There was a Little League baseball team that qualified for the final. The team they were playing against had never been beaten. Before the game, the coach gathered all the players around and told them that they could win this game. Hit the ball and get on base. You can all do this. Follow my advice and we will win. Each player took this to heart and each time a player went to the plate they called out the coach’s advice. In a stunning upset, the team won the game. This example shows how important every single player is to the outcome of the competition. It takes many factors such as: trust, teamwork, understanding, and encouragement. These five champions, Wayne Gretzky, Frank Filchock, Larry Walker, Noel MacDonald, and Hayley Wickenheiser knew how to work as strong supportive players to ensure that their team was successful in its goal.

Performance Tasks

Choose one of the following:

1. In groups of two, perform an interview. One person takes on the role of a reporter and the other is a member of the team. Practice Read More
There was a Little League baseball team that qualified for the final. The team they were playing against had never been beaten. Before the game, the coach gathered all the players around and told them that they could win this game. Hit the ball and get on base. You can all do this. Follow my advice and we will win. Each player took this to heart and each time a player went to the plate they called out the coach’s advice. In a stunning upset, the team won the game. This example shows how important every single player is to the outcome of the competition. It takes many factors such as: trust, teamwork, understanding, and encouragement. These five champions, Wayne Gretzky, Frank Filchock, Larry Walker, Noel MacDonald, and Hayley Wickenheiser knew how to work as strong supportive players to ensure that their team was successful in its goal.

Performance Tasks

Choose one of the following:

1. In groups of two, perform an interview. One person takes on the role of a reporter and the other is a member of the team. Practice and present to the class. Be creative! Dress up! Have props!

Interview Focus Questions:
  • What are the key factors to your team’s success?
  • Can you tell us a story in your career that highlights these key factors?
  • If you could give advice about teamwork to children, what would it be?
2. Using the information provided, create a list of words that demonstrates each of the qualities possessed by this group of athletes. Then, using those words create a type of poem highlighting these key factors. If time allows, add pictures, quotes, colours then frame it.

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

1980 - FEATURE STORY
The year 1980 marked a changing of the guard in the National Hockey League with the retirement of longtime great Gordie Howe. But in the 1979-1980 season also saw the NHL debut of teenage sensation Wayne Gretzky with the Edmonton Oilers. A decade earlier, nine-year-old Gretzky astounded the minor hockey world by scoring 378 goals as an atom division player in his hometown of Brantford, Ontario. Gretzky, who as a youngster had idolized Howe, confirmed in his first NHL season he was, indeed, a special talent. His 51 goals and 86 assists tied him in league scoring with Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings. At 19, he became the youngest player to score 50 goals in a season. Gretzky was honoured with the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player – the youngest to receive the award – and the Lady Byng Trophy, recognizing sportsmanship and skill, to become the youngest player to win two NHL awards in one season.

1981 - FEATURE STORY
It should have been enough that Wayne Gretzky set an NHL record for points (164) and assists (109) for the 1980-81 season, to secure another vote as Cana Read More

1980 - FEATURE STORY
The year 1980 marked a changing of the guard in the National Hockey League with the retirement of longtime great Gordie Howe. But in the 1979-1980 season also saw the NHL debut of teenage sensation Wayne Gretzky with the Edmonton Oilers. A decade earlier, nine-year-old Gretzky astounded the minor hockey world by scoring 378 goals as an atom division player in his hometown of Brantford, Ontario. Gretzky, who as a youngster had idolized Howe, confirmed in his first NHL season he was, indeed, a special talent. His 51 goals and 86 assists tied him in league scoring with Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings. At 19, he became the youngest player to score 50 goals in a season. Gretzky was honoured with the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player – the youngest to receive the award – and the Lady Byng Trophy, recognizing sportsmanship and skill, to become the youngest player to win two NHL awards in one season.

1981 - FEATURE STORY
It should have been enough that Wayne Gretzky set an NHL record for points (164) and assists (109) for the 1980-81 season, to secure another vote as Canada’s top male athlete. Shortly after he was confirmed as the Lionel Conacher Award winner, Gretzky ended the calendar year of 1980, by scoring five goals in a game against Philadelphia, giving him 50 goals in just 39 games.

1982 - FEATURE STORY
His 92 regular season goals obliterated the previous record of 76 set 11 years earlier by Phil Esposito. By the end of December 1982, Gretzky owned or shared 27 NHL records and garnered many awards, including his third consecutive Lionel Conacher Award; the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete; Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated Magazine; and Associated Press Athlete of the Year.

