Tag Archives: November 29 2023

Mario HUDON 1960-2023: A sportscaster and friend gone too soon at 63

Mario HUDON 1960-2023: A sportscaster and friend gone too soon at 63

Luc Lang


As people across Quebec bid farewell to singer Karl Tremblay of Les Cowboys Fringants, sports fans in the Capitale-Nationale region were also mourning the death of Mario Hudon, who lost his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on Nov. 20 at age 63.

Mario, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2020, fought tooth and nail to raise money for the research that would hope- fully find a cure for this deadly disease. ALS is a neurological disorder that affects motor neurons, the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement and breathing.

The most famous person to have died from ALS is former New York Yankees star Lou Gehrig. He played 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees before retiring on May 2, 1939. He died of ALS in 1941.

Mario was not a talented athlete like Gehrig, but his talent and passion for sports and radio had no limits. He studied at Collège Radio Télévision de Québec because he wanted to be a sports broadcaster. He loved hockey and the Chicago Blackhawks. Mario was a fan of the White Sox, the Cubs and the Bears, all the sports teams from Chicago, but hockey was his first passion, with boxing a close second.

He was a strong advocate for the return of the Quebec Nordiques. He had Excel spread- sheets detailing the teams with the lowest attendance records, and built a document where he showed why Quebec City should have an NHL team. Mario also loved local senior hockey. In hopes of getting a job as a play-by-play announcer, he practised describing beer-league games at the Galeries de la Capitale skating rink. When the Québec Radio X hockey team was granted a franchise in the Ligue nord- américaine de hockey, Mario got a job at CHOI-FM. His broadcasts became legendary because of his passion for the game, and also for the rough stuff that happened during the matches.

I met Mario when he worked at Québec 800 (CHRC), a sports radio station. I had chronicles on NCAA football twice a week, and Mario would often call or email me to ask if I would do more on his nighttime show. It was an instant friendship for both of us.

Personally, I can thank Mario for pushing me into more contracts as a sports public address announcer throughout Canada. At the Hockey Canada Telus Cup in Lévis in 2010, Mario was broadcasting the games live on Québec 800, while I was the PA announcer for the championship. The folks from the 2011 Telus Cup in St. John’s asked me if I was interested in going to Newfoundland as their PA announcer. I asked for some time to think about it, talked to Mario and our mutual friend, Remparts play-by-play man Ray Cloutier, and asked for their advice. Both pushed me to go, and Mario was direct: “Luc, you have the voice, and you’re perfectly bilingual. Go ahead, you may never know after.” I did go, and I got many opportunities across the country as a result, and Mario can get some credit for that.

With his days numbered, Mario wanted to say goodbye to all his friends on Dec. 2, before receiving medical assistance in dying on Dec. 7. However, his health took a turn for the worse, and he was admitted to hospital two days before his death.

Mario is survived by his spouse Nancy, his children François and Jessica, and grandsons, Isaac and Nathan, both the pride of his life.

My dear friend, you may have lost your battle with ALS but you gave it a hell of a fight. One day, researchers will find a cure for ALS, and at that time, I’m sure you’ll be looking down on us with a huge smile and we will hear you say “Mission accomplished.”

Adieu Mario.

Beloved local sportscaster Mario Hudon died Nov. 20 at age 63 after struggling with ALS for several years. (Photo via Facebook)
Isabelle Fortier joins composer Caroline Lizotte as they play her Raga opus 41 for two harps during the Concerts Couperin performance at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on Nov. 19. Behind Lizotte stands the concert grand electroacoustic harp on which she played the Stellar Sonata. (Photo by Shirley Nadeau)

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