Barbara Ann Scott
At the age of 10, this Ottawa born skating sensation became the youngest Canadian to earn the Gold Medal Test. The Canadian Junior Ladies champion in 1940, she held the Senior crown from 1944-1948 and the North American title from 1945-1948. In 1947 she won the European title and earned Canada its first ever World Championship crown. The following year, 1948, she won the European, World and Olympic titles becoming the first North American to win all three in the same year, the first Canadian figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal and the first to win back to back World titles. The first female to be voted Canada’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year a record three times in 1945, 1947 and 1948, she became known as ‘Canada’s Sweetheart’. Barbara Ann’s impact on figure skating in Canada and the world remains legendary.
Cecil Smith Hedstrom
The record of success of this Toronto Skating Club star during the 1920s and 1930s truly vaulted Canada onto the world figure skating stage. In 1924, at the age of 15, she became the first Canadian female ever to participate at the Olympic Winter Games, doing so in both Ladies and Pairs. In 1925 and 1926 Canadian Senior Ladies champion and a member of 1925-1927 Canadian Fours title holders, she was the first Canadian to obtain the Gold Medal Test. Competing in the 1928 Olympics she earned a 5th place showing. Her greatest moment occurred in 1930 when, placing 2nd only to Sonja Henie, she claimed Canada’s first ever World figure skating medal. Retiring from active competition, Cecil went on to coach in the United States and Canada, rounding out one of the most illustrious careers in early Canadian figure skating history.
With a record of success unequaled by any other Canadian coach, this dedicated teacher and technical innovator led his skaters to World titles in Men’s, Ladies’ and Pairs and earned Canada its first Ladies and Pairs Olympic gold medals. Following a successful skating career, he began to coach at the Minto Club in 1946, moving to the Toronto Skating Club in 1949. His students included Barbara Ann Scott, Francis Dafoe and Norris Bowden, Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul and Donald Jackson. He was named Olympic Team Coach in 1948, 1956 and 1960 and was instrumental in the formation of the Professional Skating Association of Canada. Sheldon’s more than 40 years of service to figure skating earned him entry into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as the first figure skating coach ever to be so honoured.
A supporter of figure skating from the 1950s until his death in 1988, this Calgary resident became a world renowned referee, judge and administrator. President of the CFSA from 1968 to 1969, he was appointed an International Skating Union judge in 1969. From 1970 to 1980 he served on the ISU Ice Dance Committee and wrote the ISU Free Dancing Manual, working tirelessly to obtain world recognition for this discipline. Serving as the Chairman of the 1972 Worlds in Calgary and a co-founder of Skate Canada in 1973, he was named the coordinator of figure skating for the 1988 Olympic Games. In 1980 he became the first Canadian ever to be made an Honorary Member of the ISU. A true builder of figure skating, George left behind a legacy of enthusiasm and commitment for others to follow.
For over 50 years this athlete, builder and official contributed to the Canadian and world figure skating scene. A Canadian Senior Pairs champion during the 1930s and 1940s, he began his illustrious officiating career while still competing. He went on to serve as a judge and referee at numerous international, world and Olympic competitions. Serving as the President of the CFSA during a time of change, he was instrumental in its development. During the 1950s he helped introduce centralized testing to Canada and throughout his officiating career he was noted for bringing a style of officiating to the sport that raised it to an art form. Donald’s dedication and concern for figure skating in Canada and world brought distinction, honor and respect to the Canadian Figure Skating Association.