FORMER CANADA BASKETBALL CAPTAIN SYLVIA SWEENEY AWARDED ORDER OF CANADA
TORONTO, Ont. (September 7, 2018) – In a ceremony Thursday at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, former Canada Basketball captain Sylvia Sweeney was awarded the Order of Canada by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette.
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievements, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Sweeney was honoured for her long-standing commitment to and creative leadership at the nexus of art and sport through her documentaries and world-stage productions.
“There are few Canadians who have so brilliantly and comfortably moved through the worlds of elite sport and art, and appreciated the rich connections between them, as Sylvia has," said Wayne Parrish, Co-Chair, Canada Basketball Board of Directors. "She is a true Canadian treasure.”
A two-time Olympian, Sweeney represented Canada at both the 1976 and 1984 Olympics. Team captain from 1979-84, Canada’s fourth place finish at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles remains the highest in program history at the Olympic Games.
At the 1979 FIBA World Championship for Women, Sweeney led Canada to their first bronze medal and was voted Most Valuable Player. She was also named Canadian flag bearer for the 1979 Pan American Games in Mexico.
Sweeney was inducted into the Canada Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.
In addition to representing Canada, Sweeney also played for McGill, Concordia and Laurentian universities. In 1979, Sweeney helped Laurentian win their fifth consecutive CIAU national championship. Born in Montreal, she also played provincially for Quebec in 1992.
Each year, U SPORTS recognizes one women’s basketball player with the Sylvia Sweeney Award for Student-Athlete Community Service for their outstanding contribution both on and off the court.
Sweeney was also one of six members of the Toronto Raptors Foundation first board of directors.
Following her playing days, Sweeney moved on to work as a researcher for CBC Television in Montreal. She has also co-hosted CTV’s ‘W5’, Women’s Television Network flagship program, ‘POV Women’ and reported on the 1988 Calgary Olympics for CBC’s ‘The National’.
In addition to producing more than 100 documentaries and live events, Sweeney also founded ArtsGames, an independent global competition that will bring the world together through dance, music, literature, visual and media arts.
Sweeney is the niece of late Canadian jazz pianist and composer, Oscar Peterson.
Photo: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2018