Relay team, Myriam Bédard inducted into Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

Two of Canada’s best Olympic relay teams, the 1996 Men’s 4x100 metre Relay Team (Athletics) and the 1998 Men's Short Track Relay Team (Speed Skating), along with Biathlon gold medallist Myriam Bédard, are among the inductees who were honoured on Friday night at the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner in Montreal.

"It is a special honour to be celebrating Olympic excellence in beautiful Montreal, the city in which our organization was founded. This year we are also proud to celebrate 100 years of Canadian Olympic team participation," said Chris Rudge, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee. "This year’s inductees are an extraordinary group of individuals whose contributions to sport in Canada are an inspiration to generations of Canadians."

"I feel very privileged to be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame alongside such a group of outstanding sports figures,” said Bruny Surin, member of the 4x100 metre Athletics Relay Team. “It’s great to be with my team again to relive our gold medal moment in Atlanta."

The Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame recognizes those who have served the cause of the Olympic Movement with distinction. The 2004 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame inductees were:

Myriam Bédard, who became the first North American ever to win a medal in the Biathlon at the Olympic Winter Games in Albertville in 1992. Two years later, she returned to win double gold at the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer.

The 1996 Men’s 4x100 metre Relay Team (Athletics) – Donovan Bailey, Carlton Chambers, Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert and Bruny Surin – dominated tracks around the world. The dream team upheld its champion status when it captured the gold medal and recorded the fastest time ever on U.S. soil at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.

The 1998 Men's Short Track Relay Team (Speed Skating) – Éric Bédard, Derrick Campbell, François Drolet and Marc Gagnon – were skating to win at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano in 1998. The team’s gold medal finish in the 5000 metre ahead of the South Koreans established the Canadians as the team to beat. Later that year, the team added two World Championship victories to its Olympic gold.

In addition, Speed Skating Canada received the 2003 IOC Trophy for “Sporting Excellence”, awarded to an organization that has excelled in promoting and achieving excellence in sport.

Established in 1887 as the Amateur Skating Association of Canada, Speed Skating Canada was one of this country's first sport associations. Since then, Speed Skating Canada's strong commitment to excellence in the growth and development of sport has led to a long record of international success for Canadian speed skaters.

The organization's rich history and the success of its athletes has inspired many young Canadians to get involved in the sport of speed skating, creating a new generation of Olympic hopefuls in long- and short-track competitions.