It is still an intangible thing, but to be in a room of a thousand people to see the gods and goddesses of sport get their due and enter Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is awe inspiring.
More than that, it's humbling to realize that there is so much talent in this land of ice and snow. Like the country itself, that talent is expressed in complex, wonderful ways and its limits are endless.
To become aware that this so-called "winter nation" has produced an Olympic gold medal gymnast, a Formula One driving champion, the globe's pioneering and iconic wheelchair racer, a visionary who claimed Olympic rowing gold in a borrowed boat and then built Own the Podium, and a speed skater/cyclist who is arguably all of sport's most generous and accomplished athlete for all seasons, is both reassuring and enlightening.
This is to say nothing of an Olympic skiing champion, the greatest hockey goalie on the planet, and a tireless professional football builder. The entire group has fashioned legendary status.
We have nothing to apologize for when it comes to considering the quality of our sporting heroes in Canada. There should be no whining or second-guessing as these graduates of our cultural landscape take their place at the head of the class.
They have all realized their vast potential and followed their difficult dreams. To a person they represent lofty standards for the aspiring youth of this country.
Make no mistake, they are heroes and should be emulated.
There should be no need to identify them here. They should all be household names by now.
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame will soon have a real home here in Calgary. It will be a proper shrine to all this achievement where Canadians can go to acquaint themselves with these and other worthy champions who comprise a significant part of our folklore.
Then it's up to us to get to know their names and relate the fascinating stories of this great northern talent to others.
Kyle Shewfelt, Jacques Villeneuve, Chantal Petitclerc, Roger Jackson, Clara Hughes, Jean-Luc Brassard, Patrick Roy and Bob Ackles are all worth keeping fresh in our memories.
(Photo of the class of 2010 by Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)
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