Colleen Jones has fond memories of the many curling titles she won over her long career. The victories that came after being told she couldn’t repeat her early success have always stuck with her.
“That leap and excitement of winning again, it stays with you. It just is forever in your body,” Jones said Tuesday after receiving her jacket as an honoured member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. “You can almost call it up whenever you need a lift. You say, ‘Remember that moment you did what people thought you couldn’t do?“’ Jones was only 22 when she won her first national women’s title in 1982. Her competitive curling career slowed in the following years as she focused on her career, marriage and family.
There were naysayers who didn’t think her Nova Scotia rink could win a second championship. Jones recalled people telling her, ‘You’ll never win again,’ but her team persevered to take the 1999 Canadian crown and four straight titles from 2001 to 2004.
“There are so many moments that sport has given me,” Jones said. “My life is better for it. Part of it is the friendships, part of it is the discipline, part of it is that joy of winning. Part of it is that hatred of failing that you went through.
“All of that has combined to make you who you are.”
Jones, a two-time world champion from Halifax, was rewarded for her accomplishments Tuesday at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame also welcomed former CFL star Mike (Pinball) Clemons, Paralympian Stephanie Dixon, cross-country skier/kayaker Sue Holloway, former NHL star Bryan Trottier and speedskater Annie Perreault.
Dr. Frank Hayden, who created the Special Olympics, enters in the builder category. The formal induction ceremony was scheduled for Tuesday night.
Clemons, a resident of Oakville, Ont., won three Grey Cups over 12 seasons in Toronto and later added another title as Argonauts head coach. He was the league’s outstanding player in 1990 and was the CFL’s all-time leader in combined yards (25,438) when he retired in 2000.
“They say I ran for more yards than anybody in pro football but not one was by myself,” he said. “So this for me is a chance to thank those who worked so diligently for me, who blocked, who toiled, and who did everything – sometimes hurt – and sometimes had injuries that lingered and carried on.
“To all of those people, I want to say thank you.”
Trottier won four Stanley Cups with a New York Islanders team that dominated the NHL in the early 1980s. The Val Marie, Sask., native added two more Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins and was an assistant coach with the Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche in 2001.
Dixon, from Brampton, Ont., captured 19 swimming medals over three Paralympic Games. She also won seven medals at the Parapan Am Games over her career.
Perreault, a three-time Olympian from Rock Forest, Que., won four world titles with the Canadian women’s 3,000-metre short-track relay team. She captured Olympic gold at the 1992 Albertville Games and the 1998 Games in Nagano.
Holloway, from Halifax, became the first woman to compete in two Olympics in the same year when she appeared in the 1976 Summer Games (canoe) and Winter Games (cross-country skiing).
Hayden, a Windsor, Ont., native, founded the Special Olympics and later created Special Olympics International. Today, over 4.4 million athletes from more than 170 countries compete in the Special Olympics.
The Class of 2016 will be featured in a new exhibit at the Hall’s facility at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.