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Honoured Member Carol Huynh named Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada

Article: Huynh Pins Heart on her Sleeve

The entirety of all that Carol Huynh has ever accomplished in her life made her an ideal choice for the role of Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the upcoming 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio. That the two-time Olympic medalist in wrestling, and CSI Calgary Next Generation coach, was handpicked for the job astonished Huynh, "I was surprised, bigtime surprised! I heard through the grapevine last fall that it might happen, but when the call came in October I was still surprised. It boggles my mind that they chose me."

If you look closely at Huynh's long career in sport, first as an athlete, then advocate, coach and now mentor, it should come as no surprise that she was chosen to serve as Assistant Chef. But it's not medals and accolades that make Huyhn, a former CSI Calgary athlete, the right person for the job, it's her spirit and knowledge, and the desire to share it with the athletes – all of them. "I'm not there just to support the medalists," she says. "I see myself being there as much for the athletes that didn't quite do as well as they hoped."

Brimming with infectious enthusiasm, Huynh relishes the opportunity to fulfill her role as team spokesperson, leader, mentor and cheerleader. "It's a great opportunity for me to be on Team Canada in a totally different way. I can bring my different experiences to the table. In Beijing I came in as an underdog and left as an Olympic champion, and in London I came in as the favourite and with that extra pressure I had a lower result than I had hoped for."

The same attributes that made her so successful as an athlete now influence the way she coaches. Endless dissection of every move, every thought and comment. When her athletes are less successful than she had hoped, there is thoughtful introspection about what she could have done or said differently that might have made a difference. "I'm still quick to blame myself!" she says.

But perhaps the profound experience of having to fight for the inclusion of her sport in the Olympic Games is at the heart of what she will bring with her to Rio. It came as a total shock to Huynh when, in 2013 the IOC voted wrestling out of the core sports for the Olympic Summer Games beginning in 2020. "For the first time I looked at the sport differently, beyond myself. I saw it from the grassroots level and from an international perspective, where kids all over the world dream of being an Olympian in their sport, or they just love to play a sport. It touches so many people and opens opportunities."

The vote spurred Huynh to fight the sport's ousting and she worked hard within the wrestling community to get the sport reinstated, an effort that was ultimately successful and which led to her election as the chairperson of the International Wrestling Federation's new Athletes' Commission. "I have been a part of, and witness to, a lot of great change in our sport. I feel very glad that all happened because so many things in our sport needed to be changed."

This relentless determination to fight – on the mat, for her athletes, for her sport – has galvanized an Olympic spirit in Huynh that is unwavering. When asked what keeps her so deeply entrenched in both wrestling and the Olympic movement, Huynh laughs, "I ask myself the same question!"

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Volunteer Week 2016

National Volunteer Appreciation Week: April 10-16, 2016

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame would like to extend a Thank You to all of our Volunteers for all of their hard work, dedication, and support.  Would couldn't do it without you!


Congratulations Honoured Member Kelly Anne Erdman On Her Recent Publication!

Article from Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: Paving the Way: Kelly Anne Erdman

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) congratulates Kelly Anne Erdman on her recent publication, an accomplishment she deems to be, "The greatest achievement of my career." Erdman has been a source of knowledge in Canadian athletes' lives for over two decades. Always up-to-date on cutting-edge research, Erdman has been a Performance Dietitian at the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games as well as the 2011 Pan Am Games.

Erdman began working at the CSI Calgary in 1994, paving the way in the field of sports nutrition. An Olympian in track cycling, Erdman continues to be aligned with the CSI Calgary, working predominantly with the speed skating team and Hockey Canada as the lead dietitian for both the women's and sledge hockey programs and consulting with the men's team. She also consults with a variety of sports including luge, heptathlon, and nordic skiing.

For her recent publication, Erdman was hand-picked by Dietitians of Canada to be a co-author on the February 2016 position paper titled Nutrition and Athletic Performance: Position of Dietitians of Canada, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine. The publication is an in-depth report on the role of nutrition as a critical piece of high performance sport and shares the authors' expertise by outlining evidence-based current recommendations for athletes' nutrition.

As one of three authors who spent a year and a half re-writing the paper based on current evidence, Erdman's co-authors were American D. Travis Thomas from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Australian Louise M. Burke representing the American College of Sports Medicine. As science and sport are always evolving, this is the third time the paper has been re-written to update the information. Last published in 2011, the joint position paper will go through its next re-write in 2019.