1983 - FEATURE STORY
An unprecedented fourth consecutive male athlete of the year honour put 22-year-old Wayne Gretzky on a pedestal never before enjoyed by a Canadian athlete. He was Number 99 – The Great One – and the year 1983 saw him earn a fourth consecutive Hart Trophy and his third Art Ross trophy as NHL scoring champion. He also owned, or shared, 34 NHL records.

1985 - FEATURE STORY
In March, Wayne Gretzky and Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine with the apt headline: Simply the Best. By year’s end, Gretzky again topped voting as Canada’s top male athlete, after leading the Edmonton Oilers to a second consecutive Stanley Cup. He again picked up the trophies for league most valuable player, scoring leader and his first Conn Smythe trophy as playoff most valuable player.

1989 - FEATURE STORY
Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 but his stranglehold on the NHL record books continued. Although he had long before established himself as the greatest player in hockey, he confirmed that status in 1989 when he became the NHL’s all-time leading scorer, erasing the previous record held by his idol, Gordie Howe.

1999 - FEATURE STORY
The year 1999 saw not only the retirement of Wayne Gretzky -- Number 99, but also recognition of the Great One as Canada’s Male Athlete of the Century. Never a physically imposing player, he dominated the league with his skill and uncanny puck sense. His name was synonymous with the game of hockey and he had become an ambassador not only for his game, but his country. As the saying goes, his statistics speak for themselves: Gretzky retired after playing 1,487 NHL games in 21 seasons, won 10 league scoring titles, nine most valuable player honours, four Stanley Cups and a bevy of other awards. His 894 goals and 1,963 career NHL assists made him the league’s all-time leading scorer, just one of some 61 records he owned or shared upon his retirement. Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the fall of 1999 and his Number 99 was retired by the NHL.


© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Wayne Gretzky raising the Stanley Cup over his head

Wayne Gretzky hoists the Stanley Cup after the Oilers won against Philadelphia in Game five in Edmonton.

CP photo/STF/UPC
1985-05-30
© 2012, CP photo/STF/UPC. All Rights Reserved.


Wayne Gretzky at the NHL awards

Wayne Gretzky poses with the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy at the NHL awards in Montreal.

Ron Poling
1981-06-09
© 2012, CP photo. All Rights Reserved.


Wayne Gretzky taking a backhand shot

Wayne Gretzky is about to score on Colorado’s goalie, Chico Resch.

Dave Buston
1981-12-28
© 2012, CP photo. All Rights Reserved.


Wayne Gretzky photograph and postcard

Wayne Gretzky photograph and postcard commemorating his single season Goal scoring record.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
1982-02-24
2010.4.16
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Skates autographed by Wayne Gretzky

A pair of autographed Wayne Gretzky Nike V12 Limited Edition skates.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

2010.4.22
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


1949 - FEATURE STORY
The rush of American imports to Canadian pro football in the late 1940’s came fast and furious. None of the gridiron stars came north for the same reasons as Frank Filchock. He was suspended by the National Football League for a gambling scandal, one whose charges eventually were proved to be trumped-up and false. After a couple of good seasons in Hamilton, Filchock joined the Montreal Alouettes in 1949. The Als certainly got their money’s worth. Their new quarterback/defensive back, Filchock passed for more than 200 yards and intercepted three passes on defence as the Alouettes won their first Grey Cup, 28-15 over the defending champions from Calgary.

1949 - FEATURE STORY
The rush of American imports to Canadian pro football in the late 1940’s came fast and furious. None of the gridiron stars came north for the same reasons as Frank Filchock. He was suspended by the National Football League for a gambling scandal, one whose charges eventually were proved to be trumped-up and false. After a couple of good seasons in Hamilton, Filchock joined the Montreal Alouettes in 1949. The Als certainly got their money’s worth. Their new quarterback/defensive back, Filchock passed for more than 200 yards and intercepted three passes on defence as the Alouettes won their first Grey Cup, 28-15 over the defending champions from Calgary.


© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Frank Filchock, #87 is on the field for Edmonton during the Grey Cup Game

Frank Filchock, #87 is on the field for Edmonton in this Grey Cup game between Toronto and Edmonton at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
1952-11-29
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Filchock at a table for the 1953 Grey Cup Dinner

The 1953 Grey Cup Dinner. Frank Filchock is third from the right.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1953
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


1998 - FEATURE STORY
Larry Walker’s always hustling, crowd-pleasing style of baseball had won him plenty of fans in 1997. That was his monster season, in which he won the National League Most Valuable Player award. But he still hit some new heights in 1998; not only did he win his first of what would be three batting championships, by averaging a robust .363 for the Colorado Rockies, he tied his career high with 46 doubles (despite injuries that limited him to 130 games) and also recorded a career-best 20-game hit streak. Along the way, he made the All-Star team and won another of what would total seven Gold Gloves. Walker also had a candy bar named after him; the Larry Walker Bar which was a local Denver-area confection. Larry made sure all proceeds went to charity.

1998 - FEATURE STORY
Larry Walker’s always hustling, crowd-pleasing style of baseball had won him plenty of fans in 1997. That was his monster season, in which he won the National League Most Valuable Player award. But he still hit some new heights in 1998; not only did he win his first of what would be three batting championships, by averaging a robust .363 for the Colorado Rockies, he tied his career high with 46 doubles (despite injuries that limited him to 130 games) and also recorded a career-best 20-game hit streak. Along the way, he made the All-Star team and won another of what would total seven Gold Gloves. Walker also had a candy bar named after him; the Larry Walker Bar which was a local Denver-area confection. Larry made sure all proceeds went to charity.


© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Larry Walker goes back to first base on a pickoff attempt

Colorado Rockies Larry Walker on his way back to first base after the Montreal Expos try to pick him off.

Marcos Townsend
2001-09-23
© 2012, CP photo. All Rights Reserved.


Montreal Expos’ jersey worn by Larry Walker

Larry Walker’s Montreal Expos All-Star Jersey.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1992
L2010.34.2
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Cap worn by Larry Walker while a member of the St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals cap worn by Larry Walker.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


1938 - FEATURE STORY
The Edmonton Grads should be considered one of the greatest of all teams in Canadian sports history. The final totals might well be locked away in some dusty files somewhere, but the accepted career totals read 502 wins and 20 losses. The pinnacle might have been reached in 1938, behind captain and centre Noel MacDonald, the team’s career leading scorer, who averaged 15.7 points a game. The jump ball after every basket had been abandoned in 1938, and that instant possession suited the Grads’ fast-break style perfectly. With MacDonald and her superb passing skills leading the way, the Grads again won the Underwood International Series by defeating Chicago and then successfully defended challenges against Cleveland, Canton and Wichita. Four times they went to the Olympic Games when women’s basketball was a demonstration sport, and they won all 27 games they played there.

1938 - FEATURE STORY
The Edmonton Grads should be considered one of the greatest of all teams in Canadian sports history. The final totals might well be locked away in some dusty files somewhere, but the accepted career totals read 502 wins and 20 losses. The pinnacle might have been reached in 1938, behind captain and centre Noel MacDonald, the team’s career leading scorer, who averaged 15.7 points a game. The jump ball after every basket had been abandoned in 1938, and that instant possession suited the Grads’ fast-break style perfectly. With MacDonald and her superb passing skills leading the way, the Grads again won the Underwood International Series by defeating Chicago and then successfully defended challenges against Cleveland, Canton and Wichita. Four times they went to the Olympic Games when women’s basketball was a demonstration sport, and they won all 27 games they played there.


© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Noel MacDonald with a basketball

Noel MacDonald posing in her Team Canada basketball uniform.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1938
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Noel MacDonald’s shorts

Shorts worn by Noel MacDonald while she was a member of the Edmonton Grads.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1930's
L971.3.1
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


a photograph of Noel MacDonald’s basketball jersey

Basketball jersey worn by Noel MacDonald while she was a member of the Edmonton Grads.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1930’s
L971.3.2
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Noel MacDonald’s warm-up jacket

Warm-up jacket worn by Noel MacDonald while she was a member of the Edmonton Grads.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1930’s
L971.3.3
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Noel MacDonald’s warm-up pants

Warm-up pants worn by Noel MacDonald while she was a member of the Edmonton Grads.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

X980.1864.1
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Noel MacDonald’s Team Canada basketball jersey

Team Canada basketball jersey worn by Noel MacDonald.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1930’s
X980.1654.1
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


2007 - FEATURE STORY
Hayley Wickenheiser had been a trailblazer in women’s hockey ever since she was named to the Canada’s national women’s team at age 15. Years later she would become the first woman to score a goal in a men’s professional league. Being named Canada’s female athlete of 2007 marked another milestone for the 29-year-old Saskatchewan-born, Calgary-based forward as she became the first hockey player honoured with the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award. Team captain Wickenheiser led the Canadian women’s squad to a ninth women’s World Hockey Championship, where Canada defeated the United States 5-1 in the 2007 final. Wickenheiser, already the all-time leading scorer for Team Canada, notched eight goals and six assists in the world tournament and was named Most Valuable Player and a tournament All-Star. Seven months later, she scored four goals and three assists to lead Canada to victory in the Four Nations Cup.

