The BC Sports Hall of Fame will be inducting nine individuals this month in the categories of athlete, team, builder, media, pioneer, and W.A.C. Bennett.
Ashleigh McIvor (ski cross)
As an English student at UBC in 2003, Whistler’s Ashleigh McIvor wrote an essay that she later sent to the IOC arguing that ski cross should be added as an Olympic sport. By the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, McIvor’s wish came true. Ranked in the top-three in world ski cross for the past three years, McIvor quickly erased any doubt the pressure of competing in the Olympics at home would be an issue. Breezing through qualifying, McIvor shot out to a quick lead in the snowy final on Cypress Mountain, holding on to make history as ski cross’ first-ever women’s Olympic champion. Prior to this, McIvor won the 2009 FIS world championship and a silver medal at the 2010 Winter X Games. To date, McIvor has accumulated ten World Cup podium finishes. She is currently rehabilitating a knee injury suffered during the 2010-11 World Cup season with the intention to defend her Olympic crown at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Howard Kelsey (basketball)
One of the greatest basketball players ever to represent Canada internationally, Vancouver’s Howard Kelsey was a standout on the men’s national team for eleven years (1977-88) appearing in over 400 games at a time when Canada was consistently ranked in the world’s top-six. The two-time Canadian Olympian (1980, 1984) stands as one of only two native British Columbian basketball players to represent Canada in two Olympic Games. Among Canada’s best results while Kelsey was a key starter included a fourth-place finish at the 1984 Olympic Games, gold at 1978 Commonwealth Basketball Championships, gold at 1983 FISU World University Games, and Canada’s first-ever defeat of the US in a major international competition at the 1981 FISU Games. An outstanding high school player at Point Grey, Kelsey retains the highest career scoring average in BC history at 34.5 points per game.
Michael Edgson (para-swimming)
Nearly twenty years since his retirement, Nanaimo’s Michael Edgson remains one of the most decorated Paralympic athletes in Canadian history. Competing in the B3 category for athletes with visual acuity lower than 20/200, over his twelve-year career (1981-92) Edgson represented Canada at three Paralympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992) and compiled a remarkable twenty-two Paralympic medals in para-swimming, including eighteen gold. Combined with world championship competitions, Edgson won thirty-two individual medals and set more than twenty world records. After winning a remarkable nine Paralympic medals and setting four world records, Edgson was selected as Canada’s flag bearer at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1988 Seoul Paralympics. In 1992, he finished as a finalist with Mark Tewksbury and Mark McKoy for the Norton H. Crowe Award for Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year.
Bernard Buster Moberg (softball)
The most dominant softball pitcher during the greatest era of BC’s top league, North Vancouver’s Bernard ‘Buster’ Moberg’s 100 mile-per-hour fastball was feared by many batters during his fourteenyear career (1958-71) on South Hill Senior A men’s pitching mounds. Moberg rewrote the South Hill record book during that time recording the most-ever wins (111), most innings pitched (1099), most strikeouts (1598, for an amazing average of 1.5 per inning), most no-hitters (11), most one-hitters (14), and most shutouts (33). His dominance at times was frightening. Over a stretch of four seasons, Moberg won twenty-eight consecutive league games and on several occasions struck out more than twenty batters in a single game. Moberg pitched for six BC championship teams at the world championships (1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965) and four times led his Vancouver teams to the Canadian championship title.
Andrea Neil (soccer)
One of Canada’s greatest ever female soccer players, Vancouver’s Andrea Neil remains one of the most respected players ever to don the red-and-white for Canada on the pitch. Making her debut on the Canadian national team at age 19 in 1991, Neil remained a fixture of the program until her retirement in 2007, accumulating 132 caps—at one time more than any other Canadian player, male or female. She also scored twenty-four goals in that time, ranking her fifth all-time. Neil led Canada to four Women’s World Cup tournaments (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007) including Canada’s best-ever finish at a World Cup tournament when the Canadian women finished fourth in 2003. Neil also spent six seasons (2001-06) playing club soccer with the Vancouver Breakers/Whitecaps establishing club records for games played (69), minutes played (6066), and assists (22). While club captain, she led the Whitecaps to two W-League championships in 2004 and 2006. Andrea is the first women inducted in the athlete category in the sport of soccer.
David Esworthy (equestrian)
A long-time resident of Vancouver, who has called Langley home for over a decade, David Esworthy has dedicated his life to equestrian sport in British Columbia, Canada, and internationally through the FEI (Federation Equestrian Internationale). Esworthy has been described as a true horseman, in that he has served in virtually every role possible in his sport: as a rider, judge, steward, horseshow organizer, horseshow chair, and industry advisor. Beginning as a young cowboy wrangling horses on a ranch to his current status as an Equine Canada and FEI steward, judge, and clinician, Esworthy has experienced the sport at all levels over a fifty-plus-year career. Always working to give equestrian greater recognition and credibility, Esworthy served as president of Horse Council BC, Equine Canada, and assisted in the preparations for equestrian events at the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games. Perhaps Esworthy’s biggest impact is in the countless individuals he has mentored in BC, Canada, and beyond, who themselves have gone on to become accomplished athletes, officials, and administrators.