Erdman says that this re-write is more focused on the need for athlete nutrition to be customized. She believes that it is critical for athletes and their support teams to be aware of how an athlete's nutrition needs vary on a daily basis. When asked the one piece of advice that she would give to her fellow Sport Dietitians, Erdman stresses that she believes in tailoring the message, customizing it for each athlete's needs.

Ultimately, it is evident that Erdman loves what she does and is an integral component to the success of Canada's athletes. While the CSI Calgary knows that Erdman is very deserving of this recognition, she humbly emphasizes, "It was a huge honour for me to represent sport dietitians in Canada, and I would not have been given the opportunity to work on this piece of literature had I not been affiliated with a high performance institute such as the CSI Calgary."

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler

Honoured Member Hayley Wickenheiser checks another one off the list!

Article from the Ottawa Citizen: Inferno engulfs Canadiennes to win Clarkson Cup

Calgary Inferno 8, Montreal Canadiennes 3

Leave it to Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and a mother of a 16-year-old son, to sum up what it means to win the Clarkson Cup as Canadian Women’s Hockey League champions.

“I’ve pretty much won every championship except this one and just to do it with this group of players is special,” said Wickenheiser, 37, who picked up a pair of assists as her Calgary Inferno romped past the Montreal Canadiennes 8-3 at the Canadian Tire Centre Sunday to capture their first CWHL title.

“This group is interesting in the sense that we’ve got some players who are sort of pro players like myself, and other national team players, and then you’ve got other women who are working 9-to-5 jobs. They come to the rink at night for practice and they don’t get a chance to train. I was thinking about those players. We’ve got a police officer, a teacher, a lawyer and for those girls to win a championship like this, and all the tears, it means a lot to them. That’s why this league matters.”

The Inferno jumped on the Canadiennes early, making it a long and rough afternoon for Canadiennes goaltender Charline Labonte, also a four-time Olympian. Calgary led 2-1 after the first period, 5-2 after the second and was up 7-2 early in the third period.

Blayre Turnbull, Jessica Campbell, Rebecca Johnston and Brianne Jenner all scored twice for the Inferno.

The Canadiennes received goals from Olympic star Marie-Philip Poulin, Noemie Marin and Kim Deschenes, but on the occasions where they pushed to get back into the game, Inferno goaltender Delayne Brian was sharp. Brian stopped 38 of 41 shots.

“We won as a team, it wasn’t an individual effort by any means,” said Turnbull. “It feels great, something we’ve been working towards all year. Our team has been through a lot as a group. We’ve had some really high highs and some really low lows, so I think to come out here and win in front of such a good crowd was really special for us.”

The announced crowd of 4,082 (it appeared more like 3,000 were in the building) is small by NHL standards, but it is huge compared to the 300-500 who regularly show up for CWHL regular season games in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Brampton. The Inferno players said the atmosphere added to the championship game. Wickenheiser is hoping that with a little more promotion, a bit more media coverage and more general awareness of the game, attendance could double when the CWHL championship returns to Canadian Tire Centre next year.

“It’s always good to come to Ottawa,” she said. “We always know we’re going to get a good reception here. Just to see the turnout today, I thought it was pretty decent for relatively short notice, and we know this is a girls hockey hotbed here and in the surrounding community. This is hopefully a future place for a team.”

As for Sunday’s game, the Inferno was on fire early. Johnston opened the scoring at the 2:26 mark against Labonte, who on Friday was named CWHL goaltender of the year.

The Canadiennes tied the game on a power play, when Poulin found a loose puck at the side of the net and beat Brian with a backhand. Poulin, who scored 23 goals and 23 assists in 22 games during the regular season and scored the gold-medal winning goals for Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, was named the league’s most valuable player on Friday.

From there, though, the Inferno took over the game.

Brianne Jenner restored the Inferno’s lead before the period was out and Calgary padded the lead to 4-1 on goals from Campbell and Turnbull early in the second period.

The Canadiennes’ Marin made it 4-2, but Turnbull replied quickly to give the Inferno its commanding three-goal lead heading into the final period.

Goals from Campbell and Johnston early in the third made it 7-2. The Canadiennes attempted a late rally, receiving a goal from Deschenes. But the Canadiennes were in desperate straits, pulling Labonte for an extra skater with 5:30 remaining. Brian made a couple of big saves and Jenner capped the scoring into an empty net.

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New Inductee Neil Langevin To The Hall of Fame

The Free Press Article: Ex-local rugby coach inducted into sports hall of fame

Neil Langevin spent his childhood in Sparwood and attended Sparwood Secondary School. There, with the help of his English teacher, Jim Vallance, he found the sport of rugby. Little did he know at the time he was finding more than just a sport – he was finding a coaching career.

