The 10 Greatest Canadian Sports Moments of the 2010s

From the bat flip to the Raptors' championship victory, these were the greatest Canadian sports moments of the decade.

best canadian sports moments

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best canadian sports moments

I’m not gonna insult your intelligence by pretending we don’t all know what number 1 is. You probably guessed it before even clicking on this article. But that miraculous Raptors championship aside, there’ve been plenty of other major athletic moments that made Canadians proud to wave the maple leaf this decade, and we’re highlighting 10 of them below, from buzzer-beaters to Olympic glory.

But before we get to Complex Canada’s picks for the best Canadian sports moments of the 2010s, a few honourable mention shout-outs: Andre De Grasse’s Olympic bromance with Usain Bolt, Masai’s “Fuck Brooklyn” rallying cry, Drake courting tampering charges by rocking Bronny jerseys.

...OK, maybe scratch that last one.

10. Milos Raonic v. Roger Federer

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Date: July 8, 2016

Yes, Raonic would go on to lose to Andy Murray in the 2016 Wimbledon finals. But even just getting to that point was a worthy feat: in defeating living legend Roger Federer—who’d gone a perfect 10-for-10 in Wimbledon semis matches—the Thornhill kid became the first Canadian to play in a Grand Slam singles final.

9. Penny Oleksiak’s Record-Setting Rio

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Date: August 6-12, 2016

It was an Olympic debut reminiscent of Michael Phelps for overall dominance: Canada won six total medals in the pool at Rio 2016, and four of them came courtesy of Oleksiak. Over an epic week-long run, the then-16-year-old set an Olympic record in the 100m freestyle, became Canada’s youngest Olympic champ, and the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at a single Summer Games.

8. Toronto FC’s First MLS Cup

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Date: December 9, 2017

In 2016, Toronto FC became the first Canadian team to play in the MLS Cup, but the following season, they’d no longer be satisfied with runner-up. After setting a regular season record with 69 points (nice), TFC successfully avenged themselves in a rematch against the reigning champion Seattle Sounders.

7. Georges St-Pierre’s 2017 Comeback

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Date: November 5, 2017

It was a moment the MMA G.O.A.T. called the “best night” of his career: at UFC 217, St-Pierre came out of retirement after a nearly four-year layoff (!!) to deliver an MSG beatdown worthy of Reggie Miller or vintage Jordan, becoming just the fourth fighter in UFC history to claim belts in multiple divisions.


6. Marie-Philip Poulin’s Golden Goal

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Date: February 20, 2014

Canada and the U.S. squaring off for the women’s hockey gold medal isn’t news; the two have met in five of the past six Winter Olympics. But Sochi 2014 delivered a true all-timer. Looking to four-peat, the Canadians fell behind 2-0 before Marie-Philip Poulin sent things to OT, then delivered a game-winner reminiscent of another famous golden goal. (Speaking of...)

5. Sidney Crosby's Golden Goal

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Date: February 28, 2010

There’s always ‘gold or bust’ pressure with Olympic hockey, but in 2010, Team Canada had just let in the game-tying goal on home soil. Enter Crosby, whose miraculous OT golden goal sent Canadians across the country flooding into the streets. Nearly ten years later, and still undefeated as the 2010s’ finest on-ice moment.

4. The Shot Heard Round the World

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Date: May 12, 2019

Kawhi’s physics-defying game-winner over Philly was so much more than just a clutch shot—making Leonard the first person to ever win an NBA Game 7 on a buzzer-beater, NBD—it was a curse-lifting, karma-rebalancing franchise-changer. The first moment Toronto fans could finally exhale and allow themselves to believe that maybe, just maybe, this team would be the ones getting a lucky bounce for once.

3. The Bat Flip

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Date: May 17, 2017

For better or worse, Canadians can’t seem to shake our “notoriously polite” rap. So when Joey Bats hammered his go-ahead three-run shot in the 2015 ALDS, it felt like an entire country’s worth of catharsis manifested into a single epic bat flip—when Canadian baseball stopped being polite and started getting taken seriously again. It’s not just the best home run celebration of the decade, it’s Top 5 all-time.

2. Bianca Andreescu’s U.S. Open Stunner

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Date: September 7, 2019

Andreescu’s 2019 ascent was absolutely insane, taking the Mississauga native from a #152 ranking to unanimous pick for Canada’s top athlete of the year in a single season. Her signature moment came at the US Open though, when she became the first Canadianmale or femaleto win a Grand Slam singles title. Oh yeah, and she did it at age 19 against Serena-effin’-Williams. #SheTheNorth indeed.

1. The Raptors Win It All

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…I mean, obviously, right? But let’s recap anyway, just for fun: the underdog Raptors straight-up ethered the Warriors’ dynasty in six games, capping a wild playoff run to become the first Canadian team to win an NBA title, kicking off a celebration normally reserved for Olympic hockey gold—and letting Kawhi and the Raptors get the last laugh.

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