The game is six degrees of Canadian history. Take two seemingly unrelated pieces of Canadian culture and connect the dots through various people, places and events to discover how they’re distantly — or maybe not so distantly — related. Along the way we visit the quizzical and curious, the tragic and comic, and everything in between.
Eugenie Bouchard, tennis player (born 25 February 1994 in Montréal, QC). At Wimbledon 2014, Bouchard became the first Canadian singles player to reach the final of a senior Grand Slam singles tennis tournament. Although she lost to Petra Kvitova, the match was watched by over a million Canadians and helped make Bouchard a media sensation. Two years earlier, Bouchard had won the Wimbledon 2012 girls’ tournament, becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title at any level. A two-time winner of the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (2013 and 2014), she was the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year in 2013 and won a WTA title in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2014.
For hundreds of years, very few sports were considered appropriate for women, whether for reasons of supposed physical frailty, or the alleged moral dangers of vigorous exercise. Increasingly, women have claimed their right to participate not only in what were deemed graceful and feminine sports, but also in the sweaty, rough-and-tumble games their brothers played.
Cassie Dawn Campbell-Pascall (née Campbell), CM, hockey player (born 22 November 1973 in Richmond Hill, ON). Three-time Olympian Cassie Campbell-Pascall won gold medals in women’s hockey at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin. She is the only hockey player (man or woman) to captain Canada to two Olympic gold medals. She also won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. Campbell-Pascall won gold with Canada at six Women’s World Hockey Championships (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004) and silver at the 2005 championships. In 157 games for Team Canada, Campbell had 32 goals and 68 assists for 100 points.
Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr., baseball player (born 15 February 1983 in East York [Toronto], ON). Russell Martin made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut as a catcher in 2006. He played five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, two with the New York Yankees and two with the Pittsburgh Pirates before signing a five-year, $82 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on 18 November 2014. Known for his intensity, athleticism and intelligence, Martin is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the majors. A four-time All-Star, he won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger Award in 2007 — only the third catcher in history to receive both awards.
Joey Votto, baseball player (born 10 September 1983 in Toronto, ON). Joey Votto is a Canadian baseball player with the Cincinnati Reds. In 2010, he won the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award and Hank Aaron Award, as well as the Lou Marsh Trophy for Canada’s outstanding athlete of the year. He has also won the James “Tip” O’Neill Award five times. In 2012, he became one of the highest paid baseball players in major league history.
Benoît Huot, swimmer (born 24 January 1984 in Longueuil, QC). One of Canada’s most successful swimmers, Huot has won 20 medals at the Paralympic Games, 12 medals at the Parapan American Games and over 30 medals at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Swimming Championships.
Patrick Roy, hockey player, hockey coach (born 5 October 1965 in Québec City, QC). One of the greatest goaltenders in National Hockey League (NHL) history, Roy is a three-time Vezina Trophy winner (best goaltender in the NHL) and three-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner (most valuable player to his team in the NHL playoffs). Roy played in 19 NHL seasons from 1985 to 2003 with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. He ranks second all-time in career regular-season victories (551), and has the NHL record for most career playoff victories for a goaltender (151). Roy also holds the Avalanche franchise records for most shutouts in a career (37) and shutouts in a single season (9), which he set in 2001–02.