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This multi-talented athlete developed his athletic skills while a student at Fort William Collegiate.  Active on track & field, football and basketball teams, he also spent a great deal of time in the boxing ring. 

Known for his strength, endurance and imposing stature, he was a force to be reckoned with.  In 1946,  as an 18 year old student, he competed in the Dominion of Canada Boxing Championships in Montreal. Facing the home-town favourite, Angelo Nickilo, he inflicted a barrage of blows and jabs, emerging as the Canadian Heavyweight Boxing Champion.  Although leaving the ring to pursue his degree in Chiropractics, he continued his involvement in sports for many years.


An avid swimmer, he won the Northwestern Ontario Men's Swimming title in the 100 yard Freestyle event in 1951, and served as an instructor with the Marlin Swim Team during the 1960s. Active in golf, tennis and skiing, he was also involved as a builder serving on the Board of Chapples Golf Club and the Fort William Country Club, a Patrol Leader for the Fort William Ski Patrol, Vice President of the Loch Lomond Alpine Ski Club and a Board member with the Thunder Bay Nordic Trails. A Director and President with the Fort William Tennis Club in the 1970s, he was an Ontario Tennis Association representative and an Officials Representative for the tennis events at the 1981 Jeux Canada Games.  Ensuring that sporting opportunities existed in his community, he was involved with the early formation of Little League baseball, served on the Board and Executive of the Fort William Redskins Football Club, the Fort William Beaver Hockey Club and as a board member of the Fort William Gardens Arena.

Always maintaining a very active lifestyle, he cycled at the 1989 World Masters Games in Denmark, and in 1987, at the age of sixty, was a member of an eight-man cycling team that undertook a trek to Edmonton to submit Thunder Bay's bid to host the 1994 Commonwealth Games.  A facilitator, athlete, enthusiast and Doctor of Chiropractics, who can still be seen cycling around the city, this exceptional individual has truly demonstrated the attributes of an outstanding athlete for more than half a century.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 30, 2000

Dr. Oren Safir

Fort William
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