Black Canadian Athletes | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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Displaying 1-15 of 34 results
  • Article

    Andre De Grasse

    Andre De Grasse, sprinter, philanthropist (born 10 November 1994 in Scarborough, ON). Andre De Grasse is the first Canadian to break both the 10-second barrier in the 100 m dash and the 20-second barrier in the 200 m dash. He burst onto the international stage at age 20, winning double gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, followed by a bronze medal in the 100 m at the 2015 World Track and Field Championships. At the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, De Grasse won silver in the 200 m, bronze in the 100 m and bronze in the 4x100 m relay. At the 2020 Games in Tokyo, he won gold in the 200 m and bronze in both the 100 m and the 4x100 m relay. He is the first Canadian sprinter to win three medals at a single Olympic Games. He also holds the Canadian record in the 200 m (19.62 seconds).

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  • Article

    Andrew Harris

    Andrew Harris, football player, coach, executive (born 24 April 1987 in Winnipeg, Manitoba). Andrew Harris was one of the best running backs in the history of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played with the BC Lions (2010–15), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2016–19 and 2021) and Toronto Argonauts (2022–23). Harris holds the CFL record for the most career rushing yards with 10,151, as well as the most career yards from scrimmage by a Canadian with 15,554 yards. He is a five-time CFL All-Star (2012, 2015–18) and a four-time Grey Cup champion (2011, 2019, 2021, 2022). He was also named the league’s top Canadian in 2017, the Most Outstanding Canadian in the 2011 and 2019 Grey Cups and the 2019 Grey Cup MVP. After retiring in 2023, he became head of football operations and head coach of the Vancouver Island Raiders.

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  • Article

    Angela James

    Angela James, OC, hockey player (born 22 December 1964 in Toronto, ON). Known as "the Wayne Gretzky of women's hockey," Angela James was a pioneering and dominant force in women's hockey during the 1980s and 1990s. She led the Canadian women’s hockey team to four world championships (1990, 1992, 1994, and 1997). She was also one of the first three women to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame. When James was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010, she was one of the first two women, the first openly gay player, and the second Black athlete ever to be inducted. She was appointed to the Order of Hockey in Canada in 2021 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2022.

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  • Article

    Angella Issajenko

    Angella Issajenko, sprinter (b in Jamaica 28 Sept 1958). Known as "Angella Taylor" for most of her athletic career since 1978, Issajenko has been one of Canada's outstanding international sprinters.

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  • Article

    Ben Johnson

    Ben Johnson, track and field athlete (b at Falmouth, Jamaica 30 Dec 1961). In 1976 Johnson immigrated to Canada and was attracted to competitive sprinting, initially in the 100 and 200 m.

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  • Article

    Bruny Surin

    Bruny Surin, athlete (b at Cap Haïtien, Haiti, 12 July 1967). Surin was just seven years old when he immigrated to Québec. At the age of 17, he took an interest in the long jump and the triple jump. As a member of the Canadian team, he finished 15th in the long jump at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

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  • Article

    Charlie Culver

    Charlie Culver, baseball player, coach, factory foreman (born 17 November 1892 in Buffalo, New York; died 4 January 1970 in Montreal, QC). Almost 24 years before Jackie Robinson played with the Montreal Royals in 1946, Charlie Culver, an African American who was misidentified as Cuban, started a Class-B Eastern Canada League game for the Royals. His stint with the team lasted just six games, but Culver remained in Quebec and became one of the best baseball players in the province’s history. He later became a respected manager and a successful junior coach. He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.

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  • Article

    Charmaine Hooper

    Charmaine Elizabeth Hooper, soccer player (born 15 January 1968 in Georgetown, Guyana). Charmaine Hooper debuted with the Canadian women’s soccer team in 1986 and was a two-time NCAA first-team All-American. She represented Canada at three FIFA Women’s World Cups (1995, 1999, 2003) and won two silver medals for Canada at the CONCACAF Women’s Championships (1991, 1994). She also helped lead Canada to its first-ever CONCACAF gold in 1998. She was named Canadian Player of the Year in 1994, 1995, 2002 and 2003 and was the first player to have 100 caps for the women’s national team. She also played professionally in the US, Europe and Japan. She was named a member of the All-Time Canada XI women’s team and has been inducted into both the Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

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  • Interview

    In Conversation with Donovan Bailey

    On 25 June 2014, author Jeremy Freeborn interviewed Donovan Bailey at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary for The Canadian Encyclopedia.

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  • Article

    Damian Warner

    Damian David George Warner, men’s decathlete (born 4 November 1989 in London, Ontario). Damian Warner is regarded as Canada’s all-time best decathlete. At the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, he won the gold medal and set an Olympic record in decathlon with 9,018 total points. He is one of only four decathletes to reach 9,000 points in international competition. Warner also holds the men’s decathlon world records in the 100 m (10.12 seconds), long jump (8.28 m), and 110 m hurdles (13.36 seconds). He has won many medals in international competition, including a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games and a record six titles at the prestigious Hypo Meeting in Götzis, Austria. In 2021, he was awarded the Lionel Conacher Award and the Lou Marsh Trophy and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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  • Article

    Daniel Igali

    Daniel Igali began wrestling at the age of 16 and entered the Nigerian National Senior Tournament. Despite the absence of designated age groups, Daniel Igali won his division.

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  • Article

    Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Anthony Bailey, OC, O.Ont., track and field sprinter (born 16 December 1967 in Manchester Parish, Jamaica). Donovan Bailey won the gold medal for Canada in the men’s 100m at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games, setting a world record with a time of 9.84 seconds. He later won a second Olympic gold medal when he led Team Canada to a first-place finish in the men’s 4x100m relay. During his athletic career, he also won four medals (three gold and one silver) at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships. He has been inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

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  • Article

    Eldridge Eatman

    Eldridge “Gus” Eatman (also known as Eastman), sprinter, soldier, entertainer (born 12 March 1880 in Zealand Station, NB; died 15 August 1960 in St. John, NB). Eldridge Eatman was a Black Canadian athlete. He was one of the fastest men in the world between 1904 and 1908. In 1905, he set a Canadian record in the 100-yard sprint with a time of 9.8 seconds. He also served with distinction in the British Army during the First World War. Eatman later became an entertainer and an activist. He has been inducted into the Saint John Sports Hall of Fame, the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame and the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame.

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  • Article

    Ferguson Jenkins

    Ferguson “Fergie” Arthur Jenkins, CM, baseball player (born 13 December 1942 in Chatham, ON). Fergie Jenkins is widely regarded as Canada’s greatest baseball player. The 6-foot-5 right-hander employed pinpoint control to become one of the game’s most dominant pitchers. He won the National League Cy Young Award as the league’s top pitcher in 1971 and was a three-time All-Star. He won the Lionel Conacher Award as Canada’s male athlete of the year four times and the Lou Marsh Award (now Northern Star Award) as the country’s top athlete in 1974. In 1991, Jenkins became the first Canadian to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame. His No. 31 has been retired by the Chicago Cubs, who erected a statue in his honour in 2022.

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