The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team


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In she swam the English Channel in record-breaking time. Her honorary title was Queen of the Channel. She received the Order of Canada in Debbie Van Kiekebelt. Born March 1, Kitchener, Ontario. At the Pan American Games, Cali , Columbia, Debbie won the Gold Medal in pentathlon event which includes Shooting, swimming, fencing equestrianism, and cross country running. In the Olympics, Munich, Germany in the long jump and Pentathlon but did not win a place on the podium.

In she was inducted into the Mississauga Sports Hall of Famed. Debbie runs her own production and promotional company, DVK Enterprises. Helen Vanderburg. Born Calgary , Alberta January 12, A synchronized swimmer who won the Canadian Junior Championship.

In she defeated 90 competitors to win the solo title at the world aquatic championships. Pat Messner. Born Hamilton, Ontario March 17, This former Girl Guide was the 1st Canadian woman to win a world championship in waterskiing in She is also the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in her sport. She holds 19 Canadian titles and 20 national records. In her spare time she has a career as a high school teacher, musician and paramedic. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in , the youngest Canadian woman to ever receive this honour.

Born March 10, L'Annonciation, Quebec. Jacqueline enjoyed long distance running. Her 1st place was at the National Capital Marathon, Ottawa in On April 21 she ran the Boston Marathon and thought she had come in second in the female category. A Rosie Ruiz had been declared the winner but it was later determined that Rosie had not actually run the entire race.

A week after the event Jacqueline became the 1st Canadian woman to be declared winner of the Ladies Boston Marathon. Jacqueline returned to place second in Boston in both and Jacqueline married her former running coach, Gilles Lapierre and the couple have one son. Sue Holloway. Born May 19, Sue was a four time Olympian competing in in Cross Country Skiing and Kayak, and Kayak again in where she took Silver and Bronze medals.

Although Canada withdrew from the Moscow Olympics in she was the appointed Olympic flag bearer. S he was the 1st Canadian woman to ever compete in both winter and summer Olympic Games in the same year. She and her husband, former Olympian Greg Joy, now work together as motivational speakers. Although she was trained as a school teacher she needed more. She began coaching with the Calgary Aquabelles team to help pay life expenses but soon was in love with coaching.

In she gave up being a school teacher when federal funding was available to pay coaches. She began coaching teams for international events in and when Synchro Canada formed in she was national coach for over 7 years. In she entered the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. After the Sydney Olympics she turned her coaching skills toward senior managers and created a program to get world-class performances from employees. Abbigail 'Abby' Hoffman.

Born February 11, , Toronto, Ontario. As a 11 year old hockey player she shocked everyone by playing peewee hockey on a team for boys having registered as AB in order to play! She was the best player on the team but when required to produce a birth certificate was disqualified from playing! At 15 she won her 1st national championship in the yard foot race. She held Canadian and world records in the meter from to In she earned the Ontario Award of Merit.

In she became Director General of Sport Canada. In she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Sylvie Bernier. Born Quebec City, Quebec January 31, Sylvie was the 1st Canadian to win a medal in Olympic Diving. She won the gold in the 3-meter springboard diving in the Olympics in Los Angeles. After nearly drowning at the age of 3 years she took 7 years to overcome her fear of the water. In the Olympics she captured a silver medal in synchronized swimming!

At the World Aquatic Championships she and partner Michelle Cameron won gold and Carolyn also took gold in the solo event. In the Olympics she won gold in solo and again with Michelle won gold in duet.

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She became the 1st Canadian woman to win 2 gold medals at one Olympics. In she married Thomas Michael Baltzer. Also in she was invested as an officer of the order of Canada. She currently perusing a career in sports broadcasting. She has also served as spokesperson for the R.

National Drug Awareness Campaign. Anne Ottenbrite. Born May 12, Bowmanville, Ontario. Anne began swimming when she was just three years old. In at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia she won gold medals in the Metre and 4 X Metre medley relay followed with a silver in the metre breastroke.

The following year at the Pan-American Games she won a gold medal in the metre breastroke and a silver in the 4 X relay race. Anne was the 1st Canadian woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. At the same games she won sliver in the metre breaststroke and played a key role in the metre-medley relay team with Reema Abdo, Michelle MacPherson and Pamela Rai, that won bronze.

