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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
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Arnie Boldt

Born on September 16, 1957, Arnold Boldt of Saskatoon lost his right leg at the age of three in a grain auger accident. In 1976 he gained international recognition as a track and field star.

The Olympiad for the Disabled was held in Toronto in August of 1976. Arnie Boldt had an outstanding performance bringing International acclaim. He set world records and won Gold Medals in both the high jump and the long jump. In the high jump he cleared 6' 1 1/4" and in the long jump he recorded a mark of 29' 4".

In 1977 and 1978 he won Gold Medals in the jumping events at the Canadian Games for the Physically Disabled, and by early 1980 was jumping over two metres in preparation for the Olympiad. He jumped 2.08 metres on one occasion during the indoor track season.

On a cold, wet day in July 1980 Arnie broke his own world record with a jump of 1.96 metres at the Olympiad for the Disabled in Arnhem in the Netherlands. He was also the Gold Medal winner in the long jump event.

Arnold Boldt was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame on August 27,1977.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, September 13, 1980.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 2 of 3. | | |

Don Steponchev

Don (Butch) Steponchev was born in Regina on Sept. 22, 1940, and played his early basketball with Balfour Tech Redmen in Regina.

His greatest service to the game has come through officiating, starting in Regina and continuing the role after moving to Saskatoon in 1961.

He has been president of the Saskatoon Basketball Officials Association, interpreter of the rules for over 20 years, evaluator of officials for 15 years and a clinician. He has been an executive member of the Saskatchewan association for 10 years.

At the national level, Steponchev has been a representative with the Canadian Association of Basketball Officials and an accredited evaluator and assigner for national tournaments. In August, 1992, he was awarded the Ted Earley Memorial trophy, the highest award bestowed by the Canadian officials association and an award which recognizes more than 15 years of work in active officiating, administrative and educational roles.

He became a certified referee active in the wheelchair basketball movement in 1975. He was selected to officiate at the 1975 world championships at London, the 1976 Olympiad for Physically Disabled at Toronto, the 1978 Pan American championships in Brazil, the 1979 Gold Cup in Florida, the 1980 Olympiad in Holland, the 1981 European championships in Sweden, the 1982 Pan American championships in Halifax and the 1991 world championships in England. He is a member of the technical commission of the World Wheelchair Basketball Association.

He also became widely-recognized for his work with able-bodied athletes, getting his international certificate in 1978. He has worked international women's tournaments in Cuba, Bulgaria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, international men's tournaments in Korea and China, the World Student Games in Edmonton, the Asian Women's Games in Singapore and the Asian Games in China.

Steponchev is with the University of Saskatchewan's College of Physical Education and he and his wife, Marion, have two children.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 3 of 3. | | |

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of Saskatchewan's sports heroes.

If you have a photograph of someone or a team listed in Prairie Gold that we do not have a photo for and are willing to donate it, please contact us.

Due to their nature and sometimes ambiguous origin the photographs seen here and those on file at the Local History Room are continuously being updated with new information. Some of this information comes from dedicated research done by Local History staff. However some of the biggest 'breaks' have come from the public... Those that remember the people, places and events in the photo are our biggest informational resource and we ask that if you have any information about the photos to contact the Local History Room at or phone (306) 975-7578.

Come and visit the Local History Room the next time you are at the Frances Morrison Library.

Thank you.

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