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The names appearing below are just a fraction of the Canadian
women of accomplishment. Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's
section ON THE JOB which contains mini profiles of 2000
Canadian Women of Achievement.
Henrietta 'Hettie' Loetitia Tuzo Wilson.
née Tuzo. Born May 6, 1873 Victoria, British Columbia. Died January 11,
1955.Ottawa, Ontario She was the 1st Canadian born woman
mountaineer. A founding member of the Alpine Club of Canada
she had a real passion for climbing. In 1906 she
was the 1st woman to
ascend Peak seven of the Valley of the Ten Peaks near Moraine Lake and
bordering the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. In 1907 Peak
Seven was renamed Mount Tuzo in her honour. She stopped climbing in 1907
when she was 34 years old. She moved to Ottawa, Ontario with her husband,
John Amistead Wilson, a well established Scottish engineer, to raise
their family. In 1928 she was elected president of the National Council
of Women, still climbing the mountains set up in front of women by
society. She was also an active volunteer with the Red Cross The Ottawa
Women's Canadian Club. and a proponent of the League of Nations. She
also found time to write for the Canadian Geographical Journal.
She was presented with the King's Jubilee Medal in 1935 and in 1937 the
King's Coronation Medal. John Tuzo Wilson, her son became a well known Canadian
geologist in the area of continental drift and plat tectonics.
Sources: "Mrs. Wilson Familiar Figure" by Madge Macbeth, Ottawa Citizen
August 17, 1957. ; Off the Beaten Track; women adventurers and
mountaineers in western Canada by Cyndi Smith. Coyote Books, 1998.
Born February 7, 1908, Toronto, Ontario. Died September
12, 1990, Owen Sound, Ontario. Her parents enjoyed winter sports and
encouraged their daughter in her pursuit of speed skating. Without a
coach or a planned training program. she would take her love the the
sport to the highest competition allowed to women at the time. She was
the 1st woman admitted to the Old Orchard Skating Club in Toronto. From
1923 to 1935 she would be called the "Queen of the blades." She won more
that 65 championships fro the provincial level to world championships.
she earned 19 titles including 3 Canadian titles and three
international titles. In 1924 alone she broke 6 world records and by
1927 the teen held 2 world championships titles.
She was the 1st Canadian woman world champion.
She dominated events from the short 220 yard events to the one
mile event (1600 m) She participated in the 1932 Olympics at Lake Placid,
New York, U.S.A.
only to place 4th overall. Her time in the 1500 m heats was 2:54;o was
more than 15 seconds under the official record but could not be
recognized because she skated under the North American mass start rules!
While she qualified for the 1936 Olympics she decided to retire and not
to participate. Later that year she married Russ Campbell and the couple
settled in Owen Sound, Ontario. In 1972 she was inducted into the
Canadian Speed Skating Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of
Fame. Source: Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
née Jarnes. Born 1894. Died 1990. This woman has a mountain named for
herself and her husband Don. Mount Munday is the
highest peak in the Waddington Range of the Canadian Rockies. A competent
climber she and Annette Buck
in 1924 became
the first women to reach the summit of
the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
While she would enjoy climbing more than 100 peaks in the Rockies she was more than
a mountaineer. She was a scientist, cartographer, naturalist, humanitarian
and adventurer. In 1973 she received the Order of Canada for her
pioneering efforts in these fields and for her dedicated service to the
Girl Guides, St. Johns Ambulance and the Alpine Club of Canada. In 1992,
Canada Post issued
a stamp with Phyllis Munday on it as part of its Legendary Canadians
Born April 28, 1908 Hannah, North Dakota, U.S.A. Died September 26, 1987,
Grass Valley, California, U.S.A.. When she was an infant her family
moved to Saskatchewan and settled in Saskatoon. Growing up she excelled
in sports enjoying both baseball and track and field. Her prowess in the
high Jump took her to Toronto.
Ethel was on the 1928 Canadian Women's Olympic team,
known as the "Matchless 6" . the 1st
Olympic games to allow women to compete. She won a gold medal for
Canada in the high jump when she cleared 5 feet 2 inches (1.588m).
She was dubbed the Saskatoon Lily by the press who were quite
taken not only by her efforts on the track but also by her beauty. In
1930 she won Gold again in High Jump and Javelin at the British Empire
Games. In an era when it was not commonly accepted that young women
should be ladylike and not excel in sports, Ethel retired from sports in
1930. She had offers from Hollywood to appear in movies but she turned
down the silver screen for a course in business and studies in piano.
She would marry and move to California never to compete in sports again.
In 1955 she was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed
2001 ; Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. online. Accessed 2001. .
Myrtle Alice Cook McGowan .
Cook. Born January 5, 1902 Toronto, Ontario. Died March 18, 1985 Elora,
Ontario. A true sporting enthusiast Myrtle excelled at tennis, ice
hockey, basketball, bowling, cycling and canoeing. In 1917 she became a
member of the women’s national track and field team. In 1923 she helped
established the Toronto Ladies Athletic Club, the 1st of its
kind for women in Canada. Later formed the Mercury Athletic Club with
Hilda strike. Myrtle was one of the 1 of 6 women, known as the
‘Matchless Six’, to compete in the 1928 Olympic Games for Canada.
Amsterdam Olympic Games of 1928 she won the gold medal in the women’s 4
X 100 meters with Fanny Rosenfeld (1904-1969), Ethel Smith (1907-1978),
and Jane Bell (1910-1998). In 1929 she married journalist Lloyd McGowan.
Continuing in competitions in the 100 meter and 60 yard events were also
won by Myrtle through to 1931. After the 1928 Games she took up
journalism with the Montreal Star writing a weekly column ‘In the
Women’s Sport Light’. It was as a ski journalist that she was inducted
into the Laurentian Ski Hall of fame. She was even asked to coach the
Montreal Royals men’s baseball team in base running. She was also
involved in training military recruits during World War ll. She was a
member of British Empire/Commonwealth Games Committee throughout her
life and a member of the Olympic Committee from 1932 through 1972.
