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In Canada every province has one, many sports organizations have one, and myriad smaller communities across the country boast their very own sports halls of fame.
While business, music, art and other of life¡¯s worthwhile and essential endeavours have come to embrace the notion of the hall of fame, it is sport that got things started in the first place.
We have always associated sport with definitive acts of winning, losing and titanic struggle. Sport has provided many moments which have staying power in our collective memories. The people of sport and those who emerge as champions are, for whatever reason, the ones we inevitably cling to.
Their exploits, internationally, nationally and sometimes a lot closer to home resonate, and in many cases, these figures ascend to iconic status in the folklore of our country. It¡¯s because the greatest of our athletes, both male and female, have become inextricably entwined with our concept of national pride.
It would seem that sport and those who enter its halls of fame matter to many people. Perhaps it¡¯s because they¡¯ve come to embody our potential as well as our ambition to be great.
¡°They are the best of Canada,¡± said Michael Medline, the President of Canadian Tire Corporation as eight new inductees to Canada¡¯s Sports Hall of Fame were introduced in Toronto. ¡°They are the best of the best,¡± he said of the Class of 2014.
Canadian Tire sponsors Canada¡¯s Sports Hall of Fame and for a company that deals in sporting goods, this seems like good business, plain and simple.
Their due recognition
But as I listened to the words of the Class of 2014 and considered the breadth of their talent, the impact they¡¯ve made as a group, I came to understand that sometimes it¡¯s good to recognize the best and brightest among us who have given our country so much reason to celebrate.
There¡¯s Kathy Shields, a university basketball coach who inspired many of her players to follow in her footsteps as well as Horst Bulau, a ski jumper who soared above all other Canadians at four Olympics not to mention Geraldine Heaney, the highest scoring defender in women¡¯s hockey history.