Chatham-Kent Museum CK Faster Higher Stronger Exhibit

Chatham-Kent Olympians

On your marks! Get set! Get going to the Chatham-Kent Museum for our brand-new exhibit! Get to know Chatham-Kent’s greatest athletes at CK. Faster. Higher. Stronger, featuring artifacts and memorabilia loaned from more than a dozen CK Olympians.

Open from September 2, 2017 until September 2, 2018, this exhibit will have you running faster, reaching higher, and chasing CK’s Olympic dreams from Thamesville’s Louis Harding who won gold in hockey in 1924 all the way to Chatham’s Miranda Ayim, who represented Canada on the women’s basketball team in 2016. Find out what athletes wore, where they stayed, what they brought back (including medals!), and where they are today, and get your picture taken on the CK Champions podium with our very own Chatham-Kent Museum medals. Will you bring home the gold for Chatham-Kent?

Start your race to greatness now, with CK. Faster. Higher. Stronger and the Chatham-Kent Museum!

This exhibit would not have been possible without the contributions of the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame, the Chatham Figure Skating Club, the Wallaceburg and District Community Museum, the athletes and their families, and other members of the community who helped us get in touch with the athletes. The Chatham-Kent Museum also wishes to extend its thanks to the Canadian Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee for providing information and support. 

To learn more about the Olympics, visit www.olympic.ca

Meet the Athletes!

Doug Anakin

Olympian Doug Anakin

Born November 6, 1930, Chatham

Bobsleigh: 1964 (Innsbruck, Austria), Coach, luge: 1972 (Sapporo, Japan)

A member of the wrestling team at Queen’s University, Doug Anakin taught high school and coached wrestling, and became involved in bobsled and luge in the early 1960s. He continued coaching football, wrestling, and skiing while training for the 1964 Winter Olympics. He was selected to compete on the Canadian Bobsled Team, which took the gold medal in the four-man event at those games. He also competed in luge in 1964, but dropped out after two runs, having sustained some minor injuries and difficulty with scheduling. He represented Canada in bobsled internationally until 1967, at which time he became one of the biggest promoters of luge in Canada, coaching the Canadian luge team at the 1972 Winter Olympics. In 1990, he retired from teaching, settling in British Columbia, and John Abbott College, the institution where he coached for 19 years, established the “Doug Anakin Scholarship for Outdoor Pursuits” that is given annually to the student that best demonstrates Anakin’s traits. He is a member of the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.

Miranda  Ayim

Olympian Miranda Ayim

Born May 6, 1988, Chatham

Basketball: 2012 (London, England), 2016 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Power forward Miranda Ayim is the daughter of Sandy and Gus Ayim and younger sister of Kyler. From an early age, Kyler and Miranda developed a passion for all things athletic. Athletics runs in the family–their father is a former college basketball player and their mother, a basketball coach at a local elementary school and a former high school track star. From grades 10 to 12, she played basketball with the Ingersoll X-Plosion. Throughout high school, she also played with the Canadian youth national teams, traveling to various countries during the summer months. She had a successful four-year career at Pepperdine University and was the first Pepperdine player to be a three-time West Coast Conference All-First-Team selection and a three-time WCC All-Academic selection. She set the school career record for blocked shots with 182. In her senior year, she was chosen as the Division 1 AAA women’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Miranda graduated magna cum laude in 2010 with a degree in Public Relations, a concentration in Psychology, and a 3.71 GPA. She lives most of the year in France, and continues to play basketball at the professional level.

