By Earl Zukerman
Four national team members, including a pair of Olympians and McGill’s 1982 Redmen soccer team – which captured the Canadian championship – headline a new cast of inductees selected for the McGill Sports Hall of Fame, bringing the list of honoured members to 116 since the pantheon opened in 1996.
Twin sisters Penny and Vicky Vilagos, both originally from Toronto but long-time residents of Pointe Claire and Beaconsfield, Que., respectively, were also chosen in the team category. They each earned commerce degrees from McGill in 1986, then went on to capture Olympic silver medals in the synchronized swimming duet routine at the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona.
Other laureates will go out to a pair of all-Canadian athletes who also competed for Canada on the international stage – highly-decorated distance runner Sarah Ali-Khan (PhD ’06), born in Baie d’Urfé, Que., and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, along with volleyball standout Wendy Whelan (BSc ’98) of Dollard des Ormeaux, Que. The 1982 soccer Redmen posted a stellar 15-1-3 overall record en route to capturing both the Quebec league title and the national championship. They will be celebrating the 31st anniversary of their CIAU banner this fall. That squad was guided by head coach Gord Gow, along with assistant coaches Zach Breganski and Rob Tipney. Their lineup featured four conference all-stars – Mike Kondro, John D’Ambrosio, Guy-Marie Joseph, Dickens St-Vil – the latter three who each earned all-Canadian status. Rounding out the roster was team captain Doug Cave, Alistair MacDonald, John Gummersell, Tony Iachetta, Marc Noë, John Kwamya, John Oestreich, Hisham Abdel-Rehman, Aldo Braccio, Steve Johnstone, Chris Barrow, Scott Green and Graham Butcher.
The induction luncheon, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, kicks off the University’s Homecoming Week celebrations. Tickets for the event are $65 and can be reserved by contacting the McGill Alumni Association at 514-398-8288.
NOTE: A detailed profile of each new inductee will be featured online every Wednesday for the next four weeks, beginning July 10, at www.mcgillathletics.ca The selection committee, chaired by Richard Pound, was composed of a group representing students, administrative staff, university officials and alumni. It included Prof. David Covo, Mike Nelson, Dawson Tilley, Sally McDougall, Gael Eakin, Bob Winsor, Colin Adair, Gayle Noble, Robert Watt, Stephen Lloyd, plus students Jonathan Collin and Michelle Daigneault, plus Drew Love (secretary), Kathryn Weaver (recording secretary), Tom Thompson (resource member) and Earl Zukerman (research coordinator).