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Track and Field

Donovan Bailey 'humbled' by Walk of Fame star

​Sprinter Donovan Bailey says he knows that his induction into Canada's Walk of Fame will affect the way he's seen by future generations.

Sprinter won 2 golds at 1996 Olympics in Atlanta

Sprinter Donovan Bailey and his son Mateus unveil his star at the Walk of Fame induction ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

​Sprinter Donovan Bailey says he knows that his induction into Canada's Walk of Fame will affect the way he's seen by future generations.

"This is definitely a huge legacy piece for me," Bailey said from the red carpet alongside his 11-year-old son, Mateus, who presented his award.

"This is the gathering of the embodiment of success in Canada ... I'm quite humbled."

Bailey, of Oakville, Ont., and a CBC Sports analyst, was one of six people inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in a ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday evening.

The honour was also given to actress Anna Paquin and environmental activist David Suzuki, as well as posthumously granted to civil rights leader Viola Desmond, country singer Stompin' Tom Connors, and businessman Ted Rogers.

Suzuki said he has Canadian supporters to thank for his continued success. "I'm very pleased that there seems to be a sense that I deserve this recognition," he said. "This funny-looking science geek, that I could become a person they would trust and watch — that says something about Canada."

Paquin, who at 11 became the second-youngest Oscar winner ever for her role in "The Piano," said she was "flattered and honoured" by her inclusion in this year's Walk of Fame, but that she was also "quite nervous for tonight."

Paquin, who was born in Winnipeg and raised largely in New Zealand, said she's proud of her recent work on Canadian productions. She appeared in Sarah Polley's TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel "Alias Grace" and stars in the CBC crime drama "Bellevue."

Bailey is acknowledged by Namibian silver medallist Frankie Fredericks after the Canadian won gold in the 100 metres at the 1996 Olympics. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

"I've worked in Canada an awful lot, because so much shoots here, but it was amazing to get to be part of two completely Canadian productions," she said. "It was for Canadians, by Canadians, about Canadians."

Walk of Fame CEO Jeffrey Latimer said he wanted to include posthumous inductees in order to focus the event on people from Canada's past, and on people who have made social contributions that deserve more attention.

One of the first people who came to mind was Viola Desmond, the Nova Scotia woman who became a civil rights pioneer after challenging racial segregation at a movie theatre in 1946. Latimer admits he hadn't previously known very much about Desmond, who will appear on the new $10 bill in 2018.

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