Myrtle became known as "Canada's First Lady of Sport," and in 1949 she
was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame followed in 1955
with inclusion in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Temple de la
renommée du pantheon des sports du Québec in 1974. Athletic Canada
presents the Myrtle Cook Trophy for Young Athlete of the Year.
Sources Celebrating Women's Achievements; Myrtle Cook.
National Library of Canada. Online. Accessed 2001 ; Canadian
Encyclopedia. Online Accessed 2001. Paul Patton, 'Cook led the way for
women athletes'' in the Globe and Mail March 22, 1985 Pg 23.
Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld. Born Russia
December 28, 1903. Died November 14, 1969.
In 1950 she was declared Canada’s woman athlete of the half century.
She was a member of the 1928 Olympic team.
These were the 1st Olympic Games to allow women to compete. She brought
home a silver and gold medal for
She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Born December 31, 1907.
She teamed with
Bobbie Rosenfeld (1903-1969), Myrtle Cook (1902-1985) and Jane Bell to win the gold medal in the
400m relay at the 1928 Olympic games, the 1st games that allowed women to
compete. She also won the bronze medal in the 100m sprint at
the same games. A natural athlete she excelled at basketball and softball
as well as track and field. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall
Born Glasgow, Scotland July
19, 1910. Died September 3, 1933. In 1931 she was the North American indoor speed
skating champion. At the 1932 Olympics she
Canada’s 1st women’s speed skating gold and silver medals
when speed skating was a demonstration sport. Jean won the 500m race in 58
seconds and came second in the 1500 m event.
At only 23 years of age she died from a progressive muscular disease. She
was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955.
Ann Scott. Born 1928 Ottawa, Ontario. Died Amelia Island, Florida, U.S.A.
September 30, 2012. One of Canada’s best remembered sports
Barbara Ann won the
Canada's 1st gold medal in figure skating in the Olympic Games
of 1948 on an outdoor rink in St Moritz, Switzerland. She
won the Lou Marsh Trophy in 1945, 1948, 1948 as Canada's top athlete.
She married Thomas Van Dyke King and lived in the U.S.A.. She remained
involved in figure skating as a judge promoting her sport and
encouraging many others to partake in the sport.
The Barbara Ann Scott doll that came out shortly after the
games did not really look too much like the young skater but it is
today a very highly prized collectors item.
née Roach. Born February 3, 1926 Port Credit, Ontario. Died May 2004, Surry British Columbia. . A long distance swimmer of international
acclaim she started swimming when she was 3 years old. At 9 years of age
she won her first medal as a competitive swimmer and she never looked
back. She would go on to win local, provincial, national, North American
and international medals throughout her career. As a teen she won the tree
mile (1.8 km) swim at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto
defeating even the male competitors. In 1944 she was labeled
Canada's All Round Athlete of the year. That same year she joined the
Canadian Women's Army Corps and was dominating Army, Navy and Air Forces sporting
championships. In 1946 she met and married Morris Leuszler and Air Force
Officer and while three months pregnant, she won the 5 mile
World Swimming Championship. While four months pregnant in 1949 she was
second in the same event. The couple would have five children.
On August 16, 1951 she became the 1st Canadian
woman to swim the English Channel. She came home to a ticker tape parade
in Toronto! In 1954 she entered the swim across Lake Ontario with Marilyn
Bell but was forced from the event with problems with her guide boat. In
the 1950's she was lured to baseball and in 1957 she was Canada's first
female baseball umpire. In 1996 she was inducted into the Canadian Forces
Sports Hall of Fame. In 1999 she received the Order of Ontario and was
inducted into the Ontario Swimming Hall of Fame .
Sources: Canadian Sports Hall of Fame Online . Accessed 2005. ;
Herstory: A Canadian Woman's Calendar 2008. Coteau Books 2007
January 14, 1935. Lucille first skied when she was two years old! At 12
she was the national junior ski champion and named to the Canadian
National Ski Team at 14!.
In 1956 she
won bronze at the Olympic Games and
became the 1st ever Canadian Olympic ski Medalist. In 1958 she won both the downhill and giant slalom event at the
World Championships. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Born October 19, 1937 Toronto, Ontario. It was September in
1954 when a
16-year-old Toronto Girl entered the Canadian National Exhibition
sponsored marathon swim race across Lake Ontario. She was the only entrant
to actually finish the 32-mile race. It took 21 hours!
She was the 1st to successfully swim Lake
Ontario. She is a member of the
Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. She attended university, married and lives in the United States where
she was teacher for 20 years . A back injury forced Mrs. Di Lascio to give
up swimming a few years ago. She enjoys coming home to Canada for visits
as often as she can. The Ferry to Toronto Island is named in her honour.
January 17, 1929, Toronto , Ontario. In 1952 she and her partner Norris
Bowden (1926-1991) placed second in the Pairs event at the figure
skating championships. They would go on to place 1st a title
they would hold through to 1955. In the 1952, their 1st
Olympic appearance the couple place 5th . It was said that
their style of skating featuring imaginative lifts and jumps was
considered too “athletic” for the European judges.
In 1953 they became the 1st Canadians
to win the World Pairs Figure skating and they repeated another
world win in 1954. They would hold the North American Championships
titles from 1953-1956. In 1955 the pair were inducted into the Canada’s
Sport Hall of Fame. In the Cortina d’Ampezzo Olympics in 1956 they
earned a silver medal. In 1958 the couple were inducted into the
Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. After her retirement from completion
Frances had a successful career as a fashion designer. She remained
involved in her sport as a judge, team leader and of course she enjoyed
designing costumes for such Canadian greats as Toller Cranston. In 1991
she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada. In 1993 the pair
were inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Online (Accessed January 2013)
Born Amsterdam, The Netherlands November 17, 1946. At the age of 15 she
became the 1st Canadian to complete the
triple salchow jump in competition. .1965 she won the Canadian,
North American and world championships and was the Canadian athlete of the
Born November 22, 1933. Brought up in an orphanage in Hamilton, Ontario
she reigned as Canada’s champion diver from 1951-1961. She won medals at
the 1954 and 1958 Commonwealth Games and in
1956 she won
Canada’s 1st Olympic diving medal, a bronze.
