Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
She has been referred to as Canada's Shirley Temple, Elfi Schlegel tumbled into the hearts of Canadians and eventually into the homes of North Americans.
Schlegel was born to Swiss immigrants in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, where she began gymnastics at the early age of seven.
When the 11th Commonwealth Games opened in Alberta in August 1978, 12-year-old Schlegel competed in the Commonwealth’s first gymnastics competition. She and her three teammates won the team gold medal, well ahead of England and New Zealand.
At the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Schlegel won a bronze medal as the third-best gymnast in the games, two silver medals for the uneven bars and vault, and a gold medal as a member of the first-place Canadian team. She also won a bronze medal in the vault at the 1980 World Cup in Toronto, the first-ever World Cup medal for a Canadian.
Two years later, she was selected as a member of the Canadian national team for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia, but was unable to participate when Canada joined the United States led boycott of the Moscow Games in protest of the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union.
After her gymnastic career ended, the media darling became a media commentator, as Schlegel, ended up covering Commonwealth and Olympic games for CBC. Her broadcasting career later took her to NBC covering the Olympic women's gymnastics at the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games. The 2012 Summer Olympics was her tenth Olympics as a broadcaster.
For one Huntsville, ON native, mastering two sports that go “stick in hand” made him a dual sports star.
Jack Bionda was the first true superstar of Lacrosse in Canada and many observers consider him to be the finest player that sport has ever produced. Bionda's accomplishments, which have included several Mann Cup victories and multiple Most Valuable Player awards are made all the more impressive when you consider that he did all this while simultaneously pursing a professional hockey career.
On the ice, Bionda was a tough defenseman who led the AHL in penalty minutes the same year he made his NHL debut, in 1955-56. Bionda's big league career began with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his time with them spanned just 13 games and the following season he was claimed by the Boston Bruins in the Intra-League draft.
Bionda spent parts of the next three seasons filling in on the Bruins blue line, suiting up for 80 games and providing three goals and eight assists.
His impressive lacrosse career spanned over two decades between 1945-1968. He spent most of those years on the west coast playing for senior lacrosse teams in Victoria, Nanaimo and Portland, Oregon. Bionda helped his teams win the Mann Cup symbolic of Canadian lacrosse superiority 5 times in 14 years
In total the multi-talented Bionda was able to accumulate twelve seasons of professional hockey, while at the same time re-writing lacrosse record books en route to his Hall of Fame career in the sport.
Bionda has been inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (1974), Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1982) and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame (1998.)
2017 Banquet Photos
Olympic record holder, four-time Olympic and World Medalist, Canada150 and WE Canada Ambassador.
Born on June 13, 2000, in Toronto, Ontario, swimmer Penny Oleksiak is Canada’s youngest Olympic gold medallist ever. At just 16 years of age she also holds the Canadian record for winning the most Olympic medals at a single summer Games.
Penny qualified for her first senior national team, at age 15, at the 2016 Canadian Olympic & Para-Swimming Trials. Four months later, after turning 16, she competed at her first senior event – the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. It was here that she became a four-time medalist earning one gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the 100m freestyle, 100m fly, 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays. Penny had the honour of being selected as Team Canada’s flag bearer at the closing ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Less than four months later, she competed at the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships in Windsor, Ontario, where she added an additional four medals to her collection in the 100m freestyle, 4x50m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m individual medal relay.
By the end of 2016, Penny had broken an Olympic Record, 12 Canadian Senior records and 5 World Junior records. Most notably, she was awarded the 2016 Lou Marsh Award which is presented to Canada’s top athlete of the year. She also won Swimming Canada’s Female Swimmer of the Year, Swimming World’s Newcomer of the Year, CP Female Athlete of the Year, the 2016 Bobbie Rosenfeld Female Athlete of the Year, Postmedia’s 2016 Female Athlete, CBC Sports Athlete of the Year, the 2016 Canada Commonwealth Cup and was a member of the 2016 Canadian Press team of the year.
In addition to swimming, Penny is a grade 11 student at TDSB’s Monarch Park Collegiate in Toronto. She advocates for awareness on the importance of inclusion as well as mental and physical health for kids in Canada. Penny learned how to swim at age 9 in a neighbour’s backyard pool.
- Instagram: @typicalpen
- Twitter: @OleksiakPenny
- Hobbies: Reading, volleyball, tubing, biking, playing with her dog
- Siblings: Hayley- NCAA Division I rower; Jamie- NHL hockey player; Jake – played NCAA hockey; Claire – teacher.
- Good luck charm: Grey blankie
- Fun Fact: Collects Starbucks mugs for her mom and Hawaiian shirts for her dad when travelling
- Fun Fact: Recently got a kitten and named it Rio
Born in Toronto in 1945, Howard Starkman has spent four decades as an executive with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was initially hired as director of public relations on July 4, 1976 and he served in that capacity until 1998. In that role, he was in charge of media relations, broadcasting, travel and team publications. He was also responsible for the club’s “Name the team” contest prior to the inaugural season that resulted in the Blue Jays name.
