The Rundown: Canada’s Greatest Sports Moments

Above: In celebration of the Toronto Blue Jays dramatic advance to the American League Championship Series we're listing the greatest Canadian sports moments of all-time
Above: In celebration of the Toronto Blue Jays dramatic advance to the American League Championship Series we're listing the greatest Canadian sports moments of all-time

Yesterday’s victory by the Toronto Blue Jays to advance to the American League Championship Series was one of the most dramatic, tense sporting events in recent memory, at least in terms of events that were played on Canadian soil or involved a Canadian team.

But was it electric or important enough to crack the list of the greatest Canadian sports moments of all-time? Find out below.

(Note: We’re going in chronological order just to make things easy and hopefully lessen peoples’ desire to argue with this list.)

1972 Summit Series
1972 Summit Series

“Right in front. They score! Henderson has scored for Canada!” Foster Hewitt’s call of Paul Henderson’s goal in Game 8 of the Summit Series is one of the most iconic calls in Canadian sports history, just as Henderson’s rebound goal to defeat the Russians stands out as one of the greatest moments.

This was an important series that set the table for years of amazing on-ice clashes between the two countries and easily makes this list.

 

1987 Canada Cup
1987 Canada Cup

From one iconic Canada vs. Russia hockey game to another, this is the Gen-X version of Henderson’s goal in the Summit Series.

All level at 5-5 in the closing minutes of the third period, Wayne Gretzky dropped it back to a trailing Mario Lemieux and the young Pittsburgh Penguins’ star went shelf on goaltender Sergei Mylnikov with 1:26 left in the game to give Canada the win.

 

1992 World Series
1992 World Series

“For the first time in history, the world championship banner will fly north of the border! The Toronto Blue Jays are baseball’s best in 1992!” Anyone that was old enough to remember this moment can still hear Sean McDonough’s call and picture Joe Carter jumping up and down like crazy after catching a flip from Mike Timlin to retire Otis Nixon and win the World Series.

 

1993 World Series
1993 World Series

Game 6. Bottom of the Ninth. Down 6-5. Two on, one out. Mitch Williams deals. “Touch ’em all, Joe! You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life!”

While the Jays may have made history the year before by winning their first World Series, their second consecutive win over the Phillies the following season remains the more memorable of the two, as Joe Carter became just the second player in Major League history to hit a World Series-winning walk-off home run and Tom Cheek’s call instantly was entered into the history books as one of the best ever.

 

Donovan Bailey & Canadian Men’s Relay Team
1996 Summer Olympics – Donovan Bailey & Canadian Men’s Relay Team

Eight years earlier, Canada’s reputation on the track was tarnished amid the Ben Johnson scandal in Seoul, but in the summer of 1996, Donovan Bailey erased all that, setting the world record in the 100m dash and capturing another gold and another world record with the Men’s 4x100m relay team. It was the most electric moment of the Games and it was Canada’s moment.

 

NEXT: Mike Weir, Steve Nash, Cindy Klassen, Joannie Rochette and Sidney Crosby all make Canada proud…

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E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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