Rowing Canada Aviron is proud to celebrate our champions of sport at the Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame induction ceremony on January 26, 2018. Rowing legends dating back over a century, will be honoured this month for shaping the landscape of rowing in Canada.
Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith will be among the class of inductees honoured for her rowing success in the early 1980’s. Tricia, a well-known leader in the Canadian and International sport community, has an equally impressive rowing resume with partner Betty Craig. Tricia and Betty teamed up for over three Olympic quadrennials in the Women’s coxless pair winning multiple World Championship medals and ultimately capturing an Olympic silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
RCA will be celebrating the outstanding rowing careers and contributions of the Class of 2018 on January 26, 2018 at 6pm in Toronto, ON. We encourage members of the rowing community join us in celebration!
Class of 2018 – Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame Inductees
Athlete Category - Individuals
Joe Wright Senior
Born: January 14, 1864 in Villanova, Ontario, Canada
Date of Passing: October 28, 1950
At the turn of the century, Joe Wright Sr. was arguably the most famous rower on the Canadian national scene. A lifelong member of the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club, he won over 130 national titles during his extensive career, as well as medals at two editions of the Summer Olympics, taking silver and bronze in the coxed eights at the 1904 and 1908 Games respectively.
Joseph George Harris "Joe" Wright Junior
Born: March 28, 1906 in Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: June 7, 1981
Aside from facing off against the best oarsmen in the world, Joe Wright, Jr. had the daunting challenge of following in the tremendous wake of his famous father. The younger Joe not only lived up to his father's name, but forged his own legend when, in 1928, he claimed his sport's most prestigious title, one of the only ones that had eluded Wright the elder- the Diamond Sculls at England's Henley Royal Regatta.
Wright Jr. also won Canadian and US single scull championship titles and two Olympic medals in the double sculls and men’s eights in 1928.
Athlete Category - Crews
1956 Men’s Coxless Four
Donald Arnold; Archibald MacKinnon; Walter D’Hondt; Lorne Loomer
The men’s’ coxless four was one of Canada's fortunate late additions to the team at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. The crew, one of several high-ranking teams of Coach Frank Read, achieved an impressive victory with a winning margin of 5 lengths of open water over their nearest rivals.
Women’s Coxless Pair
Marion Elizabeth "Betty" Craig; Tricia Smith
Betty Craig and Tricia Smith made their debut at the 1976 Summer Olympics, placing fifth in the coxless pairs. They returned to the coxless pairs in 1980 and were selected for Summer Olympics however stayed home after Canada joined the boycott of those Games. Undeterred, the duo earned silver, and back-to-back bronze medals at the next three editions of the World Championships and then took their talents to the 1984 Summer Olympics, where they won silver behind the Romanians.
1993-1996 Women’s Lightweight Double Scull
Colleen Miller and Wendy Wiebe
Miller and Wiebe were one of the most successful partnerships in the history of Canadian rowing. Their first world championship victory in 1993 was defended with consecutive titles in 1994 and 1995. The 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta were to feature Lightweight Rowing in its debut as a medal sport. Miller and Wiebe were denied Olympic success when the latter suffered from the flu during competition. Miller and Wiebe bravely battled through the illness to finish 7th overall.
Born: January 20, 1932
Date of Passing: December 1, 2014
For the last 60 years, Jack Nicholson has been coach to all levels of rowing in Canada. Jack was a National Team coach in the 80’s, winning gold at the 1985 World Rowing Championships in Belgium with Doug Hamilton, Robert Mills, Paul Douma and Melvin Laforme in the men’s quad. That same combination also won bronze at the 1986 and 1987 World Rowing Championships. Nicholson will most fondly be remembered for his decades coaching at the grassroots level in St. Catharines, ON.
Fred “Frits” Loek
Born: November 8, 1948
Date of Passing: August 30, 2015
Fred grew up in The Netherlands before immigrating to Canada. A member of the Don Rowing Club in Mississauga since 1968, Loek was passionate about many things, including rowing and photography. He coached at the Summer Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988, the Pan American Games in 1987, as well as the 1989 World Championships. He coached Heather Hattin and Janice Mason at the Mississauga Don Rowing Club, winning the very first Lightweight Women's double sculls event at the World Championship in Copenhagen in 1987. In 1988, Fred coached the Canadian women’s sculling team, consisting of Silken Laumann and Kay Worthington in the double sculls and Heather Hattin in the single sculls at the Don Rowing Club.
Rowing Canada Aviron encourages members of our community to help celebrate these exceptional contributors to rowing in Canada!
Purchasing a ticket to the Hall of Fame induction event before it’s too late!