Victory on the Field - Lest We Forget
While we remember all those brave men and women who went to war to fight for our freedom this Remembrance Day, we at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum would like to highlight a few of our Honoured Members who gave back to Canada in a different way during the war; through the development and success of their sport.
Many aspects of everyday life during the war required women to fill roles that were traditionally filled by men. Sports were no different. Some women were given the opportunity to play professional level sports - such as the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League - while the wars raged overseas. The military even created its own sports teams to fill the gap left by a lack of pro teams, such as the Army & Navy Pats and the Army and Navy Starlets.
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is proud to display many of our veteran Hall of Fame members in the museum and Hall of Fame Gallery. Stop by to see the full exhibit or check out a sneak peak on our website: http://ashfm.ca/2-uncategorised/251-remembrance-day
100 Year Anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele
"The Battle of Passchendale, which occurred from late October to mid-November 1917, is considered an impressive victory for Canada, but one that came at a high price with more than 4,000 Canadian soldiers killed, and almost 12,000 wounded. The outcome of the battle, won despite almost impossible odds, cemented Canada’s reputation as an elite offensive fighting force, with nine Canadian soldiers earning the Victoria Cross."
Canadian Army well-represented at the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele
One of the many activities includes the Poppies Run. This run includes a five-kilometre stretch dedicated to Alberta Sports Hall of Fame member Alex Decoteau who fought and died at the Battle of Passchendaele.
ASHFM Biography - http://ashfm.ca/component/k2/decoteau-alex
ASHFM Vignette - https://youtu.be/tWXzHSrUjvE
100 days — good for hype, bad for athletes by ASHFM Honoured Member Jeremy Wotherspoon
Article from CBC Sports: Jeremy Wotherspoon: 100 days — good for hype, bad for athletes
By Jeremy Wotherspoon, November 2, 2017
Hundred days, that is how close we are to the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Korea.
It is an arbitrary number, but if I really want to attribute importance to “100 days to go,” here’s what this time of year means for me: the beginning of November marks the end of my fly-fishing season. Throughout my career, I was more interested in fishing than skating during the summer months.
I would do all of the training sessions, but as soon as I was done, I would be thinking about how quickly I could get out to the river, what stretch of river would be best, what flies to use. For most of my career, 100 days out from the Olympics also used to be the time when we would start doing our first races of the season, so the shift in focus from fishing happened pretty naturally.
But most importantly (except for the loss of fishing), 100 days out from the Olympics marks my birthday, and the skaters training in Calgary used to organize a Halloween party, the last time that we would “change gears” until after the Olympics. I can remember doing my first race of the season on my birthday, then going to the Halloween party that night, and then going fishing the next morning. Hundred days out never occurred to me at all while I was skating — I am not saying that this is a bad thing. Marking 100 days from the Olympics serves to remind the public that the winter sport competitive season is beginning.
It focusses interest on the great athletes who will be competing for Canada on the world stage. It also reminds administrators about their preparations for the Olympics, and whether they are on course to have things ready for the athletes so they can focus solely on their day-to-day preparations.
Problem at Torino Olympics
So the 100-day mark is a useful milestone, just not for the athletes. To be at their best, athletes need to focus on doing high-quality work every day at training. They need to dial in to what they are doing right now. The final goal is motivation, it is wild self-belief, it is emotional energy that convinces us to get up and train every day. This is a big challenge, because the Olympic goal dwarfs the sometimes imperceptible day-to-day improvements that are necessary to get there.
This was my problem in the lead-up to Torino in 2006. I was the least content with my training and my skating, and I was the most conscious of the countdown to the Olympics. Day in and day out there was always something that wasn’t good enough for me. I ignored the day-to-day gains, and when things did go well, I didn’t know why, so I racked my brain trying to repeat it.
My energy was waning. The countdown was like the tick of a clock, not knowing how I would handle the moment when the ticking stopped. “Hundred days to go” brought panic, adrenaline, and a feeling like I was about to give a speech without any preparation. During my racing years, the 500-race was my best event. Ever since Lillehammer in 1994, each Olympic 500 skater did two races, one starting in the inner lane, the other in the outer lane.
The competitor with the lowest combined times won (the Olympics in Pyeongchang, by the way, will be the first time since 1994 that speed skaters will compete in just one 500 race). In Salt Lake City in 2002, I fell in the first steps of the first 500.
