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Jimmy Rattlesnake

Jimmy Rattlesnake, baseball player (born 1909 in Hobbema [now Maskwacis], Alberta; died 17 April 1972 in Hobbema). A crafty and durable left-handed pitcher, Jimmy Rattlesnake was one of Canada’s first Indigenous baseball stars. He dominated prize money tournaments in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the 1930s and 1940s. Some reports indicate that he also briefly pitched professionally in the United States. Often compared to African American pitcher Satchel Paige, Rattlesnake was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.

Editorial

Editorial: The Courage of Terry Fox

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

Terry Fox was the boy who never gave up. His short life was devoted to achieving his goals. Obstacles just made him try harder. When he learned he had cancer and would lose his leg, he resolved to do something to help other cancer victims. When the disease claimed him on 28 June 1981, he left a legacy of hope that inspired millions to continue his cause.

Article

Derek Drouin

Derek Drouin, high jumper, track and field athlete (born 6 March 1990 in Sarnia, ON). Derek Drouin was the first men’s high jumper in NCAA history to win five national championships. He went on to win a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London and a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. He was the first Canadian to win Olympic gold in a field event since Duncan McNaughton in 1932. Drouin also won gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2015 IAAF World Championships. He is one of only 10 male high jumpers to clear a height of 2.4 m outdoors — the Canadian record. Drouin introduced innovative new techniques to the sport and has been called “the best high jumper of the modern era.”

Article

Willie O'Ree

Willie O’Ree, CM, ONB, hockey player (born 15 October 1935 in Fredericton, NB). On 18 January 1958, Willie O’Ree became the first Black hockey player to play in the National Hockey League (NHL). He played professional hockey for more than 20 years, including 45 games with the Boston Bruins. Since 1998, O’Ree has been the NHL’s Director of Youth Development and ambassador for NHL Diversity. He is a Member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick. He has been inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. The Boston Bruins retired O’Ree’s No. 22 on 18 January 2022, the 64th anniversary of his first NHL game.

Article

Sam Langford

Sam Langford, boxer (born 4 March 1886 in Weymouth Falls, Nova Scotia; died 12 January 1956 in Cambridge, Massachusetts). Langford was a professional boxer who competed across multiple weight classes during his 24-year career. A well-rounded boxer with fierce punching power, Langford often found success against much larger opponents and garnered praise as a fearless competitor. Despite an impressive winning record and praise from icons of the sport, Langford faced racial barriers that prevented him from competing for a title during an era when White champion boxers didn’t want to be seen losing to Black opponents. Though he was crowned heavyweight champion of England, Australia, Canada and Mexico, Langford is considered one of the best fighters never to win a title in the United States. Langford lost his vision during a fight later in his career, which ultimately forced his retirement. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, one year before his death. Langford’s professional record varies depending on the source — with the most comprehensive listing 214-46-44 with 138 knockouts. Some historians contend that Langford may have fought in over 600 matches.

Article

Maude Charron

Maude Garon Charron, weightlifter (born 28 April 1993 in Rimouski, QC). At the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Maude Charron became only the second Canadian ever to win an Olympic gold medal in weightlifting, after Christine Girard in 2012. Charron, who came to the sport following training as a gymnast and a circus performer, won in the women’s 64 kg weight class. She also won gold medals in weightlifting at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and at the 2018 World University Weightlifting Championships.

Article

Cindy Klassen

Cindy Klassen, OM, speed skater, hockey player (born 12 August 1979 in WinnipegMB). Cindy Klassen is the first Canadian to win five medals in one Olympic Games (Torino 2006). With a total of six Olympic medals, she is tied with fellow speed skater and cyclist Clara Hughes as the most decorated Canadian Olympians. Klassen was also overall world champion in speed skating in 2003 and 2006. In her career, she set six world records and won 115 international medals (46 gold, 41 silver and 28 bronze). She was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year in 2006 and received the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada's female athlete of the year in 2005 and 2006. She has been inducted into the Order of Manitoba, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Article

Bobby Hull

Robert Marvin "Bobby" Hull, hockey player (born 3 January 1939 in Pointe Anne, ON; died 30 January 2023). Bobby Hull played junior hockey in Hespeler (Cambridge), Woodstock and St. Catharines, Ontario. He joined the Chicago Black Hawks in 1957. Though he scored only 31 goals in his first two seasons, he was the runner-up to Frank Mahovlich for the Calder Trophy in his first season. The first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season, the "Golden Jet" developed a fearsome slapshot (clocked at 187 km/h) and went on to become the highest scoring left winger in hockey history.

Article

Jean Lowe Butler

Alice Maud Eugenia “Jean” Lowe Butler, track and field athlete, educator (born 1922 in Toronto, ON; died 11 September 2017 in Mobile, Alabama). Jean Lowe Butler was one of Canada’s most accomplished amateur athletes. She set Ontario records in the women’s 100-yard and 220-yard dash and held the Canadian record in the women’s 100 m sprint (11.9 seconds). An elite college athlete in the United States, she competed in the 100 m, 200 m, long jump and high jump, and won medals in each event at every meet. Her exclusion from the 1948 Canadian Olympic team was controversial. A teacher for 30 years, she was inducted into the Tuskegee University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.