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Boom Boom Geoffrion

Joseph André Bernard Geoffrion, "Boom Boom," hockey player (b at Montréal 16 Feb 1931; died on 11 March 2006 at Atlanta, USA). Geoffrion is known by hockey fans as the inventor of the slapshot.

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Donato Paduano

​Donato Paduano (born 28 November 1948 in Ripabottoni, Campobasso, Italy). After competing in the 1968 Olympic Summer Games, Donato Paduano pursued a professional boxing career.

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Albertine Lapensée

​Albertine Lapensée (“Miracle Maid”), hockey player (born 10 August 1898 in Cornwall, ON; date and place of death unknown). Albertine Lapensée was arguably Canada’s first female hockey superstar.

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Mary Spencer

Mary Spencer, boxer, model, humanitarian (born 12 December 1984 in Wiarton, ON). Mary Spencer is one of Canada's premier boxing champions, holding eight national titles, five Pan-American titles, and three world titles.

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Phil Esposito

Philip Anthony Esposito, hockey player (b at Sault Ste Marie, Ont 20 Feb 1942). He began his NHL career as a centre in 1963 with the Chicago Black Hawks and was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1967.

Macleans

Mark Messier Hangs up His Skates

HE SPOKE OF HOCKEY as a game that consumed him, but the truth is Mark MESSIER was the one doing the feasting. He ate up opponents and he fed off pressure and when his number ascends to the rafters of Madison Square Garden next January, the honour alone won't seem sufficient.

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Ned Hanlan

Three successive victories over the local champion Thomas Loudon led a group of Torontonians in 1876 to form the Hanlan Club to back Hanlan as a professional. The club bought him an English-made shell and equipped it with a sliding seat and swivel oarlocks.

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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.

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Alexandre Despatie

Alexandre Despatie, diver (born at Montréal 8 Jun 1985). Alexandre Despatie is one of Canada's most-accomplished athletes in diving, and is a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist.

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Kaillie Humphries

Kaillie Humphries (née Simundson), bobsledder (born 4 September 1985 in Calgary, AB). Kaillie Humphries is the most decorated Canadian bobsledder in Olympic history. She became the first Canadian woman to pilot a Canadian bobsled team to victory at an Olympic Winter Games, winning a gold medal with Heather Moyse in the two-woman bobsled at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Humphries and Moyse won gold again. They became the first women’s bobsled team ever to successfully defend an Olympic title. Humphries won bronze at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. She has also won two world championships and four World Cup titles. She is the first Canadian female bobsled driver to win the World Championship, and one of the first two women to compete in international four-man bobsleigh competition. She won the Lou Marsh Trophy in 2014 as Canada’s athlete of the year.

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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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Robert Daniel Emslie

Robert Daniel Emslie, baseball player (b at Guelph, Canada W 27 Jan 1859; d at St Thomas, Ont 26 Apr 1943). Emslie played baseball in Ontario and Kansas before a brief major-league pitching career in which he won 32 games for Baltimore in 1884.

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Babe Dye

Cecil Henry Dye, "Babe," hockey player (b at Hamilton, Ont 13 May 1898; d 2 Jan 1962). His learning the skills of hockey from his mother on a backyard rink in Toronto became part of hockey lore.

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Art Ross

​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.

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Ryan Cochrane

Cochrane first began swimming with his twin brother, Devon, in the Red Cross Learn to Swim program. While attending swimming camp at Island Swimming, Cochrane began swimming competitively.

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.