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Macleans

Gretzky Retires

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on April 26, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

Hollywood will no doubt make a movie about Wayne Gretzky some day, and it will have to include the scene where he plays his last game in Canada, in Ottawa against the Senators.

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Marlene Stewart Streit

Marlene Stewart Streit, golfer (b at Cereal, Alta 9 Mar 1934). Streit played junior golf in Fonthill, Ont. She was a powerful competitor, her game marked by fierce pride and will to win, and she became Canada's greatest women's amateur golfer.

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Charlie Conacher

Charles William Conacher, hockey player (b at Toronto 10 Dec 1909; d there 30 Dec 1967). Playing right wing on Toronto's potent "Kid Line," with Joe Primeau and Henry "Busher" Jackson, he was known for his

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Hilda Strike

Hilda Strike, (born at Montréal, 1 Sep 1910; died at Ottawa, 9 Mar 1989). Hilda Strike was an athlete in the 1932 SUMMER OLYMPICS in TRACK AND FIELD.

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Pat Burns

​Patrick John Joseph Burns, police officer, hockey coach (born 4 April 1952 in Saint-Henri, QC; died 19 November 2010 in Sherbrooke, QC).

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith, decathlete (b at Kenora, Ont 1967). Smith established himself as a future champion by winning the silver medal at the World Junior Track and Field Championships in 1986. He was bothered by tendinitis in 1988 and placed a disappointing 14th at the OLYMPIC GAMES in Seoul.

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Jennifer Abel

Raised in Laval, Qué, Abel began DIVING in 1996. During her second year competing nationally, Abel became national champion in the 1 m diving event. Over the next 4 years, Abel continued to compete nationally as an individual diver.

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Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre (nicknamed GSP), mixed martial artist (born 19 May 1981 in Saint-Isidore, QC). Georges St-Pierre is considered one of the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters of all time. He retired from the the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with a career record of 26–2. A UFC welterweight champion from 2006 to 2007 and 2008 to 2013, St-Pierre holds the record for the most title defenses in the UFC welterweight division with nine. In 2017, he defeated Michael Bisping to win the middleweight championship, making him the fourth fighter in UFC history to win titles in multiple divisions. St-Pierre was named the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Rogers Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year, the 2008 Black Belt Magazine MMA Fighter of the Year, the 2009 Sports Illustrated Fighter of the Year and the 2009 World MMA Awards Fighter of the Year.

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Max Bentley

Bentley was a masterly stickhandler and a quick, darting skater - one of the most skilled players of his era. He retired to operate the family wheat farm in 1954. He scored 245 goals and 544 points in 646 games, and 18 goals, 45 points in 52 playoff games.

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Percy Alfred Williams

Percy Alfred Williams, runner (b at Vancouver 19 May 1908; d there 29 Nov 1982). As a child Williams suffered from rheumatic fever, which left him with a damaged heart. But just a year out of high school, the 59 kg runner became

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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.

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Lela Brooks

Lela Alene Brooks, speed skater (born 7 February 1908 in Toronto, ON; died 11 September 1990 in Owen Sound, ON). Brooks dominated women’s speed skating in the 1920s and 1930s, winning titles in all distances — from the 220-yard (200m) to the one-mile (1,600m) event.

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Ethel Catherwood

Ethel Catherwood, track and field athlete (b in Hannah, North Dakota 28 Apr 1908; d Grass Valley, California 26 Sept 1987). Ethel Catherwood was the only Canadian woman ever to win an individual gold medal in Olympic track and

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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.

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Émilie Heymans

A 6 time PAN AMERICAN medallist and 3 time OLYMPIC GAMES medallist, success began early for Heymans, who had won 30 national titles by the time she was 19.

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Marcel Dionne

Marcel Elphage Dionne, hockey player (b at Drummondville, Que 3 Aug 1951). After an eventful career as a junior at St Catharines in which he was twice the top scorer in the OHL, he was first choice of the Detroit Red Wings in the amateur draft of 1971.

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Conn Smythe

Constantine Falkland Cary Smythe, "Conn," sports entrepreneur (b at Toronto 1 Feb 1895; d there 18 Nov 1980). He was awarded the Military Cross in WWI and was severely injured by shrapnel in WWII. His reputation for

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Eddie Shack

Eddie Steven Phillip Shack, hockey player, TV personality (born 11 February 1937 in Sudbury, ON; died 25 July 2020 in Toronto, ON). Eddie Shack played left wing with six NHL teams over a 17-year career, and was a popular member of the Toronto Maple Leafs when they won four Stanley Cups in 1962–64 and 1967. A three-time All Star, he played more than 1,000 career games and was widely known for his entertaining style of play. His antics earned him the nickname “The Entertainer,” a persona he drew on in a second career as a TV pitchman. He is an iconic figure in Canadian hockey and the inspiration for the hit song “Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack.”

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Christie Blatchford

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.