Canada's Penny Oleksiak poses with her medals on the flag at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday August 21, 2016. COC Photo/Mark BlinchCOC Photo/Mark Blinch
COC Photo/Mark Blinch

Great Canadian achievements in sport

There’s definitely a love and passion for sport in Canada – from hosting Olympic Games to winning Stanley Cups and World Series to producing some of the greatest athletes to ever compete in their respective sports.

Let’s take a look back on some of the more notable Canadian achievements as we look forward to more glorious moments in the near future.

Terry Fox

Great achievement: Challenged himself to run across Canada to raise funds for cancer research

Runner Terry Fox continues his Marathon of Hope run across Canada, Sept. 1980. (CP PHOTO/ files)

He’s undoubtedly one of the most inspirational sports figures worldwide. Fox, who was missing his right leg due to cancer, was determined to prove to himself and people that any challenge can be conquered when you dedicate your life to it. Certainly, he proved to the world that amputees are able to compete in sport. Five years after the ‘Marathon of Hope’, Rick Hansen, arguably one of Canada’s most famous Paralympic athletes and a friend of Fox’s, made his own historic journey on the ‘The Man in Motion World Tour’. These men created tremendous change for the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport.

Wayne Gretzky

Great achievement: The only NHL player to have his number retired league-wide

Canada’s Wayne Gretzky participates in hockey action against the United States at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. (CP Photo/COC/ F. Scott Grant )

Commonly referred to as, ‘The Great One’ he’s the holder of many scoring titles and Stanley Cup championships and is perhaps the greatest hockey player to have ever played the game. Gretzky set impressive statistics throughout his career, and a majority of those records still remain and some may never be broken. Among them: his 894 career regular season goals, 93 more than Gordie Howe; his 1963 career regular season assists, 714 more than Ron Francis; and his 2857 career regular season points, 943 more than Jaromir Jagr.

Cindy Klassen

Great achievement: Five medals at one Olympic Games

Photo: CP Images

Cindy Klassen holds her five Olympic medals won at Turin 2006 (CP Photo)

A multi-medallist at the world championships and still holder of the 3000m world record, Cindy Klassen is tied with Clara Hughes as Canada’s most decorated Olympian with a total of six medals. Five of those came at Turin 2006, where she became the first female speed skater and the first Canadian athlete in any sport to stand on five podiums at a single Olympic Games.

Steve Nash

Great achievement: Two-time NBA MVP

Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash of Canada holds his NBA MVP trophy prior to their Western Conference semifinals game against the Dallas Mavericks Monday, May 9, 2005, at America West Arena in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Matt York)

An eight-time All-Star, Nash enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. In 2005, he was the first Canadian to be named league MVP, making it back-to-back victories in 2006 while a member of the Phoenix Suns. Nash has taken the next step in developing basketball within in Canada as he is currently the General Manager of the Canadian national team. He’s also a philanthropist in his work with youth through Steve Nash Foundation.

Christine Sinclair

Great achievement: 186 international goals and counting

Christine Sinclair lines up to score after rounding the keeper and evading a defender against Australia on August 3, 2016 in the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro.

Undoubtedly the most recognizable person in Canadian soccer, through 2019, Sinclair has been Canada Soccer’s Player of the Year 14 times (including 11 straight from 2004 to 2014) and captained Canada to back-to-back bronze medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Sinclair is the world’s all-time leading goal scorer and has been a nominee for FIFA women’s player of the year eight times.

Kurt Browning

Great achievement: Landed the first quadruple jump in competition

Browning became one of Canada’s most beloved athletes throughout the highs and lows of his career. But his coming out event was the 1988 World Championships where he landed the first ever quadruple jump in competition, forever changing what was viewed as possible in figure skating. He would go on to become a four-time Canadian and world champion. His success, combined with his personality, earned him the support of so many Canadians that after he fell in the short program at Lillehammer 1994, taking him out of Olympic medal contention again, he received letters upon letters, including one that took the form of a giant hug.

