Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada


The Canada Games have often proven to be a developmental springboard 'where greatness begins' for young athletes. Saskatoon-born speed skater Catriona LeMay Doan competed in three Canada Games, winning a Bronze medal in the 3,000m relay in 1983, and Silver and Bronze medals in the 400m and 800m events respectively in 1987, before competing in athletics in 1993. She went on to break thirteen world records and won Olympic gold in 1998 and 2002 in the 500m races before retiring in 2003. Le May Doan has continued to work as a motivational speaker with charitable organizations as well as with the Canada Games Council to inspire young athletes across the country.

Hailing from Montreal, Judo champion Nicolas Gill competed in the 1987 Canada Summer Games, winning a Gold medal in the 54kg event. Gill recalled his experience at the Canada Games "fueled my motivation to continue to the highest level." He went on to win Silver and Bronze medals at the Olympic Games in 2000 and 1992 respectively, and claimed ten national titles before retiring in 2004. Crediting his success to humility, hard work and dedication, Gill continues to inspire as a national coach with Judo Canada's high performance program.

The Canada Games have also continually prized the value of participation and sportsmanship, inspiring young athletes to perform with integrity as well as competitive fire. At the 1989 Canada Summer Games, Whitehorse cyclist Kiyoshi Maguire struggled in the 100-km road race event until a cyclist from Newfoundland encouraged him to 'draft' behind and finish the race. At the 2003 Canada Winter Games Amanda Bulman from Prince Edward Island similarly stopped in the cross-country race to assist a struggling skier from Saskatchewan. Coming together to overcome adversity, their stories also bring to life the spirit of the Canada Games.

Photograph of Toller Cranston standing on podium
Toller Cranston made his competitive debut at the 1967 Canada Games in Quebec City. He won the gold medal in the men's A level figure skating competition. Emery Leger, one of his fellow competitors, remembers watching him perform and realizing his excellence and passion would take him to the highest levels.
Collection: Canada Games Council

Photograph of Bob Gainey playing hockey
Bob Gainey played with Team Ontario when he won a gold medal in men's ice hockey at the 1971 Canada Games in Saskatoon. He went on to a professional career that included five Stanley Cups and a gold medal representing Canada at the 1976 Canada Cup. His strong sense of leadership and integrity were fostered as an amateur player and gained him the respect of everyone who played with him.
Collection: Library and Archives Canada

Photograph of Sharon and Shirley Firth on podium
Sharon and Shirley Firth, twin sisters from the Northwest Territories, learned cross-country skiing through the Territorial Experimental Ski Training Program (TEST). Shirley won the gold medal and Sharon the silver medal in the 5 km race at the 1971 Canada Winter Games in Saskatoon. They were pioneers in their sport for the NWT and through their dedication and perseverance went on to compete at four Olympic Winter Games.
Collection: Library and Archives Canada

Photograph of Greg Joy jumping over high bar
Greg Joy won the gold medal in the high jump event at the 1973 Canada Summer Games in New Westminster-Burnaby. Three years later he won the silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. The Canada Games helped him to hone his competitive skills and focus.
Collection: Library and Archives Canada

Photograph of Becky Smith swimming
Becky Smith won the gold medal and set a new swimming record in the 400m individual medley at the 1973 Canada Summer Games in New Westminster-Burnaby. She later won two bronze medals at the 1976 Olympic Games. Competing at the Canada Games gave Becky the confidence and discipline to excel at an international level.
Collection: Library and Archives Canada

Photograph of Brian Orser in jump position
Brian Orser won the gold medal in men's 'B' division figure skating at the 1975 Canada Winter Games in Lethbridge. He was the 1987 World Champion and the silver medallist at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Brian was an innovative skater and was the first person to land a triple Axel jump at the Olympic Winter Games. As a coach he now teaches his skaters to have the same drive and passion that he showed in his competitive career.
Collection: Library and Archives Canada

Photograph of Dave Steen throwing shot put
Dave Steen won the gold medal in decathlon at the 1977 Canada Games in St. John's. Decathlon, which includes ten different events from shot put to an 800m race, requires discipline, patience, focus and excellence. Dave used his experience at these Games to hone his skills. He won the first medal for Canada in this event at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.
Collection: Library and Archives Canada

Photograph of Lennox Lewis boxing
Lennox Lewis was the gold medallist in the 81+ kg division in boxing at the 1983 Canada Winter Games in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Quebec. Boxing requires discipline, focus, courage and a very strong competitive sense. Lennox used these hard learned qualities to win a gold medal for Canada at the 1988 Olympic Games and the World Boxing Championship title.
Collection: Canada Games Council

Bronze medal with cut-out on green ribbon
Catriona Le May Doan won the bronze medal in the short track speed skating relay during the 1983 Canada Winter Games in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean at the age of twelve. Four years later she qualified for the national team showing her passion for her sport and her competitive edge.
Collection: Private Collection: Catriona Le May Doan

Photograph young Nicolas Gill wearing judoko
Nicolas Gill took the theme for the 1987 Canada Games in Cape Breton "The Challenge to Excel" to heart as he showcased his talents and won the gold medal in judo. He went on to win three Canadian youth titles and eventually become one of Canada's most decorated judo athletes. Nicolas stands as an inspiration to the next generation of young judo hopefuls who have started their competitive careers at the Canada Games.
Collection: Canada Games Council

Photograph of Sidney Crosby at the 2003 Canada Games
Sidney Crosby was a member of Team Nova Scotia at the 2003 Canada Winter Games in Bathurst-Campbellton, New Brunswick. As the captain, he used the experience from the Games to hone his leadership skills and to work as a team player. He has since used these skills to help Canada's Men Hockey team win the gold medal at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Collection: Canada Games Council

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