Neighborhood and sports activities chief Doug Mitchell has died aged 83

“Everyone knows that Doug was an inspiration to all who knew him, and we are going to proceed to share his legacy every single day,” the Mitchell household mentioned in a press release.

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A person described as a high-profile and tireless builder of the Calgary and Canadian sports activities neighborhood, Doug Mitchell, has died.

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Mitchell, who served as CFL commissioner from 1984 to 1988 and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004, died all of the sudden and peacefully at his house on Wednesday, his household mentioned.

“Everyone knows that Doug was an inspiration to all who knew him, and we are going to proceed to share his legacy every single day,” Mitchell’s household mentioned in a press release.

“Doug lived an extremely completely satisfied, achieved and fulfilling life (and impressed each one in all us) throughout his 83 years, and we take consolation in understanding that his life was stuffed with pleasure.”

Those that knew Mitchell agreed that his life was stuffed with accomplishments that benefited many, principally within the novice and professional sports activities arenas.

“He was a kind of uncommon legends and neighborhood builders,” Calgary Sports activities and Leisure Corp. mentioned. CEO John Bean.

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“Doug was a worthwhile useful resource and an extremely optimistic particular person for each Ken King and me in the course of the (Flames) possession transition.”

Mitchell was additionally nationwide co-chair of the legislation agency Borden Ladner Gervais within the Calgary authorized neighborhood.

Bean mentioned his information of the sector and his sports activities background complimented one another.

“He shared tales in regards to the choices he makes working a legislation agency and the way they relate to the selections he makes (in professional sports activities). That is enterprise acumen and in terms of institutional information, that was it.

A local of Calgary, Mitchell attended Colorado Faculty on a hockey scholarship and performed soccer on the College of British Columbia, the place he earned a bachelor of legislation diploma 60 years in the past.

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There he met his spouse, Lois, who served as Alberta’s lieutenant governor from 2015 to 2020. The 2 have been described by many as a “energy couple” who’ve teamed up for a lot of philanthropic endeavors.

An inductee into each the Alberta and Canadian Sports activities Halls of Fame, Mitchell performed briefly within the CFL with the BC Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

UBC Thunderbirds head soccer coach Blake Nill recalled Mitchell talking reverently in regards to the man he performed beneath at that college, Frank Gnup.

“Doug all the time instructed me how unselfish Frank Gnup was to his gamers; he gave it his all and he instructed me again and again that he needed to emulate him,” mentioned Nill, who additionally coached the College of Calgary soccer Dinos from 2006-2014.

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“You noticed it with (Mitchell’s) endorsement of the BLG Awards — I used to be simply blown away by what number of locations and other people he supported,” Nill added, referring to the awards program that advantages novice athletes.

The Doug Mitchell Thunderbirds Sports activities Heart on the Vancouver campus is known as after him.

In a press release, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie praised his predecessor’s efforts, which he mentioned will stay on, and recalled talking with Mitchell when the Calgarian was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame final month.

“We additionally talked about constructing – doing extra and higher. We talked about how our league can develop. Doug made a terrific contribution to our basis. He expects us to do all the pieces we will to construct on it.

As a consultant of the Calgary Stampeders, Mitchell served on the CFL’s Board of Governors and is credited with serving to restore the group’s luster to the sooner years of the century.

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And when Calgarians thumbed their noses on the metropolis’s bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics in 2018 and the then-recessionary financial system, Mitchell discovered methods to maneuver past that to spice up his beloved hometown, mentioned Byron Neiles, a philanthropic and enterprise accomplice.

“He noticed town taking a look at him and thought, ‘Now we have to elevate town up,'” mentioned Neiles, who co-led the worldwide enterprise kind with Mitchell.

“From a civic perspective, which was divisive, he thought it wasn’t anybody else’s flip to spice up town, however that is what he was.”

A type of efforts was the creation of Ignite Calgary, a volunteer group that promotes entrepreneurship, tradition and creativity, whereas Calgarians sat on varied boards.

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Mitchell continued to work even on his final day, Neiles mentioned throughout a go to to his spouse Lois’ workplace.

“He was an incredible pressure of nature,” he mentioned, including that Mitchell was a mentor to him when he arrived in Calgary 25 years in the past.

“It wasn’t as a result of I requested him, it was his nature,” Neiles mentioned.

Former Alberta cupboard minister Gary Mar, who knew Mitchell for 4 many years, mentioned the person was a deal maker and humanitarian “who did lots to enhance the standard of life for Canadians.”

“He’s not possible to switch.”

Mitchell will likely be remembered as a sports activities champion at many ranges, together with the Particular Olympics, mentioned Olympic pace skating champion Catriona Le Could Doan.

“He will likely be missed, however he has created a legacy that can proceed,” mentioned Sport Calgary President Le Could Doan.

Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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