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Article

Sammy Luftspring

Sammy Luftspring, boxer, referee, businessman (born 14 March 1915 in Toronto, ON; died 27 September 2000 in Toronto, ON). Sammy Luftspring was the Ontario amateur featherweight champion in 1933 and the Canadian amateur welterweight champion in 1938. A proud Jew, Luftspring wore the Star of David on his trunks and was subjected to anti-Semitism throughout his life. He fought Nazi youth in the Christie Pits Riot and is perhaps best remembered for boycotting the 1936 Olympic Summer Games in Berlin. He also landed in the Guinness Book of World Records for officiating some 2,000 fights. He has been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Article

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

Tessa Virtue, figure skater (born 17 May 1989 in London, ON) and Scott Moir, figure skater (born 2 September 1987 in London, ON). Virtue and Moir are the most successful Canadian ice dance team of the early 21st century, and were the first North Americans to win the Olympic Gold Medal for ice dance, at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. At the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, they won silver in ice dance and in the team competition. They won gold in ice dance and in the team competition at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, becoming the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history. They have also won four world championships (three senior and one junior), three Four Continents championships, nine Canadian championships (eight senior and one junior) and multiple Grand Prix events, including a Grand Prix Final.

Article

Patrick Chan

​Patrick Lewis Wai-Kuan Chan, figure skater (born 31 December 1990 in Ottawa,ON). Patrick Chan is a Canadian champion and world champion men’s singles figure skater. A three-time world champion, he has won 10 national championships in the singles competition, breaking the record set by Montgomery Wilson in 1939. Known for dazzling artistry, Chan has repeatedly won major international competitions such as the World Figure Skating Championships and the Skate Canada, Grand Prix, Trophée Eric Bompard, and Four Continents events. He has set world records for points at competitions including the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the 2013 Trophée Bompard, and has won three medals at the Olympic Winter Games: a silver in the men’s competition (2014) and a gold (2018) and silver (2014) in the team event.

Article

Hayley Wickenheiser

Hayley Wickenheiser, OC, hockey player, softball player (born 12 August 1978 in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan). Hayley Wickenheiser won seven gold medals and six silver medals with Team Canada at the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship, as well as four gold medals and one silver medal at the Olympic Winter Games. She is the all-time leader in goals (18), assists (33) and points (51) in women’s ice hockey at the Olympic Winter Games. She is the all-time leader in assists (49) and points (86) at the Women’s World Hockey Championship. She was also the first woman ever to score a goal in a men’s professional league. Wickenheiser retired from competitive hockey in 2017, finishing with 379 points (168 goals and 211 assists) in 276 games with Team Canada. An Officer of the Order of Canada, she has won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as the Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year and been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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.

Article

Mary Spencer

Mary Spencer, boxer, model, humanitarian (born 12 December 1984 in WiartonON). Mary Spencer is one of Canada's premier boxing champions, holding eight national titles, five Pan-American titles, and three world titles. An Ojibwe of the Cape Croker First Nation, Spencer is involved in Motivate Canada’s GEN7 Aboriginal role model initiative, and in 2013 became a mentor with the CIBC Team Next program.

Article

Doug Flutie

Douglas Richard Flutie, football player, philanthropist (born 23 October 1962 in Manchester, Maryland). Doug Flutie is widely considered to be one of the greatest players in Canadian Football League (CFL) history. A Heisman Trophy winner as the best player in US college football, Flutie went on to play for eight teams in three different leagues over a 21-year pro football career (1985–2006). A quarterback with the CFL’s BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts, he appeared in four Grey Cup games and won three championships, earning MVP honours in all three victories. Flutie is the first non-Canadian inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (2007). In 1998, he and his wife established the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.

Article

Terry Fox

Terrance Stanley Fox, CC, Order of the Dogwood, athlete, humanitarian, cancer research activist (born 28 July 1958 in WinnipegMB; died 28 June 1981 in New WestminsterBC). After losing his right leg to cancer at age 18, Terry Fox decided to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. With the use of a customized running prosthesis, he set out from St. John’s, Newfoundland, on 12 April 1980 and covered 5,373 km in 143 days — an average of 42 km (26 miles) per day. He was forced to stop his Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on 1 September 1980, when cancer had invaded his lungs. He died shortly before his 23rd birthday. The youngest person to be made a Companion of the Order of Canada, he was awarded the 1980 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year and was named a Person of National Historic Significance by the Government of Canada. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and has had many schools, institutions and landmarks named in his honour. The annual Terry Fox Run has raised more than $800 million for cancer research. The Marathon of Hope raised $24 million by February 1981.  