She became a dedicated administrative supporter to the Canadian Diving
fraternity. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, 1981,
received the Order of British Columbia in 1991, was Female Athlete of the
Year 1958, and won the YWCA Woman of Distinction for sport in 1998. The
Irene MacDonald Fund was established for the support of children in
Born January 11, 1939. A member of a skiing family, Anne, came to
international attention at the age of 15 when she won the 1954
Holmenkollen Giant Slalom event in Norway, the youngest winner in the
events’ 50 year history. At the
Squaw Valley Olympics she won an Olympic Gold Medal for Canada. In that same year she won the giant slalom and combined women’s alpine
titles the 1st time ever by a non European.
Born 1943 Ottawa, Ontario. A skier of determination, Nancy won the 1967
World Cup and dominated the racing scene the next year as well
winning Canada's 1st Olympic gold
medal in the giant slalom
and a silver medal in the slalom at the Olympic games as well as her
second World Cup. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1967 and named
Athlete of the year in 1968. She is a member of the Canadian Sports
Born June 4, 1948 Oakville, Ontario. She became
1st woman professional golfer
in 1968 and won the Ladies Professional Golf Association Championship at
Sutton Massachusetts that same year. In 1979 she was Canada’s Athlete of
the Year. In 2004 Sandra became a Member of the Order of Canada.
February 22, 1951 Vancouver, British Columbia. When she was 6 her
family moved to California where she took naturally to swimming. Back in
Vancouver she joined the Dolphin Swimming Club. Standing 4’9” She became
known as “Mighty Mouse” for her swimming prowess, versatility and
speed. At 15 years of age she was Canada’s outstanding athlete of the
year, the youngest person to ever receive the Lou Marsh Trophy. She
holds 4 gold medals from Commonwealth Games
1966, plus 3 silvers and broke 2 world records! She
was the 1st Canadian Woman to ever win 4 gold.
In 1967 she won 2 gold and 3 silver medals in the Winnipeg
Pan-American Games and broke 2 more world records. At the Mexico Olympic
games in 1968
she provided Canada with 2 individual silver medals and a
relay bronze medal. She is the 1st
person ever to win 3 medals in a single Olympic Games and the 1st
Canadian female swimmer to win a medal. . However all Canada
asked “Why did you not win gold?”. The weight of not winning gold for
Canada was the beginning of a downslide in life. At just 18 she retired
from competition. In 1969 she received the Order of Canada and in
1971 she was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In her personal
life she would marry and have two children only to find herself divorced
and distanced from her family. Suffering from anorexia and depression
she felt that they would be better off without her. She worked at
bringing herself out of this dark period of her life in the late 1980’s
earning a diploma in kinesiology from Simon Fraser University in 1986.
However it was not until she met John Watt in 1988 that she was able to
gain stable ground. The couple now have a classic car business. Elaine
has also counseled youth to not make excessive expectations of
themselves. She has also done some writing which she has published on
her website. She wants her story to be a help and encouragement to
others. She and John also work advocating water safety and drowning
prevention in Ontario. In 2010 the Canadian Sport Advisory Council voted
Elaine into the Top 50 greatest Canadian Athletes of all time. Read her
The Canadian Encyclopedia. - online. Information provided by
Thomas Brandenberg.: aquestbeyondgold.ca The Elaine Tanner-Watt website
(Accessed January 2013)
Born March 10, 1953, Mission British Columbia. She began competitive
track and Field in 1966 when she was just 13 years old and appeared in
her 1st international event at 15.
At 16 she became the 1st North American woman to cleat 6’ in
the high jump. She used a style of jump that became known as the “Brill
Bend”. It was a style that revolutionized this event. Debbie
has held the Canadian high jump record since 1969. That year she won a
gold medal at the 1st Pacific Conference Games. She took gold
again at the 1977 games. In 1970 she earned gold at the Commonwealth
games and in 1971 gold at the Pan Am Games. She was disillusioned in the
1972 Olympic Games and retired from competition. In 1975, confidence
returned and she returned to place 4th at the 1977 Pan Am
Games and a bronze medal at the World Cup. In 1978 she earned a silver
at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1979 she took a gold
at the World Cup in Montreal and was ranked #1 in the world. Canada
boycotted the 1980 Olympics so Debbie continued to compete and in 1982
jumped 1.99 meters at the World Indoor High Jump Record just 5 months
after giving birth to her son and went on to earn gold in the
Commonwealth Games that year. In 1983 she was presented with the Order
of Canada. She set her final outdoor record 1.98 meters (6’6”) in
September 1984. In 1989 she was inducted into the British Columbia
Sports Hall of Fame. During her days of competition she would attend 65
National and International competitions. In 1999 she broke the World
Masters (athletes over 45 years) record and in 2004 she broke the over
50 Masters record in Australia.
British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame Online (Accessed March 2014)
August 16, 1938. She enjoyed learning her sport of archery.
She excelled and became the first Canadian World
Champion in Archery in 1969. Her winning score broke the previous record set in 1963
by 100 points. Dorothy has retired from competitive archery but was an
active support in setting up the family archery business that included
designing, developing, and manufacturing Canadian made archery equipment.
Priestner. Born May 27, 1956 Windsor, Ontario. She joined the national
speed skating team in 1971 and that same year she won gold and silver
medals at the Canada Winter Games. She was a member of the 1972 winter
Olympic team but it was not until she spent more time in international
competitions winning podiums that she would stand on the Olympic podium.
