Seven Olympians in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame 2015 Class
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame has unveiled its Class of 2015 and there are seven Olympians included in the group of 12 inductees. The induction ceremony will take place on October 21, 2015.
Susan Auch – Speed Skating
A four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medallist in long track speed skating, Auch also competed in short track speed skating when it was a demonstration sport at Calgary 1988, winning bronze in the women’s 3000m relay. She made her official Olympic debut at Albertville 1992 before winning back-to-back silver medals in the 500m at Lillehammer 1994 and Nagano 1998, having success both before and after the introduction of clap skates and in two different competition formats. Auch concluded her Olympic career at Salt Lake City 2002.
Nicolas Gill – Judo
A four-time Olympian, Gill is Canada’s only judoka to win multiple Olympic medals. After capturing middleweight bronze at Barcelona 1992 and half-heavyweight silver at Sydney 2000 he was given the honour of being Canada’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of his final Olympic appearance at Athens 2004. In his retirement, Gill turned to coaching and helped Antoine Valois-Fortier win bronze at London 2012.
Sharon and Shirley Firth – Cross-Country Skiing
Twin sisters from the Gwich’in First Nation in the Northwest Territories, the Firths were trailblazers for Indigenous athletes in Canada. They had learned to ski with the Territorial Experimental Ski Training program that introduced the sport to Canada’s north and at Sapporo 1972 were members of Canada’s first women’s Olympic cross-country skiing team. Both sisters went on to compete at Innsbruck 1976, Lake Placid 1980 and Sarajevo 1984.
Jennifer Heil – Freestyle Skiing
A three-time Olympian, Heil won Canada’s first medal at Turin 2006, which happened to be gold in the women’s moguls. She set the tone for what became (at the time) Canada’s most successful Olympic Winter Games. It was also Heil who put Canada on the medal board at Vancouver 2010, winning silver in her final Olympic appearance and sparking the country to its best ever Winter Games medal total. Heil’s Olympic career began at Salt Lake City 2002 where she just missed the podium with a fourth place finish.
Danielle Goyette – Ice Hockey
A three-time Olympian, Goyette won silver in the first Olympic ice hockey tournament for women at Nagano 1998, scoring Canada’s first goal of the Games. She went on to win back-to-back gold medals at Salt Lake City 2002, where she tied for the scoring lead, and Turin 2006. At the latter she was also honoured as Canada’s Opening Ceremony flag bearer. Goyette served as an assistant coach at Sochi 2014, putting her behind the bench for Canada’s record-setting fourth straight Olympic gold medal.
Lori-Ann Muenzer – Track Cycling
A two-time Olympian, Muenzer is the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in track cycling. Her breakthrough came at Athens 2004 where she captured gold in the women’s sprint to become Canada’s only Olympic champion in track cycling. An example of true perseverance, at 38-years-old Muenzer was almost twice the age of the women she shared the podium with. She was also a beneficiary of sportsmanship, winning on wheels borrowed from the French and Australian teams after both of her tires had blown apart.
The five other inductees are: hockey player Paul Coffey, para-swimmer Michael Edgson, soccer player Craig Forrest, plus Jocelyne Bourassa (golf) and Marina van der Merwe (field hockey) as builders.