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Displaying 1-16 of 16 results
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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.

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Ernestine Russell

Ernestine “Ernie” Jean Russell, gymnast, coach (born 10 June 1938 in Windsor, ON). Ernestine Russell was Canada’s best female gymnast of the 1950s. She was the first woman to represent Canada in gymnastics at the Olympic Summer Games, at Melbourne in 1956. She was also the first Canadian gymnast ever to medal in an international competition, at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago, where she won four gold medals and two silver. She won 46 gold medals at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships between 1954 and 1960. She also had a successful career coaching women’s gymnastics at the NCAA level and with Team USA. She has been inducted into the Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame and the US Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

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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.

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Angela Chalmers

Angela Frances Chalmers, world-class distance runner from Birdtail Sioux First Nation (born 6 September 1963 in Brandon, MB). Chalmers is one of the most accomplished Indigenous athletes in Canada. She won three gold medals in total at the Commonwealth Games in 1990 and 1994. An advocate for Indigenous issues, Chalmers has made efforts to connect with and inspire Indigenous youth from across Canada. Among many honours and awards, Chalmers was inducted into Athletics Canada Hall of Fame in 2019.

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Darren Zack

Darren Zack (nicknamed Z-Man), pitcher in fastpitch softball (born 9 August 1960 in Garden River First Nation, ON). Compared in his skill to Babe Ruth, Zack dominated fastpitch softball in the 1990s. In addition to many other athletic accomplishments, Zack helped Team Canada win the Pan American Games fastpitch medal in 1991, 1995 and 1999. Though a fearsome competitor, Zack is known for his modest and humble demeanor off the field. He is actively involved in his Garden River First Nation community and in encouraging youth involvement in sports. (See also Baseball.)

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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.”

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Tom Longboat

Thomas Charles Longboat (Gagwe:gih), distance runner, Olympian (born 4 July 1886 in Ohsweken, Six Nations of the Grand River; died 9 January 1949 in Ohsweken). Tom Longboat was an Onondaga distance runner from Six Nations of the Grand River. One of the most famous athletes of the early 20th century, Longboat pioneered training methods still used today. He is considered one of the first celebrity athletes in Canada, with his athletic successes known across North America and overseas. He was a leader in establishing marathon running as an international sport and won many marathons in record-breaking times, beating competitors from all over the world. Longboat was the first Indigenous person to win the Boston Marathon (1907). He competed for Canada at the 1908 Olympic Games. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

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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.  

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Jerome Drayton

Jerome Peter Drayton (né Peter Buniak), marathoner, long-distance runner (born 10 January 1945 in Kolbermoore, Germany). Jerome Drayton is considered Canada’s top male marathon runner and best male distance runner of all time. He set the Canadian men’s marathon record twice, with times of 2:16:11 in 1968 and 2:10:08.4 in 1975; the latter record stood for 43 years. Drayton competed for Canada at the 1968 and 1976 Olympic Summer Games and won the silver medal in the men’s marathon at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. He is the last male Canadian runner to have won the Boston Marathon (in 1977). He also set a world record in the men’s 10-mile run (46:37.4). A member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Drayton earned 12 national titles and set 13 records in various distances.

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Own the Podium

Own the Podium is a non-profit organization that assists national sports bodies in Canada with their investment and training strategies. Based in Ottawa and Calgary, the program provides financial assistance to high-performance Canadian athletes and coaches. It enables them to compete as well as possible at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the goal of medalling (reaching the podium) as much as possible. It was created in 2005, in advance of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Own the Podium is funded by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Foundation.   

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Canadian Olympic Committee

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) is the organization responsible for Canada’s participation at the Olympic Games, Pan American Games, and Youth Olympic Games. It helps select and financially assist Canadian cities in their efforts to host an Olympic Games or Pan American Games. It also manages programs that promote the values of the Olympics throughout Canada. The organization, which was known as the Canadian Olympic Association (COA) from 1912 to 2002, has a staff of more than 100 people. Its offices are in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

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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.

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Diane Clement

Diane Elaine Clement (née Matheson), OC, track and field sprinter (born 27 September 1936 in Moncton, New Brunswick). Diane Clement held numerous Canadian sprinting records and won a bronze medal for Canada in the women’s 4x110 yard relay at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. In 1956, she became the first athlete born in New Brunswick to represent Canada at an Olympic Summer Games. In 1959, she became the first female coach of the University of British Columbia women’s track and field team. She was also the first female president of an athletic federation in Canada and the first woman to be the honorary vice-president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation Congress. Clement has been inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

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Diane Jones Konihowski

Diane Helen Jones Konihowski, OC, pentathlete, administrator (born 7 March 1951 in Vancouver, BC). Diane Jones Konihowski won gold medals for Canada in women’s pentathlon at the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games and at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. She was considered the gold-medal favourite for the 1980 Olympic Summer Games in Moscow, which Canada boycotted. She also served as director of the Canadian Olympic Committee and as Canada’s chef de mission at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney. A winner of the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s top female athlete and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Jones Konihowski has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.