VANCOUVER – Seven years after claiming gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics, Canada’s gold medal-winning men’s and women’s hockey teams will be honoured by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) at the 2009 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner & Induction Ceremony in Vancouver on March 26. The teams will be joined by Dr. Robert Hindmarch, who has left a lasting legacy in amateur hockey across Canada and will be inducted as a builder.
Other inductees include gold medal-winning figure skaters Jamie Salé and David Pelletier and swimming coach Howard Firby. Dr. Jean Grenier will receive the Canadian Olympic Order.
2002 Canadian Men’s Olympic Hockey Team: Canada had been close in the past, falling in the gold medal game in 19, coming tantalizingly close to the country’s first Olympic hockey gold medal since 1950. But with Canadian legend Wayne Gretzky in charge, hopes were high in Salt Lake City.
An opening-game loss to Sweden put the country on edge, but goaltender Martin Brodeur put the team on his back – going 4-0-1 with a 1.80 goals against average in Canada’s final five games.
After a semifinal win over the surprising Belarusians, Canada faced off with the U.S. with Olympic gold on the line. More than 10 million Canadians – one-third of the country’s population – watched the gold medal game, making it the most-watched Canadian TV program ever.
It was the U.S. who hit the board first, but goals from Paul Kariya and Jarome Iginla gave Canada a 2-1 lead after one period. The Americans would pull even just past the 15-minute mark of the second period, but Joe Sakic would restore the Canadian lead before the end of the frame.
With the U.S. unable to beat Brodeur in the third period, goals from Iginla and Sakic in the final minutes wrapped up gold, setting off a celebration in the streets from coast to coast.
Sakic’s seven points were enough to lead the tournament in scoring and earn him MVP and Top Forward honours, as well as a spot on the tournament all-star team.
2002 Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team: After settling for silver in 1998 in the Olympic debut for women’s hockey, Canada was out for gold in Salt Lake City, but entered the Olympics with eight consecutive losses against the United States.
After coming from behind to defeat Finland in the semifinal, it was once again an all-North American battle for gold. Caroline Ouellette opened the scoring less than two minutes in, the only goal of the first period, but the Americans equalized early in the second.
Hayley Wickenheiser restored the Canadian lead minutes later, and Jayna Hefford’s goal with one second to go in the middle frame sent the Canadians to the dressing room with a two-goal lead.
The U.S. cut the lead to one again late in the third, but Canadian netminder Kim St-Pierre shut the door in the dying minutes, clinching Canada’s first Olympic gold.
Wickenheiser – who was named MVP – and Danielle Goyette finished tied for the lead in tournament with 10 points apiece.
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). He is long linked to UBC, where he coached the hockey team to 11 of 12 winning seasons in the 1960s and 70s.
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 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.
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 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.
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