Brush with greatness
Brad Jacobs’s rink struggled in Sochi’s early going, but gold was always the plan—the only plan.
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Brad Jacobs’s rink struggled in Sochi’s early going, but gold was always the plan—the only plan.
John Brian Patrick (Pat) Quinn, OC, OBC, hockey player, coach, manager (born 29 January 1943 in Hamilton, ON; died 23 November 2014 in Vancouver, BC).
On 22 June 2015, Danielle Goyette spoke to Jeremy Freeborn at her office at the University of Calgary, where she is the head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos women’s hockey team.
The Šťastný brothers — Marián, Peter and Anton — were a trio of star hockey forwards from Czechoslovakia. In the early 1980s they defected to Canada to play with the Québec Nordiques, and became one of the most exciting and successful scoring lines in National Hockey League history.
Lauren Woolstencroft, alpine skier, electrical engineer (born 24 November 1981 in Calgary, AB).
Timothy (Tim) McIsaac, swimmer, public servant (born 10 January 1959 in Winnipeg, MB).
Chantal Petitclerc, CC, CQ, MSM, wheelchair racer, senator (born 15 December 1969 in Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, QC).
Michael Edgson, swimmer (born 6 May 1969 in North Vancouver, BC). Edgson won 20 medals at the Paralympic Games from 1984 to 1992, and 10 gold medals at the World Swimming Championships for the Physically Disabled.
Swimmer Michael Edgson of North Vancouver, British Columbia, won a Canadian record 17 Paralympic gold medals, including nine gold medals at the 1988 Paralympic Games, the most by a Canadian at a single Paralympic Games.
Henry (Harry) Vernon Howell, hockey player, coach, manager, scout (born 28 December 1932 in Hamilton, ON; died 10 March 2019 in Ancaster, ON). Harry Howell was a defenceman in the National Hockey League (NHL). He played for the New York Rangers, Oakland Seals, California Golden Seals and Los Angeles Kings. Known affectionately as “Harry the Horse,” he set a franchise record with the Rangers for most games played with 1,160. He was also a seven-time all-star and a Norris Trophy winner. Following the end of his playing career, he served as a coach, manager or scout for several teams, including Team Canada (1978 world championships), the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers. Howell was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979. His No. 3 was retired by the Rangers in 2009.
Eugenie Bouchard, tennis player (born 25 February 1994 in Montréal, QC). At Wimbledon 2014, Bouchard became the first Canadian singles player to reach the final of a senior Grand Slam singles tennis tournament. Although she lost to Petra Kvitova, the match was watched by over a million Canadians and helped make Bouchard a media sensation. Two years earlier, Bouchard had won the Wimbledon 2012 girls’ tournament, becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title at any level. A two-time winner of the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (2013 and 2014), she was the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year in 2013 and won a WTA title in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2014.
Larry Kenneth Robert Walker, baseball player, coach (born 1 December 1966 in Maple Ridge, BC). Larry Walker is arguably the greatest Canadian position player in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. He and pitcher Ferguson Jenkins are the only Canadian players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. A five-time all-star, Walker won seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and the 1997 National League MVP award. He hit more than .300 in nine seasons, led the Major Leagues in batting average three times and was the first Canadian-born player to win a batting title since Tip O’Neill in 1887. Walker leads all Canadian MLB players in hits, home runs, RBI, doubles and runs scored. He won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year in 1998 and received the Tip O’Neill Award as Canada’s best baseball player nine times — more than any other player. He has also been inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Christie Blatchford, journalist, newspaper columnist, writer, broadcaster (born 20 May 1951 in Rouyn-Noranda, QC; died 12 February 2020 in Toronto, ON). Christie Blatchford was one of Canada’s best-known journalists. In a career spanning five decades, she wrote for all of Canada’s national daily newspapers — the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the National Post — as well as the Toronto Sun. She also published several books, including Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army (2008), which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Blatchford won a National Newspaper Award for her columns in 1999 and was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame in November 2019. She was a conservative writer who focused mainly on crime, human suffering and criminal justice. Her often controversial views prompted strong reactions and media responses.
Reginald Joseph Leach, hockey player (born 23 April 1950 in Winnipeg, MB). Known as the “Riverton Rifle,” Ojibwe winger Reggie Leach is considered one of the premier goal scorers of the 1970s and one of the best Indigenous players in National Hockey League (NHL) history. As a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, Leach won the Stanley Cup in 1975. In 1976, he won the league goal-scoring title with 61 goals, adding another 19 in the post-season en route to winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Leach is the only non-goaltender to earn that distinction as a member of the Stanley Cup-losing team. Leach played 934 regular season NHL games, scoring 381 goals and 285 assists. He shares all-time league records for most goals scored in a single playoff game (5) and most goals scored in a single post-season (19). He is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame and the Order of Manitoba.
Henri Richard, hockey player (born 29 February 1936 in Montreal, QC; died 6 March 2020 in Laval, QC). The younger brother of Joseph-Henri-Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Henri Richard played with the Montreal Canadiens from 1955 to 75. The nickname “Pocket Rocket,” which he thoroughly disliked, compared him to his famous brother at the start of his career, but gradually he earned his own reputation, becoming one of the best all-round players in the NHL. Slighter in build than his older brother, Henri had his own unique style of play completely different from Maurice’s, and he became well known for his exceptional stick handling and playmaking abilities.
Larry Kwong, hockey player (born 17 June 1923 in Vernon, BC; died 15 March 2018 in Calgary, AB).
Victor Stefan Vogel, pianist, conductor, composer, arranger, trombonist (born 3 August 1935 in Montreal, QC; died 16 September 2019 in Montreal). Vic Vogel was an icon of Montreal’s jazz scene. He emerged in the 1960s as a musician of considerable influence, bluster and colour. He moved freely between jazz, pop and, occasionally, symphony. He served as music director or accompanist for many CBC TV variety shows and was heard regularly on CBC Radio. He wrote or arranged music for ceremonies at Montreal’s Man and His World in 1968, the 1976 Olympic Summer Games in Montreal, the Canada Games in 1985, and the Grey Cup half-time shows in 1981 and 1985. He also performed at 35 editions of the Montreal International Jazz Festival — more than any other artist.
The Asahi was a Japanese Canadian baseball club in Vancouver (1914–42). One of the city’s most dominant amateur teams, the Asahi used skill and tactics to win multiple league titles in Vancouver and along the Northwest Coast. In 1942, the team was disbanded when its members were among the 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were interned by the federal government (see Internment of Japanese Canadians). The Asahi were inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Arthur Howey Ross, hockey player, inventor/innovator and NHL team executive (born 13 January 1885 in Naughton [Sudbury], ON; died 5 August 1964 in Medford, Massachusetts). Ross was considered a top defenseman during a playing career that included several years as a professional (with a brief stint in the fledgling National Hockey League). Following his retirement as a player in 1918, Ross worked as an NHL referee and coached the NHL’s Hamilton Tigers in 1922–23. The Boston Bruins hired him when they entered the league in 1924, and Ross served as coach, general manager and vice president (often holding all three titles at once) until 1954. Ross also invented improved versions of the hockey puck and goalie nets that were used for decades in the NHL, and introduced many of the rules that modernized the game.
Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr., baseball player (born 15 February 1983 in East York [Toronto], ON). Russell Martin made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut as a catcher in 2006. He played five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, two with the New York Yankees and two with the Pittsburgh Pirates before signing a five-year, $82 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on 18 November 2014. Known for his intensity, athleticism and intelligence, Martin is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the majors. A four-time All-Star, he won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger Award in 2007 — only the third catcher in history to receive both awards.