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Saturday, July 29, 2006 

#7 The First Top 10 List

For the sake of something to write about, my buddy Sumeet and I decided to try to come up with a top ten list of the best Canadian Athletes of all time - excluding hockey. The first three were reeled off pretty quickly, but then we ran into a bit of a snag that names like Mike Vanderjagt were thrown at. So I'll list the top 3 for now, and you guys can make suggestions for who should close out the list. Here goes:

1. Steve Nash - Say what you want about who should have won the award this past season, but Steve Nash was the back to back MVP of the NBA. Only the 9th player of all time to win consecutive MVP trophies, and only the second point guard ever to win the award more than once. The other? Magic Johnson. You just can't argue with that kind of comparison.

2. Lennox Lewis - He may be fighting under England for the money these days, but Len grew up around the corner from me so there's no way he isn't Canadian. Not only was he the Heavy Weight Champion of the world, but he absolutely dominated in the roll. No one was close to him while he ruled. Some people also don't remember that back in the day he was a gold medalist for Canada eons ago. A spectacular career from start to finish, and one of few Canadians known by name around the world.

3. Larry Walker - I know, I know, baseball again. But the influence Larry Walker had on Canadian sport will only be matched by the basketball players we see coming out of Canada in 10 years. A career .313 hitter, he came up one homerun short of 50 in 1997, and threw in 130 RBI to boot. The Canadians you see in the league today - Gagne, Dempster, Bay and so on - have a lot to do with Larry Walker. Without his influence on both kids desire to play, and scouts willingness to come to Canada, many of them wouldn't be what they are today.

So that's a pretty easy top three. Now get your suggestions in for the next 7. Those that come to mind are Catarina LeMay Doan, Eric Gagne, Donovan Bailey, Mike Vanderjagt, Jamal Magloire, Cindy Klassan... let me know who you think belongs.

i know golf may be also considered a "fringe" sport, but Mike Weir

I don't know. Winning a Masters once doesn't make you the best Canadian 'athlete' of all time

if we're throwing in Weir, then Jacques Villeneuve and Paul Tracy should maybe be in there too... maybe... come one people, we can do better than this ,no?


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