Six barrier-breaking role models honoured in special five-stamp issue
Weeks before the cauldrons are lit for the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in South Korea, Canada Post lifted the veil on stamps that honour some of the most accomplished athletes Canada has known.
The “Women in Winter Sports” stamp issue commemorates six athletes across five stamps: Sharon and Shirley Firth (cross-country skiing); Sonja Gaudet (wheelchair curling); Danielle Goyette (hockey); Nancy Greene (alpine skiing); and Clara Hughes (cycling and speed skating).
“Sport is a vital element of our cultural fabric. It has the power to build bridges between people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities,” said Carla Qualtrough, minister of public services and procurement who’s also responsible for Canada Post.
“The women of these stamps have contributed to Canada beyond the medals they’ve won or the records they’ve broken. As a group, they have been champions of accessibility, community-builders and thought leaders.”
The stars were honoured today at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Canada Olympic Park, a hub of winter sport.
Shirley Firth, who passed away in 2013 at age 59, was represented by her husband, Jan Larsson, and daughters Marie and Nina Larsson.
“The women who share the podium in these stamps broke barriers, inspired generations and have contributed to our country’s national story both on and off of the ice and snow,” said Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post. “They have been ambassadors for their sports, impressive role models and a great source of national pride.”
Designed by Roy White, Matthew Clark and Jacquie Shaw, of Vancouver’s Subplot Design, the stamps marry candid photos with action shots of the athletes.
Sharon and Shirley Firth transformed Inuvik into a hotbed of Nordic skiing. They competed in four Olympic Games and four World Ski Championships and dominated their sport from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, winning 79 medals at the national championships, including 48 national titles.
Sonja Gaudet is the world’s most decorated wheelchair curler with three Paralympic gold medals and three World Wheelchair Curling Championships. A tireless advocate for accessibility, she is an ambassador with the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Paralympic Committee.
Danielle Goyette scored more than 100 career goals and dominated women’s hockey into her 40s. She won two Olympic gold medals and a silver, as well as eight gold medals at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships. She was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Nancy Greene put Canada on the map in alpine skiing. She competed at Squaw Valley in 1960, Innsbruck in 1964 and Grenoble in 1968, winning gold and silver medals. Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century, Greene won 17 Canadian titles, 13 World Cup victories and three U.S. Ski Championships.
Clara Hughes is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. She made six Olympic appearances, winning six medals: one gold, one silver and four bronze – in cycling and speed skating.