(Charlottetown, PE) On the evening of February 17, 2023, one night before the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games kick off with an electrifying Opening Ceremony, the Canada Games family celebrated its past with the induction of five new members into the Canada Games Hall of Honour.
Olympic champions Sami Jo Small (Hockey, PEI 1991 and Athletics, Kamloops 1993, Brandon 1997), Heather Moyse (Athletics, Brandon 1997, London 2001), and Marc Gagnon (Speed Skating, PEI 1991) joined the list of athletes honoured for their accomplishments on and off the playing field.
“It’s a huge honour,” Moyse said. “It means a lot also because for me receiving it means what I’ve done beyond the Canada Games, it certainly wasn’t what I achieved at the Canada Games, so it’s a reflection of what I was able to give back and what I’ve been able to do moving forward and what those Canada Games prepared me for.”
Team Ontario swim coach and famed open-water marathon swimmer Vicki Keith (PEI 2009, Winnipeg 2017) was added to the list of builders for her contributions to the Canada Games Movement and sparking greatness in young athletes with and without disabilities.
“When I was called and told that I was going to be inducted as a builder I was really touched because it means that I’ve made a positive long-term impact on the lives of the young people that I work with,” Keith said. “And I don’t think that there’s a greater thing that I could be acknowledged for because for me that’s the most important thing that I could do.”
Finally, PEI’s top doctor and field hockey alum Dr. Heather Morrison (Saskatoon 1989, Kamloops 1993) was recognized as a distinguished alum for all she has done for Islanders beyond sport.
“I think this is such an honour and it was a surprise to me,” Dr. Morrison said. “But I just think to be inducted with such amazing athletes and contributors to the Canada Games experience is a special moment for me and I’m just so fortunate to share it with such amazing other athletes.”
The Class of 2023 was honoured for distinguishing themselves during the Games and beyond, while contributing to the growth of the Canada Games Movement. They are leaders in their daily life and make their families, friends, community, and country proud.
“From the flame that was lit and then extinguished, the moments with other speed skaters, and also in other sports, I saw on a small scale what the Olympic Games were like, and this is what really ignited my desire of not wanting to just be a world champion, but also an Olympic champion,” said Marc Gagnon.
The inductees were welcomed into the Hall by more than 300 Canada Games stakeholders, partners and VIP guests at the Hall of Honour celebration in downtown Charlottetown. A new generation of athletes and leaders will now look to follow a similar journey and pursue greatness starting at the 2023 Canada Winter Games.