Sidney Crosby shouting as he realizes the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team has won the 2010 Vancouver Olympics gold medal game.

Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
— Dan Gable

Great achievements in sport are rewarded with gold medals, illustrating once again the high esteem we place upon gold. These are just a few of the Nova Scotian athletes who have all reached great heights and have tasted gold as their prize.

Buddy Daye – Canadian Lightweight Boxing Champion

A photograph of boxing champion Buddy Daye.

Boxing Champion Buddy Daye.

Photo courtesy of Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

World Boxing Champion gold medal.

Gold Medal, 1964 Canadian Lightweight Boxing Championship.

Courtesy of the Daye Family

New Glasgow’s Desmond “Buddy” Daye was described as being "quick as a cat on his feet, fast with his hands and tough as nails." Buddy won the Canadian Lightweight Championship title after twelve brutal rounds on June 30, 1964 at the Halifax Forum.

Aileen Meagher – Olympic Runner

A photograph of Olympic runner Aileen Meagher in a crouched start position.

Aileen Meagher.

Photo courtesy of Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

Haligonian Aileen Meagher, a highly decorated runner, won gold at the 1934 Empire Games in the 4x100 m, and a bronze medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin in the 4x100 m relay. Aileen ran when it wasn’t widely accepted for women to run, breaking ground for many who would follow in her footsteps.

Bob Mills - Olympic Rower

A photograph of Olympic rower Bob Mills in a rowing scull on Lake Banook.

Bob Mills.

Photo Courtesy of Bob Mills.

Weeks before the 1984 Olympics, Bob gave up his seat in the quad to take a shot at winning a spot on the Olympic team as a single sculler. He won the bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in men’s single sculls, followed the next year by gold in the men’s quad at the World Championships.

Sidney Crosby – Nova Scotia’s Hockey Hero

A photograph of Sidney Crosby holding his Vancouver 2010 Olympic medal.

Sidney Crosby.

Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press.

From Cole Harbour, Sidney is one of the most talented and honoured hockey players in the NHL, having received the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Memorial Trophy, Professional Hockey Writers Association MVP, Lester B. Pearson Award, the Rocket Richard Trophy, and the Mark Messier Leadership Award. Sidney has won the Stanley Cup and numerous medals representing Canada at various championships. His most celebrated moment to date is perhaps his game-winning goal for the team hockey gold medal, scored in overtime at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Paul Tingley – Paralympic and World Champion Sailor

 A photograph of Paralympic sailor Paul Tingley.

Paul Tingley

Photo courtesy of Paul Tingley

At the age of twenty-four, Paul was in a skiing accident that caused permanent damage to his spinal cord. After enrolling in a Sail Able sailing program, Paul went on to win numerous medals, including a gold at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in the 2.4 m class and gold at the 2010 World Championships.

Colleen Jones - Curler

A photograph of curler Colleen Jones throwing a rock.

Colleen Jones

Photo courtesy of Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

2004 Continental Cup gold medal.

Gold Medal, 2004 Continental Cup.

Courtesy of Colleen Jones

Curling out of the Mayflower Curling Club, Colleen skipped two women’s world championship gold teams and six Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian national women’s championships gold teams. Colleen continues to curl and hopes to represent Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Michael Thomas – Mi'kmaq Running Legend

A photograph of Mi'kmaq runner Michael Thomas.

Michael Thomas

Courtesy of the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame

Photograph of the Evening Mail medal, similar to what Thomas would have won.

Gold Medal, 1908 Evening Mail 10 Mile Road Race – similar to what Mick Thomas would have won.

Courtesy of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

Michael "Mick" Thomas was one of the most accomplished long distance runners to hail from Prince Edward Island. Mick won the Charlottetown Patriot 10 mile race in 1909, 1910, and 1911, and won the Halifax Herald-Mail 10 mile race in 1910, 1911, and 1912 – the race long considered the most prestigious running event in Eastern Canada. Mick ran the Boston Marathon in 1911, placing 26th overall, with a time better than that of the winner two years prior.

Emily Latta - Snowshoeing, Special Olympics

Photograph of Emily Latta on the podium at the 2012 National Winter Games.

Emily Latta

Photo courtesy of Shelly Latta

Special Olympian Emily Latta won the 800 m snowshoeing competition at the 2012 National Winter Games in St. Albert, Alberta after training as much as five times per week. The lack of snow in Nova Scotia didn’t deter Emily from her goal – she focused her training efforts on building endurance in running and weight training.

Carmaine Walker - Senior Athlete

Photograph of Carmaine Walker, senior athlete.

Carmaine Walker

Photo courtesy of Rhonda Walker.

Cape Bretoner Carmaine Walker had no idea of her own strength and competitive spirit until she entered the Good Life Games of Pinellas County, Florida, where she spends time in the winter. The games are held annually to promote a healthy lifestyle and athletic and recreational competition for seniors. Carmaine won gold in 2011 in both the fitness challenge and weight lifting categories, and a gold in 2012 in weightlifting.

