Dr. Sport: Clement in tears over Hall of Fame selection

         Diane Clement joins BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Diane and Doug Clement at Forever Young 8 km race  Photo by Gord Kurenoff, Vancouver Sun

Diane and Doug Clement at Forever Young 8 km race  Photo by Gord Kurenoff, Vancouver Sun

BY GREG DOUGLAS, SPECIAL TO THE SUN DECEMBER 18, 2015SCENE & HEARD: ’Tis the season to put the naughty pen aside and reach for the one marked nice, which can only be used when referring to pleasant and enjoyable people.

Greg Douglas   Photo Vancouver Sun files

Greg Douglas   Photo Vancouver Sun files

Long story: Former Sun sports scribe breaks up old boys’ club with selection

Where to start? That’s easy: Wendy Long and Diane Clement, two of the Class of 2016 BC Sports Hall of Fame inductees announced last week at a mid-morning, standing-room-only reception.

A few days before, Wendy got the call from Hall of Fame chair Jim Lightbody and figured it was for a whole different reason. “I thought, ‘Oh shucks, they want me back to serve on the selection committee,’ ” Long recalls. “When Mr. Lightbody said he was phoning to inform me about being inducted, I went quiet. It took a minute to sink in. I was numb.”

Long was one of Canada’s few female sportswriters during the 1980s and 1990s, covering the amateur sports beat at The Vancouver Sun for nearly two decades. Her assignments included six Olympic, Pan Am, Commonwealth and Goodwill Games, as well as countless other international events. She becomes the first female to join the ranks of crusty ol’ men in the BC Sports Hall of Fame media category dating back to 1998, when the gesture was first introduced.

Allison Mailer, Hall of Fame executive director, broke the news to Clement in a more public manner. It was at the annual Achilles Track and Field dinner when Diane learned she would be joining her husband, Dr. Doug Clement (inducted in 2000), in the athletics category. The banquet room erupted in a long, standing ovation, bringing Diane to tears.

 The Clements are, and always have been, a fascinating husband and wife combination in local, national and international athletic circles. It is only fitting that they now proudly stand side-by-side in the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

HERE ‘N’ THERE: Howard Kelsey, two-time Olympian and permanent fixture in Canadian basketball, had his 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame induction scarf draped around his shoulders as he floated through the crowd last week, saying: “I can’t tell you anything other than there’s major news breaking next week.” With that, he would hand out his card with a scribbled message on the reverse side that said: “Wednesday, Dec. 10, West Convention Centre Room 306, 10 a.m. Be there!”

Sure enough, Kelsey was front and centre six days later with confirmation that Vancouver will be hosting an annual in-season NCAA basketball tournament beginning in 2017 involving eight men’s and eight women’s Division 1 U.S. college teams at the Vancouver Convention Centre. How Kelsey managed to keep it a secret from the local media mongrels is news in itself.

SHORT HOPS: Elaine Tanner — winner of three Olympic swimming medals at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City and member of the BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 1970 — will be at Delanys Coffee House in Dundarave in West Vancouver today for a book signing from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ‘Mighty Mouse’ has written a Christmas-themed children’s story entitled ‘Monkey Guy and the Cosmic Fairy.’ It is her first venture as a published author and she is graciously donating a portion of the sales to animal rescue and the homeless.

END ZONE: Young hockey broadcaster Brandon Astle was left in the lurch when the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Heat franchise was extinguished two years ago. His perseverance in maintaining a play-by-play career resulted in being hired by the National Lacrosse League Vancouver Stealth. Astle makes his debut on TSN Radio for the Stealth home opener at Langley Events Centre on Jan. 9.

Greg Douglas’s Dr. Sport column appears every second Saturday in The Sun.drsport@telus.net

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