Thelma A. (Brannen) Salmas- 1956

Maritime Intercollegiate Diving Champion and Acadia varsity letter athlete in three sports .basketball, swimming and volleyball. Thelma (Brannen) Salmas, a ’56 Acadia graduate, made outstanding contributions to varsity volleyball, basketball and swimming during her years in the Axette garb.

In volleyball, Thelma was part of a program that became very popular in the mid-fifties. Being a very capable performer, she provided plenty of skill and enthusiasm for Acadia teams that battled Dalhousie and Mt. Allison for league honours.

In basketball, she was a more dominant force as Axette teams battled valiantly in league play. In a 1954-’55 encounter, for example, she netted the winning basket in the final seconds as Acadia edged Mt. Allison, 31-30. In a ’55-’56 contest the Axettes defeated the Sackville, N.B. girls, 40-39, as Thelma again scored the winning basket.

To highlight her athletic achievements at Acadia, Thelma won the 1955 Maritime Intercollegiate Diving Championship for the swim team. Fittingly, during her graduation year, she received letters in three varsity sports indeed, a major accomplishment.

Following her graduation from Acadia, Thelma achieved tremendous recognition internationally as a water skier, being the best in the world for her age group -in the competitive events of slalom, trick skiing and jumping.

In the mid-sixties she was very prominent, as a snow skier, placing second for example, in the slalom, giant slalom and downhill at the ’65 and ’66 United States Veteran Snow Ski Championships -being beaten only by a member of the 1960 German Olympic Team.

In water skiing, she won her first United States Championship in 1966. Since then, she has taken part in every National Championship, competing in the events of slalom, trick skiing and jumping, a record in itself. She has been National Champion thirty-one times. In 1979, she won overall for the entire nation as determined by the National Overall Points System.

Since the time that records have been recognized by the American Water Ski Association, Thelma has held the national jumping record six times and the slalom record four times.

In 1983, she skied her way on to the U.S. ski team which competed in the first Veteran World Championship held in Sicily, Italy. There she won the world championship in all three events and was World Overall Champion.

It is thus a distinct pleasure to induct to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, Thelma (Brannen) Salmas.