BOW VALLEY – Big names in the Canadian sports landscape are being inducted into the Bow Valley Sports Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony this week.
The 2019 class includes cross-country skiing Olympic medallists Beckie Scott, Sara Renner and Chandra Crawford; mountaineer Sharon Wood; community sport builders Glenn Nelson, Charlie Locke, Linda Dunbar, Blair Dunbar and Jamie McCulloch; and sports pioneer Pat Costigan.
The group is going to be formally inducted, Friday (Sept. 20) at 6 p.m. the Banff Park Lodge.
“It’s a humbling experience,” said Nelson, who has been at the forefront of basketball development in the valley for four decades.
“You coach and do all these things for kids and you don’t do it for the recognition, you do it to give back to the sport you grew up playing and coaching and officiating and it was certainly a surprise [for me to be an inductee].”
Nelson, along with McCulloch, executive director of Rocky Mountain Adaptive (RMA), praised the many people and volunteers who’ve helped sport progress in the valley.
RMA is a local charity that’s worked diligently to remove barriers in sport and recreation for those living with physical and cognitive disabilities for the past decade.
“It comes across as a personal recognition, but, for me, it’s the success of so many more people,” McCulloch said. “Often I’m the name associated with that, hence the recognition, but it’s a recognition of the Rocky Mountain Adaptive and what we’ve been able to do due to the support of so many dedicated individuals.”
According to Bow Valley Sports Hall of Fame, its mission is to "honour individuals and teams from the Bow Valley who have distinguished themselves in sport, recreation or mountain pursuits; to assist in the development of future contributions to athletic pursuits; and to promote our inductees to both residents and visitors to the Bow Valley."
This year's athletes being inducted include two Olympic gold medallists, a silver medallist and the first North American woman to summit Mount Everest.
Over three Olympics games, Scott became the first North American woman to medal in cross-country skiing after winning gold in 2002. In 2006, she won a silver medal in cross-country team sprint. Scott is also CEO of Spirit North, a charitable organization dedicated to the health and well-being of Indigenous youth. Starting in 2009, Spirit North is now in 50 communities across western Canada and engaging over 8,000 Indigenous youth through sport.
Competing in three Olympics, Canmore-born Crawford won gold in 2006 in the cross-country sprint race in Italy in one of the most memorable Canadian Olympic performances. Active in girls and young women's athletic development, Crawford is the founder of Fast and Female, a North American organization with a mission to inspire and empower girls and women to stay in sport.
Crawford and Scott are both inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Renner competed in four Olympic games, winning silver in 2006 in the team sprint with Scott, and won five medals and had 27 top 10 finishes during her world cup career.
Wood became the first North American woman to summit Mount Everest in 1986. In 1998, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada.
Along with Nelson and McCulloch, three other sport builders are being inducted.
Locke was instrumental in helping develop the mountaineer and alpine skiing community and founded of the Resorts of Canadian Rockies.
Linda and Blair Dunbar helped grow the cross-country ski community, particularly in northern Indigenous communities.
Costigan, a pioneer in hockey, had many career highlights including playing defence for the University of Alberta Golden Bears between 1937-40, where the team won four straight conference championships.
For more information on the inductees or to purchase tickets to Friday’s ceremony, visit www.bowvalleysport.ca.