Canada is well-known for having some of the best athletes in the world, and a list of the ten most famous Canadian athletes would contain names familiar to sports fans all over the world. Ice hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, but there are famous Canadian athletes in a wide variety of sports. You may even find some names of athletes on this list that you have cheered for in your favorite sport and you did not know were Canadian.
- Ben Johnson. Ben Johnson was considered the fastest man in the world in the late 1980's. He put on a record-breaking performance in the 100-meter dash in the 1988 Summer Olympics, breaking a record he had established the year before in the Track and Field World Championships. In 1989, Johnson was found guilty of using a banned substance in the 1988 Summer Olympics, and his gold medal was taken from him. To redeem himself, Johnson won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash in the 1996 Summer Olympics.
- Wayne Gretzky. It is impossible to create a list of the famous Canadian athletes and not include ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky played for the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings in a career that saw him win Stanley Cup championships, league MVP honors and have his number retired by every team in the NHL. Gretzky's records for most points in a season, most goals in a season, most assists in a season, most points in a career and most goals in a career.
- Gordie Howe. Gordie Howe makes it on to the list of most famous Canadian athletes because he so dominated the game that he was given the nickname "Mr. Hockey." Gordie Howe played professional hockey in four separate decades, and set records for longevity that may never be broken. Gordie Howe was most known for his tenacity and hard-edged style of play. He played the majority of his career for the Detroit Red Wings.
- Jacques Villeneuve. Not many Indy-car racers could make it on to a list of famous Canadian athletes, but Jacques Villeneuve's winning record is so impressive that he became one of the most famous race car drivers in the world.
- Mike Weir. Mike Weir became a household name in the world of golf when he won the Masters Tournament in 2003. Weir is consistently ranked in the top 50 golfers in the world, and has continued to put in top ten performances at the four golfing major tournaments throughout the year.
- Sidney Crosby. It is hard to keep ice hockey players off of a list of the most famous Canadian athletes, but Sidney Crosby is much more than just a famous Canadian athlete. Crosby was the youngest team captain to ever guide his team to a Stanley Cup victory, and he was part of the gold medal winning 2010 Canadian Olympic ice hockey team.
- Terry Fox. Terry Fox is a very famous Canadian athlete within his home country, but track and field enthusiasts around the world also recognize his name. Fox is a track and field star that has only one leg. His most famous achievement was running across Canada to raise money and awareness for medical research. Terry Fox passed away in 1981.
- Kurt Browning. Outside of Canada Kurt Browning is a famous Canadian athlete for his accomplishments in three Winter Olympic games and as a four-time world figure skating champion. Within Canada Browning is a famous figure skating performer that still draws huge crowds to the arenas where he performs.
- Steve Nash. The NBA is not a place you would expect to find famous Canadian athletes, but Steve Nash is an all-star member of the Phoenix Suns. In his career, Nash has been named NBA MVP twice, and he has also been named an NBA first-team all-star twice.
- Bobby Orr. Bobby Orr changed the way that defense was played in the National Hockey League, and the picture of him scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal against the St. Louis Blues while flying through the air is one of the most famous pictures in all of sports.
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