I'm Canadian and I'm proud of it but if you're Canadian and not proud then hit the books or search the web for Canadian achievements. If you are not a book fan, my speech will get you started on being proud. Canadians have made many achievements such as the world's strongest man, the invention of basketball, and the world's best major league hockey player.
The first amazing achievement you will learn is a Canadian made awesome sport. Some people say the world would be dull without it and no it's not hockey even though it sounds like it. I'm talking about basketball. Yes, basketball was invented by a Canadian. To be more accurate, it was invented by James Naismith in 1891. When he first invented it, the rules were to dribble a soccer ball in a court of unspecified dimensions and the objective was to get the ball into a peach basket sitting on top of a ten foot high pole. Soon after, the basketball was invented as well as an iron hoop holding a hammock style basket but it wasn't until ten years later when open bottom baskets were introduced to the sport.
Our next Canadian achievement is not a thing but a person. His name is Louis Cyr and it just so happens that he used to be the world's strongest man. The reason I said he was the world's strongest man is not because he was beaten but because he is dead. Louis Cyr was born sometime in October of 1863 in Quebec. He was large as an infant and became even larger and heavier when he was growing up. At age 11, he weighed 64 kilograms and jumped to 165 kilograms by the age of 15 with a chest of 152 centimeters, 84 cm. thighs and biceps. Now that's a lot of muscle for a teenager. His first job was a lumberjack and he must have been really good with the strength he had. However he wasn't a lumberjack for a long time because he won his first Strong Man competition by lifting a Percheron horse in 1881 at age 18. That is one of those very large working horses. The following year he became a police officer. He then won the weight lifting North American Championships in 1885 and the World Championships in 1892. He retired in 1906 but not before beating Canada's reigning strong man David Michaud by lifting a boulder weighing 237 kilograms. If you want to know his true strength he could lift 250 kilograms with one finger and 1,867 kilograms on his back in succession. That's a lot of weight.
And now for another great Canadian athlete who is probably the most famous for his amazing hockey skills. It's the one and only, number 99 Wayne Gretzky! In past speeches you have probably heard of his childhood and everything about him but I'm not going to talk about that, I'm going to tell you his records. It is pretty amazing that the most famous hockey player became the youngest athlete to play a major league sport when he signed with the Edmonton Oilers at the age of 17 in 1978. In his second NHL season he scored an astounding 164 points beating his fellow countryman Phil Esposito's record of 152 in a single season. Even more breath taking was his point total the following season, 212 points. That's right. 212 points which only he beat a few years later at 215. A record that will remain for a long time. The outstanding skills of Wayne Gretzky led the Oilers to 3 Stanley Cups and his speed and accurate shooting has shattered almost every goal scoring record earning him many individual awards along the way. His many fans would agree that Wayne Gretzky is hockey and hockey is Canada's sport.
If I had more time, I would tell you about Wayne's favourite sport hockey or even the Jolly-jumper that our parents strapped us to but if I go any longer I'll probably make an achievement for longest speech! Maybe I'll make an achievement like most countries travelled to upside down but it sounds a bit weird don't you think? Well I'm off to make a different achievement and don't forget to be proud to be Canadian!