2007 - FEATURE STORY
Hayley Wickenheiser had been a trailblazer in women’s hockey ever since she was named to the Canada’s national women’s team at age 15. Years later she would become the first woman to score a goal in a men’s professional league. Being named Canada’s female athlete of 2007 marked another milestone for the 29-year-old Saskatchewan-born, Calgary-based forward as she became the first hockey player honoured with the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award. Team captain Wickenheiser led the Canadian women’s squad to a ninth women’s World Hockey Championship, where Canada defeated the United States 5-1 in the 2007 final. Wickenheiser, already the all-time leading scorer for Team Canada, notched eight goals and six assists in the world tournament and was named Most Valuable Player and a tournament All-Star. Seven months later, she scored four goals and three assists to lead Canada to victory in the Four Nations Cup.


© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Hayley Wickenheiser playing hockey outdoors

Hayley Wickenheiser playing hockey in Calgary.

Larry MacDougal
2007-12-20
© 2012, The Canadian Press. All Rights Reserved.


Hayley Wickenheiser on the outdoor ice

Hayley Wickenheiser playing hockey in Calgary.

Larry MacDougal
2007-12-20
© 2012, The Canadian Press. All Rights Reserved.


Edmonton Chimos’ Jersey worn by Hayley Wickenheiser

Haley Wickenheiser Chimo jersey.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Hayley Wickenheiser Video

Hayley Wickenheiser first recalls playing hockey on the rink her father built in Saskatchewan and joining Team Canada at age 15. She explains winning Gold at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. She also discusses joining a Finnish men’s team and the pressures of being an elite player.

I started playing, growing up in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. My dad and mom were teachers involved at the local rink so I was there a lot, and I asked my dad if I could play and they said yes and my dad built a rink in our backyard. I was 15 in my first World Championships in 1994, so I had the option of playing in another Canada Games or going to the National Team and my parents let me make that decision. And I chose the National Team and I’ve been there ever since.

I think I was nervous, I was excited. I was so young compared to all the other women on the team but they were so good at taking me under their wing and really teaching me about what it took to be a professional every day and what leadership was and what being a part of a winning program was all about. So I’m grateful to have that experience at such a young age.

<Announcer> Here’s Wickenheiser, Hayley Wickenheiser barrelling across the line. Wickenheiser drop passed, Cassie Campbell the short, scored!

There’s a lot of teams that I’ve been on, on these National Teams where I’d say that wow, we had a good group. But I would say the Vancouver team and just being a part of the Vancouver Olympics was special. Probably the Salt Lake win and that team was a team that had a lot of adversity but pulled it together when it needed to the most so probably the team with the most resilience. And those two sort of really stand out.

My decision to play pro was based on wanting to get better as a player and challenge myself. So coming out of the ’02 Olympics, you know people like Tom Renney and Bob Clark were the ones who sort of gave me the confidence to try it and we looked and I found a job in Finland initially, went over and played and it was an experience that made me better, kind of hardened me, made me more resilient in every way, on and off the ice and I knew that I had to be at my best whether it was a practice, a game, when I was playing against them just in order to compete. So that I think really taught me about being a professional every single day and helped me when I came back to the women’s game.

I think when people look at you as, you know being the best or one of the best it is a you know an expectation that they have but it also is an expectation I have on myself. The way I look at it is you’re really only as good as your last game or your last practice. Some days you are the best and some days you’re not. And so what keeps me going every day is just the challenge to get better as a player and to, every time I step on the ice, perform, so that if somebody’s in the stands and they’ve never seen women play hockey they go, “well there’s a pretty good hockey player,” or “there’s a good hockey team.” And I think that’s what drives me is sort of you know maybe a healthy fear of failure but at the same time an intense desire to want to be the best and want to win with our team as well.

Creator: Bruce Weir

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • ELA 4.1.3 take ownership of text creation, by selecting or crafting a topic, concept or idea that is personally meaningful and engaging
  • ELA 1.1.2 experiment with a variety of strategies, activities and resources to explore ideas, observations, opinions, experiences and emotions
  • ELA 4.1.4 develop and deliver a performing presentation considering factors such as purpose, audience and situation

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