Browse "Athletes"

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William George Beers

In 1867 he campaigned to have lacrosse accepted as Canada's national game. Though unsuccessful, his efforts helped raise the number of clubs from 6 to 80 that year, as did a national convention he organized in Kingston, Ontario.

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William Watson

William Watson, "Whipper Billy," professional wrestler (b at Toronto 25 June 1915; d at Orlando, Fla 4 Feb 1990). It is claimed that he won 99% of his 6300 matches during a 30-year career. He was popular in the Toronto area and frequently drew capacity crowds.

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William “Torchy” Peden

William J. "Torchy" Peden, cyclist (born 16 April 1906 in Victoria, BC; died 26 January 1980 in Chicago, Illinois). One of the greatest cyclists of his era, Peden was particularly successful on the six-day racing circuit in the 1930s. In his first four years of six-day racing, he won 24 of 48 races. In total, he won 38 of 148 races between 1929 and 1948, a record that stood until 1965. Peden was one of the top-paid athletes of the Depression era, alongside Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees. He is a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, BC Sports Hall of Fame, Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame.

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Willie O'Ree

​Willie O’Ree, OC, ONB, hockey player (born 15 October 1935 in Fredericton, NB). On 18 January 1958, O’Ree became the first Black hockey player to play a National Hockey League game when he debuted with the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens at the Montreal Forum. O’Ree played a total of 45 games in the NHL with the Bruins. Since 1998, he has been the NHL’s Director of Youth Development and ambassador for NHL Diversity, and has led the Hockey is for Everyone program. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.

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Winnie Roach-Leuszler

Winnie Roach-Leuszler, swimmer (b at Port Credit, Ont 3 Feb. 1926; d at Surrey, BC 1 May 2004). Leuszler was the first Canadian to swim the English Channel. As a child she excelled in a wide range of sports both on land and in water but swimming soon emerged as her special talent.

Macleans

Yashin Cancels $1 Million NAC Gift

Hockey fans have long since become accustomed to the mercenary nature of modern professional sports: players whose seven-figure salaries are not enough to anchor them to a team or a town, and even teams themselves that abandon those towns for newer arenas and sweet tax concessions elsewhere.

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Édouard Lalonde

Édouard Lalonde, "Newsy," hockey and lacrosse player (b at Cornwall, Ont 31 Oct 1887; d at Montréal 21 Nov 1970). He excelled at both sports and gained notoriety and fame for his intense competitiveness. He picked up his nickname during a stint as reporter and printer for the Cornwall Freeholder.

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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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Émilie Mondor

​Émilie Mondor, athlete, middle-distance runner (born 29 April 1981 in Montréal, Québec; died 9 September 2006 in Ottawa, Ontario).

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Étienne Desmarteau

Étienne Desmarteau, strongman (b at Boucherville, Qué 4 Feb 1873; d at Montréal 29 Oct 1905). A Montréal policeman, Étienne Desmarteau excelled in tug-of-war and weight-throwing events and was

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Šťastný Brothers

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.