100 Years of Champions
  Michael A. Chambers, President
Canadian Olympic Committee
Past Commodore
Canadian Canoe Association

It 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.

This 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 20th century.

There 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.

Additions 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.

Canadian 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 champions.

Those 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.

Of 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.

One 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.