6 amazing athletes, 5 beautiful stamps
Canadian athletes are about to take on the world at the XXIII Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Optimism is rooted in a rich history of success. Canada has long been a world power in winter sport, thanks to athletes like Nancy Greene, Clara Hughes, Danielle Goyette, Sharon and Shirley Firth, and Paralympian Sonja Gaudet.
Sixteen days before the Games open, Canada Post unveiled five beautiful stamps at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in honour of these six pioneers. Women in Winter Sports is an ode to these trailblazers.
“Sport is a vital element of our cultural fabric. It has the power to build bridges between people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities,” says the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement. “The women of these stamps have contributed to Canada beyond the medals they’ve won or the records they’ve broken. As a group, they have been champions of accessibility, community-builders and thought leaders.”
“These women broke barriers, inspired generations and have contributed to our national story both on and off the ice and snow,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post. “They have been ambassadors for their sports, role models and a source of national pride.”
The stamps were designed by Roy White, Matthew Clark and Jacquie Shaw of Subplot Design Inc. of Vancouver, B.C.
Sharon and Shirley Firth
The Firth twins from Inuvik were paragons of cross-country skiing in the late 1960s and ’70s. They competed in four Olympic Games and four World Ski Championships – dominating their sport until the mid-1980s, winning 79 medals at the national championships, including 48 national titles.
The world’s most decorated wheelchair curler earned three Paralympic gold medals and three World Wheelchair Curling Championships. Off the ice, she is a tireless advocate for accessibility and an ambassador with the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
Described by some as the Gordie Howe of women’s hockey, Goyette dominated the game into her 40s, scoring more than 100 career goals. She won two Olympic gold medals and a silver, as well as eight gold medals at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Women’s World Championships. She was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century broke through Europe’s domination of alpine skiing. She competed in three Olympics – Squaw Valley in 1960, Innsbruck in 1964 and Grenoble in 1968 – winning gold in giant slalom and silver in slalom in her final Games. She won 17 Canadian titles, 13 World Cup races, two overall World Cup titles and three U.S. Ski Championships. She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1968, and appointed to the Senate of Canada in 2009.
Hughes is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. She made six Olympic appearances, winning six medals: one gold, one silver and four bronze – in cycling and speed skating. For her athletic accomplishments and humanitarian efforts, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010. She promotes sport and play programs for disadvantaged youth around the world and is national spokesperson for the Bell “Let’s Talk” mental health initiative.
The stamps and all related products are available at retail outlets and online.