By Radhya Comar, December 23 2023—
When it comes to Canadian sports, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is ice hockey. This treasured sport is a longstanding symbol of Canadian culture. It has also been at the forefront of Canadian athletics for as long as most people can remember. In recent years, however, Canadian athletes have been recognized for their achievements in a wide variety of sports. From off the court to on the ice, sports people from the great north are starting to garner skill for their impeccable technique, hard work and of course, friendly manners. This list recaps five of the greatest sports moments of the past decade, of which Canadian athletes themselves are at the forefront.
Christine Sinclair becomes the top international goalscorer
Originally from Burnaby, British Columbia, Sinclair was encouraged to pursue soccer by her family. Her father, Mike, and her maternal uncles loved the sport. In fact, all three had previously won the Challenge trophy, a national championship for amateur players. As such, Sinclair grew up playing soccer. She played all throughout her adolescence and in college. At the age of 16, Sinclair made her international debut at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Since then, she has captained the Canadian Women’s Soccer team in three consecutive World Cups from 2011 to 2019, Won Olympic Bronze in 2011 and 2016 as well as scored 12 Olympic goals. Furthermore, in 2020, Sinclair was honoured by FIFA for her record-breaking 188 international goals Record breaking 188 international goals. This feat made her the highest goal scorer in international soccer regardless of gender. Currently, Sinclair is preparing to don the Canadian colours once again to represent her country at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Toronto Raptors take home the 2019 NBA Championship
The 2019 showdown between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors was a historic moment for all Canadians. Although basketball is an inherently Canadian Sport, having been invented by Canadian James Naismith in 1891, there is only one Canadian team in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Up until 2019, Canada had not brought home a single title. Although they were pitted against the two-time defending champions, the Raptors put up an amazing fight and were able to end the game with a score of 114–110. Notable contributors were Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam who put up 26 points each. After the win, thousands of fans poured into the streets of Toronto, even climbing up traffic poles to celebrate and relay the news. Celebrations were not just bound to Toronto as massive viewing parties from Alberta to Halifax burst into cheers.
Moulin Rouge routine wows at 2018 Pyeongchang
Canadian ice dance duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were already superstars before their Moulin Rouge routine took the internet by storm at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. In 2010, they were the first North Americans to win the gold medal in ice dance at the 2010 Vancouver games. However, the years that followed saw a period of disappointment as the pair consistently placed behind their American counterparts. Post the 2014 Sochi Olympics, both athletes were thought to have retired. After taking a break, Moir and Virtue re-entered the rink with a fresh perspective and new coaches. Yet, they were still not predicted to take the gold medal. Despite this, Moir and Virtue finished on top with a routine that is now thought to be one of the best in Olympic history. Although both have retired from competitive figure skating, their Moulin Rouge routine continues to inspire fans around the world.
Bianca Andreescu becomes the first Canadian to lift the U.S Open Trophy
The 2019 U.S. Open final could easily be summarized as a match between David and Goliath. At 19 years old, Mississauga native Bianca Andreescu was serving against one of the greatest tennis players in the world, Serena Williams. Yet, Andreescu was able to defeat her opponent and shock the world in a match that only lasted two sets. After securing the match with a powerful forehand, the athlete herself threw her racket and put her hands on her head in disbelief. Congratulations poured in from all over the world and the hashtag #Shethenorth started to trend after Andreescu’s monumental win. Having started the year with a ranking of 152, Andreescu immediately graduated to five. This made her the highest-ranking Canadian in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association. Post victory, Andreescu has continued to dominate international tennis but has recently abandoned the Miami Open due to a serious injury to her left ankle.
While hockey has been synonymous with Canadian excellence for decades, recent years have seen tremendous accomplishments for Canadian teams and athletes in a wide variety of sports. From the Toronto Raptors’s victory in 2019 to Bianca Andreescu’s win at the U.S. Open, Canadian athletes continue to establish themselves in new sports. Christine Sinclair’s title as the leading international goal scorer and the iconic Moulin Rouge routine also represents a growing Canadian influence globally. As this influence continues to spread, these moments serve as inspiration for incoming generations.