Courtney Babcock

Olympian Courtney Babcock

Born June 30, 1972, Chatham

Athletics: 2004 (Athens, Greece)

Record-holder Courtney Babcock is originally from Chatham, Ontario and later completed high school at Bishop Strachan in Toronto. From there, she became a member of the University of Michigan Cross Country and Track teams (under current U of M coach Mike McGuire), and went on to train in Boston with Reebok (under legendary coach Bob Sevene) before moving to Missoula, Montana to run most of her career with Marta Timmons and the Mountain West Track Club. She holds the Canadian women’s 5000m (14:54.96) record and formerly held the 10000m record, set during the 2003 season. She broke the Canadian 5000m record in the final of the 2003 World Track and Field IAAF Championships in Paris, where she finished in eighth place, securing her spot for the 2004 Olympic Games. Her 1500m time of 4:01.99 was also a top time in the world that year. With over 20 years of running experience (14 as a professional runner) and 10 years as a coach, Courtney brings perspective and knowledge from all areas of running, including starting from scratch and getting back into shape after having children. She was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Cori Blakebrough

Born July 30, 1967, Chatham

Basketball: 2000 (Sydney, Australia)

Guard Cori Blakebrough played basketball professionally in Germany, England, and France from 1990-1999. She not only improved her basketball skills in Europe but also learned to speak French and German. She won a CIAU championship with the University of Calgary in 1989 and was All-Canadian the following season. In 2000 she played for Team Canada at the Olympics in Sydney, where the team placed tenth. 

She has three university degrees - a bachelor of physical education, bachelor of education, and a masters in science. She returned to Canada recently, and teaches physical education to students from grade 6-12 in Alberta.

Are you in touch with Cori Blakebrough? Please help us connect by contacting ckcccmuseum@chatham-kent.ca

Shae-Lynn Bourne

Olympian Shae-Lynn Bourne

Born January 24, 1976, Chatham

Figure skating: 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway), 1998 (Nagano, Japan), 2002 (Salt Lake City, USA)

On the ice since 1983, Shae-Lynn Bourne is enduring figure in Canadian figure skating. With her longtime skating partner Victor Kraatz, she represented Canada at three Olympiads, placing tenth in 1994, and fourth in both 1998 and 2002, as well as six World Championships, three Four Continents Championships, and three Grand Prix finals. Bourne and Kraatz were renowned for their technique, especially the hydroblading technique, which they are credited with perfecting. They also won ten Canadian national championships, and Shae-Lynn has skated as a solo performer in numerous skating shows, including  CBC’s “Blades on Ice,” where she skated with NHL right wing Claude Lemieux.

Shae-Lynn remains active in coaching and choreography, working with up-and-coming skaters from around the world. She is active in supporting anti-child abuse causes, and advocates for fairness and transparency in the judging of skating. She is a recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She and Victor Kraatz were inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

David Corrente

Olympian David Corrente

Born October 13, 1983, Wallaceburg

Baseball: 2008 (Beijing, China)

Wallaceburg-born catcher David Corrente got his start in baseball playing house league at Jaycee Park and was soon competing at the regional and provincial level in Chatham and Windsor.  In 1998, he was chosen to participate in the Bantam Canadian National Championship, where he was recognized as the top catcher in the tournament. He was drafted into the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2001, playing his first minor league  games at age 17 with the Medicine Hat Blue Jays. His community involvement and volunteerism led to him receiving the Blue Jays Community Service Award in 2007 in recognition of his involvement with the Boys and Girls clubs as well as volunteering in local schools and nursing homes in the town of Dunedin while he was playing for the minor league team there. He represented Canada at four international competitions, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the team placed sixth. David  retired from the minor leagues in 2009 and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree and a masters in theology. He now lives in British Columbia with his wife and four children.

Richard Doey

Olympian Richard Doey

Born December 27, 1956, Chatham

Rowing: 1984 (Los Angeles, USA)

Richard Doey was born in Chatham, Ontario. He participated in volleyball, basketball, and football while attending Chatham Collegiate Institute. He took up rowing in his final year at McMaster University, and went on to represent Canada at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, placing fourth in the Men’s Coxed Pair, and at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California, placing fifth in the Men’s Coxed Four.

