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  February 15, 2001

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Stu Hart gets Order of Canada

PINNED ... Stampede Wrestling founder Stu Hart gets a grip on a bust of himself at his home in the southwest. The legendary grappler received the Order of Canada for his contribution to sports. -- Mike Drew, Calgary Sun
The legendary Calgarian who put wrestling on the map has been given the Order of Canada.

Stu Hart found out yesterday he was getting the award for sports from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, but didn't believe it at first.

"I could see Wayne Gretzky or Gordie Howe getting it -- they're quality athletes," said Hart, 85, who is best known by people in the city as the man who brought Stampede Wrestling into our homes.

"I don't know what I did to deserve it."

Hart joined 97 other Canadians in receiving the award, which was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of endeavour.

"I feel very lucky to get the order, and I'm glad I was named," said Hart.

It's the second major award for Hart after he was given the Cauliflower Alley Club's highest honour, the Iron Mike Mazurki Award, at a ceremony in Las Vegas earlier this month.

In an emotional moment, Hart rose from his wheelchair to walk to the podium, accompanied by sons Bruce and Ross, daughter Diana and former trainee and Stampede wrestler Dave (Angel of Death) Sheldon.

Hart thanked the wrestling world for his "wonderful life" that has provided a "pretty good" living for his family.

In addition to his wrestling prowess, Hart also played football for the Edmonton Eskimos.

More on The Hart Family

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