I came back the next day and won the second race, but I still finished last, because I didn’t complete the first 500. I was unranked, but I was first of the unranked (and that is a joke that nobody but me finds funny). I may not have an Olympic medal from Salt Lake City, but I still came back after a fall, knowing my chance was gone, and prepared myself to step up to the line with the intention to skate my best again.
Reflecting on my career now, Torino is my biggest regret. In the 2006 Olympic 500 race, I just had an “okay” first race — not terrible, but not great. I still had another race to do, and if I could have just skated another “okay” race, I had a chance for the podium. The problem was the podium wasn’t good enough for me. I had to win the Olympics, to redeem myself and prove myself to the critics after 2002. This was the only acceptable outcome for me, and this lack of perspective crippled me.
After my first 500, I don’t remember any of the usual things that people do after races; getting off the ice, going to the change room, debriefing myself, and planning for the next one. I remember leaving my skates in the change room and walking outside of the building. I walked to an area where a lot of fences and building materials were stored, around a corner where no one would be able to see me.
I paced back and forth, so angry that it felt like the frontal lobe of my brain was going to burn through my forehead. I was crushed by the realization that winning wasn’t possible anymore. I was furious because I was unable to settle. Winning was more than the goal, it had become a necessity.
A podium finish was a compromise that I hadn’t prepared myself for. When I went back in and started getting ready for the second race, my deep competitive drive felt disconnected from what I was doing. I didn’t warm up enough or properly. I went through the motions.
When I put my skates on and got back on the ice, I felt stunned, uncomfortable. I skated around in the warm-up lane and I got a cramp in my foot, which had literally never happened to me in my life.
I had to quickly take my skate off and stretch my foot, and when I got back on the ice it was time to race. I felt like I wasn’t me, that I did not “fit” properly in my skates, in this place. I couldn’t see past having been beat — everything other than winning felt like failure.
I did not reflect on this or even identify it as my biggest regret until I became a coach, and saw competition from another perspective. Now I can look back and see my own tunnel vision. When Olympic gold was the ONLY acceptable outcome, it led, in the end, to a much worse final result.
I want to help athletes keep things in perspective. To prepare them to deal with situations as they come and to not get stuck like I did, weighed down by internal pressure and artificial constraints. I would never tell one of my athletes that it is 100 days out from the Olympics. Is this the correct approach? As an athlete, I don’t have the best Olympic record, but I am always learning and my ideas and opinions are not static.
Other athletes may respond to 100 days out differently. Some may see a milestone reminder to stay on task and be at their best. But my reasoning for not focusing on deadlines is based on my coaching philosophy. Deadlines take away from today, and the daily steps that lead to good performances at the Olympics. Preparing for the Olympics is the same as the preparation for every season. We do our best work every day to improve our skating skills, to get more specifically fit, and to stay as healthy as possible in the process. Take very small steps, with small expectations, and be satisfied with any step in the right direction. If you are doing your best work every day, why would you need a wake-up call?
I don’t think I would be a very good coach if I said: “suddenly this is important!” I can’t plan someone’s rate of improvement, so I don’t impose deadlines on anyone. I have ideas and outlines of where I want an athlete to get, but these are not direct expectations. We follow the course, and every day is an opportunity to get a little better, and we hold onto the little golden steps when they happen.
I don’t want athletes to focus on what they have to do in 100 days, I want them to focus on what they are doing right now.
Honoured Member Graham Kelly Chair of the Board at Medicine Hat College
Article from Alberta Government: Medicine Hat College has new board chair
A longtime city councillor and local sports writer will head the Board of Governors at Medicine Hat College.
Graham Kelly brings more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, Medicine Hat councillor and Medicine Hat News sports columnist to his new duties as chair. As chair and public member of the board, Kelly brings his keen understanding of community interests to his leadership.
“Mr. Kelly has been an outstanding member of this community for decades and he brings a wealth of experience to this position. His unique and diverse perspective will benefit Medicine Hat College students, staff and faculty.”
Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education
“I am deeply honoured to be appointed board chair of Medicine Hat College, a vital and cherished institution in our community for over 40 years. I look forward to working with fellow board members, students, faculty, support staff and other stakeholders so that Medicine Hat College continues to be an outstanding organization.”
