Former MacEwan Griffins student athletes Wen Wang and Dr. Lana Nicoll (née Common) were inducted into the 2019 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) Hall of Fame on June 11.
CCAA recognizes athletes who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian collegiate athletics.
Wen won three straight CCAA men's singles titles (1989 to 1991), three Canadian national titles (1990, 1994 and 1997) and was ranked one of the top players in the world during his badminton career. Wen led the Griffins’ badminton team to victory in an exhibition game against Team Canada in one of the biggest accomplishments of his tenure as a MacEwan student athlete.
“We had some strong former Chinese national players on the team as well,” recalls Wen, a Chinese junior national champion who was added to MacEwan’s Wall of Distinction in 2001. “In some ways, it’s surprising a college team beat a national team, but in other ways, we knew we were going to do it. We had such a strong team. We were pretty much all top international players.”
In addition to being inducted into CCAA’s Hall of Fame, Wen was inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame on June 10.
Lana was named a CCAA All-Canadian three times (1995, 1997, 1998), led the Griffins women’s volleyball team to two straight Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championships (1996/97 and 1997/98), and reached the CCAA national championship in each of her four seasons. The Griffins captured CCAA silver in 1997 and bronze in 1998.
The first student athlete to be part of MacEwan’s Wall of Distinction, Lana reflected on her remarkable journey as an athlete and how that's been instrumental in her success.
“I’m grateful to have been selected as a Griffin and to be able to learn different life skills — leadership, work ethic, teamwork and sportsmanship — and I’m so thankful for those times and those friendships,” she says. “Those are some of the fondest memories of my life.”
Take a look back on Wen and Lana’s earlier years at MacEwan:
Intercamp, MacEwan’s former student newspaper, featured an article about Lana in 1997/98
Lana at practice
Lana (bottom right) with student athletes receiving ACAC Awards in 1998
Wen (bottom, second from left) with his teammates
Wen in 1990
Wen recognized as Male Athlete of the Year