Toronto in the NBA Finals and Other Milestones in the History of Canadian Sports
(6/03/2019) The first appearance of the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals has garnered enormous enthusiasm in one of the most multicultural cities on the planet. The team’s spectacular wins in the playoff against the Philadelphia Sixers and the Milwaukee Bucks have been closely and intensely followed, both within the Scotiabank Arena, and the suburbs.
The fans gathered at the “Jurassic Park” have enjoyed great plays, especially the unforgettable shot by Kawhi Leonard. What other facts could be included among the most transcendental in the sports field in Canada?
Kawhi Leonard’s shot in the 2019 NBA playoffs
With four seconds left in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference semifinal, Kawhi Leonard took the ball, ran to the right side of the field, dodged the Philadelphia Sixers’ rivals and made the shot. The ball hit the rim, one, two, three and, the fourth time, it made it in. This spectacular basket shot went around the world and gave Leonard a place in the history of the NBA and Canadian sports.
Basketball is a very popular sport in Canada, which has the largest number of players in the NBA today, only logically exceeded by the United States. In the 1995-1996 season two Canadian franchises joined the NBA, the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors.
24 years later, the Raptors managed to make their first final, directed by a debutante coach, Nick Nurse, and led by a player who came to the city surrounded by plenty of doubts due to his previous injuries and with much criticism around him, after being traded for a local idol, DeMar DeRozan. Now, Leonard is the “King of the North” and although he may only spend a season in Toronto, his winning shot will be forever remembered by the fans.
Joe Carter’s home run in the 1993 World Series
The Toronto Blue Jays won two World Series consecutively under the direction of Cito Gaston. In 1992, the team beat the Atlanta Braves and, a year later, in the Fall Classic, they played against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Blue Jays reached the sixth game with a 3-2 lead in the series and fans packed the SkyDome on the night of October 23, hoping to celebrate a new title. The Phillies did not give up and trusted that their closer, Mitch Williams, could preserve the lead of 6 runs to 5, in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The lefty walked Ricky Henderson and then allowed a hit from Paul Molitor. With two men on board and one out, it was up to veteran Joe Carter to tie the game; but he did much more than that. After two strikes, Carter took a swing at a fast ball from Williams, drove it beyond the left field fence and brought down the SkyDome. This was the second time in the centennial history of the Majors that an Autumn Classic ended with a home run.
Related articles: The 5 best Canadian athletes in the history of the Pan American Games
Five Olympic medals for Cindy Klassen in 2006
At the 2006 Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy, skater Cindy Klassen entered the history of Canadian sports by becoming the first athlete in that country to win five medals in the same event. She climbed to the top of the podium in the 1500 meters, finished second in the 1000 meters and the team pursuit and snatched the bronze in the 3000 and 5000 meters. Previously, in the 2002 Games, she had obtained another bronze, so with six medals she equaled the Clara Hughes mark as the most awarded Canadians in the Olympic Games.
Goal by Sidney Crosby in the 2010 Olympic Ice Hockey Final
Ice hockey is a passion in Canada. Its biggest icon has been Mario Lemieux, two-time champion of the Stanley Cup, of the NHL, with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Olympic starter in Salt Lake City 2002 and author of unforgettable goals, among them the score in the third game of the Canada Cup, in 1987, against the Soviet Union. Another mythical score was the one that Paul Henderson achieved in 1972, which gave the Canadian team victory over the Soviets. The podium of the most iconic Canadian goals cannot be complete without a formidable player: Sidney Crosby.
On February 28, 2010, the final day of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada and the United States were in dispute for the title. The duel went on to overtime, tied at two goals. Then Crosby received a pass and immediately aimed at goalkeeper Ryan Miller. Miller could not stop the shot and this drove Canada to the top of the sport at world level.
Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope in 1980
Terry Fox is a national hero in Canada. After losing his leg to cancer at 18, the young man decided to start a race throughout the country to raise funds that would contribute to the research on this disease. For 143 days, with a prosthesis on his right leg, Fox traveled more than 5000 kilometers and metastasis was the only thing that was able to prevent him from continuing.
His death shocked the country, but his legacy is very much alive. Since 1981, every year, in several countries, the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope is celebrated as a non-competitive event in which millions of people participate as a tribute to the young Canadian and to draw attention to the characteristics of cancer, its risk factors and prevention routes.
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