New Sport Hall of Fame to honour N.W.T. athletes

Two Olympic cross-country skiers, a founder of the Arctic Winter Games and a long-distance canoe race team will be inducted into the new N.W.T. Sport Hall of Fame Friday in Yellowknife.

First 13 people to be inducted on Friday

Olympic cross-country skier Sharon Firth, right, is one of 13 people being inducted into the N.W.T. Sport Hall of Fame on Friday. She was one of the torch bearers for the 2007 Canada Winter Games along with Olympian Lucy Steele-Mason of the Yukon, left, and John Taipana of Nunavut, centre. (Chuck Stoody/Canadian Press)

Two Olympic cross-country skiers, a founder of the Arctic Winter Games and a long-distance canoe race team will be inducted into the new N.W.T. Sport Hall of Fame Friday in Yellowknife.

The hall of fame is an initiative of the N.W.T's Sport North Federation. 

Skiers Sharon Firth and Shirley Firth-Larsson will be inducted under the athlete category, co-founder of the Arctic Winter Games Stuart Hodgson will be inducted under the builder category, and N.W.T.’s team from the 1967 Centennial Voyageurs race will be inducted under the team category.

The Firth sisters represented Canada in four consecutive Winter Olympics from 1972 to 1984.

"We've been in this sport for over 20 years through thick and thin and we've been through many good times and bad times, and hardships, and you know we survived it all," said Sharon Firth. 

Then-N.W.T. Commissioner Stuart Hodgson co-founded the Arctic Winter Games in 1969 with Yukon Commissioner James Smith and Alaska Governor Walter Hickel. Today athletes from the N.W.T., Alaska, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik, Northern Alberta, Greenland and Russia compete in the games every two years.

The 10 men who made up the N.W.T.’s team in the Centennial Voyageurs race paddled a canoe more than 5,000 km from Rocky Mountain House, Alta., to Montreal in the summer of 1967. They finished in eighth place, ahead of Yukon and Nova Scotia.

The ceremony will take place Friday at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.