With #Rio2016 quickly approaching, it’s time ignite some Canadian pride by reminiscing on our past victories. Whether it’s the winter or summer games, Canadian athletes have continued to show their incredible ability to adapt, to persevere, and to conquer.
Donovan Bailey takes title the of “World’s Fastest Man” (1996)
In the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Donovan Bailey shocked the world when won the 100m dash. Bailey, who passed the entire fleet of racers within seconds, seemingly pops out of nowhere within the last few seconds of the race. He clocked in at a whopping 9.84. That day Bailey took the title as the world’s fastest man and set a new record at the time.
Ice Hockey History is made (2002)
After burying a lucky loonie in the ice at the Salt Lake city winter games back in 2002, both the Canadian men’s and women’s hockey teams took home the gold against the U.S.
For the women, it was Canada’s first Olympic gold, and for the men it was their first in 50 years.
Barbara Ann Scott holds the only gold in women’s singles figure skating (1948)
Barbara Ann Scott holds the title of being the only Olympic ladies’ singles gold medalist. At age 10, Scott became the youngest skater ever to pass the “gold figures test” and at 10, she won her first national junior title. At the 1948 Winter Olympics in Switzerland, Scott won the gold regardless of poor conditions—she was forced to compete in a slushy mess after the ice rink was torn apart by a previous hockey match. Regardless, she pulled through after improvising her choreography. In 2012, Scott passed away at the age of 84.
World Record-breaking Catriona Le May Doan (2002)
Catriona Le May Doan is a true inspiration. In 1997 she became the first woman to break the 38-second barrier for the 500m dash in speed skating, and before the year was over she had tied it once and beaten it twice. During her career as a speed skater, Doan broke 13 world records and solidified her title as “the fastest woman on ice”. She became the first Canadian, and only Canadian woman, to defend an individual Olympic gold after crushing the 500m dash in Salt Lake.
Daniel Igali claims Canada’s first gold in men’s wrestling (2000)
Daniel Igali defeated Russia’s Arsen Gitinov in the 2000 Sydney Olympics to become Canada’s first men’s gold medalist in Olympic wrestling. After the winning match, Igali wore the Canadian flag as a cape, then set it down gently and ran circles around clockwise and counterclockwise and knelt to kiss it as the crowd cheered.