Wickenheiser, van Koeverden, Smith among Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022
Here is a quick look at this year’s honourees in the Athlete, Builder, and Trailblazer categories:
A six-time Olympian in two sports, Hayley Wickenheiser is being inducted in the Athlete category. She won five Olympic medals in ice hockey, including four straight gold medals at Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, and Sochi 2014. That followed a silver medal in the Olympic debut of women’s ice hockey at Nagano 1998. She also competed for Team Canada in softball at Sydney 2000.
Among her other Olympic accolades were the MVP honours she earned in 2002 and 2006, taking the Athletes’ Oath at Vancouver 2010, and serving as Team Canada’s Opening Ceremony flag bearer at Sochi 2014.
Wickenheiser began playing hockey with Canada’s National Women’s Team during the 1993-94 season and made her debut at the IIHF Women’s World Championship when she was just 15. By the time she retired in 2017, she had won seven world championship gold medals and was Canada’s all-time leading scorer, recording 379 points (168 goals, 211 assists) in 276 international games. She was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.
Adam van Koeverden
Four-time Olympian and quadruple Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden is also being inducted in the Athlete category. The sprint kayaker won K-1 500m gold and K-1 1000m bronze in his Olympic debut at Athens 2004, earning him the honour of being Canada’s Closing Ceremony flag bearer.
He then carried the Canadian flag into the Opening Ceremony at Beijing 2008 where he won silver in the K-1 500m. After that event was removed from the Olympic program, he focused on the K-1 1000m and earned another silver medal at London 2012 before bringing an end to his career at Rio 2016. Outside of the Olympic Games, van Koeverden won eight medals at the ICF World Championships, including two golds.
President of the Canadian Olympic Committee since 2015, Tricia Smith is being inducted as a Builder. A four-time Olympian in rowing, Smith won a silver medal at Los Angeles 1984. She is also a seven-time medallist at the World Rowing Championships.
Since ending her career as an athlete, Smith has worked tirelessly as an advocate for sport and especially for the advancement of women in sport. She has served as an International Olympic Committee member since 2016, is the Vice-President of World Rowing, and sits on the Executive Council of the Association of National Olympic Committees.
Other inductees in Class of 2022
Legendary Olympic broadcaster Brian Williams is also being inducted as a Builder. He retired in December after a career spanning five decades, which including covering 14 Olympic Games for CBC and CTV, starting at Montreal 1976. He won eight Gemini Awards, two Foster Hewitt Awards, and one Canadian Screen Award for his work.
Another inductee as a Builder, Edward Lennie, is known as the “Father of the Northern Games”. The Inuvialuit Elder made a lifetime commitment to preserving and promoting traditional Arctic sports.
There are three more Athlete inductees. Dwayne De Rosario was a four-time champion on Major League Soccer who is a top-10 all-time goal scorer in the league. Visually impaired swimmer Tim McIsaac won 21 medals in his four appearances at the Paralympic Games from 1976 to 1988. John Tavares was a three-time MVP of the National Lacrosse League.
There are two groups of inductees in the Trailblazer category. The Chatham Coloured All-Stars played together for seven years in the 1930s as the first all-Black organized baseball team in Ontario. The Preston Rivulettes were a highly successful women’s ice hockey team who dominated their competition in the 1930s, losing just once in an estimated 350 games.