COC President Tricia Smith has received Canada's top sporting honour ©COC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has paid tribute to Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) President Tricia Smith, who has been formally inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

As part of this recognition, Smith receives the Order of Sport, Canada’s highest sporting honour.

Also among the 2022 inductees are Adam van Koeverden and Hayley Wickenheiser, Olympic champions in sprint kayaking and ice hockey respectively.

"As you celebrate this honour, I would like to add my words of thanks and appreciation for everything you are doing as IOC member and as President of the Canadian Olympic Committee to promote our Olympic values that I know are so close to your heart," said Bach.

"I sincerely hope that this award will be an encouragement and motivation for you to continue to be such a courageous advocate for our mission to make the world a better place through sport."

A four-time Olympian in rowing, Smith won silver at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics, seven World Championship medals and gold at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.

After her rowing career Smith assumed ground-breaking leadership roles with numerous sports organisations while pursuing a career in law.

She became the first Canadian elected to the World Rowing Federation, first chairing the women’s commission and then serving as the federation’s vice-president, a position she currently still holds.

"While Tricia’s many accomplishments and distinctions speak for themselves, her humility and deep commitment to making sport better for everyone are an important part of what makes her an incredible leader," said David Shoemaker, chief executive and secretary general of the COC.

IOC President Thomas Bach has congratulated the Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith upon receiving her country's top sporting award ©Getty Images
IOC President Thomas Bach has congratulated the Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith upon receiving her country's top sporting award ©Getty Images

"With everything Tricia is involved with, she brings with her integrity and a passion for improving communities and the country through the power of sport that inspires everyone around her.

"We are so proud to have her leading Team Canada and representing our organisation and our country so well on the international stage."

In addition to her role as COC President, Smith holds many notable international volunteer positions.

She is an elected IOC member, where she sits on three commissions – Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Legal Affairs and Coordination for the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.

She is an elected member of the Executive Committees of Panam Sports and the Association of National Olympic Committees.

"Thanks to all for this incredible honour," said Smith. 

"I volunteer in sport because I believe sport has the power to inspire and teach and bring us together like nothing else, to accomplish small and great things, and to hopefully leave the world just a little better than how we found it.

"I thank my family for making sport just part of our lives - where all of these lessons come to life or are amplified.

"Being able to play sport and then volunteer in sport has been a gift."

Smith said she was
Smith said she was "incredibly honoured" after her induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame ©Getty Images

Smith is a recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia (BC) and an honorary degree from the University of British Columbia.

She is also a member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

"Tricia truly represents the best in our sport, the best in sport and represented Canada in the very best light," said Jean-Christophe Rolland, President of the World Rowing Federation.

"We are truly proud and honoured to have Tricia in our federation and proud of her honour for the Order of Sport in Canada today."

A member of the Vancouver 2010 international bid team, Smith is currently the COC representative on the Leadership Assembly overseeing the Indigenous-led 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid for Canada.

"Tricia continues to be such a champion for athletes worldwide and her support of our efforts at the COC Athletes’ Commission can be felt across everything we do," said Rosie MacLennan, two-time Olympic champion and Chair of the COC Athletes’ Commission.

"Her impact on the sport system is profound and Tricia’s passion for the Olympic Movement and everything it stands for are an inspiration to us all."