The Canadian Olympic Committee announced on Friday that former National Women’s Team head coach Danièle Sauvegeau and the 1948 RCAF Flyers will be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame during a Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony on April 12th in Calgary.
Sauvegeau and the Flyers will be among seven inductees in the Class of 2008.
A native of Deux-Montagnes, QC, Sauvegeau was named head coach of the National Women’s Team in 1998 after spending three years as an assistant coach, including a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.
Under Sauvegeau, the National Women’s Team won a pair of gold medals at the IIHF World Women’s Championship, in 19, and won Canada’s first-ever gold medal in women’s hockey at the Winter Olympic Games in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah, capped off by a 3-2 win over the USA in the gold medal game.
She was also named the Coaching Association of Canada coach of the year in 1999, and the Gala-Sports du Québec coach of the year in 1995, 20.
Formed hurriedly after the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association announced they would not be sending a team to the 1948 Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the RCAF Flyers were comprised of 17 Air Force and ex-Air Force players.
Labelled as underdogs entering the Olympics, the Flyers reeled off six consecutive wins to open the tournament, held on for a scoreless tie against heavily-favoured Czechoslovakia and rode the shutout goaltending of goaltender Murray Dowey to a 3-0 win over Switzerland in the final game, clinching the gold medal.
The team was inducted into the Canadian Forces Hall of Fame in 1971 and the Greater Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, and their gold medal victory was chosen as the greatest moment in Canadian Forces sports history in 2000.