The BC Sports Hall of Fame Summit kicked off in Kelowna with a luncheon on Friday afternoon (Sept. 23).
This is the first time the event has taken place outside the Lower Mainland every year. It was supposed to take place in Kelowna in 2020 but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three people were honoured for their ‘defining moments’ by the BC Sports Hall of Fame. The three moments were Nancy Greene’s gold and silver medals at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, Rick Hansen and his Man in Motion tour from 1987, and Canada’s first and only Dunhill Cup championship in 1994 at St. Andrews.
Unfortunately, Greene was diagnosed with COVID on Thursday, making her unable to make the drive from Sun Peaks Ski Resort to attend the event. Greene asked Gary Athans, who participated in skiing at the 1984 Olympics, to accept the award for her and read her speech. Being friends with Greene, he threw in his thoughts about her receiving the honour as well.
“I want to thank the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the organizers of the summit in Kelowna for honouring me,” Athans read from Greene’s speech. “It was a great feeling to win the giant slalom, gold is so much better than silver.”
Hansen was also unable to make the event but sent a video of himself talking about how honoured he was to be honoured. Paralympians Paul Clark and Diane Rakiecki accepted the award in his honour.
The Dunhill Cup championship team featured Richmond’s Dave Barr, Abbotsford’s Ray Stewart, and Victoria’s Rick Gibson. Barr was the one in attendance to accept the honour.
“It was truly a phenomenal feat in Canadian golf,” said Barr. “It’s nice to be here in Kelowna and be part of these defining moments.”
Since it was the first time the event had been held in the Okanagan, the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame honoured three of their own defining moments. They put a 16-moment bracket out to the public to vote on but their board of directors also had a say in the matter.
The three moments selected were: Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa winning the gold medal in women’s ski-cross at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter games, the 2004 Kelowna Rockets hosting and winning the Memorial Cup, and Rick Folk and his curling team.
Serwa’s dad, Brad was on hand to say a few words about his daughter receiving the honour.
The luncheon was followed by BC Sports round table panel, hosted by the Chair of the BC Hockey Hall of Fame and broadcasting legend, Jim Hughson.
A few hours later, the Council of Chairs dinner took place at the Prestige Beach House.
The fun continues into Saturday (Sept. 24) as there is an open house at the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, followed by the BC Sports Hall of Fame annual general meeting.