1976, at the Innsbruck Olympic Games she became
1st Canadian woman to win an individual medal with a silver in the 500
In 1975 she was Calgary’s Athlete of the year and in 1976 she was inducted
into the Alberta Hall of Fame and received the Governor General’s Award of
Excellence. In 1981 she was inducted into the Canadian Speed Skating Hall
of fame. After retiring from competition she established a successful
career as an Olympic television commentator with the CBC and CTV. She
worked as an organizer for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and with the
2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
May 30, 1947, Shawinigan Quebec. Jocelyne embraced sports all through
her childhood. She attended the University of Montreal and then the
University of Wisconsin in the U.S.A. She enjoyed an active sports life
at both universities staring in basketball, volleyball, skiing, and
track and field. During her years at Wisconsin she earned the nickname
'Frenchie'. Her interest in golf actually stared in the early1960’s when
she was a caddy for her brother Gilles. She earned the Quebec provincial
junior championships in 1963-1965 and she was hooked for life on
competitive golf. She would win provincial amateur championships, the
Canadian ladies amateur championships in 1965, and 1971. She was a
member of the Canadian team winning the World Cup in Spain in 1971 and
then on to win the New Zealand amateur title. In 1972 she turned pro and
earned the honour of “Rookie of the Year” in the Ladies Pro Golf
Association. She was the 1st woman to be
named as the Quebec Athlete of the Year and in 1972 was the Canadian
Female Athlete of the year. In 1973 she was inducted into the
Order of Canada. From 1980
through 2000 she was the executive director of the du Maurier Ltd.
Classic which is one of the Ladies Profession Golf Association (LPGA)’s
4 major championships. She holds the Royal Order of Merit of Canada and
in 1992 she was inducted into the Quebec Sports hall of Fame. In1993 she
was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame .In 2009 she was
presented with the Eloise Trainor award from the LPGA and in 2015 she
was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Who’s who in Canadian Sport by Bob Ferguson, (Scarborough: Prentice
Hall) : Royal Canadian Golf Association. Canadian Golf Hall of Fame
Christilot Hanson Boylen.
Born April 1947, Djakarta, Indonesia. Christilot moved with her family
to Canada in 1951. She married James A, Boylen and the couple have1
child. Her love of horseback riding would make her 9 times Canadian
dressage champion. At 17 she was the youngest competitor in Grand Prix
Dressage at Tokyo OLYMPICS bronze medal at Pan-Am GAMES 1967.She earned
individual gold medals at the 1971 and 1975 Pan Am Games and that same
year she earned a team silver medal. She is
the only athlete to achieve three individual gold medals in Pan Am
history. In 1972 she became the 1st
Canadian rider to place among elite dozen riders in Olympic individual
dressage. She won the U.S. National championships twice. She
also holds numerous Ontario, Quebec, Eastern U.S. dressage titles. She
has twice been horsewoman of the year of the National Equestrian
Federation of Canada. She has written two books and produced a video
about dressage and is one of the founders of the non-profit Canadian
Dressage Owners and Riders Association (CADORA).
Source: Bob Ferguson Who’s Who in Canadian Sport 1977.
Born 1957. Introduced to the sport of archery by her schoolteachers she
became a devoted competitor. She won her 1st national championship in
1974 and successfully defended her title five times. In
1974 she became
the first Canadian to wing the World Field
Archery Championship, she was the youngest World Champion up to
this point in time. Field archers involves shooting various sized targets
at various distances usually in an outdoor setting and often in a wooded
Born June 8, 1937.
In 1975 she was the
first Canadian woman to win the Bowling Cup. During her trip to
these world games her equipment and clothing were lost in transit and she
had to obtain a new bowling ball and special shoes required for a left
handed bowler! She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Born Toronto, Ontario August 20,1957. At 16
years old Cindy bettered the record for swimming Lake Ontario. In 1975 she
swam the English Channel in record-breaking time.
In 1977 she became the 1st woman to complete a double crossing of the
English Channel She would go on to swim the Channel 18
more times including 5 two-way trips! Her honorary title was Queen of the
Channel. She received the Order of Canada in 1979. She is a member of the
Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Ontario Sport
Legends Hall of Fame in 2003.
Alberta January 12, 1959. A synchronized swimmer who won the 1973
Canadian Junior Championship. By 1977 she placed first at the Pan Pacific
Games and swept the Canadian championships with 6 gold medals.
In 1978 she
became the first Canadian to win the world championship with gold
medals in the solo and duet events. In 1979 she defeated 90 competitors to win the solo title at
the world aquatic championships. She was inducted into the Canadian
Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
Born Hamilton, Ontario March 17, 1954. This former
Girl Guide was the
1st Canadian woman to
win a world championship in waterskiing in 1979. She is also the first
Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in her sport. Pat won a
bronze Olympic medal in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. She
holds 19 Canadian titles and 20 national records.
She is also the first Canadian woman to have
won the United States Master’s waterskiing title.
She is the
founder of the Water Ski and Wakeboard Canadian Hall of Fame. In her spare
time she has a career as a high school teacher, musician and paramedic.
She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1980, the youngest Canadian
woman to ever receive this honour.
Sue Holloway .
Born May 19, 1955. Sue was a four time Olympian competing in 1976 in Cross
Country Skiing and Kayak, 1980 and Kayak again in 1984 where she took
Silver and Bronze medals. Although Canada withdrew from the Moscow
Olympics in 1980 she was the appointed Olympic flag bearer.
She was the 1st
Canadian woman to ever compete in both winter and summer Olympic Games
in the same year.
