Friday, December 12, 2008

2008: The Best Canadian Performances

10. Chantal Petitclerc – The recent recipient of the Lou Marsh award as Canadian Athlete of the year was nothing short of dominant at the Paralympic Games last summer where she won five gold medals, three in world record times.

9. The Men's Eight Rowing team – After an extremely disappointing first week of Olympic competition for Canada, the heavily favoured Men’s Eight Rowing team captured gold and ignited the entire Canadian team.

8. Steve Nash - Although Nash failed to lead the NBA in assists for the first time in four seasons, the All-Star point guard continued his excellent play that once again made his Phoenix Suns one of the most entertaining squads in the league. (Until they screwed up and traded for Shaq.)

7. Adam van Koeverden - Entering the Beijing Games under heavy pressure as the Canadian Flag bearer van Koeverden struggled to an 8th place finish in the 1000m but rebounded to win a silver medal in the K-1 500.

6. Jason Bay - After essentially being traded for Manny Ramirez, Bay arrived in Boston at the trade deadline with very big shoes to fill…and proceeded to do just that. Knocking in 37 runs in 49 regular season games was only a warm-up, as Bay then went out and hit two decisive homers to carry the Red Sox past Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs.

5. Alexandre Despatie - Somehow managed to contend with the nearly perfect Chinese divers and ended up claiming a silver medal in the 3M springboard.

4. Jarome Iginla - The Captain of the Calgary Flames cracked the 50 goal mark for the second time in his career and led the Flames to their fourth straight playoff appearance.

3. Georges St.Pierre - Started off the year by re-claiming his UFC Welterweight title in front of his home fans in Montreal and then successfully defended the title in a unanimous decision over Jon Fitch in August.

2. The Canadian WJHC team – Won it’s fourth straight Gold Medal at the under-20 world hockey championship with a roster that once again featured several players who would shortly graduate to the NHL.

1. Simon Whitfield - The Kingston native provided the most electrifying finish to a triathlon ever when he roared from fourth all the way to the lead in the last minutes of the race, but wasn’t quite able to hang on and had to settle for Silver.

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