Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame 2018 Class
On Thursday, October 18 2018, this year’s inductees were formally welcomed into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. The class includes two builders, individuals who have helped to advance sport in Canada, and six athletes. Each of them received a member jacket, which symbolizes the highest sporting honor in the country.
The six sports inductees are Dave Keon, Alex Despatie, Chandra Crawford, Damon Allen, Mary Baker and Jeff Adams. Keon is a Toronto Maple Leafs legend, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame all the way back in 1986. He was also named as one of the 100 Greatest Players in NFL history in 2017, so his Sports Hall of Fame honor sees him riding very high.
Alex Despatie has won 2 silver Olympic medals for diving, one in Athens in 2004 and the other in Beijing in 2008. He has also held many other titles, including World Champion in all three individual dive categories (one, three and 10 meter platforms) and is the only athlete to have ever done this.
All-star catcher Mary Baker is a posthumous inductee; she passed away in 2003. The character played by Geena Davis in A League of Their Own is loosely based on this real-life Baseball star. The other woman in this year’s group is Chandra Crawford, the three-time Olympian who has been cross-country skiing since the age of 16.
Over an incredible 23-year career, Damon Allen became one of the most respected Canadian Football quarterbacks in history as well as a four-time Greys Cup Champion. And the inspiring Jeff Adams, who competed in six consecutive Summer Paralympics from 1988 to 2008 and won a total of 13 medals, is proof that opportunity can be found in adversity.
Willie Littlechild and Dr Sandra Kirby were honored as builders. Littlechild is a lawyer, indigenous leader and athlete from Alberta, who has campaigned tirelessly for the World Indigenous Games and has served as a Member of Parliament.
Kirby is equally impressive, having participated in Olympic rowing events and obtaining a Doctorate in Sociology in 1986. A Professor Emerita of Winnipeg University and the author of several books, she has also lobbied for equal treatment of male and female athletes.
The Hall of Fame Itself
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is in the Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta. Since 1955 it has been honoring and preserving the country’s sporting achievements. The institution’s stated goal is to inspire Canadians in sport as well as in life. With this year’s crop of illustrious inductees, it continues to do just that.