Olympic Gold All Over 2010 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees
Modern icons from four Olympic sports lead the way into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night in Calgary. Freestyle skier Jean-Luc Brassard, gymnast Kyle Shewfelt and cyclist/speed skater Clara Hughes will be joined by Paralympic legend Chantal Petitclerc, Olympic rowing champion Roger Jackson, hockey goalie Patrick Roy, race car driver Jacques Villeneuve and Canadian Football League mainstay Bob Ackles in a truly star-studded night.
Here we highlight five in particular:
Jean-Luc Brassard laid the groundwork for future Olympic champions in his sport of freestyle moguls. His pursuits from 1990 to 2002 inspired 2006 gold medallist Jenn Heil and 2010 gold medallist Alex Bilodeau. Brassard’s 12-year career came with 20 World Cup victories, two World Cup moguls titles and two world championships. Oh, and we forgot to mention he won gold the first time moguls was ever contested at the Olympic level, in 1994 in Lillehammer. He is a four-time Olympian and Canada’s flag bearer at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
Clara Hughes needs little introduction for most Olympic fans these days. She has done nothing but win six Olympic medals in both cycling and speed skating, tying her for the most medals by any one Canadian ever. She loves speed and distance, with the 5,000-metre skating event her best race and the one where she has captured three medals – as well as cycling, where she has won two bronze medals and no fewer than 18 Canadian titles. She recently earned a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Kyle Shewfelt has definitely launched himself firmly in the “groundbreaking” category of Olympians, and certainly into Canadian sports lore. At the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the Calgary gymnast famously won gold in the floor event, defeating all competitors in a sport dominated by gymnasts from Asia and Europe. It was Canada’s first Olympic gold in any gymnastics discipline. Shewfelt serves as a guiding light for Canada’s current core of young, strong gymnasts (particularly those in Calgary), and showed true resilience in recovering from two broken legs in 2007 to compete at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Roger Jackson has the unique opportunity of joining Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame twice. First he and sculling partner George Hungerford entered after stunning the world to win gold at the 1964 Olympic Games in the coxless pair. Jackson became a leader in Canadian sport as director of Sport Canada, president of the Canadian Olympic Association, consultant on six Olympic bids and key architect for the Own the Podium program. His influence is nearly immeasurable, and for that he enters the Hall again.
Chantal Petitclerc is a Paralympic phenomenon. The wheelchair racer won five gold medals in 2004 and another five gold medals in 2008. Her breathless resume: 14 gold, five silver and two bronze medals at Paralympic Games stretching back to 1992.
The Canadian Olympic Team congratulates all 2010 inductees!