Famous Canadian Sports Personalities

Though Ice hockey is the most popular sports in Canada, the country has produced some great athletes in various sports who have left their impression on the minds of fans all over the world. The list of famous Canadian Sports Personalities would be incomplete without the mention of Lionel Conacher who won laurels for his country in football, baseball and ice hockey. The famous athlete was nicknamed ‘The Big Train’. Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe are two among the most famous ice hockey players the country has seen. Ben Johnson who held the record of being the fastest man in the world during the 1980s was a Canadian. While mentioning famous Canadian Sports Personalities, it is imperative to name Jacques Villeneuve, the famous race car driver; and Mike Weir who has made a niche for himself among the top 50 golfers in the world. The names of athletes like Terry Fox and Kurt Browning will be remembered fondly among sports lovers. Not lagging behind, the female Sports Personalities of the country such as Lela Brooks, Ethel Cartherwood, Nancy Greene and Myriam Bedard have earned international acclaim. Here we present to you a collection of biographies of some of the most famous Canadian Sports Personalities. To know more about their lives, timeline, explore the collection where we have even revealed some interesting facts and trivia about the personalities.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky.
6
Famous As: Ice Hockey Player
Birthdate: January 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Nicknamed "The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion and a six-time All-Star record-breaker. The Hockey Hall of Fame inductee played for four NHL teams from 1979 to 1999, was the leading scorer in NHL history, and served as the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.

 2 Roddy Piper

Roddy Piper.
21
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: April 17, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saskatoon
Died: July 31, 2015

Canadian professional wrestler, amateur boxer, and actor, Roddy Piper, is best remembered for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).  He headlined multiple PPV events and hosted the popular WWF interview segment Piper's Pit. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. He also appeared in a few films and TV shows.

 3 Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre.
4
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: May 19, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint-Isidore, Canada

Considered one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, Georges St-Pierre is a former professional mixed martial artist. Starting from 2008, he was named by Rogers Sportsnet as the Canadian Athlete of the Year for three consecutive years. When he defeated Michael Bisping at UFC 217, he became only the fourth fighter to be a multi-division champion in UFC history.

 4 Steve Nash

Steve Nash.
5
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: February 7, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

Canadian national Steve Nash is a basketball coach and a former player. Known for his playmaking skills, he played for Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers in America’s coveted National Basketball Association. He also played for the Canadian national men’s team from 1991 to 2003. He became the head coach of Brooklyn Nets of NBA in September 2020.

 5 Bret Hart

Bret Hart.
18
Famous As: WWE Wrestlers
Birthdate: July 2, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Bret Hart is a Canadian-American former professional wrestler. Regarded as one of the all-time greats, Bret Hart was one of the most popular and important WWF wrestlers during the promotion's New Generation Era. In 1996, he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. He is amongst the seven people who have entered the WWE Hall of Fame twice

 6 Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby.
5
Famous As: Ice Hockey Player
Birthdate: August 7, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada

Canadian professional ice hockey player Sidney Crosby is the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL). Widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time, he made his professional debut in 2005. Immediately rising to stardom, he has continued to impress the audience with his powerful gameplay.

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 7 Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis.
9
Famous As: Professional Boxer
Birthdate: September 2, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Ham, London, England
Three-time world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis also won the super heavyweight gold for Canada at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. He has won numerous accolades, including the CBE and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He has been named as the sixth-best heavyweight boxer of all time by BoxRec.
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 8 Owen Hart

Owen Hart.
12
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: May 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Calgary, Canada
Died: May 23, 1999
Owen Hart, also known as “The Golden Nugget” and “Blue Blazer,” was part of the Hart wrestling family. He had won several titles, such as the WWF Intercontinental Championship and the WWF World Tag Team Championship. He died in an equipment malfunction accident at the 1999 WWF Over the Edge.
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 9 Trish Stratus

Trish Stratus.
13
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: December 18, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Flemingdon Park, Metropolitan Toronto, Canada

Canadian fitness model and former wrestler Trish Stratus is known for her stint with WWF (later renamed WWE). The Diva of the Decade and three-time WWE Babe of the Year has also been a WWE Hardcore Champion. She also became the first female to earn the Lou Thesz Award.

 10 Mario Lemieux

Mario Lemieux.
4
Famous As: Former Ice Hockey Star
Birthdate: October 5, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montreal, QC, CANADA

Canadian former professional ice hockey player Mario Lemieux spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing parts of 17 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons. A gifted playmaker and fast skater, he is considered to be one of the best players of all time. With a 0.754 career goals-per-game average, he ranks second in NHL history, behind only Mike Bossy.

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 11 Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe
4
Famous As: Ice hockey player
Birthdate: March 31, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Floral, Saskatchewan
Died: June 10, 2016

 12 Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson.
6
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: March 13, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto
Boston Celtics center/power forward Tristan Thompson, known for his rebounding skills, was initially drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and won the 2016 NBA Championship with them. He has also played for Canada’s national basketball team. Thompson has been in the news for his relationship and messy break-up with Khloé Kardashian.
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 13 Kevin Steen

Kevin Steen.
10
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: May 7, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

Kevin Steen, popularly known by his ring name Kevin Owens, is a Canadian professional wrestler. One of the most popular WWE superstars of his generation, Steen has won several WWE championship titles, such as the Universal Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the United States Championship. In 2017, he was ranked third in the PWI 500 list. 

