Not too long ago, ESPN’s Rick Reilly (my second favorite writer behind Bill Simmons) hosted a segment profiling the Mount Rushmore of Sports from all 50 US States. This got me and my buddies thinking of who would be on Canada’s Mount Rushmore of sporting greatness? I say “Canada’s Mount Rushmore” in respect to the smaller provinces and territories whose mountainside would maintain blank due to their lack of famous athletes. I’m looking at you Yukon. Smarten up. Anyway Canada has a long list of legendary athletes so lets get right to it.
Yes as I’ve said again and again, I am not a hockey guy. I was at one point, but the strike was like a bad breakup. I can never go back, she hurt me too much. Anyway Wayne was an easy choice. He’s on the “Mount Rushmore Of All Time Athletes,” (in my mind it’s Jordan, Gretzky, Ali, and Jackie Robinson) let alone one for the Great White North. Forty regular season records, fifteen playoff records, four Stanley Cups, countless memories, and the undisputed best hockey player of all time. He’s the “Great One” for god’s sake. He got Washington’s spot on the mount, and doesn’t he look smart.
It kills me to put two different hockey players on Canada’s Mount Rushmore, but it is what we as Canucks excel at. If any other Toronto sports fan were writing this article it would be all NHLers so count your blessings. Regardless of my anti-NHL agenda, Lemieux’s resume is staggering. Hockey Hall of Fame 1997, Hart Memorial Trophy 1988, 1993, 1996, Art Ross Trophy – 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, Conn Smythe Trophy – 1991, 1992, Lester B. Pearson Award – 1986, 1988, 1993, 1996, NHL First All-Star Team – 1988, 1989, 1993, 1996, 1997. The list could go on and on. He get’s Thomas Jefferson’s spot on the mount.
I know he has never won a title. If he retires as such he could be on the Mount Rushmore for great players how never won a title (Bonds, Marino, [Nash], and Ted Williams). He didn’t win a NCAA or CIS tourney either. But he has caused countless kids north of the boarder to shovel their driveway, put on their snowsuits, and start shooting hoops. Two times a MVP, six time all star, and one of the legendary NCAA tournament upsets helps too. Captain Canada gets Robin William’s …. I mean Teddy Roosevelt’s spot on our imaginary peak. Sorry I love that movie….no, I’m an adult, why do you ask?
Fox never won sporting trophy, wasn’t voted to any all star games, doesn’t have his likeness enshrined in a major hall of fame, has no staggering statistics, and no children grew up wanting to be just like just like him. However he is in my opinion the greatest athlete to ever come out of this amazing country. We all know the story (and if you don’t google it NOW!). He inspired a country and rallied everyone to an amazing cause. He didn’t use his athletic gift to get huge endorsements, throngs of women, or million dollar contracts, but instead to raise awareness to a terrible disease that affects just about everyone. The legendary Terry Fox gets the final spot on the mount. Oh and to all those who think he isn’t an athlete, I say just one thing; HE RAN A MARATHON EVERY DAY ON ONE LEG! Now shut up….okay that was two things.
Gretzky, Lemieux, Nash, and Fox. It is an amazing collection of mammoth athletic accomplishments, national heroes, and world-class gentlemen. Now all we need is a mountain and some sculptors….
• Larry Walker
• Catriona Le May Doan
• Hailey Wickenheiser
• Gordie Howe
• Bobby Orr
• Mark Messier
• Donovan Bailey
• Lennox Lewis (not really Canadian)
• Kurt Browning (I know it’s figure skating but the guy was good…apparently)
• Ferguson Jenkins
• George Chuvalo
• Dr. James Naismith (not really an athlete)