A pair of golden Paralympians, two tireless builders and a starry senior men’s baseball team will enter the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.
Vernon’s Sonja Gaudet, Canada’s most decorated wheelchair curler, and Enderby’s Marni Abbott-Peter, a Paralympic swimming and basketball medalist, are the athletes to be inducted Friday, Nov. 1 at the Schubert Centre.
The late Don MacDonald, who founded the Vernon Boxing Club, and longtime boxing and soccer official Ian Gibson, will enter the shrine in the builders category.
The Enderby Legionnaires, who won provincial AA titles four times and claimed Western Canadian crowns in 1982 and ‘84, are the honoured team.
“We went through a number of worthy candidates and chose these amazing athletes and builders, people who truly made a difference, while showing class,” said shrine committee director Roger Knox.
“We have a long list of extraordinary people who will be voted into the Hall of Fame in the coming years.”
Gaudet, 46, has won gold medals at the past two Paralympic Winter Games, playing lead both times (in 2006 at Torino, Italy, with skip Chris Daw; in 2010 at Vancouver with skip Jim Armstrong).
Abbott-Peter, 47, was introduced to wheelchair sports by Rick Hansen. She started her Paralympic career in the pool, and found great success winning four gold and one silver in swimming at the 1986 Pan American Games.
She began playing wheelchair basketball in 1988 and made the national team in 1992 and won her first medal at the Barcelona Paralympic games that same year.
Marni’s career highlights include being Canada’s flag bearer at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, where she led the team to another gold medal. At the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Canada was unstoppable and there Marni was able to take her third gold medal home. In her time with the national team she has collected an impressive amount of hardware including three Paralympic Gold, three World Cup Gold.