Champion ice-dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Olympic champion swimmer Mark Tewksbury were among 114 athletes, artists, scholars and community leaders named to the Order of Canada.
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette’s office announced the new honourees Friday morning.
Others in the group include Indigenous writer Thomas King, winemaker John Peller, dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Langley, geriatrician Roger Wong, Cree elder Doreen Spence, sports academic Dr. Sandra Kirby, wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick and ex-politicians Bill Graham and Allan Rock.
Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018.
They’re being honoured for their athletic excellence and for inspiring a new generation of figure skaters.
“Feeling all wrapped up in emotion … Upon learning about being invested into the Order of Canada, I couldn’t help but think that as a kid, I would have never known to dream so big,” Virtue posted on Twitter.
“I am humbled by this honour.”
Tewksbury, who is being named to the top companion rank, won gold in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
The 52-year-old Calgary native came out publicly as gay in 1998 and has been an advocate of LGBTQ rights as well as a prominent member of Canada’s Olympic movement, serving as chef de mission of the 2012 London Olympic team.
He is being honoured for athletic excellence and sport leadership, and for championing human rights.
Kirby, a rower at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is being honoured for her research on athlete harassment and her advocacy for equity, inclusion and safety in sport.
Frick coached Canada’s women’s wheelchair basketball team to three straight Paralympic gold medals from 1992-2000 and four straight world championship gold medals from 1994-2006.
He is being honoured for his expertise in coaching and for his contributions to the advancement of parasports in Canada.
The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours.
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