Wrestling Canada Lutte announces Hall of Fame Class of 2023
OTTAWA – Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) is pleased to announce the three individuals who will be joining the WCL Hall of Fame as the class of 2023. The group includes Lyndsay Belisle and Dean Schmeichel in the athlete category and John Cook in the builder’s section.
“WCL is proud to have this prestigious class of individuals enter the Hall of Fame in 2023. They all had stand out careers and made a positive impact on the sport of wrestling. I wish to extend my congratulations to Lyndsay, Dean and John for this well-deserved honour,” said Tamara Medwidsky, WCL Executive Director.
Belisle captured numerous national and international titles in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After winning her first of two Pan American Championships in 1998, the other coming in 2005, Belisle went on to win eight consecutive national titles between 1999 and 2005. In 2003, she captured silver at the Pan American Games and gold at the World Cup. A year later, she represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where she finished 11th. Belisle capped off her career with a silver at the 2006 World Championships.
Schmeichel was a five-time national champion (1999-2002, 2005) and also a two-time Canadian Olympic Trials champion (2000 and 2004). He won three Pan American Championships bronze medals (1993, 2000 and 2002). In 1999, Schmeichel earned bronze at the Pan American Games. The following year, he represented Canada at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He would go on to add a World Cup bronze medal to his collection in 2003 and a gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Cook has been involved in wrestling since the 1970s, starting as a club coach. He has served in both provincial and national capacities for various wrestling organization. In addition, Cook has had a long career as a wrestling official dating back to the early 1980s. Some of his roles at the national level include Canadian Association of Wrestling Officials (CAWO) President and Vice President, WCL High Performance Committee, WCL Development Committee, WCL Discipline Committee, WCL Secretary-Treasurer, WCL Management team and WCL Board of Directors member.
The Wrestling Canada Lutte (formerly Canadian Amateur Wrestling) Hall of Fame was established in 1975 to recognize outstanding achievement and contribution to Olympic wrestling in or for Canada. There are two categories of membership in the Hall of Fame: the Athlete Category, which formally recognizes the achievements of those wrestlers who have represented Canada at major international competitions or Games; and the Builder Category which formally recognizes the contribution, leadership and abilities of those individuals who participate in the development of wrestling. This category is open to any individual who has served or is serving wrestling as a coach, an official, an administrator, a manager or a combination of these functions.
Inductions will occur at WCL’s two championships this March. Cook will enter the Hall of Fame with a ceremony on March 11 at the Canadian Wrestling Championships (Senior, Junior, Cadet) in Waterloo, Ontario, while Belisle and Schmeichel will have their ceremony at the Canadian Wrestling Championships (U19, U17, U15) March 25, in Vancouver, B.C.
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