She and her husband, former Olympian Greg Joy, now work together as
12, 1953, Calgary, Alberta. Although she was trained as a school teacher
she needed more. In 1973 she was a member
of the team that captured Canada’s 1st synchro silver medal
at the inaugural world aquatic championships. She began
coaching with the Calgary Aquabelles team to help pay life expenses but
soon was in love with coaching. She became her club’s head coach and in
1976 national coach. In 1979 she gave up being a school
teacher when federal funding was available to pay coaches. She began
coaching teams for international events in 1978 and when Synchro Canada
formed in 1981 she was national coach
for over 7 years. In 1994 she entered the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1995 she was inducted as a builder into the Canadian Sports Hall of
Fame and in 1998, again as a builder, to the Canadian Olympic Hall of
Fame. She became Australia’s full time national coach helping establish
a strong foundation in the sport. After the Sydney Olympics she turned
her coaching skills toward senior managers and created a program to get
world-class performances from employees. She has co-authored in 2007
The Great Traits: Fundamentals for Achievers, Leaders, and
Legacy leavers. On May 22, 2007 she was inducted into the
International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Source: Sheila Robertson, Groundbreaker: Debbie Muir accorded her
sport’s highest international honour. Coach.ca Accessed March 2016.
Born Quebec City, Quebec January 31, 1964.
was the 1st Canadian to win a medal in Olympic Diving.
She won the gold in the 3-meter springboard diving in the 1984 Olympics
in Los Angeles. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Born Montreal, Quebec December 11, 1964. After nearly drowning at the age
of 3 years she took 7 years to overcome her fear of the water.
In the 1984 Olympics she captured
Canada’s 1st medal, a silver, in synchronized solo swimming!
At the World Aquatic Championships she and partner Michelle Cameron won
gold and Carolyn also took gold in the solo event.
In the 1988 Olympics she won
Canada’s 1st gold in solo
and again with Michelle won gold in duet. She became the first Canadian
woman to win 2 gold medals at one Olympics. She currently perusing a
career in sports broadcasting and works for television station in Ottawa,
Born May 12,
1966. She was the 1st Canadian woman to
win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. She won the medal in
1984 in the 200m-breastroke event. At the same games she won sliver in the
100m breaststroke and played a key role in the 400m-medley relay team that
won bronze. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Born Hamilton, Ontario December 30, 1943. She
is a strong and highly motivated Olympic medalist. She first became
interested in shooting as a child, when she learned the basics of the
sport from her shooting enthusiast father. She successfully entered pistol
competitions in 1969. By the mid 1970's she concentrated on her career as
a chef and on family life. She took up the challenge of shooting again
when it was announced that women would compete in this event in the
Her pistol individual gold medal
in the 1984 Los Angeles games was the first for a Canadian women
and the first gold medal for a Canadian woman since 1928. Linda felt that
the Gold Medal belonged to all the people of Canada, and she carried it
with here wherever she went so that people could see and touch the medal
for themselves. Linda is the first pistol shooter
included into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. She is also a
member of the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Amateur Sports
Hall of Fame. In 1985 she received the Order of Canada.
Halifax, Nova Scotia May 18, 1957. One might say mountaineering is in her
blood. In the spring of 1986 she became the first woman from the Western
hemisphere to stand on top of the world on Mt. Everest. She was 17 years
old!!! On a smaller scale she was part of an all woman team to navigate to
the top of Mt. Logan. She enjoys teacher her sport to others when she is
not working as a helicopter ski guide.
Born Edmonton, Alberta July 13, 1960. She took up equestrian sports at
age 11. She joined the Canadian Equestrian Team in 1983 and in 1986
became the first Canadian and first woman
to win the world show jumping championships.
She is a member
of the Order of
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba. November 7, 1969. At
four years of age she took the training wheels from her bicycle. She has
won the Canadian National track cycling championship 16 times! She has won
four gold medals at the Pan Am Games and has represented Canada in 3
Olympics. She was personally disappointed in her effort placement in
Sydney's Olympics but she knew that retirement from competition was her
future. In 1993 she was the 1st Canadian woman to win a cycling world
championship and in that same year was first in World Cup standings.
has since opened her own café, the Sugar Gallery Café and she has taken a
position with The Olympic Oval in Calgary. She uses her communications
skills and acts as a bridge between athletes and the media. What she gets
most satisfaction from, however, is training young cyclists.
September 21, 1966 Trail, British Columbia. She grew up in Rossland
B.C. and became a member of the elite group of skiers to hold an Olympic
Gold medal. Kerrin began skiing with the Canadian Women’s Ski Team in
1982. She had several knee operations and has had two complete
reconstructions of her knees. Her 1st World Cup in December
1990 she made the podium. In 1992 Winter
Olympics in Albertville, France she took the gold medal becoming the 1st
in history for a Canadian (male or female) on the downhill event in an
Olympic games. That same year she was inducted into the Order
of British Columbia. Kerrin finished 8th in super –G at the
Olympic Games in Norway and retired from international completion at the
end of the 1994 World Cup Season. She had worked with CBC television as
a sports broadcaster and has assisted the BBC with coverage in the
Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Kerrin and her husband Max Gartner
volunteer at the Fernie Alpine Ski club, where both their daughters ski.
. Max coaches, while Kerrin does whatever is required, from gate-keeping
to setting up safety nets.: Kerrin also raises funds for Project Safety,
a program she founded that examines all safety elements of ski racing.
Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2007); The
Canadian Ski Museum (accessed October 2010)
Mathew Sekeres, Where are they now? Kerrin Lee-Gartner. The Globe and
Mail June 8, 2009.
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba February 26, 1961. A superb marathon swimmer, she
would use the butterfly stroke to swim into the record books both
nationally and internationally and all for the benefit of charity. In
1985 she swam her first world-record crossing of Lake Ontario.
1988 she became the 1st person to swim all five Great Lakes.
She also conquered the harbour in Sydney, Australia, the English Channel
between Europe and England, and Juan de Fuca Strait on the North
American west coast and Lake Winnipeg in the geographical heart of
Canada. He sponsorships would earn hundreds of thousands of dollars most
of which went to Variety Village to benefit disabled children. She was
named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1992, earned the Variety Club
Heart Award in 1989, B’Nai Brith Woman of the Year for 1989 and the
Vanier Award in 1989 and was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.
