inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in early October in Toronto. The Order of Sport is a tribute to Canadians who are successful in sport and who continue to do good work in their diverse communities.

“To be honest, it might be even more of an honor to receive the Order of Sport because it’s more about what happened off the ice – it shows that I was able to use my impactful sporting success to benefit the community says, “It’s not what the world brings to you, it’s what you bring to the world,” Wickenheiser said.

“I am proud to be part of this team of athletes and builders who have lived up to this credo. In fact, the very cornerstone of sport at the grassroots level is based on this idea.”

In an environment where the federal government has commissioned a study into the failures of high performance sport and where harassment and corrupt leadership seem to be reaching epidemic proportions, the Hall of Fame is promoting the stories of Canadian athletes who have made a difference.

And there are plenty of choices. Each year, the Hall considers more than 200 entries from across the country and at all levels of sport.

“The selection process is one of the most inspiring but daunting tasks,” said Michelle Cameron Coulter, Olympic champion swimmer and chair of the selection committee. “It recognizes the highest level of sporting achievement of each nominee as well as their exemplary demonstration of living the values ​​of sport and their contribution to a social purpose.

“Through the lens of sport, these stories shed light on important topics like personal resilience and show how to overcome adversity while changing the way we see the world and ourselves,” said Cheryl Bernard.

“As the only national sports museum in Canada, our role is to amplify these stories through our four pillars: curation, education, recognition and thought leadership, to provide all Canadians with opportunities exciting and dynamic to connect with the stories and lived experiences of this incredible Class.”

The Hall of Fame is located at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary and is now in its 66th year. It is a living testimony to the values, history and culture of sport in this country.

The Class of 2022 is proof that it is one of the most representative institutions in Canada – and beyond that, the certainty that sport is a vital part of the national narrative.

Scott Russell is a member of the selection committee for the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.