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1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Series (Summit Series)

For many Canadians, particularly baby boomers and Generation X, the eight-game hockey series between Team Canada and the national team of the Soviet Union in September 1972 provided the greatest moment in Canada’s sporting history. Most expected that Canada would handily defeat the Soviet Union, but this confidence quickly disappeared when Canada lost the first game. The series was tied heading into the final game in Moscow, which ended in dramatic fashion, with Paul Henderson scoring in the final seconds to give Canada the victory. The series became as much a Cold War political battle of democracy versus communism and freedom versus oppression as it was about hockey. The series had a lasting impact on hockey in Canada and abroad.


Abigail Hoffman

Abigail Hoffman, track and field athlete, sport administrator (b at Toronto 11 Feb 1947). As a 9-year-old hockey player, she unwittingly caused controversy by entering a male-dominated sport; she later joined the Toronto Olympic Club and competed at international events.


Ada Mackenzie

Ada Mackenzie, golfer (b at Toronto 30 Oct 1891; d at Richmond Hill, Ont 25 Jan 1973). Mackenzie paved the way for women to take golf seriously by founding the first club restricted to women, the Ladies' Golf and Tennis Club, in Thornhill, Ont, in May 1925. Mackenzie's own play set high standards.


Adam van Koeverden

Adam van Koeverden, kayaker (born 29 January 1982 in Toronto, ON). Adam van Koeverden, Canada’s most successful paddler, has won four Olympic medals at three Games. At the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens, he won a bronze medal in the men's K-1 1000 m event, followed a day later by victory in the K-1 500 m. He was Canada's first double-medalist in the Summer Olympics since Donovan Bailey and Clara Hughes at Atlanta in 1996, and received the Lou Marsh Trophy in 2004 in recognition of his accomplishment. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Van Koeverden won silver in the K-1 1500 m event and at the 2012 Olympics in London, he took silver in the men's K-1 1000 m. Van Koeverden is an athlete ambassador for Right To Play, and a graduate of McMaster University in Kinesiology (2007), where he was elected class valedictorian. In January 2019, he became the Liberal candidate for the federal riding of Milton in southern Ontario. He defeated Conservative incumbent Lisa Raitt in the October 2019 federal election.


Albert H. MacCarthy

Albert H. MacCarthy, mountaineer (b at Ames, Iowa 1876; d at Annapolis, Maryland 11 Oct 1956). Though by vocation a US naval officer and entrepreneur, MacCarthy was by avocation a mountaineer with a passion for pioneering new climbs in western Canada.


Albertine Lapensée

Albertine Lapensée (“Miracle Maid”), hockey player (born 10 August 1898 in Cornwall, ON; date and place of death unknown). Albertine Lapensée was arguably Canada’s first female hockey superstar. She was one of a number of women players who dominated the sports pages in Central Canada from 1915 to 1918, during the First World War. Lapensée’s superior hockey skills led to speculation over her gender, which continued into the 21st century.


Aleksandra Wozniak

Aleksandra Wozniak, tennis player (born 7 September 1987 in Montréal, QC). Aleksandra Wozniak is a world-ranked tennis player. In 2008, she captured the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, becoming the first Canadian woman to win a WTA singles world title since Jill Hetherington-Hultquist in 1988, and the first woman from Québec to achieve the honour.


Alex Baumann

Alex Baumann showed his potential as a world-class swimmer at a young age. Under coach Jeno Tihanyi, Baumann won 10 age-group events and set 9 records during his first year of competition. His abilities became widely recognized and several American universities subsequently sought him out.


Alex DeCoteau

Alexander (Alex) Wuttunee DeCoteau (also Decouteau), athlete, police officer, soldier (born 19 November 1887 on the Red Pheasant First Nation, near North Battleford, SK; died 30 October 1917 near Passchendaele, Belgium). DeCoteau was a long-distance runner (see Notable Indigenous Long-Distance Runners in Canada) and became Canada’s first Indigenous police officer. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and served on the Western Front. DeCoteau was killed in action during the Battle of Passchendaele.


Alex Harvey

Alex Harvey, (born at Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, QC, 7 Sep 1988). Athlete Alex Harvey participated in the winter Olympic Games and made his mark on the World Cup circuit in cross-country skiing.


Alexander Wilson

Alexander Sheldon Wilson (born at Montréal, Que 1 Dec 1907; died at Hidalgo, Tex 9 Dec 1994). Alex Wilson was a sprinter who wore the Canadian colours in the 1928 and 1932 Summer Olympics in track and field.


Alexandre Bilodeau

Alexandre Bilodeau, freestyle skier (born 8 September 1987 in Montreal, QC). Alexandre Bilodeau’s gold medal in moguls at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver made him the first Canadian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal on home soil. At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, he became the first male Canadian athlete to successfully defend his Olympic gold medal; as well as the first freestyle skier to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. He finished his career with three world championships in dual moguls and 19 World Cup medals. He then became an accountant and a national spokesperson for people with disabilities. He has been inducted into the Québec Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.


Alexandre Despatie

Alexandre Despatie, diver (born at Montréal 8 Jun 1985). Alexandre Despatie is one of Canada's most-accomplished athletes in diving, and is a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist.


Alexis Le Trotteur

Alexis Le Trotteur, né Lapointe (b at La Malbaie, Qué 4 June 1860; d at Alma, Qué 12 Jan 1924). Le Trotteur is the French Canadian designation of Alexis Lapointe, called so because of his fantastic running ability.


Alison Sydor

Alison Jane Sydor, OBC, cyclist (born 9 September 1966 in Edmonton, AB). Alison Sydor is considered one of Canada’s best cyclists and one of the best mountain bike cyclists ever. She won 17 World Cup medals in cross-country cycling, including four gold, and 13 World Championship medals, including three gold. After winning silver in the first Olympic mountain bike event in 1996, Sydor was named International Cyclist of the Year by Velo News and received the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s female athlete of the year. She also competed in road racing; she won the National Road Championships four times and was the first Canadian woman to medal in an individual international road race. Sydor has been inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame.

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