She has been the recipient of over 41 awards and recognitions, including
a the naming of Vicki Keith Point, the place that she began her
five crossings of Lake Ontario. Although retired from long distance
swimming in 1991, Vicki hit the waters again in 2005 to raise awareness
and funds for children with disabilities.
Manon Rhéaume. Born Lac
February 26, 1972. The daughter of a hockey coach, she began to
play at the age of 5 years. She loved hockey and played well.
She was the
1st girl to play in the Annual Quebec Peewee Hockey Tournament. She went on to become the first
woman to play professionally. She was goalie with the Tampa Bay Lightening
of the National Hockey League.
If you want the whole story read Manon: alone in front of the net.
She is still active in her sport today teaching young girls how to play
the sport she loves. Her web site is located at; http://manonrheaume.com
Born Medicine Hat, Alberta November 5, 1950. She was taught to shoot by
her father when she was 17 and by 19 she defeated 1300 men at an
international shoot in Nevada! In the 1976 Olympics in Montreal she was
the only woman entered in the trap shooting event.
In the 1990 Commonwealth Games she became the
1st woman to be entered in a shotgun event.
She has set 4
world records and has been World Champion on 7 occasions. She is a member
of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
proved herself a worthy competitor in a male dominated sport. She held
the Canadian Women’s Whitewater Kayaking Championship position for an
entire decade from 1974-1984.
She was the
first woman and the youngest competitor to participate in the grueling ten
sections of the Coureurs des bois gold category in the Canadian Ski
She now owns and operates Madawaska Kanu Centre which is the first kayak
and canoe school in North America.
Born Vancouver, British Columbia February 21, 1963. She has a passion for
her Rhythmic Gymnastics. She started at the British Columbia Rythmicka
Club. She was an able student and a good listener. These talents paid off
when in 1983 she became Canadian Champion and later that same year the
Four Continents Gold medalist . She would during her competitive career be
Grand Champion of Canada seven times. To the media she was a relative
unknown contender, yet she won gold at the 1984
Los Angeles Olympics when the sport was inaugurated into the Olympic
Games. Retired from competition, she remains a valued coach in
her sport. She also works for Canadian charities in such positions as
Chairperson of the Canadian Cancer Society. She is a recipient of the
Order of Canada and a member of Canada's Sport Hall of Fame
Born December 22, 1969. While
with cadets she took up biathlon and entered her first competition on
rented skis. In 1991
she was the 1st Canadian to win a World Cup in Biathlon. She
won a bronze medal in the Olympic games in 1992 . The next year it
was a a gold at the World Championship. She went n to win gold for
the 7.5 km inaugural event, and a gold in the 15 km event at the 1994
Lillehammer Olympics. She was
the first non-European to win gold in Biathlon.
She received the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s outstanding
athlete in 1994. She is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
Shirley played hockey on outdoor rinks when the girls teams shoved
newspapers in their socks as shin pads. It would be several years before
girls’ teams would have access after 11:30 p.m. on indoor hockey rinks.
She would play on team Canada at the 1st Women’s World Hockey
Championships. She would skate for 20 years in competitive hockey. In
1972 she was a founding member of the Edmonton Chimos and with
this team she would win 16 National Championships. One year when she
wanted to play in the national championships she could not get time off
work so she called in sick. She was sanctioned by her boss when he saw
her photo in the newspaper. She retired from competition in 1992 and
turned to coaching. The Cameron cup which is the prize for a 10 game
series between teams in Alberta is named in her honour.
She is considered the 1st
superstar of women’s hockey in the modern era.
Source: The Hockey Hall of
Fame Time capsule Notable Women Hockey players , The Hockey Hall of
Fame Online (Accessed February 2014)
Born Jamaica. She emigrated to Canada when she
was 6 years old. At 16 she took her favourite sport of running seriously
and made the 1980 Olympic team. She would go on in her sport to win medals
at the Olympics, Commonwealth and Pan American Games as well as the World
Cup. She was time Canadian National Champion in the 400 and 800 metre
event and was the 1st Canadian to break the to minute barrier for the
800 m distance. In 1996 she was Canada's flag bearer for the opening
ceremony at the Olympics in Atlanta. She continued her Olympic commitment
by being a founding member of the International Olympic Committee Ethics
Commission and worked on the IOC Press Commission and the Culture and
Education Committee. She received recognition for her community service
with the 1992 Governor General's Award. It is no surprise to learn that
she is working on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Committee!!
Quebec. It seemed that when she was growing up at her family cottage in
the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec that all she wanted to do was water
ski. Then she learned how to do it bare foot! She was hooked. The family
found her a coach. She won the Canadian National Slalom event in 1991. In
1992 she swept gold in the overall category. She was the Quebec Water ski
federation athlete of the Year for both 1991 and 1992.
It was in 1992 she would become the 1st
Canadian to win a world record elite title in barefoot water skiing.
She accomplished this honour in grace and determination setting
a new Canadian record in Women's jumping. She is currently practicing law
in fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. where she is a mother of 2 children.
Born Guelph, Ontario September5, 1962. In 1991 this equestrian jumper won
a double sliver medal at the Pan American Game. She also rode for the
Canadian team which won an Olympic Silver Medal at Barcelona, Spain.
In 1993 she was the 1st woman to win the Canadian World League.
favourite jumping horse partner was named Monopoly, with who she won over
one million in prize money!!
Born December 15, 1969, Saint-Marc-des Carriéres, Quebec. When
she was just 13 she lost the use of both legs in an accident. At 18 she
was introduced to wheelchair sports at Université Laval, Quebec City.
