Calgary

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame adds new inductees for 2022

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame unveiled its class of 2022 in Calgary on Thursday.

New sports stars honoured and new categories added this year

Dwayne De Rosario is a four-time MLS champion and legend in the Canadian soccer world. He retired in 2015 and was inducted Thursday into the Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame unveiled its class of 2022 in Calgary on Thursday.

This year's group is made up of sports stars, trailblazers from years gone by and others who have paved the way for future stars and have had an impact on Canadian sports in other ways.

"It's a surreal experience being inducted. It's a huge honour for myself, my family and my community," said four-time Major League Soccer champion Dwayne De Rosario.

Rosario, from Toronto, retired in 2015 as a top 10 all-time leading goal scorer in the MLS. He overcame racial discrimination when soccer wasn't the popular and diverse sport it has now become in Canada.

"There's not enough words that can express what emotions I'm feeling," Rosario said. "Growing up as an inner-city kid of West Indian descent in a diverse community, in what was at the time a very white sport growing up, it was hard for kids like us to have an impact in soccer."

But Rosario followed his passion, and by the time he was 14, he'd started receiving offers to play in Europe.

He began his MLS career in 2001, going on to score 109 league goals and 82 assists over 367 games. He is considered one of the league's 25 greatest players of all time, playing for Toronto FC and Canada's national team.

He says the game of soccer is real for kids now with Canada's national team showing that the sky's the limit for future Canadian players.

Five athletes, three builders and two trailblazers made up the 10 newcomers to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame announced on Thursday. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

The other athletes in the class of 2022 are canoe-kayak legend Adam Van Koeverden, six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser, lacrosse player John Tavares, rower Tricia Smith and Paralympic swimmer Tim McIsaac.

"Kayaking gave me everything," said Van Koeverden. "It's a sincere honour and privilege to be inducted with so many incredible people and teams and over 700 Canadians that have been inducted in the past."

Sports broadcaster Brian Williams and the "Father of the Northern Games," Edward Lennie, were recognized as builders in sport.

All will receive Canada's Order of Sport, the country's highest sporting honour.

In a new category for trailblazers in Canadian sport, two historic sports teams were inducted: The Chatham Coloured All-Stars, a Black baseball team that played in Ontario throughout the 1930s; and the Preston Rivulettes women's hockey team that dominated the women's game between 1931 and 1940. The Rivulettes are celebrated as the most successful women's ice hockey team in Canadian history. 

"These are ordinary Canadians who have achieved extraordinary things and have remarkable stories to share," said Cheryl Bernard, president and CEO of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. 

"Through the lens of sport, these stories put a spotlight on important topics, personify resiliency and showcase overcoming adversity, changing the way each of us see the world and ourselves."

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