In she retired from competition and in she was inducted into the Canadian Aquatic Hall of Fame followed in with a membership in the International Swim Hall of Fame. Anne is married and mother to a son. A swimming poolin Whitby, Ontario is named in her honor. Born Hamilton, Ontario December 30, She is a strong and highly motivated Olympic medalist. She first became interested in shooting as a child, when she learned the basics of the sport from her shooting enthusiast father.

She successfully entered pistol competitions in By the mid 's she concentrated on her career as a chef and on family life. She took up the challenge of shooting again when it was announced that women would compete in this event in the Olympic Games. Her pistol individual gold medal in the Los Angeles games was the first for a Canadian women and the first gold medal for a Canadian woman since Linda felt that the Gold Medal belonged to all the people of Canada, and she carried it with here wherever she went so that people could see and touch the medal for themselves.

Linda is the first pistol shooter included into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. In she received the Order of Canada. Sharon Adele Wood. Born Halifax, Nova Scotia May 18, One might say mountaineering is in her blood. In the spring of she became the first woman from the Western hemisphere to stand on top of the world on Mt. She was 17 years old!!! On a smaller scale she was part of an all woman team to navigate to the top of Mt. She enjoys teacher her sport to others when she is not working as a helicopter ski guide. Vicki Keith-Munro. Born Winnipeg, Manitoba February 26, A superb marathon swimmer, she would use the butterfly stroke to swim into the record books both nationally and internationally and all for the benefit of charity.

In she swam her first world-record crossing of Lake Ontario. I n she became the 1st person to swim all five Great Lakes. He sponsorships would earn hundreds of thousands of dollars most of which went to Variety Village to benefit disabled children. Although retired from long distance swimming in , Vicki hit the waters again in to raise awareness and funds for children with disabilities. Gail E. Born July 13, Edmonton, Alberta. She took up equestrian sports at age Her mount was a Hanovarioan named Mr. They took the gold medal as the 1st rider to have zero faults.

At the time it was a shock to win in the Male dominated European circuit. She and Mr. In she qualified to represent Canada in the Pan American Games but was injured and could not ride and after that she turned to coaching. She taught horsemanship in Calgary, Alberta and did clinics around the world. She was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in Born September 25, Lachine, Quebec. Tracy grew up in British Columbia. As a child she enjoyed all sports including swimming in summer and skating in winter. At fifteen she entered her 1 st ice dance competition. This pair won the Canadian Championships seven times between and They won the Skate Canada International competition in and The pair took bronze medals three times from to In she married Brad Kinsella but professionally retained her maiden name.

The couple has three children. After the World Championships Tracy turned professional and in the couple won the World Professional Championships. Even after being diagnosed with AIDS in the couple continued to skate in ice dance skating in the World Professional Championships. In she stope d skating to have a family and retired from competition after the death of Rob McCall. On November 21 she skated a solo performance while pregnant, at a tribute to her former partner. Annie Perrault. Born July 29, Windsor, Quebec. She is one of Canada's most decorated female Olympians with credits of one bronze medal and two gold medals at the and Winter Olympic Games.

She has also earned four individual gold medals from through at the World Championships to accompany her two silver and four bronze World Championship individual medals. She also holds team medals, a gold, two silver and three bronze for World Championships from through She had to miss the Lillehammer Olympic Games in because of a severe concussion she had sustained at the Canadian Olympic trials. Just month prior to the Nagano Olympic Games he underwent surgery on both legs to relieve a chronic problem with compartment syndrome. At the Nagano Olympic Games in she became the 1st Canadian woman to win individual Olympic gold in short track speed skating in the meter race.

She was the Quebec Athlete of the year. Annie has coached some of her family members who have also become recognized skaters. While she enjoys her sport and wants to maintain her performance level she also aims to have fun with the sport. In she participated in her 1 st Commonwealth Games winning two silver medals and that same year she took two gold medals at the Pan American Championships.

In the Commonwealth Games she took a gold and a silver medal followed by a silver at the Games and a silver at the Games in Auckland, New Zealand. She is the 1 st Canadian female athlete to compete in five Commonwealth Games. In she married Doug Sharpe and the couple has three children. She juggled her family life with her sport life and won 15 National Championships and an eight-time U. Open winner. A true ambassador for women in sport she promoted her sport with motivational speaking and establishing a new badminton development center at the Commonwealth Center for Sport Development, now PacificSport, Victoria, British Columbia.