Nancy Greene

Great achievement: Winner of the first ever World Cup title in 1967

Canada’s Nancy Greene competes in alpine skiing at the Grenoble 1968 Olympic Winter Games. Greene won the silver medal in the slalom and the gold medal in the giant slalom. (CP Photo/COC)

Greene-Raine is Canada’s most decorated alpine skier with 14 World Cup victories, two overall World Cup titles, and two Olympic medals captured at Grenoble 1968. It all contributed to her being named Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century. Greene carried her positive and aggressive ‘go getter’ mentality into the Senate of Canada in 2009.

Mike Weir

Great achievement: Only Canadian man to win a major golf title

Mike Weir gets the Masters Green Jacket from Tiger Woods after winning the 2003 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 13, 2003 (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Weir is Canada’s greatest golfer to date, with an impressive eight victories on the PGA Tour, including the only major won by a Canadian man, the 2003 Masters Tournament. That was one of three titles he claimed that year as he also won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s Athlete of the Year.

Hayley Wickenheiser

Great achievement: Four consecutive Olympic gold medals

Team Canada captain Hayley Wickenheiser skates with the flag after winning the gold medal in women’s Olympic hockey at Canada Hockey Place Thursday Feb. 25, 2010 at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Scott Gardner

It’s a record shared by her teammates Jayna Hefford and Caroline Ouellette – the first women to ever win gold in the same event at four straight Olympic Winter Games. But Wickenheiser is also considered by most to be the greatest female ice hockey player ever. Wickenheiser represented Canada at five Winter Games, winning a medal at each. Her successful Olympic career also included earning MVP honours twice. Her impact on the game will live on forever as she was at the forefront of women’s hockey in Canada. She is Canada’s all-time leading goal scorer with 49 international goals between Olympic and World Championship events. In 2003, she was the first female skater to play and score in a men’s professional league, doing so in Finland’s second division. She is an influential person to many female hockey players as the new generation of athletes will try to accomplish what she has.

Clara Hughes

Great achievement: Only Olympian to win multiple medals in Winter and Summer Games

Canadian speed skater Clara Hughes races to bronze in the women’s 5000m event at the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Richmond, B.C., Wednesday Feb. 24, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Hughes won six Olympic medals in her career, tying her with Cindy Klassen as Canada’s most decorated Olympian. But while she was the fifth athlete and second woman to be a medallist at both the Winter and Summer Games, she was the first to win multiple medals at both. It began with two road cycling bronzes at Atlanta 1996, followed by four speed skating medals from Turin 2006, Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010.

Ian Millar

Great achievement: Holds the record for most Olympic Games appearances (10)

Canada’s Ian Millar, from Perth, Ont., rides his horse Star Power over a jump in the first round of the Equestrian Individual Jumping final at London 2012, Wednesday, August 8, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

His longevity as a show jumping equestrian spanned over ten Olympic Games. Millar is nicknamed “Captain Canada”. He made his Olympic debut at Munich 1972 as a 25-year-old, competing at every Games in which Canada participated until his last appearance at London 2012 at 65 years of age. At Beijing 2008 Millar captured his first Olympic medal, winning a silver in team event, at age 61. Outside of the Games, he was the first equestrian to win back-to-back World Cup Finals with the same horse, the legendary Big Ben.

Penny Oleksiak

Great achievement: Canada’s youngest Olympic champion and the first Canadian to win four medals in the same Summer Games

Penny Oleksiak, of Canada, swims in the women’s 100m butterfly semifinal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Oleksiak is on the rise to greatness after an eye-opening performance at Rio 2016, where she captured four medals and at 16-years-old became Canada’s youngest ever Olympic champion. In winning 100m freestyle gold, she also became Canada’s first female Olympic swimming champion since 1984. She was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete and the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s top female athlete for 2016.