Weekly Featured Article

OLYMPICS & YU: York University’s History On The World Stage

In the spirit of the Olympics – the most expensive olympics ever, might I add – I thought I would give you a brief look back into our school’s history. Since its establishment in 1959, York University has been called home by countless students, staff, & faculty who have made major contributions to the world of sport. Some of them have even gone on to either compete or coach at the international level – a select few have even been crowned the best in the world at their respective sports.

Here are just a few of these individuals…

Elvis Stojko – A former student, Stojko is a Canadian figure skater who grew up in Richmond Hill, ON. He is a two-time olympic silver medalist (1992, 1998), three-time World Champion (1994, 1995, 1997), and seven-time Canadian Champion (1994, 1996-2000, and 2002).

Karen Cockburn (left) and fellow Canadian Trampolinist Rosannagh MacLellan (right), taken in August 2007 in Hamilton Ont at the Canada Cup competition

Karen Cockburn – Cockburn is also a former student and just as decorated as Stojko – however, Cockburn’s area of expertise is on the trampoline rather than on the ice. She won bronze in 2000 at the Olympics in Sydney, and then silver in both 2004 and 2008 at the Olympics in Athens and Beijing respectively. She has also appeared on the podium at the World Championships eight times, including two gold medals in 2003 & 2007, and she won Gold at the Pan Am games in 2007 at Rio de Janeiro.

Mathieu Turgeon (right) with Karen Cockburn (left)

Mathieu Turgeon – Husband to Karen Cockburn, Turgeon is also a former Olympian and former York U student (Hon’s BA in Kinesiology, 2003). He won bronze on the trampoline at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He and Cockburn wed in December 0f 2007.

Marita Payne, Jillian Richardson, Molly Killingbeck and Charmaine Crooks celebrate their silver medal win in the 4x400m relay event at the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles. (CP PHOTO/ COA/Crombie McNeil)

Molly Killingbeck – According to the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame website, Molly Killingbeck is a world-renowned sprinter who has brought honour, medals and glory to Canada, even though she has claimed, with self-deprecating humour, that she only took up running to avoid after-school chores.” Killingbeck won silver for Canada at the Olympics in 1984 in the 4×400 metre relay, and continued on to win gold as the coach of the men’s 4×100 metre relay at the Olympic games in 1996. Killingbeck has received numerous accolades throughout her career – two of which are the York University Female Athlete of the Year in 1983-1984 & 1984-1985.

For information on more Olympic athletes from York U, visit yorkulions.ca

~ Christopher Ford


One thought on “OLYMPICS & YU: York University’s History On The World Stage

  1. Pingback: OLYMPICS & YU: York University’s History On The World Stage | redzone.scld.yorku.ca

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