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Ricker, Woolstencroft inducted into B.C. Sports Hall of Fame



The British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame inducted nine individuals and two teams this year, after sifting through 120 nominations.

The list of athletes includes Whistler's Maƫlle Ricker, who finished last season with an Olympic gold medal, the overall title for World Cup snowboardcross and the overall title for snowboarding. It's unusual to nominate active athletes, but it has been done in the past when athletes warrant it - such as when basketball player Steve Nash won the NBA Most Valuable Player award.

This is also the second time that Ricker's name will appear in the hall. She was listed as the B.C. High School female athlete of the year for her senior year at Sentinel Secondary. To qualify for that award she was on her high school teams for field hockey, basketball, track and soccer, and also represented Canada in the junior world championships for snowboarding where she placed third. She was also a competitive alpine skier and played ringette.

Her induction bio includes reference to her 14 years with the national snowboard team, with 14 wins and 32 podium appearances in 106 events, as well as her eight surgeries to repair damage to both knees.

Also inducted was para-alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft, who won five gold medals in the women's standing category at last year's Paralympics in Whistler. Wolstencroft won the downhill, super G, combined, slalom and giant slalom. No skier had ever swept the Paralympics before.

She retired at the end of the season, after representing Canada at three Games. In 2002 and 2006 she earned three gold medals, a silver and a bronze for Canada.

Other athletes on the list include lacrosse brothers Gary and Paul Gait, two of the most dominating players in the history of professional lacrosse, and former Vancouver Canucks star Trevor Linden.

The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame also recognized the 2010 Canadian Men's Hockey Team for its gold medal performance; wrestling coach Mike Jones and figure skating judge Audrey Williams in the "Builder" category; the 1933 Chinese Students Soccer Team in the "Pioneer" category; and Vancouver Canucks commentator Tom Larscheid in the "Media" category. The W.A.C. Bennett Award went to Marty Zlotnik for his work raising funds for sports and athletes, and his involvement in the UBC Thunderbirds sports program, among other things.