Mark Smith, Softball Champion

Mark Smith, Softball champion, in mid swing of the bat.

Mark Smith

Photo courtesy of Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

1979 Pan American Softball gold medal.

Gold Medal, 1979 Pan American Softball

Courtesy of Mark Smith

Robert "Mark" Smith had an impressive 25-year international softball career, during which time he was considered one of the best pitchers in the world. He won two International Softball Federation World Championships and three Pan American gold medals – two as a player and one as a coach, among many other accolades.

Halifax Dunbrack Soccer Team

Halifax Dunbrack soccer team members and coaches posed together on a soccer field.

Dunbrack Soccer Team

Photo courtesy of Gary Carter

Halifax Dunbrack won the 2010 BMO National Championships held in Charlottetown, PEI. Pictured are head coach Gary Carter, Assistant Coach Jack Hutchison, Manager Cindy Morrison, team members Hannah Abenheimer, Jenna Blackburn, Julia Burton, Kelly Chrisholm, Mel Clarke, Liz Cook, Leanne DeKoe, Kim Hardy, Jeannette Huck, Leanne Huck, Julia Lawrence, Kate MacDonald, Teresa Morrison, Danielle Purcell, Ally Read, Katie Richard and Rieka Santilli.

Al McInnis - NHL All Star and Hockey Hall of Famer

Photograph of Al McInnis on the ice at the 2011 Heritage Classic in Calgary

Al McInnis

Photo courtesy of Resolute

Al McInnis, famous for the strength and speed of his slapshot, was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and grew up playing hockey in Port Hood. Al played 23 seasons in the NHL for the Calgary Flames and the St. Louis Blues. He was a 13-time All Star, winner of the Conn Smyth Trophy and the James Norris Memorial Trophy, Stanley Cup Champion, Canada Cup Champion, and a member of the gold winning 2002 Olympic hockey team. Al was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

"There's hard and then there's Al MacInnis hard. I tried to get out of the way. If it happens too often, you have to sit down and re-evaluate what you're doing with your life." Goaltender Mike Liu talking about MacInnis' slapshot.

Karen Furneaux – Olympic and World Champion Kayaker

A photograph of Karen Furneaux in competition.

Karen Furneaux.

Courtesy of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

Haligonian Karen Furneaux started paddling when she was 12 and the sport quickly became her life’s passion. A member of the national team since 1994, and one of Canada’s most decorated sprint kayakers, Karen has represented Canada at three Olympic games and has won two gold medals at the World Championships.

Tracy Cameron, Olympic and World Champion Rower

Photograph of World Championship winning rower Tracy Cameron.

Tracy Cameron

Courtesy of Tracy Cameron

Two gold medals from the 2005 and 2010 World Rowing Championships.

Two World Rowing Championship gold medals.

Courtesy of Tracy Cameron

Shubenacadie resident Tracy Cameron had childhood dreams of being an Olympian. Tracy first picked up an oar at the age of 25, while at the University of Calgary. After unsuccessful attempts to make the national team as a heavy weight rower, Tracy safely lost enough weight and in 2005, joined the lightweight team. That same year, she won gold in the women's lightweight quad at the World Championships. Tracy and her partner won bronze in the lightweight double sculls at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2010, Tracy was once again crowned World Champion and has won a host of other medals.

Mike Forgeron, Olympic and World Champion Rower

Photograph of Mike Forgeron with a gold medal around his neck and holding a bouquet.

Mike Forgeron

Courtesy of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

Cape Bretoner Mike Forgeron began rowing as a student before joining the Canadian National Rowing team. He represented Canada at both the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. In 1992, Mike was part of the 8 man crew that won gold in a race that was won by a 0.13 seconds.

I enjoyed racing when I was doing it because I got to put Nova Scotia on the world stage for my sport and show people across the province that we had competitive athletes and we were the best in the world and that we can achieve goals.

Steve Giles, Olympic and World Champion Canoeist

World Championship winning canoeist Steve Giles holding the Canadian and Nova Scotian flags.

Steve Giles

Courtesy of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

Lake Echo native Steve Giles started paddling at the age of eight and spent sixteen years as a member of the Canadian National Canoe team. During that time, he earned numerous medals on the national and international stage including gold at the 1998 World Championships in the C1 1000 m and bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Johnny Miles, Marathon Man

A black and white photograph of marathon man Johnny Miles.

Johnny Miles.

Courtesy of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame

The greatest upset in the history of the Boston Marathon happened in 1926 when 22-year-old Cape Bretoner Johnny Miles placed first in the very first marathon he had ever run, all while wearing a pair of 98-cent sneakers and a homemade jersey emblazoned with a red maple leaf. Johnny won the Boston Marathon again in 1929, represented Canada at both the 1928 and 1932 Olympics, and won numerous local, national and international races. Johnny is a member of the Order of Canada, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and The Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.