Ontario Sports Hall of Fame

Ontario Sports Hall of Fame

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Russ Howard

Russell W. "Russ" Howard, (born February 19, 1956 in Midland, Ontario) is a Canadian curler and Olympic champion, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, but originally from Midland, Ontario. His home club in Moncton is Curling Beausejour. Known for his gravelly voice, Howard has been to the Brier 14 times (8 as Ontario, 6 as New Brunswick), winning the title twice (both as Ontario). He is also a 2-time world champion, winning in 1987 and 1993. He has also participated in two Canadian Mixed Curling Championships.

In 2005, he called the shots for Brad Gushue's team at the Canadian Olympic Trials, while he threw second rocks. Howard, along with Gushue (who throws last rocks), lead Jamie Korab and third Mark Nichols went on to win the trials, giving them the right to represent Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics, where they won the gold medal, defeating Finland 10-4 in the final match. The gold medal was the first time that a Canadian team had won the gold medal for men's curling. Howard, who turned 50 during the Olympics, is also the oldest Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal. The oldest person ever to win a gold medal was Robin Welsh, aged 54, who won gold at curling in the 1924 Winter Olympics.

As a skip, Howard has been in four previous trials, but never went on to the Olympics. Howard is also the innovator of the "Moncton Rule", which evolved into the "Free Guard Zone", part of international and Olympic rules. This makes his 2006 medal particularly significant, as it is likely that without the excitement this rule adds to the sport it would not have become an Olympic event in the 1990s.

In the 2009-10 curling season, although he played in bonspiels throughout the year, Howard did not curl in the New Brunswick Tankard due to his broadcasting commitments with TSN. Howard has been commentating curling events for TSN since 2001.

In 2006, he was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.

As of the end of the 2009 Brier, Russ had appeared in more Briers than any other player (14), and played more games at the Brier than any other player (174).

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Wendel Clark

Wendel Clark (born October 25, 1966) perhaps best known for being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), captaining the team from 1991 to 1994. During this time, he was often referred to as "Captain Crunch," as he played a very physical and intense style of hockey.

Clark was selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. His professional career lasted from 1985 until 2000, during which time he played for the Maple Leafs (during three separate stretches), Quebec Nordiques, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.

Clark was known for his physical play and his offensive mind combined with scoring prowess. After his rookie season, he was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and finished third in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy. He was a crowd favourite at Maple Leaf Gardens and won a place in the hearts of Leaf fans as he provided a spark and was named captain of the team for the 1991–92 season.

Throughout his career, Clark fought all the league's toughest players, quickly gaining a reputation as a feared pugilist. Despite his size, Clark more than held his own against much larger opponents, showing a ferocity seldom matched throughout the league.

Post Retirement, Clark is now employed by the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club as a community ambassador and public relations. The Toronto Maple Leafs honoured the former captain by raising his legendary number 17 to the rafters on November 22, 2008.

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Lennox Lewis

Lennox Claudius Lewis (born September 2, 1965) in West Ham, London, England to Jamaican-born parents. Lewis moved to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 1977 at the age of 12. At the age of 18, Lewis represented Canada as a super heavyweight at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He advanced to the quarter-finals, where he lost a decision to American Tyrell Biggs, the eventual gold medalist. Lewis chose not to turn professional after the Olympics, and instead fought four more years as an amateur, hoping for a second chance to win a gold medal. Finally in Seoul, South Korea for the 1988 Summer Olympics he achieved his goal. In the gold medal match, Lewis defeated future world champion Riddick Bowe by a second round technical knockout (TKO).

He captured the European heavyweight title late in 1990 against Frenchman Jean Maurice Chanet. In his next fight in March 1991, Lewis won the British title against the undefeated world ranked Gary Mason, then won the Commonwealth title in April 1992 against Derek Williams.

On 31 October 1992, Lewis knocked out Canadian Donovan "Razor" Ruddock in two rounds for the number one contender's position in the WBC world rankings. At the time it was Lewis' most impressive win, and established him as one of the world's best heavyweights. On 14 December 1992, after Bowe refused to face Lewis, the WBC declared Lewis its champion, making him the first world heavyweight titleholder from Britain in the 20th century.

Lewis successfully defended the belt three times. In one of the strangest fights in boxing history, Oliver McCall refused to box Lewis in the fourth and fifth rounds, then began crying in the ring, forcing the referee to stop the fight and award Lewis the victory and the title.

Lewis went on to fight then IBF and WBF title holder Evander Holyfield twice. The first match resulted in a draw and second match with Lewis winning by decision, earning him the title of undisputed heavyweight champion of the World. On June 8, 2002, Lewis defended his title against Mike Tyson. He was knocked out in the eighth by a right hook from Lewis. After the fight was over, George Foreman declared "He [Lewis] is, no doubt, the best heavyweight of all time."

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Cassie Campbell

Cassie Campbell-Pascall (born November 22, 1973) Campbell is a former Canadian female ice hockey player. She was the captain of the Canadian ice hockey team during the 2002 Winter Olympics and led the team to a gold medal.

Born in Richmond Hill, Ontario and raised in Brampton, Ontario. She attended high school at North Park Secondary School and is an alumna of the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Her charity work among communities in the greater Toronto area has been well received, and she is known as a great role model and humanitarian.