Graham Kelly, chair of the Board of Governors of Medicine Hat College
“We are looking forward to working with Mr. Kelly who has a long history in the community and has a strong reputation as a positive contributor to the region we serve.”
Denise Henning, president, Medicine Hat College
Kelly has made other lasting marks on Medicine Hat. He helped develop community football and sports facilities, and his 45 years as a Medicine Hat News sports columnist earned him a place in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame reporters’ division, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and the City of Medicine Hat Sports Wall of Fame. He has also received the Alberta Centennial Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
Kelly earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Regina and a masters of arts degree from the University of Montana.
In addition, Deborah Lloyd and Mohammed Idriss have been re-appointed to the board, and will be joined by new public members Davin Carter and Kelly Garland.
Post-secondary chairs represent the Board of Governors to the minister of Advanced Education. Post-secondary boards are responsible for guiding the institution and must ensure public funds are used appropriately and effectively. The chair of the board of Medicine Hat College is appointed for a three-year term.
"Terry Jones 50 years: Synonymous with Edmonton sports for five decades"
Article from the Edmonton Sun: Terry Jones 50 years: Synonymous with Edmonton sports for five decades
He still is six credits shy of graduating high school when his dream job opened the door on a jet-setting career all those years ago
Over the course of his 50 years writing sports for Edmonton newspapers, Terry Jones has but one tiny regret.
If he could go back in time to his first day on the job in September 1967, he would tell his teenage self to keep a count of how many national anthems have been played during games he covers.
Chances are, when you add them all up, he’s stood for longer than a lot of professional playing careers have lasted in this city.
“It’s funny the way this 50 years writing sports in Edmonton has kind of gone. I never thought of it as a significant deal, really, because I never saw it as my finish line,” Jones said. “I never, ever look it up to see exactly what date I showed up. The actual date went by without any celebration.
“But, all of a sudden, special sections were being planned, the Edmonton Broadcasters Club had decided to honour me, the downtown Rotary Club had me speak on my 50 years and people like Ken Hitchcock were calling to congratulate me. I certainly never expected any of it.”
As far as expectations go, he didn’t know what to think the day he picked up a newspaper, hot off the press, in search of his first daily byline, only to discover it read:
By TERRP JONAS
Of The Journal
Looks like he’d have to make a name for himself. Literally.
That initial typo aside, Terry Jones would go on to become synonymous with sports in Edmonton, which for a long time during his tenure managed to capture plenty of the spotlight, both nationally and internationally.
He has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, while earning Sports Media Canada’s Lifetime Achievement award.
But it’s the members of his own hall, including wife Linda, their twin daughters Nikki and Trina, and son Shane, a fellow sportswriter who writes for the Canadian Press and the Sherwood Park News, who outrank those achievements.
As far as the numbers go, the list reads like a stack of TV Guides with all the sports channels highlighted. He’s been to 45 Grey Cups, more than 500 Stanley Cup playoff games, 26 Briers, 21 Super Bowls, 106 World Series games, every single Canada Cup and World Cup of hockey except the most recent one, as well as a handful of Indy 500 races, the Alydar-Affirmed Preakness, the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and Canadian Open, and a Bing Crosby at Pebble Beach, to name just a few.
Internationally, he’s covered 16 Olympics and a similar number of other major Games from the Commonwealths to the Pan-Ams, as well as 20 World Figure Skating Championships, seven of both the IIHF World Championships and World Juniors tournaments, four men’s and three women’s World Cups of soccer, three IAAF world championships in athletics and around a dozen World Cup ski races, including four in Europe.
Not bad for the young kid from Lacombe, who was and still is six credits shy of graduating high school when his dream job opened the door on a jet-setting career all those years ago.
But it wasn’t all banners and glory over the years. There was one particularly dark day in his career, too, even though Jones didn’t find out about it until well after the fact.
“I was apparently once fired by the Journal,” he said. “About two years in, the sports editor was Frank Hutton. Apparently, at a 10 a.m. management meeting, he told everybody he planned on firing me. About 11 a.m., he was replaced by Jack Deakin as sports editor.
“Deakin informed all that the big kid from Lacombe was staying. Deakin told me the whole story about four years later. I never had a clue.”
