Villeneuve honoured in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
Last night Jacques Villeneuve was honoured for his racing achievements and career success, when the popular French-Canadian racing driver was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
The 2010 Induction Gala was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Calgary, and entering the Sports Hall alongside the 1997 Formula One World Champion were hockey legend Patrick Roy, freestyle skier sensation Jean-Luc Brassard, wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc, speed skating / cycling Olympian Clara Hughes, and Olympic gymnast Kyle Shewfelt.
Villeneuve has found international success in motorsport that can be rivalled by very few - he is only the third driver after Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi to win the IndyCar Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One World Championship. Villeneuve is the only Canadian to win the Indianapolis 500 or the Formula One drivers' title.
Speaking at the Induction Gala on Wednesday, Villeneuve revealed that the honour of becoming part of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame means more to him than he expected.
"When I started racing the only thing I had in mind was to win, nothing else. I never imagined what a successful career of winning would mean, what it would represent. When you're racing, you really don't pay attention but once you take a step back, you realize what it means to your country. So to be here tonight is a much more special feeling than I ever imagined it could be, it feels as great as actually winning."
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1955 to "preserve the record of Canadian sports achievements and to promote a greater awareness of Canada's heritage of sport." Villeneuve's late father, Gilles Villeneuve, was himself inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, at the inaugural induction ceremony in August, 1993.