Tanya Dubincoff. Born Winnipeg, Manitoba. November 7, At four years of age she took the training wheels from her bicycle. She has won the Canadian National track cycling championship 16 times! She was personally disappointed in her effort placement in Sydney's Olympics but she knew that retirement from competition was her future. In she was the 1st Canadian woman to win a cycling world championship and in that same year was first in World Cup standings.

She uses her communications skills and acts as a bridge between athletes and the media. What she gets most satisfaction from, however, is training young cyclists. Kerrin Lee-Gartner. Born September 21, Trail, British Columbia. She grew up in Rossland B. She had several knee operations and has had two complete reconstructions of her knees.


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Her 1 st World Cup in December she made the podium. In Winter Olympics in Albertville, France she took the gold medal becoming the 1st in history for a Canadian male or female on the downhill event in an Olympic Games. That same year she was inducted into the Order of British Columbia. Kerrin finished 8 th in super —G at the Olympic Games in Norway and retired from international completion at the end of the World Cup Season.

Kerrin and her husband Max Gartner volunteer at the Fernie Alpine Ski club, where both their daughters ski. Max coaches, while Kerrin does whatever is required, from gate-keeping to setting up safety nets. The Globe and Mail June 8, Born February 24, Lac Beauport, Quebec. The daughter of a hockey coach, she began to play at the age of 5 years. She loved hockey and played well. In she was the 1st woman to play in a men's Major Junior hockey game.

She went on to become the 1st woman to play professionally. She was goalie with the Tampa Bay Lightening of the National Hockey League playing in preseason exhibition games in If you want the whole story read Manon: Alone in Front of the Net written in , the year she initially retired from professional hockey. In June she married Gerry St Cyr but the marriage ended in divorce. The couple has two sons. She is still active in her sport today teaching young girls how to play the sport she loves.

She was the 1st woman and the youngest competitor to participate in the grueling ten sections of the Coureurs des bois gold category in the Canadian Ski Marathon. She now owns and operates Madawaska Kanu Centre which is the first kayak and canoe school in North America. Lori Fung. Born Vancouver, British Columbia February 21, She has a passion for her Rhythmic Gymnastics. She started at the British Columbia Rythmicka Club. She was an able student and a good listener. These talents paid off when in she became Canadian Champion and later that same year the Four Continents Gold medalist.

She would during her competitive career be Grand Champion of Canada seven times. To the media she was a relative unknown contender, yet she won gold at the Los Angeles Olympics when the sport was inaugurated into the Olympic Games. Retired from competition, she remains a valued coach in her sport. She also works for Canadian charities in such positions as Chairperson of the Canadian Cancer Society. Born December 22, Neufchatel, Quebec. By she was Canadian junior champion. In she was the 2nd Canadian to win a World Cup in Biathlon.

She won a bronze medal in the Olympic games in when women's biathlon was a demonstration sport. She went n to win gold for the 7. She was the 1st non-European to win gold in Biathlon. She is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. She left the sport to give birth to her daughter but never had a successful return to her sport. After the Winter Olympics she retired officially. In the early 's she became embroiled in Political Scandal.

December 8, she was in trouble with the law and accused of kidnapping her daughter and fleeing to the United States. She was found guilty of child abduction and sentenced to a conditional discharge and two years probation.


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A contempt of court charge saw her serving 45 days of community service. Shirley Cameron.

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Shirley played hockey on outdoor rinks when the girls teams shoved newspapers in their socks as shin pads. She would skate for 20 years in competitive hockey. In she was a founding member of the Edmonton Chimos and with this team she would win 16 National Championships. One year when she wanted to play in the national championships she could not get time off work so she called in sick.

She was sanctioned by her boss when he saw her photo in the newspaper. She retired from competition in and turned to coaching. The Cameron cup which is the prize for a 10 game series between teams in Alberta is named in her honour. Born Jamaica. She emigrated to Canada when she was 6 years old. At 16 she took her favourite sport of running seriously and made the Olympic team. She was time Canadian National Champion in the and metre event and was the 1st Canadian to break the to minute barrier for the m distance.

