Members of the Canada Games Council pose for a photo after the Canada Games Hall of Honour Class of 2019 was announced at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Heil, Klassen, Surin, Clare Drake and Dr. Elizbeth Cannon announced as Canada Games Hall of Honour 2019 class

From the building blocks of the Canada Games, great athletes and individuals are born.

That was evident looking back, as on Tuesday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, the Canada Games Hall of Honour Class of 2019 was announced.

Those honoured included athletes Jennifer Heil, Cindy Klassen and Bruny Surin, along with builder Clare Drake and distinguished alumna Elizabeth Cannon.

“Because of the incredible things they’ve done since they came to the Canada Games, they just show what an unbelievable step along the way that the Canada Games are,” said Dave Patterson, Canada Games Council president and CEO, at the announcement.

“When people come to the Canada Games, they have gone on to do amazing things; like become an Olympic champion, or the president of a university, or an inspiration to thousands of hockey players.

“Whatever it is they go on to do, it’s always incredible. These are five unbelievable examples.”

Every two years during the Games, athletes and builders are inducted into the Canada Games Hall of Honour. The official induction ceremony takes place Feb. 14, during the Hall of Honour Celebration Dinner.

Heil, a native of Spruce Grove, competed as a 15-year-old in moguls, during the Games in Newfoundland and Labrador and called the experience a highlight of her career.

She went on to win Olympic gold in Turin in 2006 and also added a silver in 2010 on home soil.

“Jenn Heil went on to compete at the Olympics just three years later,” Patterson said.

“You can rest assured here in Red Deer, there will be athletes that will compete at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing or the Paralympic Games. This is not just the next generation, it is now. These athletes are world class now.”

Klassen is one of the most decorated speed skaters in Canadian history.

She won six Olympic medals, five of which came at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. She also has 18 world championship medals.

“The Canada Games provided me with invaluable learning opportunities that have helped me in both sport and life,” said Klassen, who will coach Team Manitoba at the 2019 Canada Games.

“I cherish my time at the Canada Games and this induction has given me the chance to reflect on those experiences. It is a proud moment to have my name placed among other Canadians who have contributed so much to our country.”

Surin competed in the Games 30 years ago and said at that time he dreamed of one day becoming an Olympian. He posted the fastest time of his career on Aug. 22, 1999, just three years after winning gold with Canada in the 4×100-metre relay at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Drake is being honoured posthumously as a builder after he died in May 2018. He was one of the most influential hockey minds in Canada and coached at the University of Alberta for nearly 30 years.

Cannon, who just stepped down as president of the University of Calgary, is being recognized in the distinguished alumni category for her accomplishments outside the field of sport.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer’s fireworks bylaw gets initial approval

The city has been without pyrotechnic rules since April

Tourism-boosting strategy approved for Red Deer

City to partner with Tourism Red Deer and surrounding regions to increase visitors

Two women rescue abandoned tarantula in Airdrie

The tarantula has a new home and Facebook followers

Red Deer woman wins Edmonton marathon

A Red Deer runner just wanted to do her best Sunday in… Continue reading

WATCH: ‘Lots to see and do’ at Pioneer Days in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Family: Summer days are drawing to a close

Summer is running away on sure-footed feet and it seems to be… Continue reading

Bombers quarterback Nichols on 6-game injured list with upper body injury

WINNIPEG — Matt Nichols was at Blue Bombers practice on Monday, but… Continue reading

Bombers’ Nichols latest CFL opening-day starter to go down with injury

Matt Nichols is the latest CFL opening-day starter to go down. The… Continue reading

Ontario cannabis retailer returns $2.9M in CannTrust products to company

The Ontario government’s cannabis wholesaler and online retailer is returning all products… Continue reading

Bell says it will cut back on rural broadband program after CRTC rate cut

Bell Canada says it will cut roughly 200,000 households from a rural… Continue reading

Catalyst Capital Group buys nearly 18.5M HBC shares in tender offer

The Hudson’s Bay Co. insiders who want to take Canada’s oldest retailer… Continue reading

Entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

VANCOUVER — When Jeff Dornan opened a brewery six years ago, he… Continue reading

Most Read