Don Martin (sailing)
A fixture in the BC sailing community for forty years, Vancouver’s Don Martin has been involved in the sport as a boat designer, boat builder, sailor, coach, mentor, judge, and official. Incorporated in 1975, Martin Yachts Ltd. has been responsible for the design and construction of over 600 composite craft up to 27 meters. Martin’s designs include the Martin 242, which has become one of the most popular one design keel boat classes in the Pacific Northwest, and the popular Martin 16, designed specifically for people with a disability to sail independently. Martin actually donated all design rights of the Martin 16 to the Disabled Sailing Association of BC. A co-founder of the Easter Seals Regatta in 1991, since its inception the event has raised over $1 million for children with disabilities. As a sailor, Martin’s resume includes numerous Canadian national titles, several North American championship victories, and participation in several Admirals’ Cup and America’s Cup efforts. An active international judge certified by the International Sailing Federation, Martin has volunteered at many of the world’s top competitions. Martin served as the team leader for both the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic sailing teams at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Paralympics and more recently as coach of the 2004 and 2008 Canadian Paralympic sailing teams competing in Athens and Beijing respectively.
Barbara Howard (track and field)
During the late 1930s, Vancouver’s Barbara Howard was one of the fastest female sprinters in the British Empire and looked poised to make her mark on the larger Olympic stage. If not for the outbreak of World War II, she may well have. In 1938, at the age of seventeen, Howard ran the 100-yards in a scorching time of 11.2 seconds at the Western Canada British Empire Games trials, bettering the British Empire Games record of the time by one-tenth of a second. The result earned Howard selection to represent Canada at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney, Australia. After the monthlong trip by boat, Howard, who had never left Vancouver before, became a minor celebrity Down Under, black athletes being a rarity at the time in Australia. In fact, Howard is believed to be the first black woman athlete to represent Canada in international competition. In Sydney, Howard finished sixth in the 100-yard dash and helped two Canadian relay teams to silver and bronze medals. Determined to run at the 1940 Olympics in Tokyo, war intervened and the Games were cancelled. Her sprinting career was over by the time the Olympics resumed a decade later. Howard later became a Vancouver school teacher and today at the age of 91 remains active in the Burnaby community.
As the first-ever female W.A.C. Bennett Award recipient, Vancouver’s May Brown must be considered among the most highly principled individuals in the volunteer world of sport and recreation this province has ever known. Brown volunteered countless hours to sports organizations and causes over a sixty-year career beginning in 1947 as a UBC field hockey coach. In the 1950s, Brown was critical to the development of synchronized swimming in BC. Twice she was elected to serve on the Vancouver Park Board in 1972 and 1974—serving as chair during her latter term—and was responsible for the creation of many new sports facilities and parks. From 1969-74, Brown served on the National Advisory Council on Fitness and Amateur Sport establishing the Canada Games, creating Sport Canada, and approving grants for national sports governing bodies. Brown was a member of the BC Advisory Council for Sport and Recreation from 1987-92, the 1994 Commonwealth Games Society from 1989-94, and the sport sub-committee that worked for six months to encourage Vancouverites to vote “Yes” in the City of Vancouver referendum on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games bid.
The 1945-46 Vancouver Canucks.
Formed in the summer of 1945, the inaugural edition of the Vancouver Canucks proved remarkably successful winning the 1945-46 Pacific Coast Hockey League Northern Division with a 37-21 record. Scoring an average of nearly five-and-a-half goals a game and having four of the top-ten scoring players in the PCHL put the Canucks in good stead going into the playoffs. The Canucks’ Andy Clovechok led the league with 56 goals and 103 points. The Canucks defeated the PCHL’s Southern Division winner Hollywood Wolves 4-1 in the best-of-seven final series to be crowned Pacific Coast Hockey League champions. From there, the Canucks challenged the Boston Olympics, champions of the Eastern Hockey League, for the United States Amateur Championship. In an epic seven-game series played out of the Vancouver Forum, the Canucks battled back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the star-laden Olympics 4-3 and become the first and only Canadian team in history to win both the PCHL championship and United States amateur championship.
Paul Thompson (coach)
Coley Hall (owner)
Bill Carse (centreman)
Mel Neilsen (winger)
Alex Pringle (winger)
Elmer Kreller (forward)
Albert ‘Ab’ McDougall (winger)
Bernie Bathgate (forward)
Chuck Millman (defenceman)
Andy Clovechok (forward)
Lyall Swaney (defenceman)
Roy Worrall (goaltender)
Jock Smith (defenceman)
Ed McAneeley (goaltender)
Dick Gray (defenceman and team captain)
The 2012 Inductees will be formally inducted to the BC Sports Hall of Fame at the 44th Annual Banquet of Champions at the Vancouver Convention Centre on September 20, 2012. Tickets are available now and include dinner. Miss604.com is a proud media partner of this event.
You can find out more about these inductees and others who have been honored at the BC Sports Hall of Fame which is located through Gate “A” at BC Place. Follow the Hall on Twitter and Facebook throughout the year for information about the galleries, sports in BC, and more.