Maria and Otto Jelinek
Learning to skate in their native Czechoslovakia, this outstanding brother and sister pair emigrated to Canada in 1951 and joined the Oakville Skating Club. They were Canadian Junior Pair champions in 1955, and their success in senior competition included four silver medals and the 1961 and 1962 Canadian Senior pair crowns. Overcoming severe injuries, they went on to claim the 1961 North American Pair title. A dedication to excellence and drive for perfection led them to become World bronze medallists in 1957 and 1958 and silver medallists in 1960. In 1962 they won the World pair title in their native Prague. Retiring from amateur competition in 1962, they went on to enjoy a six year professional career.
Joining the Toronto Skating Club in 1933, this exceptional athlete’s involvement in skating spanned six decades. A versatile skater, he competed in singles, pair, dance and fours. His effortless skating style earned him a string of 13 Canadian and four North American titles from 1937 – 41, and a position on the Canadian team for the cancelled 1940 Olympic Winter Games. Serving overseas from 1941 – 45, he added the 1946 Canadian singles title to his record of success before retiring from amateur competition. He went on to serve as a judge, team manager and executive member of the CFSA and was a founding member of the Olympic Trust of Canada.
Margaret and Bruce Hyland
First joining forces to claim success as the 1947 Canadian Waltz, Tenstep and Dance champions, this exceptional pair would go on to dedicate themselves to the development of skating for more than forty years. Always striving for innovation in the sport of skating, they formed the Metropolitan Ice Skating Schools and hockey and power skating schools during the 1950s which benefited thousands of young Canadian skaters. They were members of the World and Olympic team for eighteen consecutive years, their motivational and optimistic approach to coaching leading many of their skaters to success. Included among their students were 1962 World Pair champions Maria and Otto Jelinek and 1964 Olympic silver medallists Debbi Wilkes and Guy Revell.
From the 1960s until his untimely passing in 1986, this exceptional builder played a visionary role in developing and promoting figure skating in Canada from the club to the national level. A master planner and administrator, his firm advocacy for long range strategic planning and professional marketing saw the CFSA enter a new phase of development during the 1980s. He was an outstanding event manager and served as chairman of many successful competitions including ‘A Worlds to Remember’ in Ottawa in 1978, which set a standard for all others to follow. As a director and vice-president of the CFSA from 1974 – 86, he was truly dedicated to ensuring excellence in all aspects of figure skating in Canada.
This key figure in the development of figure skating in Canada from the 1930s to the 1960s first got involved in the sport at the Winter Club in Montreal. Following a competitive career, which included the 1921 Canadian fours title, he turned his talents to judging and the organizational side of the sport. A world figure and dance judge and referee for many years, he served as Chairman of the Rules Committee and wrote a rule book on dance judging which remained in place from 1948 to 1965. As president of the CFSA in 1938 and 1946, he contributed greatly to the growth of the organization and was instrumental in establishing a scholarship program for young skaters.