Richard’s rowing recognitions include McMaster’s Novice Oarsman of the year in 1978, US National Rowing Champion in the Junior Men’s Coxed Four in 1979, Canadian National Rowing Champion in the Men’s Four in 1980 and 1981, Coach of the 1982 Novice Men’s 8 National Champion Brock Badgers, Brock University’s Oarsman of the year in 1984, and World Masters Rowing Champion in the Men’s Coxed Four in 2006. Richard was guest coach at Columbia University in New York City from 1985-1989, and has guest coached at Northeastern University in Boston since 1990. He continues to row and train in London, Ontario. He was inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Yvonne Franssen

Olympian Yvonne Franssen

Born January 8, 1962, Wallaceburg

Tae Kwon Do: 1988 (Seoul, South Korea)

Hailing from Wallaceburg but later a resident of Chatham, bronze medal martial artist Yvonne Franssen was working at the Sydenham General Hospital when she qualified for the 1988 Olympics. She attended Chang Kwak’s School of Tae Kwon Do in Wallaceburg, and later trained at the Chatham Tae Kwon Do Club with Barry Lamperd and Korean expert Myung Sung Jung. Prior to qualifying for the Olympics, she had been competing nationally and internationally for several years, winning first-place trophies at the Michigan State Championships as well as the North American championships, where she competed at the yellow-belt level. She qualified for the Olympics by taking home a gold medal at the All-Canadian Olympic Team Trials in Ottawa.

In 1988, Olympic Tae Kwon Do was considered a demonstration sport, and travel costs were not covered by the Canadian Olympic Committee. Her friends and colleagues, along with the C-K community and the Wallaceburg town council came together to help fundraise around $15000 to cover the cost of the trip.

Dave Gagner

Olympian Dave Gagner

Born December 11, 1964, Chatham

Hockey: 1984 (Sarajevo, Yugoslavia)

Dave Gagner spent two full seasons with the OHL’s Brantford Alexanders. In 1982-83 he registered 55 goals and 121 points in 70 games, catching the attention of NHL scouts. The same season he was named to the OHL Second All-Star Team. He was selected in the first round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and made the cut for Team Canada for the 1984 Olympics. The team would go on to a fourth-place finish at the games in Sarajevo. Dave later played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Calgary Flames, and the Florida Panthers, retiring in 1999, while playing for the Vancouver Canucks.  He scored 719 points in 946 NHL regular season games.

After retiring from professional hockey, Gagner founded Custom Ice Rinks, a company making customized as well as portable sports rinks, became a part owner in the OHL Mississauga Ice Dogs, an assistant coach for the London Knights, and later Director of Player Development for both the Vancouver Canucks and the Orr Hockey Group management agency. One of his sons, Sam, currently plays for the Vancouver Canucks, and his daughter, Jessica, played NCAA hockey for Dartmouth College. He was inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in ????

Richard Harding

1934-2007 (?), Chatham

Athletics: 1956 (Melbourne, Australia)

Richard was a member of the 1956 men’s relay team in Melbourne Australia. The team was coached by Toronto’s Fred Foot. He also placed fourth in the Olympic men’s 100m sprint that year. 

Are you in touch with the family of Richard Harding? Please help us connect by contacting ckcccmuseum@chatham-kent.ca

Louis Hudson

Olympian Louis Hudson

1898-1975, Thamesville

Hockey: 1924 (Chamonix, France), 1928 (St. Moritz, Switzerland)

Right wing Louis “Lou” Hudson represented Canada in ice hockey at a time when, rather than drawing from a roster of talent from across the country, entire teams went to the Olympics together. Lou was a member of the Toronto Varsity Blues hockey team, which represented Canada in 1924 and won the gold medal. Back in Toronto, he won the Allan Cup in 1927, an award recognizing excellence in a player on the Toronto Varsity Graduates hockey team. The Varsity Graduates went on to represent Canada in 1928 at St. Moritz, with Lou captaining the team. Playing in three games, he scored four goals and led the team to a gold medal in that year’s tournament, He was the first Canadian hockey player to win two Olympic medals. Previously, he had a won ice hockey intercollegiate championships as captain with his university during the 1923-1924 and 1925-1926 seasons, and was also a member of the 1924-1925 intercollegiate championship team captained by future Olympic teammate Joe Sullivan.

Lou graduated from University of Toronto with a medical degree in 1926, and after the 1928 games, he returned to Toronto to practice medicine.

