Pinewood's Mark Jodoin inducted into LU Wall of Fame
By Ken Johnston
Many people know him as a teacher (retired) and a coach at Riverview Elementary School in Rainy River. But on Saturday, Mark Jodoin of Pinewood, was inducted into the Wall of Fame at Lakehead University for his athletic abilities.
In the mid-1970s Jodoin was part of the hey-day of competitive wrestling at Rainy River High School. “We had a very competitive team at Rainy River High School,” said Jodoin. In fact it was so good that Jodoin, in grade 12 at the time, qualified for the Junior Olympics in 1976. That was the year that Montreal hosted the summer games and that was where he competed. He ended up placing third there, in a field of international competitors.
The following year he went to Fort Frances High School and continued wrestling. “I was recruited by well known Lakehead University wrestling coach Gord Garvie. He was the national team coach!”
Jodoin said that Lakehead was the place to be if you wanted to wrestle at the national level. “It was the mecca of wrestling and the national tryout camp was always held there!”
Jodoin wrestled with Lakehead from 1978-82. Four of the five years he medalled at Nationals. The only year he didn’t he was injured. The team also won Nationals in 1979-80.
He was named the 1980-81 Lakehead Male Athlete of the Year.
Jodoin also won as an individual taking home the 57 kg National Title in his final year, 1982 and was named the Canadian Most Outstanding Wrestler that year as well!
Earlier this year he received a call from a member of the Wall of Fame selection committee. “It was 30 years ago and I had kind of put the experience on the back burner.”
On Saturday he and his family travelled to Thunder Bay for the induction ceremony. There was a team, a builder, a female and a male (Jodoin) inducted. “It was quite humbling. There were 300 people there and they made a video on each of us and played it at the ceremony. It was very classy!” said Jodoin Monday.
There were also numerous people there he had not seen since his wrestling days at LU. “It was great to see old professors, some teammates and others involved in the program.”
This was Jodoin’s second time being put on the Wall of Fame. The entire wrestling team from 1979-80 were inducted in the inaugural year of the wall, back in 1996. Every two years since, more inductions have taken place.
As part of another first for the honour, Jodoin was one of the first inductees to receive a ring. “This is the first year for the rings. I also received a picture and a plaque. It was for sure humbling.”
Reminiscing, Jodoin concluded, “It was the place to be. I really enjoyed it and learned a great deal from coach Bob Thayer, who I wrestled under.”