First indigenous women inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
The Firth twins were a force to be reckoned with. Tonight, in recognition of their success as members of Canada's cross-country skiing team, both Firths are being inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
All we had to do was give one another a look and we knew what we had to do.- Skiing champ Sharon Firth on her relationship with twin Shirley
Sisters Sharon and Shirley Firth represented Canada at four consecutive Winter Olympic Games from 1972 to 1984. At national championships, the sisters won 79 national medals between them.
Shirley died of cancer in 2013, but Sharon will be at tonight's ceremony. As she tells As it Happens host Carol Off, it will be a night of mixed emotions.
"We had a really good connection, because, number one, we came from one egg, and everything life we did together. I'm very happy to be sharing [the honour]. And I know that all we had to do was give one another a look and we knew what we had to do," says Sharon.
We never gave up, despite any obstacle that came in our way.- Canada's Sports Hall of Fame inductee Sharon Firth
The sisters are members of the Gwich'in First Nation and grew up in Inuvik, N.W.T. As young girls they were part of the Territorial Experimental Ski Training (TEST) program, which introduced cross-country skiing to athletes in the North.
"That TEST was to see if aboriginal athletes could excel. I always say I don't know why they ever questioned that."
Sharon says her entire community is proud of her and her sister.
"We never gave up, despite any obstacle that came in our way, and I think that's a good message to send to indigenous kids and also young people from coast to coast to coast."