Canada’s inconsistent weather has made it so the country has been able to produce several top athletes who have been successful playing very different sports, such as skating, ice hockey, basketball, and golf.
There are hundreds of successful Canadian athletes participating in various disciplines around the world and finding success. But we will take a look at the very best of them in this list below.
Wayne Gretzky is considered to be the GOAT of ice hockey and, even if you know nothing about the sport, you’re likely to know his name. Referred to as “The Great One,” Gretzky fired the Edmonton Oilers to remarkable success in the 80s.
He retired from the game as the holder of 61 NHL records - yes, 61 - including 1,9063 assists. He was a sure bet to deliver at least a few assists every game and, with BetMGM Ontario now live, he would have been the reason folks made plenty of money today.
One of the greatest sprinters to ever grace the track, Donovan Bailey is originally from Jamaica but moved to Canada as a 12-year-old. He decided to sprint professionally in 1990 and would go on to make a name for himself in the 1996 Atlanta Games, where he set a new world record to win gold in the 100-meter sprint at 9.84 seconds. He also won gold as part of the relay team that same year.
Bailey was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in as an individual in 2004 and, in 2008, as part of the relay team. He was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Canada only has one team in the MLB, the Toronto Blue Jays, but the country has produced some incredible baseball players over the years.
None of them come close to Ferguson “Fergie” Jenkins, though. The former Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox pitcher was the only Canadian to make it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, until Larry Walker was inducted in 2020.
Fergie posted a whopping 3,000 strikeouts over the course of his long career and his 248 wins are the most by any black player in the MLB. What’s even more amazing is the fact that Jenkins spent some of the offseason playing basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters basketball.
Steve Nash is the current head coach of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. As a player, he is considered one of the best point guards of all time. The two-time MVP is undoubtedly the best Canadian basketball player of all time. He is one of the craftiest passers to ever play the game and is No.4 on the all-time NBA assists leaders list with 10,335 to his name.
Nash also retired as the player with the highest free throw percentage at 90.42.
One of the most decorated Olympians to hail from Canada, Clara Hughes is just one of a handful of athletes to win both Winter and Summer Olympic medals since World War II, which means she’s been a champion in multiple sports.
Hughes won two bronze medals in cycling at the 1996 Summer Games but has since won four medals from three Winter Games for speedskating (one gold, one silver, two bronze).
The 49-year-old was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame back in 2010.
Georges St. Pierre
Georges St. Pierre, also known as GSP, is credited with bringing MMA out of obscurity. The former UFC fighter won three Welterweight Championships between 2006 and 2008 and was considered to be the best Welterweight UFC combatant for several years.
GSP was named the Canadian Athlete of the year in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Canada has one of the best women’s national soccer teams in the world. That is mostly due to Christine Sinclair, one of the best female soccer stars in the history of the women’s game. Christine is the most capped Canadian and has the second-most international goals in the game, as well as two Olympic medals.
Her title as Canada’s most successful player might be under threat soon, however, with Jonathan David now one of the hottest young prospects in Europe. The 22-year-old Lille striker is developing into one of the best scorers on the continent and has garnered interest from some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League.
As for her title as the greatest female Canadian soccer player, that shouldn’t be under threat anytime soon.
Mike Weir is the best golfer to hail from The Great White North. Canada boasts several great golfing names but none of them are above Weir’s.
The 52-year-old is the only Canadian to win a major, having won The Masters in 2003, and has been one of the most consistent players on the tour. He held a top 10 position on the Golf World Rankings for five straight years and has also won seven times on the PGA Tour.