Nearly 50 years after the last class was inducted into the North Shore Sports Hall of Fame, a super group of four athletes, one builder and one team is set to get the hall refurnished in grand style in 2019.
One striking fact tells you everything you need to know about the class of 2019: every single one of the athletes, as well as the team, have world championship or Olympic gold medals on their resumes.
Here they are, the inductees into the North Shore Sports Hall of Fame for 2019:
Karen Magnussen: athlete, figure skating
Paul Kariya: athlete, hockey
Kirsten Barnes: athlete, rowing
Xwechtáal Andrew Paull: coach/builder, lacrosse/baseball
Maëlle Ricker: athlete, snowboarding
Linda Moore’s team: curling, team
“We’ve got a history of athletics on the North Shore that really is second to none of any community in B.C.,” said Len Corben, a sport historian and the chairman of the committee that re-established the North Shore Sports Hall of Fame. “It’s time for us to celebrate the past and enjoy the history that we have.”
The 2019 inductees join the classes of 1968 and ’71 in the Hall of Fame, including lacrosse player Henry Baker, tennis stars Caroline Deacon and Eleanor Young Stonehouse, track and field runners Harry Jerome and Bill Parnell, swimmer Elaine Tanner, the lawn bowling team of Sam Gardiner and Dick Williams, soccer builders Jim Spencer and Tommy Nelson, gymnast Sandra Hartley, figure skater Jay Humphry and archer Dorothy Lidstone.
“It’s a huge honour for our team,” curler Linda Moore told the North Shore News. “I’m sure there were a number of teams that were very worthy, so we’re very, very honoured to be the ones chosen.”
The Hall of Fame itself has an interesting history. According to Corben’s research, it was the first community Hall of Fame in British Columbia when it was established in 1968. A second class was inducted in 1971, but then the Hall went dormant for decades. During the last year a committee associated with the North Shore Sport Awards worked to get the Hall of Fame going again, and the 2019 class will be honoured as part of the annual North Shore Sport Awards ceremony scheduled for March 14 at the West Vancouver Community Centre.
The Hall of Fame selection committee (which includes the author of this article) looked at the entire history of sport on the North Shore when selecting athletes for the class of 2019.
“I think that the selection committee did a really good job of coming up with the 2019 inductees,” said Corben. “The process started with almost 240 individuals and their bios, and almost 50 teams and their bios. That’s a lot of potential inductees.”
The inductees demonstrate the vast range of sporting achievements on the North Shore.
North Vancouver native Karen Magnussen was a figure skating legend, winning five senior national titles and one world championship title, on top of countless other awards and accolades. She claimed silver at the 1972 Olympics, the only Canadian to earn a medal at those Games, and was named the country’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony. Magnussen is a member of the Order of Canada and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
North Vancouver native Paul Kariya was an elite talent both on the international stage and in the NHL. Playing for Team Canada, he won gold medals at the World Juniors in 1993, the world championships in 1994, and the Olympic Games in 2002. He played 15 seasons in the NHL, scoring 989 points in 989 career regular season games. In 2017 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
West Vancouver native Kirsten Barnes was a member of Canada’s dominant women’s rowing team in the late 1980s and ’90s. Barnes won double gold in the women’s fours and eights at the world championships in 1991 and at the Olympic Games in 1992. She is also a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Xwechtáal Andrew Paul
Xwechtáal Andrew Paull was the coach of the famed North Shore Indians lacrosse team in the 1930s, guiding the team to provincial championships in 1932 and 1936. The team went all the way to the final of the Mann Cup, Canada’s senior men’s box lacrosse championship, in 1936. The Squamish Nation member, well known as a First Nations activist, also won provincial championships as a baseball coach, helped establish the annual Buckskin Gloves boxing tournament, and wrote sports columns for Vancouver newspapers. Paull is also a member of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
West Vancouver native Maëlle Ricker made history as the first Canadian woman to win Olympic gold on home soil when she won the final of the snowboard cross race on Cypress Mountain in 2010. She also won the overall World Cup snowboard cross title for the 2007-08 season and won gold at the world championships in 2013.
Linda Moore curling team
The team of skip Linda Moore, third Lindsay Sparkes, second Debbie Jones and lead Laurie Carney, along with coach Rae Moir, won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts national championships as well as the World Championships in 1985. Moore, Sparkes and Jones – joined by Edmonton’s Penny Ryan – then went on to win gold at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary where curling was a demonstration sport. (Click here for more on the Moore rink.)
Corben is hoping that the rebooted Hall of Fame will help preserve the history of sports on the North Shore.
“History is really important. By having the people inducted and having a significant bio on each of them available to the general public through a website and other ways, it enables the history to be kept,” he said. “I think the preservation of history, whether it be sports or otherwise, is really necessary. This is one way of helping to achieve that.”
The rebooted North Shore Sports Hall of Fame, supported by the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission and the District of West Vancouver, will be a virtual Hall of Fame with an upcoming website devoted to inductees.
The North Shore News will also run features on inductees leading up to the ceremony next month.