Canada’s large multicultural population will soon be on display around the world, in the form of the diversity and abundant talent that is often showcased at the Olympic Games. Many Canadian immigrants have represented Canada in this prestigious event over the past century, some of them even immigrating for that very purpose such as American-born figure skater Kaitlyn Weaver, who just recently became a Canadian citizen to compete in the Olympics. The 2010 Winter games will be taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and start in early February next year.
There are many notable new Canadians who have done their new country proud in the Olympics. Many phenomenal superstars running for Canada have come from far away countries to represent Canada in past Summer Games. Canadian Olympic gold medalist in the summer of 1996, runner Donovan Bailey, was born in Jamaica. Once the world’s fastest man, Bailey emigrated to Canada from Jamaica at the age of 13, with more of an interest in basketball than running. Bailey’s teammates in the 1996 summer Olympics included Robert Esmie, another Jamaican immigrant to Canada as well as Haitian immigrant Bruny Surin and the team had many great achievements during those Games, resulting in several of Canada’s greatest Olympic moments. However, one of the first immigrants to represent Canada in a running sport was Irish immigrant Bobby Kerr, who was eliminated from the 1904 Games in St. Louis, only to return and win a gold and a bronze in the 1908 London games.
Canada has also been represented by immigrants in other sports, such as skiing, soccer, tennis, boxing and even walking, which was an Olympic sport in 1912 when English immigrant George Goulding won the gold medal for Canada. Famed Nigerian wrestler Daniel Igali visited Canada for the 1994 Commonwealth games and applied for refugee status because of the conditions in Nigeria and at the 2000 Summer games in Sydney, Australia he took home a gold medal and was later inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.
One of Canada’s favorite sports is hockey, and many immigrants have made this sport their own. In 1924, Scottish immigrant Duncan Munro scored 18 goals to bring the Canadian hockey team a gold medal. Decades later, Irish immigrants Geraldine Heaney and Owen Nolan each won gold as members of the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team and the Canadian Mens Hockey Team in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002.
We at Niren and Associates Immigration Lawyers are proud to have represented thousands of Canadian immigrants over the years, many of whom have made incredible contributions to Canada.
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