By Jordan Mady
Eight Canadian athletes and sports figures were officially inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame at the Mattamy Athletic Centre Wednesday.
Olympic ski jumper Horst Bulau, Olympic cyclist and cross-country skier Pierre Harvey, international rugby star Gareth Rees, all-time Canadian ice hockey defensive scoring leader Geraldine Heaney, Olympic figure skater Elizabeth Manley and the late women’s freestyle skiing pioneer Sarah Burke were the athletes inducted.
The builders in the class of 2014 were women’s Olympic wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick and decorated university basketball coach Kathy Shields.
They join a prestigious group that includes boxer George Chuvalo, figure skater Kurt Browning and wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen among others.
The 2014 induction class met with the media Wednesday morning at the MAC before a dinner and Sam Roberts concert later in the evening.
Manley said it was an emotional time walking into the place formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens.
“Just walking into this building brought tears to my eyes and I had to have a moment,” she said. “I am probably one of the very few people that have been very, very blessed to be able to say that I have skated and I have performed in every Original Six [arenas].”
Geraldine Heaney, a member of the high-powered 2002 Canadian Olympic women’s gold medal hockey team, also recounted her time spent at the Gardens.
“I’ll still always call it ‘Maple Leaf Gardens’,” she said. “You could afford tickets to come down to watch Leafs games back then.”
For Manley, the day was about keeping those memories lit.
“As you get older, you always want your legacy and your memory to be alive,” she said.