Coming dead last in her 1st race only encouraged her to get
more involved. This television host for Lotto Quebec has become
the 1st woman Canadian star in the sport of
wheelchair athletics. She participated in the 1992 Barcelona
Olympic Games winning two bronze medals. In the summer of 1995 she won 5
gold medals at the world championships for wheel chair athletics, and in
1996 she brought home 5 medal from the Paralympics. In 2004, in Athens,
Greece, she earned her 1st Olympic Games gold. In 2008 she
would earn 5 gold medals at the Beijing Paralympics Games. In 2008 she
received the Lou March Award as Canada’s top athlete and the Canadian
Press Female Athlete of the Year. In 2009 she held world records in the
100 meter (m), 200m, 400m, 800m and 1,500m events. She is active in the
Right To Play as athlete ambassador and motivational speaker,
inspiring countless people to overcome challenges. .
Herstory; The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2010.
Born September 27, 1972 Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was inspired watching
Canadian Speed skater Gaetan Boucher at the 1888 Olympics to get into
sports. By 1990 she began competing in cycling and by 2015 had been 18
times Canadian National Cycling champion.. She has silver and bronze
medals from the 1991 and 1995 Pan American Games; a silver medal from
the 1994 Commonwealth Games; a silver medal from the 1995 World
Championships. In the
Olympics she won 2 bronze medals which were
Canada's first cycling medals in 100 years!
She holds 6 Olympic medals in the sports of cycling and speed skating
making her the
1st athlete in history to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter
She felt privileged to carry the Canadian flag for the 2010 Canada
Olympic Games. She has also given personally to her causes. After
winning Gold in 2006 Games she donated $10,000 to the Right to Play
programs challenging Canadians to support the cause. In 2010 she again
donated $10,000 personally to the Vancouver inner city school program,
‘Take a Hike’ which gives youth at risk a better direction in life. She
became the National Spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Mental Health
initiative and the Let’s Talk campaign. She shared her personal battles
with depression to help break down the stigma associated with mental
illness. She has been appointed to the Order of Manitoba and the Order
of Canada. She was awarded the International Olympic Committees Sport
and the Community award for her efforts promoting the values of sport
and play around the globe. Since 2013 she has initiated annual bike
rides across Canada in order to raise awareness for mental health. In
2001 Clara married Peter Guzman and in 2014 he cycled the annual cross
country ride with his wife. Clara also has a Star on Canada’s Walk of
Fame in Toronto.
Sources: Clara Hughes, Olympian, Humanitarian, Motivator, Clara
Hughes Website Online (accessed 2011) ; Gayle Macdonald, ‘On the eve
of her cross-country bike tour, Clara Hughes speaks out about
depression’, The Globe and Mail March 13, 2014.
Maryse Turcotte. In 1990, while a
student in high school, she helped out at a sports event in weightlifting
and she fell in love with the sport.
In 1997 she made history by becoming the 1st
woman in the
America's to lift double her body weight.
She has earned a silver medal at the 1998 World Championships, a gold
medal at the Pan American Games in 1999 and gold in both 2000 and 2001
College and University World Games. She placed forth in the Olympics in
Sandra Schmirler. Born
Biggar, Saskatchewan June 11, 1963 Died March 2, 2000. Curling was her
passion. She was a three time Canadian and World Champion. The
Schmirler team worked as a real sisterhood and dominated their sport for 6
years. In 1998 Schmirler led her foursome, Joan McCuster, Jan
Betker, Marcia Gudereit and Atina Ford to
the 1st ever Olympic gold medal in women's curling. She and
her team are members of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and she is a
member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
20, 1969. In March 1998, Caroline became the recipient of the Velma
Springstead Award to become Canada's Outstanding Female Athlete of the
Year. Her recognition began in 1995 when she won a gold and 2 silver
medals at the World Championships. In Atlanta's Olympic Games in 1997
she claimed the silver medal. She swept the World Sprint Canoe
when she won three gold medals which represented "a best ever" Canadian
Kayak team performance.
gold medal represented a 1st for a Canadian woman in a singles
She also won a medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Marlene Streit. née Stewart. Born
March 9, 1934 Cereal, Alberta.
golfer she would win the Canadian ladies champion title 11 times between
1951 and 1973. She was the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year in 1951 and
1956. In 1967 she was inducted as an officer in the Order of Canada. During
her golfing career she would win 24 Canadian Ladies Golf Association
Championships and by 2003 she had a career total of 30 national or
international championships with at least one championship each decade .
She claimed her third U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in 2003,
the oldest person to ever triumph in that event.
She is the only person to have won the Australian, British, Canadian and
United States womens’ amateur championships! She is a member of the
Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and in 2004
she became the 1st Canadian member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Born December 8, 1978 Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. Team sports are her
favourite. She played in competition in the World Junior Softball
Championships in 1995. Then it was hockey. She played with a gold medal
team at the 1997-99 World hockey Championships and the silver medal team
at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. She was invited to play with the Philadelphia
Flyers training camp which she found a great opportunity to learn at the
NHL level. She has done studies science and the
and was the 1st woman to have
accepted a contract to play hockey on a men's team. She played her sport of
Born August 1, 1974 Vegreville, Alberta. She began cross country skiing at
the age of five. She participated at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games
in Nagano, Japan and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City,
Utah. Scott won a gold medal in cross-country skiing. She originally finished third in the five-kilometer pursuit, but
she was soon upgraded to the gold medal when winner and runner-up were
disqualified for using darbepoetin, a performance-enhancing drug. She
became the 1st Canadian and 1st North
American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing.
Beckie is equally well known for her outspoken stand on anti-doping and
drug-free competition. She relentlessly challenged the International Ski
Federation (ISF) to be more aggressive in its efforts to catch cheats. On
March 29, 2005 Scott agreed to join the World Anti-Doping Agency’s athlete
committee. Aware of the world outside of sport, she spearheaded a Canadian
team challenge to donate all prize money won from the Continental Cup
competition in British Columbia to the UNICEF efforts in Afghanistan.
Lori-Ann Muenzer. Born May 21, 1966 Toronto, Ontario.
