That's not an Olympic event, but don't stop rowing.
After this post, history is history.
Since my Canadian history post was the most popular I've ever written at one comment (about Oprah) and standing - ha! - I figured I'd follow it up with my list of 10 great Canadians you should be legally obligated to know before being able to enjoy and/or cheer on Team Canada at the Olympics.
All are taught and forgotten in Canadian high school and, as far as I know, none has ever ice danced, skeletoned, or speed skated. If only we could build a time machine...
- Samuel de Champlain (1567) - the famous governor of New France. But what has he done for us lately?
- Louis-Joseph de Montcalm (1712) - French military officer who bit the big one at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
- James Wolfe (1727) - as dead as he was victorious in battle. The beginning of English rule in Canada.
- Louis-Joseph Papineau (1786) - the second Louis-Joseph on the list! What are the odds?
- William Lyon Mackenzie (1795) - Toronto's first in a long line of crappy mayors. Oh yeah: he also led the 1837 rebellions. Try that, David Miller.
- John A. Macdonald (1815) - the first Prime Minister ever. The dude from the money!
- Louis Riel (1844) - Manitoba's founder, leader of the Métis, and the reason that RRC students now have a reading week.
- Wilfred Laurier (1841) - my favorite dude named Wilfred! The first French-Canadian PM.
- Mackenzie King (1874) - the longest-serving Canadian PM and the king of the Mackenzies!
- Pierre Trudeau (1919) - said the f word in the House, did a pirouette behind Queen Elizabeth, and dated Lois Lane.