Article

George Chuvalo

George Chuvalo, CM, O.Ont, boxer (born 12 September 1937 in Toronto, ON). George Chuvalo is a three-time Canadian heavyweight champion boxer. He is perhaps best known for his full 15-round bout with world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali at Maple Leaf Gardens on 29 March 1966. Ali famously called Chuvalo “the toughest guy I ever fought.” Chuvalo posted a career record of 73-18-2, with 64 wins by knockout. He has also served as a prominent anti-drug advocate after losing two sons to drug overdoses and his wife and another son to suicide. A Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, Chuvalo has been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Article

Bobbie Rosenfeld

Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld, track and field athlete, sportswriter (born 28 December 1904 in Ekaterinoslav, Russia [now Dnipro, Ukraine]; died 13 November 1969 in Toronto, ON).

Article

Shirley and Sharon Firth

Shirley Firth, CM, cross-country skier (born 31 December 1953 in Aklavik, Northwest Territories; died 30 April 2013 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories) and Sharon Anne Firth, cross-country skier(born 31 December 1953 in Aklavik, Northwest Territories). Twin sisters Shirley and Sharon Firth, members of the Gwich’in First Nation, were among the first Indigenous athletes to represent Canada at the Olympics. They were members of the first Canadian women’s Olympic cross-country ski team and competed at four Olympic Winter Games. The Firth sisters were members of the national cross-country ski team for an unprecedented 17 consecutive years. Between them, they won 79 medals at the national championships, including 48 national titles. They are Members of the Order of Canadaand have been inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

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.

Editorial

Canada's Forgotten Baseball History

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

The sport spread quickly across Canada. They played "bat" in Red River in the 1830s. In a game in Huntington, Québec in the 1830s, one Hazelton Moore threw a bean ball and ignited a brawl. Halifax and Saint John had teams as early as 1838.

Article

William "Hipple" Galloway

William “Hipple” Galloway, baseball player, hockey player, tinsmith (born 24 March 1882 in Buffalo, New York; died 17 February 1943 in Buffalo). Raised in Dunnville, Ontario, William Galloway became the first Black Canadian to play professional baseball when he started at third base for the Class-D Canadian League Woodstock Bains on 12 June 1899. He was also one of the first Black Canadians to play amateur hockey in Ontario. Galloway was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.

Article

Cyle Larin

Cyle Christopher Larin, soccer player (born 17 April 1995 in Brampton, ON). Cyle Larin is the all-time leading goal scorer for the Canadian men’s soccer team. He was the first Canadian player to be selected first overall in the MLS SuperDraft. In 2016, he was named MLS Rookie of the Year after breaking the record for most goals scored by a rookie. After scoring 43 goals in 87 games in three seasons with Orlando City SC, he was transferred to Beşiktaş JK of the Süper Lig in 2018. Larin helped Beşiktaş JK win the Süper Lig, Turkish Cup and the Turkish Super Cup in 2020–21. He also played for Canada at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

List

Notable Indigenous Olympians in Canada

Drawing inspiration from the Olympic Games in ancient Greece, the modern Olympics began in 1896. Like the Olympics, the Paralympic Games take place every two years, alternating between summer and winter sports. Indigenous athletes from Canada have competed at these games and brought home medals. They have represented the country in various sports at the Olympics, from long-distance running to skiing to water sports and more. This article explores some of the most notable Indigenous Olympians from Canada.

Editorial

Vancouver Feature: Heavyweight Champ Battles Future Movie Star

The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated.


In 1909, everyone knew who Jack Johnson was: the first Black Heavyweight Champion of the World. His opponent at the old Vancouver Athletic Club was a relatively unknown 26-year-old named Victor McLaglen. The young boxer lost this match, but would later win an Oscar and worldwide fame for his cinematic bouts with John Wayne.

Editorial

George Orton: Canada's First Olympic Champion

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

George Orton is known as Canada's first Olympic gold medal winner. On the official Olympic Games website, there are two records concerning George Orton at the 1900 Paris Olympics. The records show that he won a bronze medal in the 400 m men's hurdles and a gold medal in the 3000 m steeplechase.