Trail’s Home of Champions monument induction ceremony: Champions unveiled

New inductees on the Greater Trail Home of Champions monument.

After undergoing some last minute polish, the Home of Champions monument will be officially  unveiled on Thursday with a grand slam of Greater Trail champions added.

Former world-ranked kickboxer Terry Yuris will join ski instructor Grant Rutherglen, hockey player Trevor Johnson, and actor Kevin McNulty to augment the 117 local luminaries already etched into the pillar in front of the Kootenay Savings Credit Union on Farwell St.

Trail native Yuris is a former Canadian Kickboxing champion, at one point ranked number one in the world.  Yuris started practicing karate and transitioned to kickboxing in its formative years.

By the time he was 23 Yuris had won 21 of 23 amateur and professional fights, and was one of the top-ranked full-contact karate fighters on the planet, but a promising career was cut short by knee injury.

“We knew he was champion, and had risen right to the top in kick boxing so the nomination didn’t need a lot of meat to it,” said Trail Historical Society’s Jamie Forbes. “This is what the whole process is for, is to bring to the public’s attention people in your community that have really excelled in some fashion.”

Johnson was nominated on the strength of a stellar hockey career. It all began early for the talented defenceman, as he led the Rossland-Trail Pee Wee reps to a pair of provincial titles in 1995 and 1996.

As a 15-year old defenceman he played for the Trail Junior Smokies, then the Beaver Valley Nitehawks before being drafted by and playing three seasons for the Kootenay Ice of the WHL, where he went to the Memorial Cup in 2000.

Johnson also played for the Seattle Thunderbirds and TriCity Americans from 2001-03, and the Muskegon Fury of the International Hockey League where the rookie all-star won a championship.

Johnson then took his skills to Italy, and is in his sixth season playing in the Lega Italina Hockey Ghaccio. He is currently playing with the Valpellice HC, and has laced them up for the national team in three IIHF world championships, and is winner of two ‘B’ division world championships.

Johnson recently helped the Italian men’s ice hockey team secure another spot in the A division of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Cup last month.

Rutherglen is no stranger to the international alpine ski scene, he excelled both as a competitor and a coach. The Trail resident is also a recent inductee to the Canadian Ski Coaches Hall of Fame, and has been coaching young skiers for over 40 years.

He helped develop the Red Mountain Racer program making it one of the most successful ski programs in North American. Over 30 Red Mountain Racers went on to train with the national team, and Rutherglen coached nine of them. Today the Trail resident is a CSCF level 4 coach and examiner, and continues to develop both the skills and character of young athletes at Red.

Actor Kevin McNulty was born in Penticton in 1955, but at the age of three his family moved to Warfield, and later to Rossland. One of his first roles was with the Rossland Light Opera Company where at 16-years-old he played ‘Ole Joe in a production of “Showboat.”

After attending Washington State, McNulty graduated from the prestigious acting program, Studio 58 in Vancouver. He spent two years at the Stratford Festival before going on to act in an eclectic and varied mix of over 150 roles in film, television, and stage.

He has worked with such film icons as Katherine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier, as well as contemporary headliners Jessica Alba and Samuel L. Jackson. A prolific and talented actor, his acting credits include roles in the Beach Combers to the X-Files on television, and The Accused to Fantastic 4 on film.

McNulty currently plays Mel Ivarson on CBC’s Arctic Air, and  resides in Vancouver with his family.

All nominees adhere to a strict criteria, and are chosen based on  having made a significant contribution to the communities of Greater Trail; or, for having reached a significant level of achievement in his/her chosen field.

Nominees are selected from three categories: Sports, Lifestyle and Business/Science.

“They (the Home of Champions board) look at the nominations they’ve received and, they consider them . . . based on the information the nominators provided, the board does not go and seek further information on their own,” said Forbes.

The Home of Champions induction ceremony will be held at the Riverbelle on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. followed by the Champions monument unveiling on Farwell St.

For more information call 368-9932.