Starkman also played key behind-the-scenes roles in the Blue Jays’ first games at Exhibition Stadium and the SkyDome and in their playoff and World Series appearances through 1993. He also doubled as a public relations official for Major League Baseball for 15 World Series and 10 All-Star games. For his efforts, he was presented with the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Robert O. Fishel Award in 1995, an honour that’s bestowed annually for excellence in public relations. Six years later, he was honoured with a 25-year service award from Major League Baseball.
In 1999, Starkman was elevated to vice-president of media relations with the Blue Jays, before transitioning to vice-president, special projects from 2002 to 2014. Widely respected by his colleagues and the media, Starkman has twice (1980, 1996) been honoured with the Good Guy Award by the Toronto chapter of baseball writers and in 2012, he received the President’s Award from Sports Media Canada for his career accomplishments.
In 2014, the Blue Jays established the Howard Starkman Award and named Starkman the first recipient. This award is handed out annually to the Blue Jays Employee of the Year “who best exemplifies the values of integrity, innovation, accountability, team work and a passion for winning.”
Trish Stratus is a fitness icon, entrepreneur and actress. Recognized as one of WWE's all-time greats, Trish is a seven-time Women's Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. Trish has dedicated her life to health and fitness and upon retiring from WWE, she parlayed her success and passion into her fitness lifestyle brand, Stratusphere. In 2010, she launched a line of retail products which includes yoga and fitness equipment and a line of fitness DVDs. She further expanded her offerings with a line of wellness teas.
Trish lives in Toronto with her husband and high school sweetheart Ron, and their two children Max and their newest addition, Madison.
Initiated in 1859 by the then president of the Toronto Turf Club, Sir Casimir Gzowski, the Queen's Plate was inaugurated on June 27, 1860, at the Carleton racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, with the prize of 50 guineas awarded by Queen Victoria. In 1902, the year after Victoria's death, the race became the King's Plate, after her successor, Edward VII. It became the Queen's Plate again when Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952.
Woodbine Racetrack hosted the race in 1876 and 1881 and then continuously from 1883 to 1955. The Queen's Plate has been running at Woodbine since 1956.
With 10,600+ races won and over $286 million in earnings, John Campbell holds a rock-solid place in the history books. He is one of only two Canadian drivers with American horses to win Sweden’s prestigious Elitlopp and has won every major US race, most of them multiple times.
Born in London, Ont., in 1955, Campbell grew up on his family’s farm in the tiny rural area of Nairn, near Ailsa Craig (northwest of London). He recorded his first driving victory at London’s Western Raceway, June 2, 1972, at age 17. In the mid-1970s, John moved on to Windsor Raceway. There, he trained a stable and drove regularly until January of 1978, when he moved to The Meadowlands. He has been in New Jersey ever since.
John Campbell was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal in 2000 for his commitment to the sport of harness racing by the Right Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Canada's Governor General. He was the youngest driver ever elected into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame, at age 35. He is also an honoured member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Marnie McBean is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians. In her two Olympic appearances she captured four medals, including three gold, making her one of just two Canadians to be a triple gold medallist at the Summer Games. The other is Kathleen Heddle, McBean’s partner in the coxless pair at Barcelona 1992 and in the double sculls at Atlanta 1996. They were also members of the champion eights crew in Barcelona and won bronze in the quadruple sculls in Atlanta.
After her incredible rowing career, during which she won a total of 12 World and Olympic medals, McBean was hired by the Canadian Olympic Committee as a specialist in Olympic Athlete Preparation and Mentoring. She has worked closely with the last four Canadian Olympic Teams, including Vancouver 2010 and London 2012, and is currently involved with preparing athletes for Sochi 2014. Her job is to ensure the best performance possible by preparing them emotionally and psychologically.
McBean is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal and has been given the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was also appointed an Officer to the Order of Canada. McBean earned her degree in kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and has been given three honorary doctorates.
In his heyday, Bobby Allan was in a class by himself, the finest lacrosse player in Canada. His consummate skill, agility and adroitness in faking a move made him one-of-a-kind. His backhand shot was a prototype move.
Allan won three scoring titles, three league MVP awards, and the Mike Kelly Award. His record of 89 goals in 29 games in 1956, in British Columbia, still stands. He played on four Mann Cup championship teams and another four Mann Cup finalists. The Mann Cup championship teams were Peterborough in 1954, Nanaimo, BC, in 1956, New Westminster, BC, in 1962 and in Peterborough again in 1966.
Later Bob moved into coaching, first with box lacrosse teams in Peterborough and Philadelphia, PA, and then as head coach of the Canadian National Field Lacrosse Team. His Peterborough teams won a Canadian Semi-Pro Title in 1969, a Mann Cup in 1973, and were Mann Cup finalists in 1970. His Canadian National Field team won the world championship in 1970 in Manchester, England. Bob was elected to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1974.