Canadian Masters' Hall of Fame
The prestigious Canadian Masters’ Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 2006 to celebrate two decades of Masters racing in Canada–a national recreational program that took alpine skiers by storm in the mid-eighties. This recognition initiative is a fitting tribute to individuals who made outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Masters’ racing in Canada. Award presentations are made in the spring at the Canadian Masters’ Championships.
Inductee Criteria to recognize Maters racers who have distinguished themselves by their contribution to Masters’
- Bring a continued and consistent commitment to promoting the values, philosophy and integrity of fair play to sports and connect those values to the game of life.
- Embody dedication, humor and loyalty to like-minded competitors.
- Always put sportsmanship first, inspiring other racers and newcomers and exemplifying the spirit of a well-rounded competitor.
- To be eligible for consideration, a candidate must be:
- A Master’s competitor for at least 20 years, at both the National and International levels, achieving reasonable performance levels.
- A Canadian citizen
The honor is not necessarily determined annually and can be awarded only once in a recipient’s lifetime.
Nominations should be made in writing to the Selection Committee and contain a profile outlining the reasons for nomination. The Selection Committee will determine whether an interview will be given, whether criteria have been met and subsequently whether the award will be presented that year.
Selection Committee Member Criteria
The Selection Committee shall be appointed by the Masters’ National Committee and include two people from the West and two people from the East (preferably one from Ontario and one from Québec). Appointments are encouraged to be of a minimum of two years duration for continuity and should be of those who have been racing long enough to be familiar with the cast of characters on the circuit. The timing of future appointments to the committee are encouraged to be staggered, again for reasons of continuity. When a member wishes to step down they are asked to find a replacement.
2006 Florian Gauthier (1941-2005) St-Jérome, Québec
Florian Gauthier was a mature athlete whose heart and soul were still 16 years old when he passed away. He started racing decades past his prime but quickly earned the respect of youngsters and coaches on the Junior FIS circuit. Florian won his first medal at the 1987 Canadian Masters’ Championships and soon after became a regular entry in International Masters’ FIS events. ‘Flo Go’, a household name in Québec, was well liked by Masters’ competitors across Canada and the United States. He had talent, determination and displayed a “joie de vivre” like no other. In spite of his illness, Florian raced passionately until the very end.
2006 Rolf Hauge (1919-) Midland, Ontario
Rolf Hauge crossed over from Nordic to alpine skiing in 1986 (at the young age of 67!). He trained relentlessly to master his newly-found sport and quickly improved his Canadian ranking. Over the last twenty years Rolf has continued to show dedication and athletic ability, two of the qualities responsible for his successful international racing career. He has accumulated an extensive collection of awards including the Overall title at the 2005 World Masters’ Championships. In 2010, Rolf went to the first World Winter Masters Games in Bled, Slovenia and competed in all 3 alpine events (SL, GS, and SG) in the 90+ age category bringing home medals in all 3 disciplines. Rolf continued to be an inspiration on the race hill well into his 90’s, retiring only after knee surgery.
2007 Bob Switzer (1937-) Pemberton, British Columbia
Bob was born in Oshawa, Ontario. He was heavily involved in hockey until he moved to Western Canada and took up skiing at the age of 26. A few years later he was introduced to Masters’ racing and had a good share of success on the US Masters’ circuit. When the Canadian Masters’ program was established in the mid-eighties, he consistently ranked among the best in his age group. Although he won his first Canadian Masters’ Championships twenty years earlier, Bob showed no signs of slowing down and received the prestigious Champion of Champions’ award for his outstanding combined performance at the 2006 event. During his notable local and international recreational racing career he has accumulated a huge number of medals and was once named the Master racer who most exemplified sportsmanship in Canada. Bob loves racing, winning and having fun.
2008 Gar Robinson (1926-2018) Whistler, British Columbia
As a young man, Gar started racing at Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. He then raced and coached with the UBC ski team and he was invited to the Olympic trials in the mid-fifties but he didn’t qualify. Work, family, skiing, and an annual Veterans’ race kept him busy until the Dave Murray camps and Masters’ races started in BC. Soon after, Gar became an avid competitor in every discipline at the national and international Masters’ level. Over the years Gar’s racing career took him to many interesting race venues. Among his favourite is the annual Silver Star downhill, a team event for which he has a sought-after age handicap. One of Gar’s big successes was in the 80-84 age class at the 2007 US Masters’ National Championships at Big Sky, Montana, and included a bronze medal in the Super-G and a 3rd place combined ranking against 5 other competitors. The following year he was again named to the Canadian Masters’ Alpine Team. A true “Gentle Giant” and 3 time member of the Canadian Masters’ Alpine Team. Gar enjoys the speed, the competition, socializing and mixing with all age groups.
2008 Luc Balit (1953-2007) Montréal, Québec
Luc’s courage and determination helped him become Canadian Masters’ Alpine Champion and President of the Tremblant Ski Club. He was a passionate, tenacious, competitive, fun-loving, and generous friend. Luc infected more than one of us with his love of alpine ski racing and he left his tracks in our life. His memory will live on forever. Luc was the main force behind the Baltex Cup held in Tremblant, a favorite first race of the season for a very long time.
2016 Denyse Houde (1944-) Collingwood, Ontario
Denyse and her husband, Michael, started skiing together as adults. They were involved with the Ski Patrol at Georgian Peaks for well over a decade before joining the adult racing program at Toronto Ski Club in 1984. They participated in their first Canadian Masters’ Nationals at Whistler in 1986 and have just kept going. Denyse’s out-of-country experiences go back to 1987 at the US National Championships at Mammoth Mountain, CA. Since then she also competed in dozens of FIS International Masters’ Cup events in the United States, Italy, Canada, Slovenia, France, Andorra and Chile. After the original Canadian Masters’ series folded, Denyse lobbied with Alpine Canada for many years and finally received agreement to re-start the national program. By 2000 she had pulled together a committee of provincial representatives, coordinated a modest calendar and convinced Sun Peaks to host national championships. Under her leadership, the original Masters’ website was developed, the first Canadian Masters’ Alpine Team (CMAT) members were selected, a Spyder uniform program was introduced and several other sponsorships were negotiated. Her efforts were recognized in 2005 with the ACA President’s Award of Excellence for Volunteer of the Year. Denyse’s major racing achievements include US Masters’ National Champion, South American Masters’ Cup Champion, FIS Masters’ Cup Globe, Canadian Masters’ Athlete of the Year, Canadian Masters’ Alpine Team member (9 times). These are truly outstanding accomplishments. Denyse loves ski racing and has been a well-respected fixture on the Masters’ circuit for years and no doubt will continue to be for years to come. The motto for the International Masters’ Academy founded by Denyse embodies her spirit: “we take our fun seriously”.