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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

NORM KWONG

Inducted in 1975

Member Details

Date of Birth: October 24, 1929
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta
Date of Passing: September 3, 2016
Sport: Football
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1948-50
Calgary Stampeders
1948

Grey Cup - Calgary Stampeders

1951-60
Edmonton Eskimos
1951,55,56

Eddie James Memorial Trophy

1954-56

Grey Cups - Edmonton Eskimos

1955
Lionel Conacher Trophy
1955-1956

Schenley Award

1969
Inducted into Canadian Football Hall of Fame
Honoured Member NORM KWONG
Inspire

Story

Star football player Normie Kwong was fondly dubbed the "China Clipper," both for his fierce performance as a running back and as a tribute to the fact that he was first Chinese-Canadian to crack the CFL. Kwong spent his entire football career in his home province of Alberta, playing three seasons with the Calgary Stampeders and ten seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos. In ten years of recorded statistics, he made 74 touchdowns and gained 9,022 yards rushing with a 5.2 yard per carry average. He was a member of four Grey Cup winning teams, including three consecutive victories with the Eskimos between 1954 and 1956. An exceptional backfielder, described by the Toronto Sun as a "bruising runner despite his small stature," Kwong won accolades for his consistently brilliant performance on the field. When the Eskimos implemented the offensive twin fullback system in the early 1950s, Kwong and his partner Johnny Bright were instrumental in securing Edmonton's three Grey Cup victories. The China Clipper was three times winner of the Eddie James Memorial Trophy as the leading rusher in the Western Division and five times a CFL all-star. He won the Schenley Award as the CFL's top Canadian player in both 1955 and 1956 and received the Lionel Conacher Trophy as Canada's top male athlete of 1955. At retirement in 1960, he held over 30 CFL records. Even after leaving the field, Kwong continued to be an asset to the game and remained a prominent figure in Canadian football. He was largely responsible for the survival and resurgence of the Calgary Stampeders. After assuming the position of president and general manager of the struggling Stampeders in 1988, Kwong helped to rebuild the team and restructure its finances, bringing it out of near bankruptcy several times during his tenure. He improved the club's image, increased ticket sales, and helped to booster the quality of players on the field. By 1992, the Stampeders were Grey Cup champions. For his significant contribution to the sport, Kwong was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1969 and was named to the Order of Canada in 1998. An eloquent speaker and well-loved community man, Kwong was appointed lieutenant-governor of Alberta in 2005.


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