is some 15 years since publication of the first edition
of the Book of Champions. The author has clearly spent the
intervening years well to gather and compile a plethora
of additional data and information that opens wider the
window into the competitive history of sprint canoe racing
in Canada. I am indeed honoured to have the privilege of
introducing the reader to the text.
second edition, "100 Years of Champions of the Canadian
Canoe Association, 1900-2000," is an invaluable source
of information for anyone having an interest in the achievements
of the Canadian men and women who competed in the sport
of sprint canoe racing in the 100 years that spanned the
are many sports that would no doubt wish to have for their
sport a similar comprehensive compilation of the achievements
of their athletes. The sport of sprint canoe racing is fortunate
to have this text as an available resource, and frankly
honour to the athletes who have competed so well, and so
nobly in and for the sport over the years.
to this edition include Canadian Team results from the Pan
American Games, spanning the years 1967 when canoeing appeared
as a demonstration sport on the Pan Am program at Winnipeg's
first hosting of the Games in our Centennial year, to 1999
when Winnipeg next hosted the Pan Am Games. Canada has consistently
achieved high ranking results at these Games reflecting
Canada's leadership role in the sprint racing sport in the
Americas and Caribbean.
teams and their performances at the ICF Senior World Championships
through the years 1953 to 2000 are now detailed in the text.
This is of course, short of the Olympics, and some might
argue otherwise in that regard, the toughest competition
for our athletes to compete in. On two occasions, Canada's
athletes were able to compete on their own water here in
Canada, in Montreal in 1986 at the Olympic Basin, and in
1997 in Dartmouth on Lake Banook. It is a fitting tribute
to the many athletes over the years who journeyed, most
often far away from our shores, to meet the world's best
competition to have their names inscribed in this text of
select Canadians who championed the growth of canoeing and
canoe and kayak racing not just in Canada, but worldwide,
Canadian representatives at the International Canoe Federation,
the ICF, are now appropriately included in this edition.
It was not always easy for these representatives to see
that their voice was heard at the ICF whose centre of influence
was other than North America, but persevere they did and
the canoe/kayak racing sport today at the international
level reflects the stellar work, all given on a volunteer
basis, of these on land contributors to the sport.
particular interest for me, and I am sure all followers
of the sport, is the inclusion in this edition of a historical
overview of the 57 trophies awarded at the National Championships.
Long overdue, and many thanks to the author for now having
done the research and put in the time to accomplish the
task, this is an information base that honours and memorializes
the traditions of the men and women in whose names the trophies
are dedicated. One thing, among many I am sure, that is
special about the sport of sprint racing is the importance
it places on the trophies awarded at its National Championships.
It treats its history as important. It treats the men and
women who make up its history as important. The awarding
of trophies at the National Championships each year provides
rebirth for that history and the contributions to that history
of those on whose names the trophies are dedicated. This
information base alone makes this edition of the text a
necessary addition to the bookshelf of all having an interest
in the sprint canoe racing sport.
can hardly imagine the time and effort it must have taken
the author, CCA Past Commodore Fred Johnston, to have compiled
and collated the additional information he has brought to
us in this second edition of his work. All who have an interest
in the sprint canoe racing sport owe him a tremendous debt
of gratitude. Because of his work, and his text, the many
accomplishments of the men and women in the sport over the
course of the 20th century are sure to be remembered and
honoured, as they should be.