Sunday, May 12, 2013

Home of Champions Monument - Renewal ...

Shortly after 9:00 PM on the evening May 9th, 2013 - the curtain dropped and the lights went up on the renewed Home of Champions Monument in Downtown Trail. With a  few special lighting effects and a modernized look, it was a quite a sight to see. A crowd of just over 200 spectators gathered in the dark to witness the long awaited event. Many had already attended the induction ceremony of four new Champions into the Home of Champions Society earlier that evening at the Riverbelle. Trevor Johnson was recognized for his achievements in International hockey, Grant Rutherglen for his involvement in skiing, Kevin McNulty for his lengthy and accomplished acting career. Lastly, Terry Yuris for his world class record in the sport of kickboxing. It was truly an exciting evening to be a part of. The biographies that were read aloud and the very candid and sincere acceptance speeches brought back memories for all in attendance. Most importantly, for me, it reminded me yet again what we are capable of and why I love this community so much. We truly are ...the Home of Champions.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who participated in this worthwhile project.

See below for the speech that was given at the unveiling.


Home of Champions Monument (Unveil)

May 9, 2013 

Thank you all so much for coming out tonight to witness the unveiling of - one of our region’s most famous symbols – The Home of Champions Monument.

It is truly an honor to stand before you here today as the President of the Greater Trail Home of Champions Society and tell you a little bit about what I believe it means - to be called a Champion … in a community that has produced more than its fair share of leaders, winners and worldwide achievers.

 But first -I am proud to say that earlier tonight; we inducted four new members into the Society;

1.    Grant Rutherglen for his accomplished resume in the sport of skiing.

2.    Kevin Mcnulty for his extensive resume in the arts as an actor.

3.    Trevor Johnson for his storied career in Junior and professional hockey

4.    Terry Yuris for his world-class record and pioneering efforts in the sport of Kickboxing.

 Their names were all added to the monument earlier this week during the final stages of the restoration project. Those brass plaques now have a permanent home where our inductees’ achievements can be showcased and remembered, alongside the names of over 140 other champions. This in itself is an incredible testament to the talents and abilities of our relatively small population here in the Greater Trail area.

It is hard to define exactly what that difference maker is, that separates us from bigger places with lesser accomplishments, but I will hazard a guess and say that it’s heart. It’s heart that drives the hockey player to get up off the ice and make that last rush in the dying seconds of a game. It’s heart that brings the actor back for the 7:00 AM curtain call after working well into the night. It’s that special quality that gives the skier the courage to hurl his frozen body down an icy slope at 70 miles per hour, because he believes that it’s that last run of the day – that will separate him from the competition when it matters most. Lastly, it’s heart that gives the boxer the courage to get up off the canvas and wade into his opponent with everything he’s got left – looking for that one perfect shot that puts his opponent to sleep and sees his hand raised in Victory.

Heart - ladies and gentleman, you can’t teach it, you can’t give it away and you can’t buy it. As Champions, you were all lucky enough to be born with it and have the right people in your lives to help bring it out of you when you needed it most.

As diverse in background and skills as our inductees are, they all must possess some similar traits and characteristics to meet the test of being declared a Champion … in the home of Champions. To meet this test, they must possess tenacity, courage, dogged determination and a desire to excel that cannot be extinguished by the temporary sting of defeat. In fact, a champion must learn from temporary setbacks and use them as fuel to propel them forward into the next challenge, acknowledging them but never fully accepting them …and still knowing in your spirit that you’re best performance always lies ahead of you.
 To borrow a saying from Winston Churchill (One of my favorites),

“Success is not final, and failure isn’t fatal. It is the courage to continue that matters most”

This is what Champions know.

Tonight we dedicate the renewal of this iconic symbol to the people of the Greater Trail area in recognition of the indomitable spirit of our citizens and our Champions.

Please join me and make some noise as we raise the curtain … on your new Home of Champions Monument.

Kevin Jolly

Greater Trail Home of Champions Society