Diane Jones-Konihowski acknowledged her inclusion in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame with a humility that has become typical of those who occupy the athletic realm in this nation, in an interview with CBC News.
Jones-Konihowski was twice the Pan American Games champion as well as the 1978 Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the combined athletics event known as the pentathlon, which saw competitors excel in the hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and middle-distance running in the 1960's and 70's.
She gave rise to generations of Canadian multi-event stars including decathletes Michael Smith and Damian Warner as well as heptathlon medallists Catherine Bond-Mills, Jessica Zelinka and Brianne Theisen-Eaton.
Growing up in Saskatoon, Jones-Konihowski went on to become the top ranked athlete in the world at her sport and a two-time Olympian who missed her best shot at a gold medal because of the western boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980.
Undaunted, she persevered to be a force in the Olympic movement in Canada as well as the country's coaching association and it's fair play commission. She also served as the Chef de Mission for Canada's Olympic team at the Sydney 2000 Games.
"A lot of women come up to me and say what a tremendous role model I was for them in the 1970's," she said.
"While you're competing, it doesn't enter your mind, you're just doing it. You've got goals. You want to be the best you can be. Later on, it's the satisfaction of knowing you did have some sort of impact on these women. I've always believed that it doesn't matter where you come from in Canada — you can be the Olympic champion."
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