Class of 1997: Athlete
Referred to by some as a modern pioneer of artistic skating and by the European press as “skater of the century”, Toller Cranston’s influence on men’s figure skating is incalculable. “A skater with a painter’s eye”, his original artistry and dramatic showmanship on ice broke new ground in figure skating and thrilled audiences. From 1971 to 1976 Toller was six time Canadian champion. He placed second in the 1971 ultimate North American Championships held in Peterborough. In 1973 and 1975 he won the newly created competition, Skate Canada. At 1974 World’s in Munich he earned a bronze medal. That same year he was chosen as the Sports Federation Athlete of the Year. At the 1975 and 1976 World’s in Colorado Springs and Gothenburg, respectively, he placed fourth. In Innsbruck, at the Olympic Games in 1976, and twenty six years old, Toller placed third. Since retiring from amateur skating, he was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1976 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1977. He was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada that year. In 1995 he received a Special Olympic Order from the Canadian Olympic Association.