Van Loon honored by Glengarry Sports Hall for his talent with a paddle

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MAXVILLE — Canoe-marathon racer Corey Van Loon is one of the 2022 inductees into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.

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Van Loon, who retired from competition in 1998, will be among five honored at this year’s induction banquet scheduled for August 17. The Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame will release information on each inductee in the coming weeks.

Van Loon grew up on the family dairy farm in Martintown and was introduced to canoeing by Martin Lang, a classmate at Char-Lan District High School in Williamstown. His first race would be at the annual Raisin River Canoe Race, where he competed 13 times from 1991 to 2014, and has contributed his time and expertise to its organizing committee since 1998.

From 1987 to 1997, Van Loon placed in the top three at 83 races in Canada and the northern United States, highlighted by back-to-back wins in the North American long distance amateur class in 1990-1991 ; winning the world championships in Jersey Shore, Penn., in 1993; and other events where he won 12 gold, nine silver and one bronze.

Taking up dragon boating, he qualified to compete for Canada at the 1992 World Dragon Boat Championships in Hong Kong, a trip he did not make for various reasons.

His retirement from the professional circuit did not end his career as a competitive canoeist or his successes. He finished third at a C1 event in Quebec City in May 1989, beating a number of decorated professional North American paddlers.

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He would join ‘river king’ Serge Corbin to compete in the C2 class in many events, or against him in the C1 events as he achieved a national ranking. He earned a fifth-place finish with teammate Dennis Marcouiller based on their cumulative time in the North American Triple Crown, which included the 70-mile General Clinton Canoe Regatta from Cooperstown to Bainsbridge, NY; the 120-mile Weyerheuser Ausable River from Greyland to Oscada, Michigan; and, the 100-mile Classic, from Latuque to Trois Rivières, Que.

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Van Loon was named Ontario’s Paddler of the Year in 1992 and 1993 and received the Jacques Richard Memorial Trophy from the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame as Cornwall’s most outstanding sports personality.

Since retiring from competition, Van Loon has served on the executive committee of the Ontario Marathon Canoe Racing Association, including a term as vice-president in 1993. He was president of the Canadian Tire Canoe Challenge in 1994 – the challenge brought competitive canoe racing twice to Cornwall’s Canada Day celebrations. In 2008, he was part of a group named recipients of the Simon Fraser Memorial Trophy in recognition of members’ contributions to the sport of paddling in SDG.

Van Loon lives in South Stormont with his wife Wendy; the couple have two children, Katelyn and Cody, and own and operate an apiary. He was first named inductee in 2020, with that year’s inductions being postponed due to the pandemic.

Tickets for the banquet were generally available at several locations in Glengarry, as well as the Sports Hall of Fame.

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