John McKay

Olympian John McKay

1927-1994, Chatham

Coach, skating: 1988 (Calgary, Canada)

John was born in 1927 in British Columbia. When he moved to Chatham, he became a director of the Chatham Figure Skating Club and remained there for over 30 years, skating, coaching, and working to build the profile of the sport. In 1976, he was an advance organizer for the Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and by 1988 he was the Canadian skating team leader at the Olympics in Calgary. Later a director at the Sectional level, then the National level, from 1971-73 he was President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (CFSA). In the 1960s when the CFSA was in financial difficulties, he proposed and implemented a national registration fee of $1.00 per skater in Canada, producing for the CFSA over $100,000 in its initial year. This was followed up with the acquisition of corporate sponsors to support Canada’s elite competitors as well as those aspiring to achieve. He was also a judge, referee, and team leader representing Canada at major events throughout the world. John was also an active member of the Chatham Water Commission from 1970 until his death in 1994 at the age of 67. John was inducted into the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Chatham Sports  Hall of Fame in 2003.

Dominique Pegg

Olympian Dominique Pegg

Born May 24, 1995, Rondeau

Gymnastics: 2012 (London, England)

Rondeau native and former Blenheim Kent Golden Eagle team member Dominique Pegg was still a student at St. Christopher high school in Sarnia when she made her Olympic debut at the 2012 games in London, England. There, she helped her team qualify for team finals and, as an individual, was the only Canadian to qualify for the all-around finals. Dominique placed 17th in the individual finals, while the Canadian team captured a fifth-place finish.

Dominque’s family made the move from Blenheim to Sarnia when she was just nine years old, in order to help her access national-level training. She soon began working with Dave and Liz Brubaker at Bluewater Gymnastics. Even before the 2012 Olympics, Dominique was a seasoned national and international competitor, earning medals at the Canadian Winter Games, the Canadian Gymnastics Championships and the Pacific Rim Games. After finishing high school, Dominique received a scholarship from the University of Alabama, where she was part of their Southeastern Conference Championship team. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in Kinesiology. 

Sandra Tewkesbury

1942-1962, Chatham

Figure Skating: 1960 (Squaw Valley, USA)

In the earliest years of her career, which began at the Chatham Figure Skating Club in 1949, an anonymous sponsor saw such potential in Sandra Tewkesbury’s skating that he paid for her ice time, coaching, and even her expensive competition costumes, as she trained in pursuit of her professional ice dancing dreams. Sandra competed nationally and internationally, coming in first at the Canadian Senior Championships in 1957, and winning a bronze medal at the 1959 Canadian Championships. She placed 10th, aged only 18, at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, and shortly afterwards, married Chatham Daily News staffer Gary Ritchie. Sandra’s promising career was cut tragically short when, in 1962, she was killed in a head-on collision near Guelph, Ontario. At the time of her death, she had been working as a coach at the Guelph College Figure Skating Club. She was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery here in Chatham.

Herb Wakabayashi

Olympian Herb Wakabayashi

1944-2015, Chatham

Hockey: 1972 (Sapporo, Japan), 1976 (Innsbruck, Austria), 1980 (Lake Placid, USA) (representing Japan)

Osamu “Herb” Wakabayashi was born in 1944 at a Japanese internment camp in Nays, in northern Ontario, to which his family had been sent after being removed from their British Columbia home by the Canadian government during World War II. The Wakabayashi family, including three sons and two daughters, later settled in Chatham’s east end in 1950. Shortly after that Herb became involved in sports, playing baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter. He was recruited by Boston University where he set a goal record in his rookie season, and became a two-time All-American. He later played professionally in Japan, and became a member of Japan’s Olympic hockey team for three Olympiads, carrying the Japanese flag for the 1980 games in Lake Placid. His team placed 12th overall at the 1980 games.  

Herb played professionally until 1984, when he transitioned to coaching his Sapporo team. He later retired and went to work for Miura Golf. He was inducted into the Boston University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. He was also admitted to the Beanpot Hockey Tournament Hall of Fame for his outstanding play in the annual tournament among Boston-area schools.