 14 Natalya Neidhart

Natalya Neidhart.
10
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: May 27, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Natalya Neidhart is a Canadian-American wrestler and columnist. She is best known for her appearances in WWE, where she is one of the most important members of the women's division. She is the first female wrestler to hold both the SmackDown Women's Championship and the Divas Championship in the history of WWE.

 15 Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins.
9
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: February 23, 1995
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Thornhill, Vaughan
Canadian basketball player Andrew Wiggins was initially drafted by the NBA team Cleveland Cavaliers and then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year playing with the Timberwolves. He was also named Mr. Basketball USA and the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2013.

 16 Rick Fox

Rick Fox
6
Famous As: Actor, Basketball player
Birthdate: July 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto
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 17 Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr.
4
Famous As: Ice hockey player
Birthdate: March 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Canadian ice-hockey star Bobby Orr is known for his 12-year NHL career, 10 of which were spent playing for the Boston Bruins. His Stanley Cup win in 1970 marked the Bruins’ first title in 29 years. Post-retirement, the septuagenarian Hockey Hall of Fame inductee has also experimented with golf.

 18 P. K. Subban

P. K. Subban.
5
Famous As: Ice Hockey Player
Birthdate: May 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

P.K. Subban is a Canadian ice hockey player who currently plays as a defenceman for the NHL's New Jersey Devils. In 2013, Subban was adjudged the NHL's top defenceman and was honored with the Norris Trophy. Also known for his philanthropic efforts, Subban promised in 2015 that he would help raise $10 million by 2022 for the Montreal Children's Hospital. 

 19 Terry Fox

Terry Fox.
6
Birthdate: July 28, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada
Died: June 28, 1981

Terry Fox was a popular cancer research activist and humanitarian. Despite suffering from cancer and having lost one of his legs to cancer, he embarked on a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. Although he died at the age of 22, his efforts resulted in a worldwide legacy and gave rise to the annual Terry Fox Run.

 20 Rocky Johnson

Rocky Johnson.
9
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: August 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amherst, Canada
Died: January 15, 2020

The father of former WWE wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson, Rocky Johnson was a popular Canadian professional wrestler. He was the first black wrestler to win the Georgia Heavyweight Championship. He inspired several popular wrestlers, such as The Rock. He is also credited with helping wrestlers like Hulk Hogan establish themselves in the wrestling world.

 21 Rubin Carter

Rubin Carter.
9
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: May 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clifton, New Jersey
Died: April 20, 2014

Rubin Carter was an American-Canadian boxer whose boxing career was overshadowed by his murder conviction; after serving almost 20 years of prison term, it was revealed that he was wrongfully convicted of murder. His autobiography, The Sixteenth Round, which he had written during his time in prison, inspired the 1999 film, The Hurricane, where Denzel Washington played Rubin Carter.

 22 Maryse Ouellet

Maryse Ouellet.
12
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: January 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Maryse Ouellet is a Canadian-American businesswoman, actress, and professional wrestler. Currently signed to WWE, Ouellet often appears alongside her husband and WWE superstar The Miz. In 2008, Maryse won the WWE Divas Championship and went on to become the third-longest reigning Divas Champion in the history of WWE. In 2009, she was ranked ninth in the PWI Female 50 list.

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 23 Chris Benoit

Chris Benoit.
25
Famous As: Canadian Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: May 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: June 24, 2007

Often regarded as one of the best wrestlers of all time, Chris Benoit was known for putting his body on the line to create a greater impact than most of his fellow wrestlers. One of his popular moves, a diving headbutt, was cited as one of the reasons for his deteriorating mental health that eventually resulted in his suicide.

 24 Edge (Wrestler)

Edge (Wrestler).
9
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: October 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orangeville, Canada
Canadian wrestler Edge is a seven-time World Heavyweight champion. He competed in the 2020 Royal Rumble match after a 9-year hiatus due to neck injuries. He has appeared as Dwight Hendrickson in Haven and as Ketill Flatnose in Vikings. He was also part of the film Highlander: Endgame.
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 25 Connor McDavid

Connor McDavid.
6
Famous As: Ice Hockey Player
Birthdate: January 13, 1997
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

Canadian ice hockey player Connor McDavid currently serves as the captain of the NHL team Edmonton Oilers. The two-time Art Ross Trophy-winning player became the youngest NHL captain and has won the gold at the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championships, the 2015 Junior Championships, and the 2013 U-18 Championships.

 26 Jesse Palmer

Jesse Palmer
4
Famous As: American football player, Sports commentator
Birthdate: October 5, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto
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 27 Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett
5
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: March 14, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

 28 James Naismith

James Naismith.
4
Famous As: Invented Basketball
Birthdate: November 6, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almonte, Mississippi Mills, Canada
Died: November 28, 1939
Canadian-American physician and coach James Naismith is considered as the inventor of basketball. He authored the first basksetball rule book and established the University of Kansas basketball team. He served as the Kansas Jayhawks athletic director and coach, and trained legends such as Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith.

