It isn’t usually you possibly can pinpoint a precise time a “golden age” started, however for Canadian sports activities a single week in June 20 years in the past is as shut as you will ever get.
Penny Oleksiak, who got here out of nowhere at simply 16 years previous in the course of the Rio Olympics, grew to become the primary Canadian to win 4 medals at a Summer season Video games, together with that memorable gold medal win. Oleksiak was born on June 13, 2000.
Then there’s R.J. Barrett, who was drafted third total in final 12 months’s NBA draft, making him one of many highest-drafted Canadians ever after a standout profession at Duke. He was additionally match MVP when Canada gained its historic FIBA Underneath-19 World Cup in 2017. Barrett was born someday after Oleksiak on June 14.
WATCH | RJ Barrett leads Canada to historic win:
Remember about tennis celebrity Bianca Andreescu, who had a breakout season final 12 months successful the Indian Wells occasion, the Rogers Cup after which grew to become the primary Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title by defeating Serena Williams on the U.S. Open.
Andreescu was born two days after Barrett on June 16.
This golden technology of Canadian athletes additionally consists of Alphonso Davies, who grew to become the youngest defender and first Canadian males’s nationwide workforce member to win a Champions League title as a member of FC Bayern Munich. He was born on Nov. 2, 2000.
Twenty years later, these 4 powerhouse Canadian athletes are on the high of the sporting world in swimming, basketball, tennis and soccer.
Maybe what’s most spectacular about Davies, Andreescu, Barrett and Oleksiak (there are a variety of others as properly) is that they are fearless in terms of their strategy to their sports activities.
WATCH | Bouquet of questions with Bianca Andreescu:
In some methods their swagger, confidence and perception in being the perfect is historically un-Canadian. however this successful way of thinking is changing into increasingly part of the psyche for athletes carrying the maple leaf.
The latest Canadian sporting success options the magnificent Davies, whose journey to the highest is extraordinary.
Born in a refugee camp in Ghana to Liberian dad and mom, Davies moved to Canada when he was 5. He performed for varied Canadian youth nationwide groups whereas rising up in Edmonton earlier than getting his Canadian citizenship. He made his senior national-team debut on the age of 16.
His meteoric rise to the highest of the soccer world has been outstanding. His humility is all the time so evident all through all of it.
And Davies’ pleasure as he hoisted the trophy informed the story. His smile radiated.
“Who would’ve ever thought — a man from Canada, taking part in at a membership like Bayern Munich, successful Champions League? By no means would’ve guessed it,” Davies mentioned in a post-match interview.
“I believe two years, if somebody had informed me this, I’d’ve mentioned, ‘Yeah, you are mendacity.’ However I imply, goals do come true. And I simply need to say thanks everybody for supporting me again dwelling.”
WATCH | Alphonso Davies and Bayern Munich win Champions League:
And a reminder, he is simply 19 years previous.
There was a terrific second that highlighted this newfound perspective throughout Andreescu’s post-match interview after she captured the U.S. Open title.
Each Andreescu and her coach, Sylvain Bruneau, stood smiling with their trophies as a throng of photographers snapped away. Then somebody observed Bruneau holding his trophy the mistaken manner — he spun it round nervously.
“I am not used to this,” Bruneau joked out loud with reporters watching.
“Get used to it,” Andreescu fired again.
It was a fast little second that so completely summarized the Canadian teenager’s combating spirit.
Oleksiak has that very same combating spirit.
Who will ever overlook that magical gold-medal tying efficiency for the 16 12 months previous 4 years in the past?
And the response when she lastly rotated to see that she had touched the wall concurrently American Simone Manuel to set an Olympic report was stunning and pure.
“I believe everybody goals about changing into an Olympic champion. It is undoubtedly one thing I considered, however not tremendous severely,” Oleksiak joked after a post-race interview.
WATCH | Oleksiak swims to gold:
She appeared as shocked as her coaches and the 1000’s of individuals throughout Canada who have been simply attending to know this swimming sensation.
Oleksiak’s efficiency was a shock not solely within the Canadian swimming scene however the complete sporting panorama.
However no one must be stunned anymore by Canadian athletes standing atop podiums. The bar and recreation has modified. Now not is it sufficient to only be pleased to be there.
All these firsts, setting the stage for these following these 4. A brand new regular and an opportunity for many who come behind them to think about greatness in a manner Davies, Andreescu, Barrett and Oleksiak by no means might.
And so they’ve solely simply begun.