Canada Games honours Islander as distinguished former competitor
Dr. Elizabeth Cannon says her success has its roots in a work ethic she learned as a student and an athlete on Prince Edward Island.
Cannon, past president and professor of geomatics engineering at the University of Calgary, received the Distinguished Alumna Award and was inducted into the Canada Games Hall of Honour on February 14 in Red Deer, Alberta.
“It’s a big honour and one that recognizes people who haven’t really been involved with the Canada Games since competing but who have been competitors and who have gone on to make contributions to their communities in other ways,” she said. “I think my recognition is due to the work I’ve put in here at the University of Calgary. But yes I think I can say that my time as a swimmer on PEI contributed to me being here.”
Cannon said she competed for the Island at three Canada Games as both a competitive swimmer and a synchronized swimmer – appearing at the 1975 games in Lethbridge, Alberta, the 1977 games in Prince Edward Island, and the 1979 games in Brandon, Manitoba.
“That time as an athlete shaped me. In that pool I learned a lot about developing a work ethic, about working with others and about having a disciplined approach to reaching my goals. There were a lot of important lessons about how to win and how to lose,” she said.
Cannon said the competition, travel and support she experienced as a Canada Games athlete helped lay the foundations for her life as an academic, a leader and an administrator.
“The opportunity to represent my home province of PEI, see our great country and compete with highly talented and motivated athletes, left an indelible mark on both my personal life and professional career.”
Dr. Cannon is the inaugural inductee in the Distinguished Alumni category, which recognizes outstanding accomplishment in fields outside of sport.
Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell met Dr. Cannon at the awards ceremony.
“Elizabeth Cannon’s life and career show how far hard work and discipline can take a person,” he said. “We encourage fitness and sports in our province for just this reason. Not only does sport lead to health and fitness, the lessons children learn through sports can take carry them to the top of their chosen fields.
“I want to congratulate Dr. Elizabeth Cannon on this well-deserved honour.”
“Where I am today - the work and the relationships I’ve had here in Calgary – comes from my experiences growing up on the Island,” Cannon said “There’s a sense of community involvement, of mutual support, and of hard work in the Island community. That experience has benefited me tremendously.”