Beckie Scott is a three-time Olympic cross-country skier who won gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. Four years later, Scott would win silver in Turin and was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont. on September 21, 2012.
Good evening – wow – this is truly a tremendous honor and such a fantastic evening of celebration and I want to start by really and sincerely thanking Marcel Aubut and all the people behind the scenes at the Canadian Olympic Committee for your incredible hard work bringing this event together and creating such an amazing evening to honor Olympic athletes and sport in this country . It’s just outstanding – thank you!
I remember coming to a few of these Olympic Hall of Fame induction evenings when I was younger and just setting out on my Olympic journey really – and that I was always struck by 2 things…
The first being that I clearly remember wondering why athletes had to wait so long and until they were so old before they were inducted! And here I am – but clearly times have changed since then!
And the second thing that always struck me — was how warm, welcoming and inclusive it always felt to be a part of the Canadian Olympic family. How much it always felt like stepping in to a room full of old friends and the embrace of something really, genuinely great and authentic and supportive, and how much I loved that and valued that even then as a complete rookie in my career, just starting down the road.
And here, now, 6 years post-retirement from my career, I can honestly say that it’s still what I love and still what I value the most. The medals are in a drawer, the skis went to a museum, and what I have and what I cherish the most from nearly 2 decades of sport are the friendships. The old friends, the new friends, the best friend who became my husband….and remains a best friend (most of the time!) The adventures, the laughs, the tears, the celebrations and the struggles….moments that were memorable and meaningful because of the people I was with.
And in that spirit, tonight I want to dedicate this honor to one of my dearest old friends – a friend to many, if not most of us in the room tonight – Randy Starkman. We lost Randy earlier this year but his voice will forever remain woven through the fabric of the Canadian Olympic story as one of the most incredible sports journalists we’ve ever had, and one of the truest voices and best friends of Olympic sport there ever was. And so Randy, and maybe you can hear us out there somewhere; for all you did and for all you were to us, this is for you – thank you.