Mel Wakabayashi

Olympian Mel Wakabayashi

Born April 23, 1943, Chatham

Coach, hockey: 1980 (Lake Placid, USA) (representing Japan)

Born in a Japanese internment camp in Slocan City, British Columbia, Hitoshi “Mel” Wakabayashi and his family were moved to Ontario by the Canadian government while he was still an infant. After the end of World War II, the family settled in Chatham. Mel played baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter, along with his brothers. He was recruited by University of Michigan, where was renowned for his ability to avoid penalties. Mel played a season with the Detroit Red Wings’ minor league team but at only 5’6 and 150 pounds, he was not a natural fit amongst the larger, more powerful NHL players. The next year, he began a distinguished professional career in Japan. Mel went on to become his team’s head coach while still playing actively, and was recruited to coach the Japanese men’s international team at the 1980 Olympics. His brother Herb was a member of the team. That team placed 12th overall. Mel continued to coach until 1994. In 2001, he was one of three University of Michigan players selected by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association as one of the Top 50 Players in 50-year history of the conference. He was inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 2006.

Todd Warriner

Olympian Todd Warriner

Born January 3, 1974, Blenheim

Hockey: Lillehammer, Norway (1994)

Left wing Todd Warriner was a member of the Blenheim Blades in the 1988-89 season, and the Chatham Maroons for 1989-1990 before being picked up by the Windsor Spitfires in 1990, where he scored 64 points in his rookie season. He later played for the Kitchener Rangers before being drafted into the NHL, where he would play six seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and several more on other professional teams. He played international hockey for Team Canada from an early age, helping the Under-18 team win a silver medal at the 1991 Phoenix Cup. At the 1994 Olympics, he played five games, scoring one goal and helping the team bring home a silver medal. Later in his career, he played for a number of European teams, and in 2010 appeared on the second season of Battle of the Blades, skating with Canadian Olympic bronze medallist Isabelle Brasseure. Fellow C-K Olympian Shae-Lynn Bourne competed in the same season. Before entering the Blades competition, Todd received a few extra figure skating lessons from his mother, skating coach and former member of Ice Follies, Janet Warriner. Today, Todd provides sports commentary on Sportsnet.

Derek Whitson

Olympian Derek Whitson

Born June 21, 1989, Chatham

Sledge hockey: Vancouver, Canada (2010), Sochi, Russia (2014)

Born with cerebral palsy, Derek Whitson played for the Canadian men’s sledge hockey team from 2007-2016. His first experience with the game was at Chatham’s Children’s Treatment Centre, where an adapted recreation program helped children get involved in sports. As part of the sledge hockey team, Derek won a silver medal at the 2009 World Sledge Hockey Championships in Korea, a gold medal at the IPC World Men’s Championships in 2013, and bronze medals at both the 2007 Parapan-Am Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. In addition to sledge hockey, Derek plays 7-a-side rugby and golf, and is also an avid artist, who has donated several of his works to art auctions in support of Canadian athletics. He now lives in Medicine Hat with his wife, Tara Chisholm, who is the head coach of the Canadian women’s sledge hockey team. Derek is the assistant coach for the team.

Meaggan Wilton

Olympian Meaggan Wilton

Born February 29, 1976, Blenheim

Softball: Sydney, Australia (2000)

Born in Penetanguishene ON, Meaggan grew up in Blenheim and attended Blenheim and District High School. She played both softball and basketball and was a member of the Blenheim Shillington Insurance Bantams, Kent County League and the 1997 Darrel Women’s Fastball Team. She attended California University of Pennsylvania, where she was the starting centrefielder for their NCAA-championship softball team, as well as competing on their tennis team. She studied fine arts and sport management, and after graduating, played for Canada’s national women’s softball team. During her tenure, the team won two Pan-Am silver medals in 1999 and 2003 and played at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where her team finished in eighth place. Today, Meaggan is an assistant coach at Kent State University, and has previously held the positions of head coach at Northwood University and assistant coach at California University of Pennsylvania.