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Rob Boyd inducted to hall of fame

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On Thursday, Whistler’s own Rob Boyd was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame at the annual Banquet of Champions.

The high-profile ceremony was presided over by Premier Gordon Campbell, and included members of the gold medal 2002 Olympic Hockey Team, track and field legend Charmaine Crooks, rower Kathleen Heddle, NHL goalie Andy Moog, and Olympic basketball player Bev Smith, among others.

In his 12-year career with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Boyd was a tenacious downhiller, qualifying for the Olympics three times but only competing once due to injuries. He had six World Cup podiums to his credit, including three gold medals – among those three victories was his legendary win at home in Whistler back in 1989. He remains to this day the only Canadian male to win a World Cup race in Canada.

During his tenure with the national team, he was ranked in the top-10 in the world four times, and was third overall in 1988. He only ranked outside the top-30 twice in his career.

Although he has been honoured before, Boyd says his induction into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, this year of all years, is a special feeling.

"It’s just a huge honour to be up there with the Olympic hockey team, Andy Moog, Charmaine Crooks – it’s an impressive list of people, and it was quite an honour to be included," said Boyd.

Each athlete is given an opportunity to speak, and Boyd kept his acknowledgements short and simple.

"If it came down to thanking everybody who has helped me over the years, there would be a list of 50 people. So many people have influenced my life and my career, my coaches, my parents. Now it’s a charge to be able to pass these things along," he said.

Boyd, 37, is coming off his first year as a head K2 coach for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club.

"It was a riot. I learned a lot. I was somewhat inexperienced, especially as a head coach, but in the end I found it to be quite rewarding. When the kids do well I feel a little part of me is doing well also," said Boyd.

Boyd was joined at the ceremony by family, friends and supporters from the ski community.

This summer he will do some coaching on the Horstman Glacier with the ski club, and spend time at a family-owned hotel in Seton Portage. He’s also getting married in July to fiance Sherry Newstead.

The members of the Olympic hockey team that were inducted include Eric Brewer, Paul Kariya, Scott Niedermayer, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman, head coach Pat Quinn, technical advisor Steve Tambellini and press attache Brad Pascall. Together, they helped Canada to win its first Olympic gold medal in ice hockey since 1952.

Charmaine Crooks competed in track and field for 17 years, attending five Olympics. In 1984 she won a silver medal. She has also won a number of medals in Pan Am and Commonwealth Games.

Kathleen Heddle, as part of the Heddle-McBean pairs rowing team, won two Olympic gold medals in Barcelona in 1992, and a gold and a silver in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. She has a gold and a silver in the world championships in 1991 and 1994.

Andy Moog retired from the NHL in 1998 with one of the most successful records of any goalie over his 18-year career with a .622 winning percentage. Moog recently finished his first year as an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars, and was a goaltending consultant for the 2002 Olympic Hockey Team. He has three Stanley Cup rings as Grant Fuhr’s backup in Edmonton for the 1984, 1985 and 1987 seasons.

Bev Smith played basketball in two Olympics and is considered Canada’s ambassador for women’s basketball.

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