It hasn’t just been miles worth of column inches in newspapers over the years. Jones has also written 13 books, including: The Great Gretzky, and An Oiler Forever, on Wayne Gretzky, as well as The History of the Edmonton Oilers (1979-99) and the recently released $245, 10-pound collector’s edition Epic Legacy of the Edmonton Eskimos.
Oh, and there is one more thing he would mention to his younger self as he shuts the door on that DeLorean to come back to the future: “I’d tell my younger self not to have as much fun and secretly hope that my younger self wouldn’t listen.”
Honoured Member Terry Jones in the Edmonton Sun
Article from Edmonton Sun: Terry Jones 50 years: Living the dream in Edmonton
I’ve travelled the world and the world of sports. But the best part of the 50 years has been Edmonton itself.
In the fall of 1967, Don Smith, the managing editor of the Edmonton Journal, signed me up for $95 a week.
I floated out of his office. I was a teenaged kid from Lacombe and I had a job as a sportswriter on a major Canadian daily newspaper. I was about to live my dream. Other kids wanted to be sports stars, but from the time I was in Grade 7, I wanted to be a sports columnist. That was 50 years ago.
I wish I’d kept statistics.
How many columns? How many stories? How many sidebars? How many words?
I have no clue.
How many air miles? How many land miles, by car, iron lung (Bill Hunter’s Oil Kings bus back then) and by train? (Yes, I took road trips by train with Clare Drake’s U of A Golden Bears and love travelling by train in Europe).
How many nights on the road? How many Bacardi & Cokes? And the stat I really wish I kept — How many national anthems stood for?
It’s crazy the way it worked out. How many sports columnists have a career story like mine?
I entered a ‘What Remembrance Day Means To Me’ essay contest when I was in Grade 7. Five hundred words — $10 first prize.
I was setting pins at the new bowling alley in Lacombe and was not very busy. So I took a bowling score sheet and one of those little golf card score pencils and attempted, for my own amazement and amusement, to get to 500 words.
I failed. I only made it to 449. I wasn’t real secure with what an adjective was at that point, but I tossed in 26 of the suckers and one-finger typed it when typing class broke up and entered the contest.
They printed it in the Lacombe Globe. By Terry Jones. My first byline.
I went to the Globe for the grip-and-grin $10 cheque presentation. Somehow, while I was there, I talked the Globe’s new publishers Tom and Bert Ford into hiring me at $4 a week to write kids sports results stories.
I turned that into a $5-per-paper weekly column in seven papers in Central Alberta on high school sports before I even managed to get to high school.
Then, in Grade 10, I foisted a high school football story off on the Red Deer Advocate and got hired at 10 cents a column inch and 10 cents a mile to travel around the area covering high school. That wasn’t bad when it came to the 10 cents per mile business because I was too young to have a driver’s license and got paid 10 cents a mile to hitch hike.
I turned that into a part-time/full-time job at the Red Deer Advocate. Three years later, I had the chance — while still a teenager and six credits short of a high school diploma — to join The Journal.
When I arrived in Edmonton in 1967, I was assigned to cover the Golden Bears, the Huskies, the Wildcats, the AJHL and baseball at Renfrew Park plus pretty much anything else that other writers didn’t want to cover. I wanted to cover everything.
That was back when Clare Drake coached both the hockey and the football Golden Bears to national titles the same year. My first flight was with the Wildcats to Vancouver for a playoff game. I remember Roy Phillion, president of the Wildcats, sat next to me on the plane. A nun sat two rows in front of us. He told me they put nuns on the flights over the mountains because of the turbulence.
Over the next few years, I had the Oil Kings, the WHA Oilers and the Eskimos as beats and travelled as well with Can-Am, Trans-Am and Continental Series auto racing as beats.
When I became columnist in 1976, I covered the Montreal Olympics and Canada Cup as two major assignments.
So there I was at the bar in the Lacombe Hotel on Dec. 23, 1976, when my dad waved me over to his table.
“Do you remember this fella?” he asked me of the man having a beer with him.
I confessed he sure looked familiar but I couldn’t come up with his name.
“Well, this is Bob Hill and he was the president of the Lacombe Legion and the man who presented you with the $10 cheque for winning the essay contest.”
I stood there and told Mr. Hill that if it hadn’t been for winning that essay contest, I might not be writing sports for a living.
