Former Colorado Avalanche center and captain Joe Sakic was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Sakic told Canadian news network CBC he couldn’t be more honored.
“It’s a tremendous honor. When I got the call it was very, very exciting.
“Obviously you start to reflect and you think back, and I just remember as a kid you’re watching your Canadian Olympians and obviously cheering them on and you want to see them do well.
“And then to get a taste of it yourself, have a whole new appreciation for what all the athletes in different sports had to do to prepare and get ready for these things.
“To play for your country, I got a chance to play with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, and I wouldn’t have had that happen on my regular team. Any time you put the Canadian jersey on, you just felt something more and something special. The game just seemed to mean a little bit more. We never took that for granted.“
The other Canadian athletes who were inducted include “Olympic champion curler Russ Howard, cyclist Allison Sydor, late five-time Paralympian Andre Viger and the 1992 Olympic champion women’s coxless four rowing team of Kirsten Barnes, Brenda Taylor, Jessica Monroe-Gonin, Kay Worthington and Jennifer Walinga,” per the Associated Press.
Those who entered as builders include former Canadian Amateur Hockey Association President Murray Costello and sport development architect Dr. Jean-Guy Ouellet.
Tom Quinn, chairman of the Canada Games council and co-chariman of the induction ceremonies, said the athletes who were enshrined are an inspiration to all Canadians.
“We are proud to honor the Class of 2013 this evening. They are truly an inspiring group of Canadian sports heroes. By sharing and celebrating their achievements, we aim to inspire all Canadians to be the best they can be in sport and life.”
This marks yet another impressive milestone for Sakic, who was also inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2012.
He amassed 1,641 points in an illustrious NHL career which reached its pinnacle in 1996 and 2001 when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.
Sakic is currently Colorado’s executive vice president of hockey operations.