Glendon grad and CBC-TV producer Terry Walker began his Glendon days in 1969, after a year on a hockey scholarship at Ithaca College in New York State. As a goalie, he helped the Glendon Gophers win a York University hockey championship that year, which led Walker and team-mate Andy Raven to test their hockey sticks playing for Heerenveen, in the north of Holland the following year. On their return to Glendon, they decided to take the newest version of the Gophers to Europe on a six-game tour. But Bunny Ahearne, [then] president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), blocked their tour after just one game. Why? Because Canada had pulled out of international competition two years earlier.
Terry Walker began his career with the CBC in 1976. A generation of sportscasters, researchers and producers at CBC locations across the country came to know him as the energetic, cheerful guy at TV News Syndication who could get them hard-to-find sports pictures or could quickly put together a report on a big game or event. He has reported or produced for a variety of national and international events including the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
“Let’s fast forward to November of 2004”, says Walker. “ I’m a producer with the CBC-TV documentary unit, working on the 1960s portion of the series known as “Hockey: A People’s History” (the series will run in early ’06). I researched the national team of Father David Bauer, born of Bauer’s belief that hockey could be used to develop the all-round student-athlete and, at the same time, improve Canada’s faltering hockey prestige internationally. With the help of former national team-member Morris Mott – now a history professor at Brandon University – I discovered a fascinating piece of history. At the 1964 Olympics, Canada finished in a three-way tie for second place, and according to the IIHF rules of the day, Canada should have won the bronze medal. However, just before the medals ceremony, that same Mr. Bunny Ahearne held an “emergency” meeting of his executive and managed to change the rules: Canada was now in fourth place, and missed the medal podium!”
In those days, the Olympic hockey competition doubled as the world championship. The IIHF, in its own 1978 book, “Seventy Years of International Hockey”, pointed out that Canada finished fourth in the Olympics, but third in the world championships. Further investigation showed that the Canadians never received their world championship bronze medals. A series of e-mails from Walker to the IIHF and Hockey Canada finally resulted – six months after the process began – in the IIHF’s changing its website, which had reflected the absurdity of two different results from the single ’64 Olympics tournament. The IIHF also decided to give the Canadian players their world championship bronze medals 41 years after the fact! All but one of the players are alive today. Sadly, Father Bauer himself – the driving force behind that national team – died in 1988.
Walker continues with a delighted twinkle, “Only half the job is done; now, it’s time to push for the OLYMPIC bronze they were denied. It’s a tougher goal to achieve, but a proper and just one. It’s also one these former international athletes deserve and demand. As one of them told me recently, ‘We went over there to win an OLYMPIC medal, not a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP medal!’.”
“And to think that the history degree I earned at Glendon in 1973 gave me the skills – and helped me get the job – that eventually led to righting this historic wrong”, adds Walker. “Who would have thought… “
This article was submitted to YFile by Marika Kemeny, communications officer at Glendon.