The left winger took on the role of captain again in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and again successfully led her team to the Gold Medal with a 4 – 1 win over Sweden. Cassie was also captain of the Calgary Oval X-Treme, a team in the Western Women's Hockey League. Campbell has also played for the Toronto Aeros and Mississauga Chiefs.

Cassie Campbell retired from competitive hockey on August 30, 2006. She then joined Hockey Night in Canada as a rinkside reporter, becoming (on October 14, 2006) the first woman to do colour commentary on a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. She has done modelling, and hosted women's hockey segments on TSN's hockey broadcasts.

In 2007, she was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. On November 22, 2009, Campbell ran a leg in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch relay, through the town of Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. During the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, Campbell provided colour commentary for women's hockey.

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Tommy Burns

Tommy Burns (June 17, 1881 – May 10, 1955) After starting his boxing career under his real name, Brusso took the Scottish-sounding name of Tommy Burns in 1904.

Although only 5 feet 7 inches tall and about 175 pounds, size did not stop him from becoming the world heavyweight boxing champion. When Burns met Marvin Hart for the heavyweight championship of the world on February 23, 1906, Burns was a 2-1 underdog and the betting was 10-7 that he would not last ten rounds. Burns won, and went on to defend his title eleven times within a period of less than two years.

All previous gloved world champs had been white U.S. Citizens (except for Robert Fitzsimmons, of the United Kingdom), who only defended their titles against other white opponents. Burns, however, travelled the globe, beating the champions of every nation in which boxing was legal at that time, including England, Ireland, France and Australia. Along the way he set records for the fastest knockout (one minute and 28 seconds) and the most consecutive wins by knockout (eight) by a heavyweight champion.

Burns continued to box occasionally after dropping the title. During the First World War he joined the Canadian army, serving as a physical fitness instructor in Canada. Burns was later ordained as a minister in 1948. Burns passed away while visiting a church friend in Vancouver, British Columbia, suffering a heart attack at age 73.

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Andy Bathgate

Andrew James Bathgate (born August 28, 1932) Andy Bathgate was a popular star player of the New York Rangers and also holds the honor of being declared the MVP of both the NHL and WHL.

He played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

He started his professional career with the Cleveland Barons of the AHL in the 1952–53 season. He bounced between the Vancouver Canucks and the Rangers for two seasons before settling with the Rangers in 1954–55. He played 10 full seasons with the Rangers, where he became a popular player in New York as well as a top-tiered player in the NHL.

Andy Bathgate won the Hart Memorial Trophy for the MVP of the NHL in 1958–59 after scoring 40 goals, which was no easy feat in that era. He is famous for contributing to one of the greatest innovations in NHL history. Renowned for the strength of his slapshot, during a game against the Montreal Canadiens, Bathgate shot the puck into the face of Jacques Plante, forcing Plante to receive stitches. When Plante returned to the ice, he was wearing a mask. That started a trend that continues to this day.

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Brian Orser

Brian Ernest Orser (born December 18, 1961) Orser won his first national title on the novice level in 1977. The following season, he went to Junior Worlds and placed 4th, behind eventual rival Brian Boitano. He added a second national title, this time at the junior level, to his resume in 1979.

In 1980, he moved up to the senior level. He won the bronze medal at his first senior international, the Vienna Cup, and then placed 4th at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships. In the 1980-1981 post-Olympic season, Orser began making his mark on the skating world. He won the silver at the Nebelhorn Trophy, placed 6th at Skate Canada, and then won his first of eight National titles. In his debut at Worlds, he placed 6th. The next season, he won his first medal at Skate Canada and moved up to 4th at Worlds. He won his first World medal in 1983, a bronze, positioning him well for the 1983-1984 Olympic season. Orser became the first man to land the triple axel at the Olympics when he landed it in his free skate at the 1984 Winter Olympics, where he won the silver medal.

In 1987, he won the worlds, becoming the first skater at the World Championships to land two triple axels in the free skate and three in the same competition. At the 1988 Olympics, Orser served as the flag-bearer for Canada during the opening ceremonies. He placed 3rd in compulsory figures segment of the competition, 1st in the short program, and second in the free skating, winning the silver medal overall. He won the silver again at Worlds, after winning the free skate. Orser turned professional following that season. Brian Orser is one of the most accomplished skaters in Canada's history, with eight national titles, two Olympic medals, and a world title to his credit. He is the skating director at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club.

Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Roger Attfield

Roger L. Attfield (born November 28, 1939) A resident of Nobleton, Ontario, Roger Attfield won the Sovereign Award for Outstanding Trainer a record six times. Of the seven horses who have won the Canadian Triple Crown, three were trained by Attfield. A winner of twenty Canadian Triple Crown races, he holds or equals the record for most wins in each of the three races. In 2001, he set a record for most wins by a trainer in the Breeders' Stakes and in 2005 set the record for trainers by winning his fifth Prince of Wales Stakes. At the 2008 Queen's Plate, Attfield tied the record with Harry Giddings, Jr. as a trainer with eight wins. This was his first win as an owner. Overall he has trained nearly forty Champions, six of which were voted Canadian Horse of the Year.

As the trainer for Kinghaven Farms, in 1990 his stable was the leading money winner in North America. In the United States, his horses race at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, the Fair Grounds Race Course, in New Orleans, Louisiana and at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Attfield trained horse has won a number of important U.S. Stakes races including the 1995 Wood Memorial and Gotham Stakes.

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