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Gord Moffatt is inducted into the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame

Yukon curling coaching legend Gord Moffattt has been inducted into the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame.

Through Morris Procope on May 27, 2022

Yukon curling coaching legend Gord Moffattt has been inducted into the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame.

According to a Sport Yukon press release, Moffatt relocated to the Yukon from Swan River, Manitoba in the early 1990s.

He has coached many teams on the national stage including Team Birnie at the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Between 1991 and 2014, Moffatt coached teams at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships.

He has coached at two Canada Winter Games, three Optimist International Bonspiels, four Scotties and three Briars.

He coached three teams to medals – the 1993 junior team to bronze and 2009-2010 teams to silver and gold medals at Optimist International’s Bonspiels.

Moffatt was honored in a well-attended ceremony at the Sport Yukon Wednesday night.

Rose Heisz, a former Moffatt curling student and longtime friend and neighbor, spoke about Moffatt before the veteran coach took the podium and spoke about what the honor meant to her.

“It means a lot to me. He is recognized for all the years he has dedicated to curling here in the North.

“He coached my team for a while, that was noticeable. I curled up with his daughter…he was my neighbor and I remember when he first started coaching Atlin’s fledgling junior team and his dedication and calm demeanor on the ice with them.

“It’s satisfying. It’s good,” she added.

Moffatt then entertained the crowd with comical images and colorful stories from his long curling past. The star spoke to him after the memorable acceptance speech and asked him how he was feeling.

“Overwhelmed. It’s a great honor and I’m overwhelmed and probably a little speechless. I’ve already given a long speech,” he joked.

Moffatt said he would not have imagined this years ago.

“Not at all. Not even two weeks ago. It was a total surprise. A shock. And I think I’m still in shock.”

As far as it counts among his accomplishments, “it’s a good way to top it off,” Moffatt said.

“It’s like the cherry on top of a sundae. It is a wonderful event and is greatly appreciated by the organizers, Sport Yukon, and everyone who helped and everyone who came. It was a tidy, tidy experience.”

Moffatt was asked what stood out in his long coaching career.

“Probably two things. One was the Atlin Boys team. I remember Bob came to me in freshman year and they played a lot of badminton and I said, “If you want to be good curlers, you have to quit badminton.” And they did. And they devoted their full time. And they wanted me to devote more time to them. And I could, thank God. Maybe not from my wife’s point of view, but from my point of view it was a wonderful experience.

“I took them from juniors to Brier and they showed Canada the Yukon could curl.”

The Atlin Boys in 1993 consisted of Robert Smallwood (skip), Scott Odian (third), Alfred Feldman (runner-up) and Allan Shaw (lead).

Clinton Abel was on the team in 1991 and 1992. He was mature for the 93 event.

The team beat Kevin Koe three years in a row to represent Yukon/NWT at the ’91, ’92 and ’93 Junior Nationals.

“The other achievement that I’m quite proud of is working with Sarah Koltun’s team. From kids as young as 11 to 21 year old young women performed at an incredible level with the Scotties in 2014 and that’s probably the icing on the cake for me. And also to be there with my daughter. It’s really, really made a big difference in how I feel.”

Moffatt added: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who came out tonight and listened to my lengthy speech and to the people who were watching online. I don’t know how many there were. I’m sure it wasn’t millions, but it was probably a few and I want to thank them too.”

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