In she was Canada's flag bearer for the opening ceremony at the Olympics in Atlanta. She received recognition for her community service with the Governor General's Award. It is no surprise to learn that she is working on the Vancouver Olympic Committee!! Beth Leboff. Born Montreal, Quebec. It seemed that when she was growing up at her family cottage in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec that all she wanted to do was water ski. Then she learned how to do it bare foot! She was hooked. The family found her a coach. She won the Canadian National Slalom event in In she swept gold in the overall category.

She was the Quebec Water ski federation athlete of the Year for both and It was in she would become the 1st Canadian to win a world record elite title in barefoot water skiing. She accomplished this honour in grace and determination setting a new Canadian record in Women's jumping. She is currently practicing law in fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.

Beth Underhill. Born Guelph, Ontario September5, In this equestrian jumper won a double sliver medal at the Pan American Game. In she was the 1st woman to win the Canadian World League. Her favourite jumping horse partner was named Monopoly, with who she won over one million in prize money!! Chantal Peticlerc. When she was just 13 she lost the use of both legs in an accident. Coming dead last in her 1 st race only encouraged her to get more involved.

This television host for Lotto Quebec has become the 1st woman Canadian star in the sport of wheelchair athletics. She participated in the Barcelona Olympic Games winning two bronze medals. In the summer of she won 5 gold medals at the world championships for wheel chair athletics, and in she brought home 5 medal from the Paralympics. In she became a Knight in the Order of Quebec. In she would earn 5 gold medals at the Beijing Paralympics Games. In she held world records in the meter m , m, m, m and 1,m events.

She is active in the Right To Play as athlete ambassador and motivational speaker, inspiring countless people to overcome challenges. In she became a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. March 16, she was named to the Senate of Canada. Clara Hughes. Born September 27, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was inspired watching Canadian Speed skater Gaetan Boucher at the Olympics to get into sports.

By she began competing in cycling and by had been 18 times Canadian National Cycling champion.. She has silver and bronze medals from the and Pan American Games; a silver medal from the Commonwealth Games; a silver medal from the World Championships. She holds 6 Olympic medals in the sports of cycling and speed skating making her the 1st athlete in history to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

She felt privileged to carry the Canadian flag for the Canada Olympic Games. She has also given personally to her causes. She shared her personal battles with depression to help break down the stigma associated with mental illness. She has been appointed to the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada. She was awarded the International Olympic Committees Sport and the Community award for her efforts promoting the values of sport and play around the globe.

Since she has initiated annual bike rides across Canada in order to raise awareness for mental health.

In Clara married Peter Guzman and in he cycled the annual cross country ride with his wife. Maryse Turcotte. In , while a student in high school, she helped out at a sports event in weightlifting and she fell in love with the sport. In she made history by becoming the 1st woman in the America's to lift double her body weight. She placed forth in the Olympics in Sydney Australia. Sandra Schmirler. Curling was her passion. She was a three time Canadian and World Champion. The Schmirler team worked as a real sisterhood and dominated their sport for 6 years. Caroline Brunet. Born March 20, Her recognition began in when she won a gold and 2 silver medals at the World Championships.

In Atlanta's Olympic Games in she claimed the silver medal. She swept the World Sprint Canoe Championships in when she won three gold medals which represented "a best ever" Canadian Kayak team performance. She also won a medal in the Olympics in Athens, Greece. Hayley Wickenheiser. Born Shaunavon, Saskatchewan December 8, Team sports are her favourite. She played in competition in the World Junior Softball Championships in Then it was hockey. She played with a gold medal team at the World hockey Championships and the silver medal team at the Nagano Olympics.

She was invited to play with the Philadelphia Flyers training camp which she found a great opportunity to learn at the NHL level. She has done studies in science at the University of Calgary. She was the 1st woman to play full-time professional hockey in a position other than goalie. She was a member of the Canada women's national ice hockey tem for 23 years from until retirement in January She represented Canada at the Winter Olympics five times capturing four gold medals and one silver medal. She also represented Canada in softball at the summer Olympics.

In she became the 1st woman skater to attend an NHL training camp working out with the Philadelphia Flyer rookies. She is considered the greatest female ice hockey player in the world. In her hometown recreational complex in Shaunovon was named in her honour the Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre.

