Michael Chambers received the Canadian Olympic Order for his decades of service to the Canadian Olympic Movement. The one-time Canadian Olympic Committee president was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont. on September 21, 2012.
I do want to first congratulate all of tonight’s Hall of Fame inductees.
May I first have a moment to express my sadness on the loss last week of a truly great sportsman and Canadian, Peter Lougheed, himself a member of the Canadian Olympic Order.
Peter played an integral part in securing the 1988 Olympic Winter Games for Calgary. We in Olympic sport in Canada should remember him well.
And now my thank yous.
First and foremost may I thank my wife, Joni, and our sons, Andrew and Josh, who, to use the vernacular, put up with and persevered through these many years of my volunteerism away from home in sport, sometimes accompanied by them, but most often not. Thank you.
My High School Phys Ed teacher who taught me that sport and physical effort is a part of the fabric of who we all are.
My recently deceased High School football coach who taught me that to win without your integrity intact was no win at all.
My so many friends and colleagues in the sport of Canoe/Kayak who taught me that every time you go on the water and enter a race, no matter the odds, you enter to win, and you race to win, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and that’s all part of the fun of competition.
And of course, I must thank all who I have known over my almost 30 years now with the Canadian Olympic Committee. May I mention but one, my now recently deceased good friend, and fellow Olympic Order of Canada member, Jim Worrall.
Jim was my mentor.
If I have been able to accomplish anything in the Olympic world it is on account of and a reflection of the years of encouragement, sage advice and guidance I received from Jim.
My journey through sport began with a Mom and Dad who themselves had met through the sport of canoe racing at the old Rideau Aquatic Club in Ottawa, and who raised their family on the ethic that sport is something you just naturally engaged in.
My Dad in particular demonstrated for me the value of volunteerism in sport – you did it for the love of sport, and that was payback enough.
Lastly may 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.
My journey in sport is not ended. To play on the line of my favourite American poet, Robert Frost, I yet have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
That said, this has been a very special evening for me. I do thank the COC for according me this honour.