“He actually saw me play basketball in Grade 10 and he told me I wasn’t so good at basketball but he had a sport he thought I would like. He was right on both counts,” Langevin said of Vallance.

After high school, Langevin went to Lethbridge for university. There he started the women’s university team and started competing against the larger universities in the area.

“We kind of started that group up and coached it for 11 years, culminating in – we had three years in a row that we won a national title and six years in a row that we won the Canada West.”

Recently, Langevin was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career.

“It’s recognition of not just my efforts but the efforts of a large group. The team, we have been lucky enough to be inducted into the Hall of Fame already as a team, and as well as the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame last year.”

Langevin was with the University of Lethbridge Horns women’s rugby program since its inception in 2000. Throughout his time with the Horns, the team garnered a reputation as the country’s premier rugby program. His longest winning streak was 22 games in a row. He also took Canada’s National Women’s team to a fourth place finish at the 2006 World Cup.

Langevin says some of Vallance’s philosophies and mottos have stayed with him throughout his career.

“When I started in Grade 10, it was interesting to see Jim Vallance’s sayings used and his philosophy,” he said. “His style of play, that stayed with me forever. Lots about defence and about pressure all of the time. There is a phrase he use to say – ‘you need to turn pressure into points’.”

It seems that’s exactly what Langevin did – pressure into points, and ultimately into the Hall of Fame.


Happy #IWD2016 from ASHFM

March 8, 2016

International Women's Day (IWD) is a day to Celebrate Women's Achievements socially, culturally, politically, and economically through History and across Nations. IWD dates back to March 19, 1911, and is celebrated in many countries for many different reasons. Since its inception in 1957, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum has inducted numerous women for their achievements in sports. The percentage per category looks like this: 23% Athletes, 15% Builders, 9% Achievement Award, 3% Bell Memorial Award, and 7% Pioneer Award. While the numbers aren't a demonstration of equality, more and more women are being recognized for their achievements in sport. Four of the 2016 Inductees are in fact women who are being celebrated for their contributions to Alberta sport history.

If you would like to learn more about how to Nominate someone to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, click here.

This year, for International Women's Day, we have decided to put the spotlight on a few of our female builders. These incredible women have helped grow and shape sports in Alberta and have been an inspiration to young female athletes and other potential builders.

Melody Davidson

Melody Davidson was inducted in 2008 as a hockey builder. She began her hockey career in 1978 by coaching for her brother's Hockey team and in 1989 she made the move into coaching women's hockey. After coaching Team Alberta for three consecutive Canada Winter Games from 1991 to 1999 Melody made the move onto the National stage by becoming the assistant coach to the Canada Women's team in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. By the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, Melody found herself Head Coach of yet another Olympic gold medal team, a position she held for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. This three-time Olympic gold medal coach has been pivotal in developing many grassroots programs in Alberta as well as an amazing role model for girls in hockey across the province.

Gwen Davies

Gwen Davies was inducted in 2010 as both a golf athlete and a golf builder. Gwen won the title of Canadian Ladies Amputee Golf Champion 12 times in 17 years: 1992 to 1994, 1996 to 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, and from 2006 to 2009 as an athlete. Gwen is currently the President and Founding Member of the Canadian Amputee Golf Association and has been instrumental in creating guideline for the Canadian Amputee National Golf Tournament. Gwen has also been an instrumental role model for those facing amputation as well as being an advocate and ambassador for persons with disabilities in sports. On top of her volunteering for Amputee Golf, Gwen was also involved in the World Advisory Committee in the bid for Disabled Gold as a Paralympic Sport in 2016 Summer Game. Gwen was also been heavily involved in Skate Canada from 1979 to 2006, volunteering at the local, provincial and national level.

Debbie Muir

Debbie Muir was inducted in 1994 as a synchronized swimming builder. She became the Assistant coach of the Calgary Aquabelles in 1973. After being appointed as the head coach two years later, Debbie became the National Team Coach in 1976, a position she maintained until 1991. During her first year as National Team coach, her team won a gold medal at the 1976 Canadian Synchronized Swimming Championships. At the 1978 World Aquatic Championships two of her athletes claimed Canada's first gold medals in the Solo and Duet categories. Her athletes repeated World Championship placements in 1982, 1986 and 1991. Debbie, who was the Olympic coach in 1984, 1988 and 2000, coached four Olympians to two gold and two silver medals.


Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum's Female Builders