London Sports Hall of Fame unveils 'pioneering' inductees
Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:40PM EDT
He was a local pioneer in the sport of mixed martial arts.
"I think I put fighting arts, as far as karate, kickboxing…I put London on the map,” says Leo Loucks
The former two-time World Kickboxing Champion was inducted into the London Sports Hall of Fame along with four others at a ceremony at Budweiser Gardens Tuesday.
He’s influenced so many lives as a world-class athlete, in his 30-year career as a police officer and as a trainer for champions like Brad Fowler.
“I won the world title but it's not really known - what Mark (Hominick) has done, Sam (Stout) has done...Leo started it all,” says former kickboxing world champion Brad Fowler.
“They’ve done a lot after Leo. I always aspired to do what he did, so I’m very happy for him.”
Now he could pave the way for many of the recent MMA stars like Chris Clements, Chad Laprise, Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki and Mark Hominick to earn their rightful place in the local Hall of Fame.
“Those guys are such elite athletes, they are going to be here without Leo Loucks...If you go to any gym in the United States, they are well respected in the field. I'm blessed to have a tiny part in each one of their lives,” added Loucks.
The 60-year-old earned a maximum of $10,000 for a world fight. He joked that Hominick made more money just putting a sponsor on a pair of his trunks, than he did for his world championship fight.
Now he’s about to join other London greats on the wall of fame, “This recognition by the City of London a place where I grew up, it’s fantastic and overwhelming," he says.
When asked whether he was surprised to get the call he teared up when responding.
“Completely surprised, didn't think this would ever happen. “
There were four others recognized on induction day. London volleyball legends Vaughan and Jane Peckham go into the Hall of Fame in the builder category.
The pair are Ontario Volleyball Hall of Famers for their long careers as coaches at the high school, college and club level.
Drag racing champion Scott Wilson also got the call. He was the first Canadian to break the 200 mile per hour barrier in 1965 while driving the slingshot dragster “The Time Machine.”
Therese Quigley is a former Western University athlete and served seven years at the university as Director of Athletics and Recreation.
“I think I am the luckiest person in the world to have career I enjoyed, to work with outstanding, gifted athletes, and the coaches was the favourite thing for me,” says Quigley.
The official induction ceremony, which coincides with the Spirit of Sport Awards will be held in London, Ont. on Nov. 7.