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Linden, Luongo and BC sports stars receive Hall of Fame honour

All photos and text by Keith Robertson

Roberto Luongo and Trevor Linden were all smiles as they received their Hall of Fame honours last night.

Each year, the The BC Sports Hall of Fame honors BC’s sporting heritage by recognizing extraordinary achievements in sport by athletes/teams, pioneers in sport, broadcasters  and builders of sport. These individuals and teams are being recognized for their contributions, dedication and extraordinary achievements at the highest levels in their chosen sport or profession.

Hosting this year’s event once again was Global News’ own Steve Darling and Jill Krop. Around 1000 people were in attendance for the reception, dinner and induction ceremonies including a large number of previously honoured Hall of Fame members.

BC Sports Hall of Fame inductees photo by Keith Robertson

The festivities began at 5:00 with the annual silent auction to raise funds for the BC Sports Hall of Fame. The Induction Gala is the largest fundraising event for the BC Sports Hall of Fame each year, and many attendees make it one of their annual traditions to support the Hall and be a part of a something so special.

This year the BC Sports Hall of Fame inducted nine individuals and two teams to its 2011 class at the Vancouver Convention Center’s West Ballroom.

The induction of the 2010 Olympic Gold Medal Championship Team and the BC members of that team may seem awfully fast to some of you and understandably so. Normally nominees for induction into the Hall of Fame have to be retired to be considered for this honour, however this year the criteria was waived to allow the entry of Roberto Luongo, Scott Niedermayer, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber, and Duncan Keith into the Hall of Fame for their part in bringing home the Gold Medal as members of that team.

Lacrosse-playing twins Paul Gait, left, and Gary Gait 

Two of the most talented and arguably best lacrosse players to have ever played the game, Gary and Paul Gait were inducted into the class of 2011 in the athlete category. The Victoria raised twins, now 44, have a long history of playing for Minto and Mann Cup teams and going on to attend Syracuse University winning 3 national championships. After graduating from Syracuse both Gary and Paul went on to play professional lacrosse, where they continued to excel and win multiple championships throughout their professional careers.

Olympic gold medal snowboarder Maëlle Ricker 

The class of 2011 inductees this year definitely has the Olympic theme throughout, with two more gold medal athletes being honoured as part of this year’s class. West Vancouver’s Maëlle Ricker, the 2010 gold medal winner in snowboarding and North Vancouver’s Lauren Woolstencroft who won five gold medals at the 2010 Paralympics were both honoured this year with entry into the Hall of Fame.

 

Inducted into the media category of the Hall this year was Tom Larscheid. If you’re a sports fan in BC, and have watched the Canucks or the Lions over the years then you’ve definitely heard Tom Larscheid broadcasting the games from the booth. Tom wasn’t one to hide his support for the Canucks or Lions. On numerous occasions Tom was known to openly cheer his beloved teams during broadcasts. On the flip side of that, Tom was equally ready to call out players and officials, including players of the home teams who he didn't think gave a maximum effort.

In the builder category, the Hall of Fame honored Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Clubs and SFU wrestling coach, Mike Jones. Also inducted into the builder category was figure skating legend and judge Audrey Williams.

The W.A.C. Bennett award went to Hall of Fame inductee, Marty Zlotnik. Marty’s contributions to sport in BC are considerable and over the years Marty has raised millions of dollars for sport in BC. Marty’s work in bringing the Air Canada Championship and the PGA Tour to Vancouver and his never ending support and efforts with the University of British Columbia are just two of his impressive accomplishment over the years.

 

In the Pioneer category of the Hall of Fame, the 1933 Chinese Students Soccer Team was inducted into the hall this year. Accepting for the members of the team were the descendants of the players and the sole living spouse of one of the team members.

Canuck legend Trevor Linden posing with star goaltender Roberto Luongo

The final inductee of the night was Trevor Linden, one of, if not the most popular Canucks in the team’s history as well one of BC’s most recognizable personalities. Trevor has always been big in the community and has contributed immeasurable hours to helping people and children province wide. Trevor’s induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame is truly deserved, and more than likely not the first hall of fame he will be inducted into.

The class of 2011 is impressive list of athletes and contributors to sport in BC and the country as a whole. These amazing individuals strived to make a difference, to be the best at what they do and to never stop trying no matter what the odds of success were. They are inspirations to all who play sports or just follow their achievements as fans.

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