Triathlon Canada and Barrie Shepley hosted the 2015 Triathlon Canada Hall of Fame celebration dinner in downtown Toronto on Saturday night. The three inductees included super coach Lance Watson of LifeSport Coaching, 18-time Ironman winner and Ironman world champion Heather Fuhr and two-time Ironman world champion Lori Bowden. The event also honoured five community builders including Phillip Adsetts, Julien Hutchinson, and race directors and pioneers Graham and Sue Fraser. Simon Whitfield was awarded the C3 Life Time Award for his work as an athlete and an ambassador for the sport.
Lisa Bentley emceed the event and many of triathlon’s Olympians and Ironman champions were in the audience including Roch Frey, Sylviane and Patricia Puntous, Olympians Sharon Donnelly and Isabelle Turcotte Baird as well as Brent McMahon.
The room was full of Canadians who have shaped triathlon in Canada and around the world. An emotional Simon Whitfield thanked everyone saying, “I don’t want to say much here, I want to make sure this night is all about the inductees.”
All the inductees acknowledged the network of support in the country that got them to the highest points of their careers. During her acceptance speech, Bowden turned to Graham Fraser and said, “Without your early race series, I wouldn’t have gotten to the level I did.”
Lance Watson was accompanied by his family and his longest-term athlete Brent McMahon who he has coached since the age of 14. Watson told the audience, “I’m incredibly honoured. Thank you for this recognition, it means the world to me coming from my peers.”
Humble and grateful, Heather Fuhr said, “It’s a pleasure to be here and be a small part of the history that is in this room.”
Taking place on the night between the women’s and men’s Pan Am Games races, certainly added significance and energy to the event. Despite not medalling at the Games, there is a palpable sense of community, power and momentum in triathlon in Canada right now.