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Celebrating a century of BC sports memories

Last Updated Sep 22, 2019 at 1:48 pm PST

Summary

To Bird, these photos aren't just mere sporting events, they act as a social history of the province

Bird spent 25 years managing a large photograph and image collection and was uniquely-suited to the task

There is a launch event Sunday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place

Vancouver (NEWS 1130) – From the miracle mile to the golden goal, there have been plenty of magic moments in B.C. sports. Now, a new book collects them all, including some you may have forgotten.

Magic Moments in BC Sports:  A Century in Photos is the third book from former Vancouver Sun and Province image librarian Kate Bird, who feels sports have a way of bringing us together like nothing else can, not just as fans but as British Columbians.

“When Nancy Greene returned from winning at the Olympics in 1968, all Lower Mainland school kids got the day off school to come to the parade,” she recalls.

“And, of course, what we saw in the 2010 Winter Olympics, the crowds in the streets, it was such a wonderful atmosphere.”

LISTEN: Magic Moments in BC Sports

To Bird, these photos aren’t just mere sporting events, they act as a social history of the province.

“That sort of bringing together people from all different walks of life can be a very bonding experience.”

She spent 25 years managing a large photograph and image collection and was uniquely-suited to the task.

“When I was working at the newspapers I was sort of known as the ‘sports librarian,'” she says.

“So when Greystone Books approached me, I was all in.  I knew there would be fabulous photos so it was a good place to start.”

Bird also makes a point of casting as wide a net as possible with her choice of images.  Sure, there are the expected photos of the Lions, the Whitecaps, and the Canucks, but there are also plenty of shots of amateur, community, and recreational athletics too.

She also reminds us of some the now forgotten figures from early on.

“For instance, when Percy Williams went to the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, where he won Gold in both the 100 and 200 [metre races] becoming the fastest man in the world,” she says.

“He came from nowhere, no-one even knew about him because the media didn’t cover him in the main centres in, say, Toronto and Montreal.”

Indeed, Bird points out our geography also made it difficult in those early days for British Columbians not only to be recognized, but to travel to important events like Olympic qualifiers.

“So, it was just their own initiative, really, that got them to what they achieved.  It was quite amazing for the time.”

There is a launch event Sunday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place.

Look for Magic Moments in BC Sports from Greystone Books.