Top Canadian Sportspeople of 2019
There are wow moments in Canadian sport every year, but 2019 has seen some truly spectacular performances, especially among the country’s rising stars. Sportsmen and women have proven themselves to be examples of true dedication. They also showed their strength of character by behaving with dignity when things did not go according to plan. Without further ado, these are the athletes who deserve a special mention for their accomplishments this year.
1. Jordyn Huitema
Jordyn Huitema’s star isn’t so much rising as blazing a trail through the skies. The 18-year-old soccer player signed a four-year contract with French club Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year; something that was announced a mere nine days after her birthday. 2019 also saw Jordyn play in the Women’s World Cup in France. Her skills are already impressive, so she is definitely a player to watch.
2. John Tavares
Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares has had an exciting year. In March, his scored four goals in a game for the first time. That same game also saw the sportsman become the third Leaf to see multiple hat tricks during his first season with the club. John also was one of the Canadian sportsmen who proved his mettle in the face of difficulty this year. In October, John broke his finger in a game against the Washington Capitals. Instead of leaving the ice, he went ahead and scored a goal.
3. Jennifer Abel
Montreal’s Jennifer Abel did herself and the country proud at the 2019 FINA World Championships held in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. The young diver set a record for the most diving medals taken Canadian at the world championships. A few of Jennifer’s previous successes include becoming a Commonwealth Games synchronised springboard champion four times, becoming the Pan American Games champion in similar events three times, and winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
4. Denis Shapovalov
The fifth youngest players in the ATP top 100; Denis Shapovalov proved this year that his professional tennis career is still on an upward trajectory. Denis also is in the top 20 ATP rankings, he is in 15th position in ATP singles rankings, and he is the highest-ranked doubles player under 25 years of age.
5. R.J. Barrett
Rowan “R.J.” Barrett Jr. turned heads in 2018, when he spent a year with the Duke Blue Devils. The 2,01m-tall player has enjoyed bigger, better chances to hone his skills and display his prowess on the basketball court when he was selected by the NBA’s New York Knicks in the 2019 Draft.