On June 30, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In she earned a degree in kinesiology. Haley has one adopted son. Born August 29, Pickering, Ontario. Perdita began participating in track and field events while she was in high school where she did metre dash and high jump and won the Ontario high-school hurdling championship in That same year she earned her 1st followed by a second Canadian Junior Championship. At her 1st year of university she earned All-American honours in the metre hurdles and set a record. In she won the World Championships in Athlete Paris, France she won the women's metre hurdles final becoming Canada's 1st female world Gold medalist in women's hurdles.

In she won her tenth Canadian Title in hurdles. She retired from competition in to finish her studies in journalism. Perdita is a proud supporter of Count Me In, the largest youth-run organization in Canada.

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She spoke to at the Count Me In Conference in Toronto, inspiring thousands of students to get involved in their communities through volunteerism. Marlene Streit. Born March 9, Cereal, Alberta. A powerful golfer she would win the Canadian ladies champion title 11 times between and She was the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year in and In she was inducted as an officer in the Order of Canada. During her golfing career she would win 24 Canadian Ladies Golf Association Championships and by she had a career total of 30 national or international championships with at least one championship each decade.

She claimed her third U. In she became a Member of the Order of Ontario. Beckie Scott. Born August 1, Vegreville, Alberta. She began cross country skiing at the age of five. Scott won a gold medal in cross-country skiing. She originally finished third in the five-kilometer pursuit, but she was soon upgraded to the gold medal when winner and runner-up were disqualified for using darbepoetin, a performance-enhancing drug.

She became the 1st Canadian and 1st North American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing. Beckie is equally well known for her outspoken stand on anti-doping and drug-free competition. She relentlessly challenged the International Ski Federation ISF to be more aggressive in its efforts to catch cheats. Lori-Ann Muenzer. Born May 21, Toronto, Ontario. It seems she was always on her bicycle. She has accumulated 13 National titles and 11 World Cup medals during her career. She made her debut at the Olympics in After the Games she began her own business called Pure Momentum which seeks to find and promote a community of female speakers.

She has published her own biography and a documentary both called One Gear, No Breaks. Nomination and Information submitted by Wayne Mackenzie. Urszula Torkarska. Born ,Poland. In she visited the Mount Everest bas camp in Nepal where she was smitten with mountain climbing. In she joined an expedition up Mount Aconcagra, the highest peak in South America.

Inspired by fellow climber, Peggy Foster, who was attempting to be the first Canadian woman to climb to the top of the seven tallest summits in the world she continued her climbing. In she climbed the highest peaks offered in Europe and Africa. She was turned by from the summit of Everest by storms. In June she and Peggy Foster made another attempt at Everest with Urszula the one to claim the top of the mountain.

Cassie Campbell. Born Richmond Hill, Ontario November 22, It seems as if Cassie has always loved to play hockey. She earned her honours BA in Sociology in She was on the Olympic teams that won silver in , and gold medals in and She is the only hockey captain male or female to lead her team to two Olympic Gold medals. She has also played in Seven World Championships and is the longest serving Hockey team captain to date. On October 14, she became the first woman to provide colour commentary on Hockey Night in Canada. This was the same year she published her first book, H.

No wonder the City of Brampton proudly named their Community Centre in her honour. In June she received an honourary degree from the university of Guelph. Cassie is married to Brad Pascal and the couple have one daughter. Carol Huynh. Her parents were refugees from Vietnam who were sponsored by the United Church of Canada. She and her sisters all enjoyed wrestling when growing up but she was the one who joined competitions.

In she stared university studies at Simon Fraser and in studied at the University of Calgary in Alberta. In she married Dan Biggs, the son of a former wrestler. Catherwood also held national titles in javelin throw , but this event became Olympic only in , whereas she retired from competitions a year earlier. Upon her return from the Olympics, Catherwood was offered a movie contract, but declined the offer. She took a business course, married, and moved to California. Catherwood had an enigmatic life. After the Olympics, where she was feted as the beauty of the games, she was surrounded in scandal.

Her secret marriage to and speedy Reno divorce from James McLaren, and later marriage to Byron Mitchell whom she divorced in had the press following her every move. She refused to give interviews [3] She even considered trying out for the US Olympic team in She died in California on September 26, Catherwood is the subject of a short graphic i. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ethel Catherwood Ethel Catherwood in Medal record.

The StarPhoenix. Retrieved Olympic champions in women's high jump.

The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team The Matchless Six: The Story of Canadas First Womens Olympic Team

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