The Nanaimo Museum’s Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 2012 inductees, and the Induction Ceremony will take place Saturday, Sept. 22. This year’s inductees include sprinter Mary (Frizzell) Thomasson, lacrosse player Don Ashbee, ski racer Allison Forsyth, and builder Jim Gold.
Mary Frizzell, inducted posthumously into the Pioneer category, was born in Nanaimo in 1913 and became one of Canada’s most successful sprinters of her era. At the 1932 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, Frizzell and her 4×100 metre relay team became the first female Olympians from B.C. to win medals, where the quartet were awarded silver.
Frizzell would go on to win several regional championships before retiring and coaching the Pacific Athletic Club, helping to send three athletes to the 1948 London Olympics. Frizzell passed away in 1972 after a long fight with cancer.
Beginning his sports career in 1946 with the Toronto Young Rangers hockey team, Don Ashbee would later find his calling in lacrosse. After winning the Mann Cup with Peterborough in 1952, Ashbee moved to Nanaimo where he won a championship with the Timbermen in 1956, amassing five in his career.
Ashbee would later win the Commission Trophy as league MVP in 1960, and go on to be inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame with 880 goals and 390 assists.
Allison Forsyth, born in Nanaimo in 1978, became one of Canada’s premier alpine skiers in recent history. Starting out with the Mount Washington Ski Club, Forsyth would go on to win a World Championship bronze medal, reach five World Cup podiums, and be an eight-time Canadian National Champion.
Forsyth competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and at her peak was ranked 15th in the world for Giant Slalom. She suffered a serious knee injury while training for the 2006 Olympics, and despite valiant efforts she was forced to retire from the sport.
Lastly, Jim Gold is being inducted into the Hall of Fame for both his achievements as a player and commitment to youth and community sports. Gold helped the Canadian Army soccer team win the 1945 championship game against England by scoring the winning goal at Wembley Stadium.
Upon ending his playing career, Gold became a teacher and soccer coach for John Shaw and John Barsby schools in Nanaimo. He has been awarded the BC Centennial Award of Merit and the Jim Gold Field baseball diamond honours his contributions to the community.
The public is welcome to observe the Induction Ceremony at the Nanaimo Museum, the time of the event is yet to be announced. For more information, please contact the museum at 250-753-1821 or <firstname.lastname@example.org.>