Grateful athletes enter Olympic Hall

first_img 0 At this rate, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame might need an expansion wing sooner rather than later.The burgeoning class of 2019, which was formally inducted on Wednesday in Toronto, features four athletes, two builders, a coach and two teams — the Vancouver 2010 women’s hockey and London 2012 women’s soccer squads. There are now 429 athletes, teams, builders and coaches in the Hall, which inducted its first class 70 years ago.The 2019 class is a deserving and grateful collection of Olympians.“We were a group that had spent over a decade trying to break into the world’s best, and after finishing dead last in a World Cup in 2011, and with a new coaching staff that reinvigorated our passion to change Canadian soccer for the better, we managed to do just that,” said Diana Matheson, a star of the 2012 soccer team.“None of that team’s success in 2012 would have been possible without the belief and support of Canada Soccer and the Canadian Olympic Committee, as well as the private supporters and donors that helped fund our team and players financially before we had achieved any meaningful success.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“This honour is especially due to the millions of Canadians that embraced our team with such love and support during the summer of 2012.”The athletes enshrined on Wednesday were weightlifter Christine Girard, triathlete Simon Whitfield, and divers Alexandre Despatie and Emilie Heymans. They joined judo coach Hiroshi Nakamura, and builders Jack Poole and Randy Starkman, who were both inducted posthumously.The COC also presented two-time Olympic boxer Mary Spencer with the first Randy Starkman Award, named in honour of the late Toronto Star reporter. It recognizes an athlete who has used his or her sporting excellence to benefit the community.  Comments Share your thoughtslast_img