Although at 5’10” she is the shortest in her family it was
never a drawback. It seems she was always on her bicycle. In 1987 she
began Road Racing at the Toronto Cycling Club. In 1994 she embraced
Veledrome Racing and became a member of the National Cycling Team. She has
accumulated 13 National titles and 11 World Cup medals during her career.
She has also earned medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 & 2002. She
made her debut at the Olympics in 200. At the Olympic Games in Athens in
2004 she became
the 1st Canadian to win an
Olympic gold medal in Cycling. Selected as the Canada’s Female Athlete of the year in 2004 she was also
the 2005 winner of the Lois E. Hole Lifetime Achievement Award from the
YWCA. After the 2004 Games she began her own business called Pure Momentum
which seeks to find and promote a community of female speakers. She has
published her own biography and a documentary both called One Gear, No
Breaks. Nomination and Information submitted by
Born 1963,Poland. She emigrated to Canada in 1988 and studied
environmental design at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, Ontario. In
1998 she visited the Mount Everest bas camp in Nepal where she was
smitten with mountain climbing. In 2001 she joined an expedition up
Mount Aconcagra, the highest peak in South America. Inspired by fellow
climber, Peggy Foster, who was attempting to be the first Canadian woman
to climb to the top of the seven tallest summits in the world she
continued her climbing. In 2002 she climbed the highest peaks offered in
Europe and Africa. She also claimed Mount Elbrus in Russia and Mount
Kilimanjaro in Kenya. In 2004 it was Mount McKinley in North America and
Australia’s mount Kosciuszko and even Vinson Massif in Antarctica that
she conquered. She was turned by from the summit of Everest by storms.
In June 2005
she and Peggy
Foster made another attempt at Everest with Urszula the one to claim the
top of the mountain.
Urszula had become the 1st Canadian Woman to
climb all seven of the world’s tallest peaks.
Sources: Herstory: the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2007
Coteau Books, 2006 page 80: www.everstnews.com /everst2005/ … accessed
Born Richmond Hill, Ontario November 22, 1973. It seems as if
Cassie has always loved to play hockey. As a youth she played in Calgary
with the Oval X-Team In 1995 she as Captain of the University of Guelph
team, The Gryphons, which she led to winning the Ontario University
Championships. She earned her honours BA in Sociology in 1997. In 2000
she was named top forward in the Esso National Women’s Championships. In
2005 she was on the team winning the inaugural Western Women’s Hockey
League cup. She was on the Olympic teams that won silver in 1998, and
gold medals in 2002 and 2006. She is the only hockey captain (male or
female) to lead her team to two Olympic Gold medals. She has also played
in Seven World Championships and is the longest serving Hockey team
captain to date. On October 14, 2006 she became the first woman to
provide colour commentary on Hockey Night in Canada. She is
the 1st woman hockey player inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of
and into the University of Guelph Sports Hall of Fame in
2007. This was the
same year she published her first book, H.E.A.R.T. which was written for
youth showing what success is. As of 2011 she has been a member of 21
National Women’s team medal games that includes 17 gold Medals! No
wonder the City of Brampton proudly named their Community Centre in her
honour. In June 2011 she received an honourary degree from the
university of Guelph. Cassie is married to Brad Pascal and the couple
have one daughter.
Sources: Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame: The Portico, University of
Guelph Fall 2011.
Carol Huynh. Born November 16, 1980
New Hazelton, British Columbia. Her parents were refugees from Vietnam
who were sponsored by the United Church of Canada. She and her sisters
all enjoyed wrestling when growing up but she was the one who joined
competitions. In 1998 she stared university studies at Simon Fraser and
in 2007 studied at the University of Calgary in Alberta. In 2005 she
married Dan Biggs, the son of a former wrestler.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics she won gold
in the 48kg weight class women wrestling. It was a 1st gold medal for
Canada in this sport and she had defeated a 3 time world champion to
gain the medal.
Source: United Church Observer
www.ucobserver.org October 2008.
Born Calgary, Alberta November 24, 1981. Lauren was born missing both
legs below the knees and missing her left arm below the elbow. This
never held her back! She was taught how to ski when she was 4 years old.
While she was exposed to learning other sports such as horseback riding
she soon became bored with these other sports. She started ski racing as
a teen of 14 when a friend convinced her to join the Alberta disabled
Ski Team. She attended the university of British Columbia and earned a
degree in electrical engineering. She is proud to work for BC Hydro. In
1998 she joined the Canadian Disabled Alpine Ski Team. An accomplished
participant in the Paralympics Games in 2002 she won 2 gold medals in
Super G and Slalom as well as a bronze medal in Giant Slalom. That same
year she was British Columbia’s Female Athlete of the Year also winning
the Whang Youi Dai Award. Back at the 2006 Turin, Italy Paralympics
Games there was a gold medal in Giant Slalom and Silver in the Super G.
In 2007 during the International Paralympics Games she was named the
Best Female Athlete and was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.
Although she though of retiring she returned to the
2010 Paralympics Games at
Whistler, British Columbia to win 5 gold medals (Giant Slalom, Super G.
Downhill, Slalom,& super combined.) She is the
1st Canadian to win 3 or more gold medals during a Paralympics Games. She was
very proud to be the person to carry the Canadian Flag for the Turin
Games closing ceremony.
Source: Petro Canada. Paralympics School Program Lauren Woolstencroft
http://paralympiceducation.ca accessed June 2011.
Sharon Anne Firth.
December 31, 1953, Aklavik, North West Territories. Sharon and her twin
sister Shirley were members of Canada’s national cross-country team for
17 consecutive years. 1969 Canadian cross country championships skier as
a junior placing 3rd. and winning gold in 3 x 5 relay team.
She was back winning medals 1971-1976. In 1974 she won the North
American championship in 10 Kilometers, 5 Kilometers, and the team 3 X 5
Relay. In 1990 she was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame. She
also competed in 4 winter Olympic Games.
In 2015 the twins became the 1st indigenous women to be
inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
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