TORONTO – Olympic legends were inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame at the Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Friday night.

The class of 2012 included: Jean-Luc Brassard (Freestyle Skiing), Daniel Igali (Wrestling), Beckie Scott (Cross Country Skiing), the 2006 women’s hockey team (Team category), the 2010 men’s hockey team (Team Category), Julie Sauvé (Coach category) and the late Sarah Burke (Builder) were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the Olympic movement in Canada. Past Canadian Olympic Committee President Michael Chambers was also awarded the Canadian Olympic Order.

“I grew up being told by my grandmother that dreams should be a size too big so we could fit into them. I have dreamt big dreams, since that charge as a ten year old. The biggest of them was to make it to the Olympics, the “big show”, as my grandmother calls it.”
-Daniel Igali, 2012 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee

“The medals are in a drawer, the skis went to a museum, and what I cherish the most from nearly two decades of sport are the friendships: the old friends, the new friends, the best friend who became my husband, and remains a best friend.

The adventures, the laughs, the tears, the celebrations and the struggles – moments that were memorable and meaningful because of the people I was with.”
-Beckie Scott, 2012 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee

“Although some people use the word “sacrifice” to describe their sport career, I prefer to use the word “privilege” to describe my good fortune and pride representing my country at international events, said Brassard. “Here’s to the Canadian Olympic Movement, and inspiring kids into becoming more active and having a better quality of life.”
-Jean-Luc Brassard, 2012 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee

“Representing Canada as a hockey player is always a tremendous honor, which also comes with a lot of responsibility. Being able to compete and win a gold medal on our home soil made it a once in a lifetime experience. Capping off the best ever performance by not only the Canadian athletes, but also Vancouver and all Canadians, made for an amazing Olympic experience.”
-Scott Niedermayer, captain, 2010 men’s hockey team

“That was such an important time for us, as a team. It was our second gold medal in a row, following Salt Lake City, and really established ourselves as the best team in the world.”
-Hayley Wickenheiser, representing the 2006 women’s hockey team

“Competing at the Olympics was Sarah’s dream and I am very grateful for this honour, acknowledging Sarah’s accomplishments and her work over the years, to build her sport up to the Olympic level. This Induction recognizes and validates all her practices, all her falls, her emails, letters, her persistence and fearlessness in tackling both the difficulty of the next jump and the difficulty of the system that wasn’t ready yet to accept her.”
-Janice Phelan, mother of Sarah Burke, inducted posthumously as a Builder

“When I started in synchronized swimming more than 40 years ago, I never imagined the journey would be this long. There have been many obstacles, triumphs and disappointments along the way. I am proud of my contribution to the sport of synchronized swimming and happy to have played a role in its evolution.”
-Julie Sauvé, 2012 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee, Coach

“I thank Canada’s athletes. Your passion for life, for being the best you can be in your sport, inspires me every day to help out, to contribute what I can to having you realize your dreams.”
-Michael Chambers, Canadian Olympic Order

“It is so great to see our Olympic and Paralympic athletes receive the recognition they deserve. Over those two weeks in London, we saw some incredible performances by our athletes as they gave their very best to achieve their goals. For all of you watching at home who cheered and believed, you were part of those goals. That’s the special power of television to bring us closer, even from an ocean away. I’ve always been very proud to be a part of that.”
-Brian Williams, Canadian Olympic broadcaster

“2012 Olympic Hall of Fame inductees, this is your evening. Tonight, we celebrate your achievements. You are what we all aspire to be. To our London 2012 athletes and coaches, you represented us with passion and distinction. All of Canada stopped to witness your relentless determination, and burning passion that has inspired a new generation of Canadian Olympic hopefuls. This inspiration that you provide is your greatest gift to our nation. As a result, you have given us more than excellence on your field of play. You have given us the drive to achieve our own goals — whatever our own field of play.”
-Marcel Aubut, Canadian Olympic Committee President 

“What a thrill to be here with you tonight at the tail end of such an incredible summer of Olympic excellence. The Games represent one of the clear pinnacles of excellence in the world. Every time an Olympian competes, I think of the incredible skill and determination it takes to compete at that level, as well as the support necessary to reach that level.”
-His Excellency Rt. Hon David Johnston, Governor General of Canada

“It’s been 64 years and it has been all about the athletes. We are just so proud to be involved with these athletes.”
-Gordon Nixon, President and Chief Executive Officer, RBC

“On behalf of the business community, we want to thank our Canadian athletes for what they did in London. Bell has been honoured to be involved with the Canadian Olympians since 1976.”
-George Cope, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bell Canada

To speak of Sarah Burke, is to speak of love. It’s to speak of her love of sport, her love for her family and friends, her love for her fellow athletes and competitors. Sarah loved breaking down barriers. She loved dropping into the halfpipe and flying through the air. She loved to compete. She loved to scare herself, challenge herself, and push herself to new heights.
-Trennon Paynter, Head Coach, National Ski Halfpipe Team

– 30 –

Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:
Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations
Tel: 416-324-4120 / Cell: 416-540-1788

Dimitri Soudas, Executive Director, Communications
Tel: 416-324-4136 / Cell: 289-388-6419

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