 29 Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 9, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amritsar, Punjab, India

Akshay Kumar is one of the most popular and successful actors of Hindi cinema. He has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as Filmfare Awards, a National Film Award, and Padma Shri. Dubbed Indian Jackie Chan, Akshay Kumar is renowned for performing dangerous stunts in films.

 30 Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin.
5
Famous As: Olympics Gold Medalist Swimmer
Birthdate: May 10, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pasadena

 31 Bianca Andreescu

Bianca Andreescu
5
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: June 16, 2000
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

 32 Emilie Livingston

Emilie Livingston.
4
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: December 31, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Etobicoke, Toronto, Canada

Canadian rhythmic gymnast and contortionist Emilie Goldblum (née Livingston), wife of actor Jeff Goldblum, is a three-time national champion and was placed 18th in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also won a gold at the 1999 Pan American Games. She has been a body double for Emma Stone and Rihanna.

 33 Bobby Roode

Bobby Roode
6
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: January 1, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toronto

 34 Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic
4
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: December 27, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Podgorica, Montenegro

Milos Raonic is a professional tennis player who became world No. 3, his career-high singles ranking, in 2016. One of the most accomplished Canadian singles male players in the history of tennis, Milos Raonic is the first Canadian man to reach the Wimbledon final, the French Open quarterfinals as well as the Australian Open semifinals in the Open Era.

 35 Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool
9
Famous As: American Football player
Birthdate: July 7, 1998
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Abbotsford, Canada

 36 Gail Kim

Gail Kim
8
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: February 20, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 37 Gilles Villeneuve

Gilles Villeneuve.
9
Famous As: Racing Driver
Birthdate: January 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada
Died: May 8, 1982
Canadian race-car driver Gilles Villeneuve is remembered for his 6-year stint with Grand Prix, racing with Ferrari. He won six races but died in a violent collision with Jochen Mass’s car during a qualifying race for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. His son, Jacques, later became a F1 champion.

 38 Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews.
6
Famous As: Ice Hockey Player
Birthdate: April 29, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Winnipeg

Chicago Blackhawks captain and three-time Stanley Cup-winning ice-hockey player Jonathan Toews became the second-youngest NHL captain ever, at 20. Known as Captain Serious, he is not the one to be found in the middle of any controversy. He was named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players list in 2017.

 39 Tim Horton

Tim Horton
5
Famous As: Ice hockey player
Birthdate: January 12, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cochrane
Died: February 21, 1974

 40 Tyson Kidd

Tyson Kidd
6
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: July 11, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calgary

 41 Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve.
4
Famous As: Formula One Driver
Birthdate: April 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada

Canadian race-car driver Jacques Villeneuve is known for his association with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Son of F1 driver Gilles Villeneuve, he has won 11 Grands Prix and is the only Canadian to win the Indianapolis 500 and the F1 Drivers' title. He has also released a music album.

 42 Kenny Omega

Kenny Omega
9
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: October 16, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Transcona, Winnipeg, Canada

Kenny Omega is the ring name of Tyson Smith, a Canadian-born professional wrestler. He had a successful tenure in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) after which he joined All Elite Wrestling (AEW), in which he is an executive vice president as well. He also appears in Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide and Impact Wrestling. He considers himself straight edge. 

 

 43 Denis Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov
7
Famous As: Tennis Player
Birthdate: April 15, 1999
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel

 44 Mike Comrie

Mike Comrie
6
Famous As: Ice hockey player
Birthdate: September 11, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

 45 Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur
5
Famous As: Ice hockey player
Birthdate: May 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal

 46 Christian Cage

Christian Cage.
6
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: November 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

WWE wrestler Christian Cage is known for his interesting pseudonym, which is said to be a combination of the names of actors Christian Slater and Nicolas Cage. Apart from winning several wrestling titles, he has also appeared in series such as Murdoch Mysteries and movies such as Dark Rising.

 47 Carey Price

Carey Price.
4
Famous As: Ice Hockey Player
Birthdate: August 16, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia

Carey Price is a Canadian ice hockey goaltender. Currently an important member of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL, Price is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalies in Montreal Canadiens history. Also regarded as one of the world's best goaltenders, Carey Price helped the Canadian national ice hockey team win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

 48 Mark Messier

Mark Messier
4
Famous As: Ice hockey player
Birthdate: January 18, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Edmonton

 49 Brett Hull

Brett Hull
6
Famous As: Ice hockey player
Birthdate: August 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Belleville

 50 Joe Thornton

Joe Thornton.
4
Famous As: Ice Hockey Player
Birthdate: July 2, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: St. Thomas, Canada
Canadian–American–Swiss ice-hockey player Joe Thornton, or “Jumbo Joe,” currently plays for the NHL team Toronto Maple Leafs. He previously played for the San Jose Sharks and the Boston Bruins. He is one of 13 players with 1,000 NHL assists and also won an Olympic gold for Canada.