Thirteen years later, we still celebrate the milestones accomplished by a single female athlete. It was the first time in Canadian history a women won an athletics medal at the 2003 World Championships. The same year, she was named female athlete of the year, the first track athlete to do so in over two decades.
For many, she was an idol, a role model, displaying the confidence, self-discipline and drive to compete and win at the highest levels of competition. She was the reason so many young females joined track and field.
Perdita is the reason that you get up when you’re down. On behalf of female athletes, thank you for being a pioneer and paving the way for more female success in our sport.
An athlete with unconventional training methods during a time of economic turmoil, Ray Lewis inspired a nation.
After a brief stint at Milwaukee’s Marquette University, Rapid Ray as he was affectionately called took a position with the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Ray would continue his track and field training by running alongside the train tracks during stopovers in the Prairies. This proved successful, as he would go onto represent Canada at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, winning a bronze medal on the men’s 4×400 meter relay team.
Rapid Ray would go on to win silver at the 1934 British Empire Games, later known as the Commonwealth Games in the mile relay (4x440yards).
As the first Canadian-born black athlete to represent Canada and win an Olympic medal, Ray Lewis was presented with the Order of Canada in 2001, two years prior to his passing.
Acknowledged as the most accomplished Aboriginal athlete and greatest distance runner of his time, his athletic achievements earned him a Historica Canada Footprints moment.
Tom ran his first race just before the age of 18. He trained by himself, running and walking on the roads of the reserve or to cities like Hamilton and Burlington.
His training was systematic, the distances being increased gradually. He also instinctively understood and embraced the principle of rest and recovery.
Although the financial rewards of winning, or just participating, were quite substantial, the pro circuit was grueling. In the widely publicized marathon series, dubbed the World Professional Marathon Championships, Longboat ran two of his marathons on an indoor track within a three-week period. In 1912, he set a world professional record of 1:18:00 for 15 Miles.
As one of the first four professional coaches in Canadian Athletics in 1973 and the first for sprints and hurdles many of his drills are used by athletes and coaches across North America to this day.
This gentleman went on to be the Head Coach for Track and Field at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and would continue as the Head Coach representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games, Olympics and Pan American Games from 1976-1988
Gerard Mach has received several prestigious awards including:
- IAAF Coaching Excellence
- Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal for his contribution to sport in Canada
- Won numerous awards from the Coaching Association of Canada
Six years ago, Gerard was inducted into Athletics Canada’s Hall of Fame. It is now our honour to recognize a coach who has done so much for our sport.
The only thrower in this years’ induction class, Nancy McCredie represented Canada at multiple international sporting competitions. Though her career was short, which was typical for that time, she inspired generations of young females to think beyond the track and become active in events like shot put, discus and javelin.
With a seventh place finish in the women’s shot put at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, Nancy McCredie is one the most successful female throwers Canada has seen. Her distance of 15.89m ranked her as the top Junior in the world in 1964. It continued to be the Ontario record for 19-and under- women until 2015. Nancy, however, still possesses the Ontario Junior Indoor record at 16.15, which she also set in 1964.
Prior to the 1964 Tokyo Games, Nancy won a gold medal in shot put and discus at the 1963 Pan American Games in Brazil. That same year, Nancy won the Velma Springstead Trophy, an award presented to the outstanding amateur female athlete based on her performance, sportsmanship and behaviour.
In 1966 and 1967, Nancy concluded her athletics career with bronze and gold medals in the shot put respectively at the Commonwealth and Pan American Games. In 1968 she was fittingly inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.
Thank you Nancy for helping to pave the way for younger female athletes and throwers.
In his younger days Lloyd Percival was an all-rounder, having played tennis, boxing and cricket. In 1946 he formed the North Toronto Red Devils Track Club and later the Don Mills Track Club, where he coached numerous athletes to national team status, including:
Dave Steen, Carol Martin, Bill Gairdner, Roberta Picco and Nancy McCredie, who is being inducted at this ceremony.
But Lloyd was also well-known to the entire sports community.
In 1941 he began a series of radio programs called “Sports College of the Air”, he wrote “The Hockey Handbook” and began the Canadian Amateur Sports and Physical Fitness Development Service in 1956 and later the Fitness Institute, which catered to both elite and recreational athletes. He also had a hand in establishing the National Coaches Association.
Lloyd was one of the first coaches to utilize modern training methods such as interval training, strength training, proper nutrition and massage; all coaches would eventually adopt these.
Lloyd Percival played an instrumental role in both the development of coaching techniques and in the promotion of organizational structures useful to our sport. His sudden passing in 1974 left a lasting impact on the Canadian sport landscape.
Priscilla Lopes-Schliep- in attendance
Breaking a nearly two-decade drought, this incredible athlete captured the first medal for Canada in Athletics since 1996 and the first for a woman on the Olympic track since the 1992 Barcelona Games, with a bronze medal in 100m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Games.
One year later, she would win silver at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany in the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.54.
During her collegiate days, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep was the 2004 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 60m hurdles, setting a personal best of 7.82.
It is now our pleasure to officially induct Priscilla Lopes-Schliep into Athletics Ontario’s Hall of Fame. To do the official induction, please welcome PAUL GAINS.
Kevin Sullivan – alive, unable to attend
An accomplished middle distances runner, Kevin has represented Canada on the international stage on several occasions including at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics and, most recently the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Having competed at a combined 22 World Championships, Kevin Sullivan still holds three Canadian records in the 1500m, mile and 3000m. Kevin was the torchbearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics, carrying the torch into his hometown of Brantford, Ontario.
Now a successful head coach at the University of Michigan, Kevin led the cross-country team to the NCAA Division 1 Championships. Kevin continues to make massive strides in the development of athletics and athletes.