Ottawa – Athletics Canada announced today that four individuals – two athletes, one coach and one builder – will be inducted into the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame on Thursday, Aug. 9, as part of Toronto 2018: Track & Field in the 6ix festivities.
Spot putter Dylan Armstrong and racewalker Ann Peel will be inducted into the Hall of Fame’s Athlete category. Fittingly, Peel’s long-time coach John Fitzgerald, who also coached 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Tim Barrett, will join an elite group in the Coach category, while a dedicated coach, team manager, event director and volunteer David Lyon will be inducted posthumously into the Builder category.
The Class of 2018 will officially be welcomed into the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame during a gathering at the Chelsea Hotel on Aug. 9; however, their achievements will be celebrated throughout the three-day meet being held at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium from Aug. 10-12. Additional details regarding the get-together will be shared in the coming weeks.
Athletics Canada Hall of Fame Class of 2018
Dylan Armstrong – Athlete
Ann Peel – Athlete
John Fitzgerald – Coach
David Lyon – Builder (in memoriam)
Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops, B.C.)
The most decorated thrower in Canadian history, Dylan Armstrong enters the Hall of Fame as the current national recorder holder in the men’s shot put with a throw of 22.21 metres (June 25, 2011). Armstrong made his Olympic debut in 2008 where he initially finished fourth, missing out on the bronze by just one centimetre. Following a re-test of Andrei Mikhnevich’s (Belarus) doping sample from the 2005 IAAF World Championships, Armstrong would finally receive the medal that was rightfully his in 2015 – six and a half years to the day after he earned it. In his second Olympics, Armstrong would go on to finish fifth in London. Armstrong is a two-time IAAF World Championships medallist (silver in 2011, bronze in 2013), a two-time Pan American Games gold medallist (2007, 2011) and the 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion. He also captured the overall title in shot put for the 2011 Diamond League.
Ann Peel (Ottawa, Ont.)
A member of the Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame and Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, Ann Peel captured more than 30 Canadian titles in race walk over her illustrious career. From 1980 to 1987 she earned gold at seven consecutive National Championships in the 5000-metre race walk, and then went on to set the Canadian indoor record (12:32.34) in the women’s 3000-metre race walk in 1989 that stood until 2014. Peel is a two-time gold medallist at the Pan American Race Walking Cup (1984, 1988), earned silver at the same event in 1986, captured silver at the 1987 Pan American Games and bronze on two occasions (1985, 1987) at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. She was also a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the 1985 IAAF World Race Walking Cup.
John Fitzgerald (Rosthern, Sask.)
A member of the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame, John Fitzgerald began coaching in the 1970s and achieved early success in the middle and long-distance events. After moving to the Nation’s Capital, Fitzgerald established the cross country program at the University of Ottawa that went on to win the CIAU Championships (now U SPORTS) in 1986 and 1987. He joined Athletics Canada’s National Team coaching staff in the 1980s and served as a team coach at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, Commonwealth Games, IAAF World Championships (indoor and outdoor) and Olympic Games. During his career, Fitzgerald was a personal coach to countless national team athletes, including Magda Kubasiewicz, Ann Peel, two-time Olympian Bruce Deacon and five-time Olympian Tim Barrett. His athletes as a group produced more than 50 Canadian records in various distances and captured medals at major global events, including the Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games and IAAF World Race Walking Cup. Fitzgerald’s success as a race walk coach in Canada was recognized by Australia, who recruited him to their internationally renowned race walking program in 2003.
David Lyon (Winnipeg, Man.)
Following a short-lived career on the track, David Lyon dedicated his entire professional career to the sport he loved as a coach, team manager, event director and volunteer. In 1966 he founded the Razorbacks Track Club, managed provincial high school track and field championships for four consecutive years (1966-1969) and served as the Chairman for the 1967 Pan American Games. During the 1970s, Lyon led the Canadian contingent in dual meets against the United States and Soviet Union, served as a meet director for national and provincial track and field meets and ran several National Team training camps. First appointed as a Team Manager in 1977, Lyon led teams to the World Cup Trials, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, World Championships and Olympic Games. Later in his career, he served as the Director for the Legion Athletic Camp and Director of Athletics for Sport Manitoba.