August 10, 2006

Wrestling warrior

Chief Thunderbird:  Canadian legendFrom his debut in 1933, until his retirement from wrestling in 1955, Saanich, B.C.'s Chief Thunderbird was the first big name native wrestler from Canada. "He was one of the originals when it came to the Indians wrestling," said Don Leo Jonathan.

"My people wanted to make a medicine man out of me," Thunderbird recalled in a 1965 interview with the Victoria Daily Colonist newspaper. "They kept putting me in cold water as part of the ritual. Finally, I ran away from home to attend a mission school at Kuper Island, near Duncan. I wanted to be an athlete more than anything else."

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