Posted 6.26.14 @ 4:10
Oakville is known for its robust history, beautiful luxury homes, nature parks, museums and golf courses, but what makes Oakville really rich is the people who call it home. The following are 3 famous sports figures from Oakville who have made their mark in the world’s arena.
An Olympian and a former world record holder, Donovan Bailey is surely one of Oakville’s most well known sons. Born on December 16, 1967 in Manchester, Jamaica, he immigrated to Canada when he was 13 years old and became a basketball player in Oakville Ontario’s Queen Elizabeth Park High School.
Bailey wasn’t always a runner. Although he started competing in running events, such as the 100 meters dash in 1991, he didn’t take it seriously until 1994. Just a year later, in 1995, he won both the 4x100 meters relay and 100 meters sprint titles at the World Track and Field Championships in Gothenburg Sweden under the coaching of Lawrence Seagraves. The following year, 1996, he broke the world record for the indoor 50 meters sprint at a competition held in Reno Nevada. This is isn’t the highlight of his career; in fact, Bailey was only starting to make waves in track and field. Just a few months after, at the Olympics, no less, he won the gold medal for the 100 meters race and got another world record under his belt.
Because of these achievements, Bailey earned the love and respect of millions of Canadians, who felt that he has restored the world’s admiration for Canadian athletes – something which received a negative blow in previous years.
Bailey’s contribution to Canadian sports did not stop at him being a holder of several more world records. He started DBX Sport Management in Oakville, Ontario, a company which gave amateur athletes a means to promote themselves and also founded a clinic.
Being a twice inducted athlete into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, in 2004 and 2008, Donovan Bailey certainly made his mark upon Canada’s sports history and his hometown’s roster of esteemed residents.
Adam Joseph van Koeverden
A true born Oakvillian to immigrant parents, Adam van Koeverden is a world-class Canadian sprint kayaker. Born in January 29, 1982 to a Hungarian mother and a Dutch father, van Koeverden’s first claim to fame was him being a bronze medalist at the world junior championships held in Croatia and also being the world junior marathon champion in 2000.
As a product of the Burloak Canoe Club in Oakville, Ontario, van Koeverden didn’t stop at the junior level. In 2003, he became the silver medalist for the men’s K-1 1000 meters event at the world championships which was held in Gainesville, Georgia. For that, he became Canada’s top athlete for 2004 and was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy. From then on, he won several more medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal in 2005 from the International Canoe Federation Canoe Sprint World Championships. In 2006, he won more awards in the same competition and won 5 gold medals at the Canadian Sprint Championships. The following year turned out to be a huge one again for van Koeverden who was undefeated in the World Cup Circuit’s 500 meters and 1000 meters. More medals came in 2007 and the crowning glory of his career was when he broke his own world record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, proving he is the best in his field.
After a lot more medals, awards and achievements, Adam Joseph van Koeverden was given a greet and meet session by Mayor Rob Burton and the local councilors on October 17, 2008. Walter Street in Oakville, situated near his home club was renamed as Adam van Koeverden Street in his honor.
This athlete is not just world-class in terms of sports prowess; he’s got brains and musical talent too. In June 2007, van Koeverden graduated as the valedictorian of his class from McMaster University and he plays the guitar in his spare time.
A Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender, Steve Mason, born on May 29, 1988 is another world-class Canadian athlete from Oakville.
Currently playing hockey for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey league, Mason started his hockey career with the Oakville Rangers of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association. From thence, he rapidly moved up to the ‘big league’ hockey scene until 2008-2009 when he joined the Columbus Blue Jackets and was named rookie of the year, for which he was given the Calder Memorial Trophy. This is very impressive, considering all the injuries he sustained in 2008 and all the events that was also taking place in his hockey career at the time. On April 2009, he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender at the National Hockey League, another feather in his hockey career hat.
With numerous wins and awards, both local and on the world-wide scale, Steve Mason is certainly one of Canada’s best athletes and Oakville’s most favored hockey-playing son.
Oakville is truly on a league of its own as far as great towns go. Who would not want to live in such a distinguished place, complete with modern amenities, rich history, gorgeous views, world-class residents and beautiful luxury homes?
Want to live where champions are raised? We may not be able to transform you into an Olympic athlete, but you can be neighbors with a few of them at Oakville. Contact us to find out more.