The following is a countdown of my top 10 Canadian sports moments of the past decade, to be fair some of these aren’t actually moments but a collection of moments for some. After completing this project I realized that 50% of the moments involve female athletes and I think that is a huge testament to the growth of Women’s sport over the last decade, it was unintentional but they deserve to be here. Maybe it’s weird to acknowledge that fact but as a big supporter of women’s sport this made me very happy. Women’s sport is still a long way from finding equal footing with the men but this list gives me hope for the women’s game.
As a hockey fan I’m definitely biased toward’s big moments in hockey but I’m also a fan of sport in general so when a Canadian is doing something special i’m going take notice and go all in. They’re may also be a lot of recency bias in this list but who cares because it’s just a fun top 10.
So without further ado, here’s my list of the top 10 Canadian sports moments of the decade 2010-2019.
#10 – Smokey Celebration
2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the Canadian Women’s hockey team captured Olympic Gold in front of a sold out crowd. After the handshakes, medal ceremony, and the anthem. The Canadians proceeded to celebrate by lighting up some big cigars and cracking open a couple of brewskies! Though they faced some media backlash, the image of them celebrating being at the top of their world was magical and oh so Canadian.
#9 – First Gold at Home
The Olympics had made their way through Canada twice (Calgary 1988, Montreal 1976) without Canada winning a single gold medal. Third times the charm though as Canada dominated the gold medal table at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics! The first of those gold medals, and the first ever in home soil belongs to Alex Bilodeau who won gold in the Moguls ski competition. It was a moment a very long time in the making, kicking off a very successful decade of sports for Canadians!
#8 – Brooke Henderson
She should be higher on this list but Golf just isn’t popular enough and I don’t think she’s getting the attention she deserves. She burst onto the gold scene by winning the LPGA Championship as an 18 year old!! She then followed it up by winning the Canadian Open in front of the home crowd. She’s already won the most ever tournaments in Canadian golf history male or female! She’s still only 22! Youth will continue to be a theme on this list.
#7 – 2014 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey
Team Canada Women’s Olympic squad snags it’s second spot on this list! Maybe it’s due to my hockey bias but watching Canada V USA Women’s hockey is some of the most exciting sport you’ll ever see, it never disappoints. In Sochi 2014, it was no different. After a scoreless first period, the USA scored the games first goal in the second period, then added another to take a 2-0 lead only minutes into the third. With less than 20 minutes to play the odds were stacked against Canada and time was running out but with just over 3 minutes left to play in the game Canada scores to make the game 2-1. With the goalie pulled and pushing for the equalizer the states looked to take advantage and fired the puck down the ice to score an empty netter and seal the game. However, the puck zinged down the ice only to hit the post, giving Canada one last hope! After re-grouping with the puck Marie Philip-Poulin put home the equalizer with 55 seconds left to tie the game sending it to overtime. After a back and forth overtime it was once again Poulin who scored the winner for Canada capping off one of the most exciting hockey games I’ve ever watched.
#6 – The Bat Flip
Being Canada’s only baseball team, after years of mediocrity (or worse) the Blue Jays flew into the 2015 post-season with a lot of buzz. I remember seeing the games being played on ever screen you could see while at the U of A. Every class I was in people were ignoring their professors and streaming the games instead on their laptops. They brought people together and it was wonderful. Jose Bautista’s 3 run homer late in game 5 vs the Texas Rangers will be remembered for a very long time. The bat flip helped Canadians remember that baseball exists, and it brought strangers together to see what that team could do, it was magic.
#5 – Virtue and Moir
Canada’s sweetheart couple who aren’t actually together. They’ll go down as one of the most dominant figure skating duo’s in history winning medals in the 2010, 2014, and 2018 Olympics. They were unbeatable this decade, Their combination of dominance and flare in the way they left this decade and competitive careers is what gets them this high on the list. They capped off their careers winning two golds and setting a world record score in the Short Dance competition before calling it quits. They go out on top and will be remembered that way forever.
#4 – Penny Oleksiak
Showed up to the Rio Olympics as a 16 year old swimmer and came home 4 medals including Gold in the 100m Freestyle event! 4 is the highest number of medals one by a Canadian at a single summer Olympics ever. The buzz around Oleksiak just grew and grew and grew throughout the event. Maybe the only other 16 year old I’ve seen get this much hype is Connor McDavid but that’s just because this country is hockey obsessed. What she did was truly phenomenal and to do it at 16!! Unbelievable! One of the greatest Canadian Sports stories of the past decade.
#3 – The Shot/Raps Championship
4 bounces, not a single breath taken as Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer beater shot clinched game 7 against the 76ers to send them to the East Finals! The amount of support from across the country was insane to be a part of! The buzz around the Blue Jays in the playoffs doesn’t compare at all to the magnitude of the Raptors Championship playoff run! The whole nation behind the team. Making plans to watch basketball with fellow fans who also just started watching the sport.
The atmosphere surrounding this team was something I’ve never felt outside of the Olympics and may have been talked about even more so and patriotically than the Olympics! Beating the Dynasty Warriors to cap off the championship made for one of the greatest sports moments of the decade in Canada.
#2 – Bianca Andreescu
Bianca started the year basically unranked in tennis as a 19 year old but ended up winning the Indian Wells tournament, then followed it up by winning the Rogers Cup (In Toronto) a few weeks later, quickly climbing up the World Tennis Rankings! She then moved on to the US Open, one of the biggest Tennis Slam’s of the year where she marches through her opponents to a semi-final match (the first teenager since 2009 to make it this far) where I had never been so captivated by tennis before in my life! Bianca won the match after looking like she might be too tired but battled back so hard to win, lining up a finals between herself and The GOAT Serena Williams. Bianca had won the finals at the Rogers Cup vs Serena but it was due to injury forfeit. So this time it was on for real! In a hard fought match Andreescu did away with Williams becoming the first Canadian to ever win the US Open and the first teenager to win since 2006!
#1 – The Golden Goal
2010 Olympics, in Canada, vs the USA, Overtime, a whole nation watching and expecting. The stage couldn’t get any bigger! Who else but Sid the Kid, Canada’s hockey superstar, the greatest player since Wayne Gretzky scores the Game Winning goal that sent the whole country into a massive frenzy! This may go down as perhaps the greatest Canadian sports moment of all-time.