Jamie Salé, David Pelletier and the 2002 Men's and Women's Gold Medal Hockey Teams Lead 2009 Inductees into Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame



    Dr. Jean Grenier to Receive Olympic Order

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - In mesmerizing performances at the Salt Lake
City Olympic Winter Games seven years ago, two Canadian figure skaters won
gold after first being awarded silver and two hockey teams both defeated host
United States for Canada's first Olympic hockey gold in 50 years. On March 26,
the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) will honour these and other sport legends
at the 2009 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner & Induction Ceremony in
Vancouver.
    Heading a list of five inductees are Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, 2002
gold medal pairs figure skaters swept up in an extraordinary judging scandal,
and the 2002 men's and women's hockey teams who overcame the pressure of
history to both capture gold.
    "Having our lifelong dream come true of making the Olympic team and
coming home with a gold medal was extremely special and rewarding for both of
us," said Salé. "Making it into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame is a great
honour and we feel very fortunate to have been nominated. It is always
extraordinary to be put in class with so many fantastic athletes who have
worked so hard and dedicated a part of their lives to accomplish their goals."
    Also being inducted into the 2009 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame is Howard
Firby, who over three decades coached many of Canada's top swimmers including
triple medallist Elaine Tanner. Dr. Robert Hindmarch, who has left a lasting
legacy in amateur hockey across Canada, will be inducted as a builder. The
ceremony will take place at The Westin Bayshore beginning at 5:30 p.m.
    The Canadian Olympic Order will be awarded to Dr. Jean Grenier, who is a
member of multiple Halls of Fame for his dedication to the sport of speed
skating in Canada. A past president of Speed Skating Canada and COC executive
member, Dr. Grenier was Canada's Chef de Mission for the country's first home
Winter Games - Calgary, 1988. The Canadian Olympic Order recognizes
individuals who have made the Olympic Movement their life's work and have
served it with distinction.
    The 2009 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, taking place in
the setting of the approaching 2010 Olympic Winter Games, will also feature a
community outreach program, keynote speaker luncheon, Congress welcome
reception, annual general meeting and Executive and Board meetings. More than
700 guests are expected to attend the Hall of Fame ceremony.
    Tickets for the 2009 Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony are
on sale now and available by calling Nishi Aubin, Events Manager, at
416-324-4136.

    
    The Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame recognizes those who have served the
cause of the Olympic Movement with distinction. The 2009 inductees are:

    Jamie Salé and David Pelletier: They formed a figure skating pairs team
    in 1998 and in short order became both World and Olympic champions.
    Fourth at the 2000 World Championships, Pelletier and Salé captured the
    world title in 2001 - Canada's Canada's first pairs to do so since 1993.
    For this, they were named 2001 Canada's athlete(s) of the year, winners
    of the Lou Marsh Trophy. Their performance at the Salt Lake City 2002
    Olympic Winter Games is etched in sports lore. To the cinematic theme of
    "Love Story," Pelletier and Salé skated an essentially flawless free
    program in the final that appeared to have won them the gold medal. But
    their final scores earned the pair a silver medal, behind the Russians.
    Several days later, it was revealed that a judge from France had voted
    for the Russian pair as part of a vote-swapping plan. Amid huge
    controversy, the International Skating Union announced that Pelletier and
    Salé would be awarded the gold medal, sharing first place with the
    Russians.

    2002 Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team: After winning silver in 1998,
    the women's Olympic hockey team earned a rematch with Team USA in 2002 -
    and in a 3-2 victory claimed its first gold medal. Coached by Danièle
    Sauvageau (inducted last year to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame), Team
    Canada first had to come from behind against Finland in the semifinal.
    Team USA had won eight pre-tournament games against Team Canada by a
    combined score of 31-13. Despite a penalty ratio of 13-4 in favour of
    Team USA, the Canadians captured gold on the strength of goaltender Kim
    St. Pierre and goals by Caroline Ouellette, Jayna Hefford and tournament
    MVP Hayley Wickenheiser. Danielle Goyette tied Wickenheiser in leading
    the tournament with 10 points.

    2002 Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey Team: Constructed by Wayne Gretzky and
    led by the stellar goaltending of Martin Brodeur, Team Canada defeated
    Team USA for its first gold medal since 1952. An audience of 10 million
    on CBC made it the most-watched Canadian TV program ever. In that
    decisive game, Canada's Joe Sakic and Jarome Iginla both scored two goals
    on USA goalie Mike Richter, who had stymied Canada six years earlier in
    the World Cup of Hockey. The gold medal game was Brodeur's fifth in the
    tournament, a span during which he never lost and posted a 1.80
    goals-against-average in stopping 100 of 109 shots. Over the tournament,
    Sakic notched seven points while Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman had six
    points each.

    Howard Firby (coach, swimming): Firby applied the study of kinetics and
    anatomy to Canada's swim team, for which he is one of the country's most
    successful coaches. Firby helped found the Canadian Dolphin Swim Club in
    1956, a dominant club in the 1960s. At the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome,
    most women's swim team members hailed from Firby's Dolphin Swim Club.
    Head coach of the 1964 Olympic swim team, Firby was also coach for such
    Canadian swim greats as three-time Olympic medallist Elaine Tanner and
    Mary Stewart, who set two world records in butterfly in 1962. The author
    of "Howard Firby on Swimming" (1975) is a member of Canada's Sports Hall
    of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He died in 1991 in
    Vancouver.

    Dr. Robert Hindmarch (builder, hockey): In 1964, Dr. Hindmarch was
    general manager and assistant coach of Canada's Olympic hockey team, made
    of amateur players enrolled at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
    Dr. Hindmarch was vice president of the Canadian Olympic Association, is
    a life member of the COC, and was Chef de Mission for the Sarajevo 1984
    Olympic Winter Games. He is long linked to UBC, where he coached the
    hockey team to 11 of 12 winning seasons in the 1960s and 70s. He made
    significant contributions to hockey in Canada, working with many of the
    country's amateur hockey associations, and writing publications on
    coaching techniques and instruction.

    Dr. Jean Grenier (Canadian Olympic Order, speed skating): A member of the
    Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, Dr.
    Grenier was Canada's Chef de Mission for the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter
    Games and Assistant Chef four years earlier. Dr. Grenier was a dedicated
    sports administrator for speed skating, founding the Quebec Speed Skating
    Federation in 1970, and becoming an executive member of the Canadian
    Speed Skating Association in 1972 and its president in 1976. His greatest
    contribution was to short-track speed skating, for which he built a
    technical committee within the International Skating Union where none had
    existed before. Dr. Grenier's 20-year focus on short-track culminated in
    the sport being included as a demonstration sport in Calgary and then a
    medal sport in 1992. The International Olympic Committee awarded him the
    Olympic Order in 1998.
    

    The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit
organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects
of Canada's involvement in the Olympic movement, including Canada's
participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of
programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and
educational means. For more information, see the COC website: www.olympic.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Steve Keogh, Director, Communications, Canadian
Olympic Committee, Phone: (416) 324-4146, Cell: (416) 806-3949, Email:
skeogh@olympic.ca; Isabelle Hodge, Manager, Media Relations, Canadian Olympic
Committee, Phone: (416) 324-4122, Cell: (416) 806-4342, Email:
ihodge@olympic.ca

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