Five CK Athletes That Have Played For Team Canada
On this Canada Day long weekend, it is only natural to think of sports accomplishments on a national level. International competition always captivates the nation and Chatham-Kent has had a fair share of athletes who have competed at the world level, and proudly worn the red and white maple leaf on their chest.
Let’s celebrate the best of the best that CK has to offer this week with;
Five CK Athletes That Played For Team Canada
Richard Doey – Rowing – 1984 Summer Olympics
In the early 80’s my brother Dave was learning and playing travel (rep) baseball and lived at what was then called Rotary Park. The park has since been renamed Fergie Jenkins Park in honor of Chatham’s favorite son and baseball Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins.
Dave played on excellent teams growing up, with excellent players and coaches. The 1969-70 born teams were stacked up with guys like Dan Moon, Dave Crozier, Gary Nixon and Jason Dudley, Steve Donald, Jeff Stead, Tim Lewis and Kevin Knight. My cousin Bart also came over from Japan to play with the team for a season, and he jacked a couple of shots over the right field fence.
For a couple of years, the team was coached by a great guy named Dave Doey. It wasn’t long before I started hearing about his brother Richard who was an elite level rower. A tall man at 6’4, with a frame built for rowing, Richard’s high level cardio led the team. In 1984, at the age of twenty-seven, he was a part of the Men’s Coxed Fours rowing team that finished fifth overall in the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles. Doey currently resides in Lambeth.
Meghan Agosta – Ice Hockey – ’06, ’10, ’14, ’18 Winter Olympics / 8-time World Championships
Full disclosure, Meghan was born in Windsor, but she grew and developed her game largely in Chatham-Kent. I heard about her long before she reached her teens as she played minor hockey with my younger cousin Kyle Nishizaki for the AAA Chatham-Kent Cyclones. Meghan was a confident, strong player right away and it wouldn’t take long before her talents landed a red maple leaf on her chest. From 2006 to 2018 Acosta would be a key contributor to three Olympic Gold medal wins, and two World Championships played on ice sheets around the world.
Agosta is certainly in the producing, power forward mould with comparisons to Keith and Matthew Tkachuk quick to come to mind. She could score with the best of them as she racked up 28 goals and 25 assists for 53 points in 45 international games in her career.
Dave Gagner – Ice Hockey – 1984 Winter Olympics
It’s safe to say that Chatham’s Dave Gagner was my very first local hockey hero as I was eleven years old when he played for Canada in the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo. It was great to have a local guy in that tournament and that Canadian team was extremely talented and exciting with the likes of Gagner, Russ Courtnall, Pat Flatley, Carey Wilson, Kirk Muller and Dave Tippett. Gagner was the local star at all the Chatham hockey schools I attended in my youth, so I got to meet him and interact with him at an early age.
The young ’84 team Canada was coached by legend Dave King and surprised many through the opening of the tourney. Interest certainly grew as the games went on. Gagner was performing well, and I remember all of us wanting to be him as we played road hockey. Gagner and Courtnall were getting equal love on the street but the local boy finished the tourney with a hot five goals and two assists in seven games and Canada finished just short of a bronze medal. Gagner also ended up with fifteen goals and twenty two assists in forty-seven games that season with Team Canada and went on to an excellent National Hockey League career.
Todd Warriner – 1994 Winter Olympics
Todd Warriner was another one that I had the pleasure of watching very close up as, due to being similar in age we competed with and against each other in our minor hockey days. Warriner was always pegged to go far, and he had the game required to put on the Team Canada jersey in 1994.
Warriner jumped from playing junior in the Ontario Hockey League to playing alongside stars like Paul Kariya, Petr Nedved and Brian Savage. Warriner’s Team Canada was one of the best in years as they won a silver medal in Lillehammer with a solid all-around game, a good mix of veterans and youth and excellent goaltending. They lost the gold medal in the famous Forsberg shootout goal game where he beat Corey Hirsch with his back hand, one-handed tap in deke move and Paul Kariya missed at the other end.
Shae-Lynn Bourne – ’94, ’98, ’02 Winter Olympics / 6-time World Championships
World Champion Ice Dancer and skater Shae-Lynn Bourne is possibly the most decorated international athlete from the town of Chatham. Her family lived two doors down from mine on Northland Drive and if you think you are a good skater, think again. Shae-Lynn’s balance and grace on the ice is something to behold and she was able to demonstrate that with partner Victor Kratz of Vancouver.
From the late nineties until the mid-2000s, Bourne and Kratz were the very cream of the crop when it came to entertainment, innovation and gritty competition in ice dancing. The moves they executed were both breath taking and terrifying at the same time, yet Shae Lynn always had the most beautiful smile on her face.
She competed in three separate Winter Olympic Games and just finished short of a medal in the final two in ’98 and ‘02. Many times I thought that Bourne and Kratz deserved much better scores than they were given in their day.
Thanks for Reading Everyone and HAPPY CANADA DAY!