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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Anne Heggtveit-Hamilton, Skiing
Heggtveit-Hamilton’s gold medal triumph at Squaw Valley gave Ottawa the unusual distinction of being home base for three Winter Gaines gold medallist and a partial claim on a fourth, Nancy Green, a giant slalom winner at Grenoble in 1968. Nancy spent the first two months of her life here.
The RCAF Flyers, with considerable coaching help from George “Buck” Boucher in pre-Games preparation in Ottawa, under Dr. Sandy Watson and Frank Boucher won their gold by holding off Czechoslovakia in the crucial encounter at St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1948.
The other to earn gold was Barbara Ann Scott, she winning at St. Moritz as well and thereby hangs a tale of a classic piece of meddling by the late Avery Brundage, at that time not even the President of the International Olympic Committee, a post he was to hold for 20 years.
The fun began when Barbara won the world and European championship in 1947 and her Ottawa faithful decreed she should have a canary yellow Buick convertible including a special licence ‘47-U-1’. Avery said naughty, naughty… that’s not cricket. And he raised the ire of the country when he suggested that by taking the car Canada’s darling would be “dangerously” suspect to professionalism, a hint that she likely would face disqualification from next year’s Olympics.
Tearfully Barbara returned the keys to the City and nobody had a pleasant thought about Brundage. But that was not the first time he was to draw criticism for rushing in where Angels fear to tread.
Tearfully “Babs” returned the keys of the car to the City, and everyone continued to make Avery’s ears burn. But that was not the first time he was to draw criticism for rushing in where angels fear to tread in his role of defending the simon pure Olympic code. Scott got even repeating her world and European Championship performances of 1947 and then added the Olympic bauble. The next step was a professional contract with the late T. P. Gorman and a tour across Canada as star of an ice show.
And she got her car, this time in her favored powder blue color. Naturally there was a license to match ‘48-U-12’.
Bowling was prominent in the early days of the Sportsmen’s Dinner, the reason being the gigantic for those days City-five-pin bowling tournament that ended the season. About 35 teams made a two-circuit tour of selected alleys seeking the City crown and individual honors. First bowler selected to the dinner was Lloyd “Murph” Chamberlain and he was followed by Wally Souchen. Nick Blonar, Wilf Bouvier, Emile Cote and Ken Colville among others.
Britannia sailors had another man at the Olympics in 1960 in Ian Bruce, a Finn category competitor. Lally Lalonde, a Grey Cup footballer with Montreal Alouettes and a senior hockey player of some note in younger day turned up a lacrosse nominee.
Bowling — Sylvio Descœurs
Baseball — Doug Lacroix
Basketball — Ed Laschuk
Curling — Colin Martin
Figure skating — Judy Rudd, Allister Munro
Football — Bill McIntyre
Golf — Bob Pollock
Hockey — Bob Boucher
Paddling — Tom Jamieson
Rowing — Tony Biernacki
Skiing — Anne Heggtveit
Softball — Paul Desabrais
Tennis — Pat Ryan
The 1958 amateur sports list shows the Hunt’s Bob Pollock as the golfer of the year and a number will recall some golf history involving the Chaudiere’s D’Arcy Boucher and Rivermead’s Ted Fenwick… They played an exhibition with Bob Toski, the first to win George G. May’s $1,000 Tam O’Shanter golf out of Chicago… The prize was made up of $50,000 for the win and $1,000 for 50 exhibitions and the Ottawa exhibition was Toski’s debut… Toski, back some years later for a clinic at Cedarhill admitted he “didn’t know what to expect for that first one,” but he didn’t say he was disappointed either… Minto’s Judy Rudd and Allister Munro surprised the world winning the Canadian junior pairs at the Minto… Incidentally the championship was the last skating run off by the Minto at the rink, which was taken over by University of Ottawa… Tom Jamieson gave the Rideau Canoe Club their third juvenile singles triumph in five years and undoubtedly he had Frank Amyot’s canoe, but this time there was no report of protests… Basketballers Ed Laschuk and Glen Pettinger were picked up by Tillsonburg Livingstons for their 1959 invasion of Chicago for the Pan-American Games… Tillsonburg made up the nucleus of the Canadian team even though they didn’t get by Dave Stothart’s Joe Fellers in the eastern final at Fisher Park… Kevin McGuire was the unsung hero of the Feller triumph… Tony Biernacki was among Canadian athletes at the Commonwealth Games at Cardiff.