He looked at my dad. My dad looked back at him and nodded.
“Well, son, I was just talking to your dad about that contest and he said he’d never told you.”
“Told me what, sir?”
“That you were the only entry.”
My whole career, I found out that day, was based on being the only entry in that contest.
Who ends up covering sports in the City of Champions & Championships and travels all over the world — to 50-some countries — covering people like Kurt Browning, Jamie Sale & David Pelletier, Pierre Leuders, Jenn Heil, Randy Ferbey, Kevin Martin and so many more and makes it to 50 years in the same town?
Trust me, I view myself as being the luckiest scribe whoever pounded a portable typewriter and filed by telegraph and went on to go through laptop computer keyboards at a record rate and tweeting up storms.
Who goes from being the only entry in an essay contest to a career covering Wayne Gretzky in the front end of his career to covering Connor McDavid toward the end?
Who covers a football team that wins five Grey Cups in a row to a hockey team that wins five Stanley Cups in seven seasons?
It amazes me now, the greats I’ve watched, the great moments in sport all over the world. But to top it off, there’s been all the history in the greatest town to be a sportswriter in Canada — Edmonton, Alberta.
Edmonton’s sports history basically became my history. Nine of the first 10 Grey Cups I covered, the Eskimos were in the game. I covered the last two dynasties in Canadian sports, the five-in-a-row Eskimos and the five-time Stanley Cup winning Oilers.
For about 30 of my 50 years in Edmonton, I had the best sports-writing job in the country. Ask other writers from my era. It’s true.
On my birthday in 1982, Sun founder Doug Creighton gave me my own sizeable travel budget to entice me to leave The Journal, and The Sun lived up to the deal for more than a quarter century.
I’ve travelled the world and the world of sports. But the best part of the 50 years has been Edmonton itself. This has been the best city to be a sports columnist in Canada not just because of the teams and the athletes but also because of the variety of major events to which it has played host. It not only has been the City of Champions, it’s been the City of Championships.
For most of my years, Edmonton has been the most newsy sports city in the nation. And the city has such passion and such a level of caring for its sports teams that it’s been like you have to be conversant in sports to have a place at the company water cooler.
As a result, every day has provided me with my daily fix. I’ve been doing this for 50 years, and I still can’t wait to go to attack my next column.
And to be able to spend 50 years of a career in one city, first with the Journal, then with the Sun and now as the sports columnist with both? Who does that happen to?
I’ve been beyond blessed. And the best part of it all is that this isn’t my retirement column. I get to continue getting up in the morning to pursue my daily fix and to compete in my event, the 800-word individual medley. I get to continue living the dream I’ve had since Grade 7 and corresponding with you, the most important person of all, the reader. Most of all I thank you, dear reader, for my memories.
Honoured Member Dr Gary Bowie receives Order of Excellence
Yet another honour has been bestowed on a Lethbridge man for his lifetime of service.
On Thursday, Gary Bowie was one of eight recipients of the Alberta Order of Excellence, presented during a ceremony in Edmonton.
Described as “an early builder” of the Lethbridge College Kodiaks and the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns basketball teams, the longtime physical education professor has also been recognized in recent years as “citizen of the year” in Lethbridge and been given the “Key to the City,” along with the Alberta Centennial Medal and the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal.
Bowie, now in his 80th year, has also been presented an honorary degree by the U of L.
For his latest recognition Bowie is cited for “a lifetime of service to the community” which has “improved the lives of others by promoting and celebrating sport and wellness for all” along with his efforts to reduce homelessness.
In response, Bowie said he’s not satisfied to leave community improvement to others.
“Good things happen to you and others when you follow the rule of serving others in the community, church, work and family,” he said.
After completing a master’s degree in the U.S., Claresholm-born Bowie returned to Alberta to begin teaching and coaching at the college in 1962. He became one of the U of L’s founding faculty members in 1967.
In addition to coaching of supporting many championship teams on campus, Bowie is recognized as being instrumental in bringing the Alberta Winter Games and the Canada Winter Games to Lethbridge. He’s since been named to the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, along with further recognitions.
While continuing his active interest in sports and wellness, his community work in recent years has focused on social problems like homelessness and opioid use. He has also served as chair of the city’s Social Housing In Action committee and the city’s Housing First initiative.