Nova Scotia·Point of View

Who is the greatest Nova Scotia athlete of all time?

If you had to pick the greatest Nova Scotia athlete of all-time who would it be? The CBC's Paul Palmeter is on a panel looking at just that question.

The CBC's Paul Palmeter is on a Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame panel digging into just that question

Sam Langford is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. (Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame)

If you had to pick the greatest Nova Scotia athlete of all time, who would you choose?

That's the decision I faced when I was approached by Bruce Rainnie, the new executive director of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.

As a member of a panel of 24 people, I was tasked to provide my list of the top 15 Nova Scotia athletes. The panel includes people from all across the province, from coaches to members of the media.

"The main impetus was to come up with a list that shows how great we are as a province when it comes to sports and sports history," Rainnie said. "Ultimately we will be shining a light on 15 amazing people who left their mark in Nova Scotia."

Aileen Meagher won bronze in the women's 4x100m relay in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. (Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame)

One of Rainnie's goals in his new position is to connect the hall of fame with more Nova Scotians. He hopes the greatest athlete project will mean plenty of interesting debate for local sports fans.

The team at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame provided panelists a comprehensive list of more than 60 Nova Scotia athletes who have had — or are having — great careers.

That list includes many great hockey players, such as Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour), Al MacInnis (Port Hood), Glen Murray (Bridgewater) and Fabian Joseph (Sydney).

Crosby made my top 15 but it was a tough decision to whittle down a list that had so many great athletes from such a wide variety of sports.

Sidney Crosby has enjoyed an incredible run in the past 39 months, with an Olympic gold medal, a world championship, a World Cup title, the World Cup MVP award, and back-to-back Stanley Cups and Conn Smythes. (Gene J. Puskar, File/The Associated Press)

Ten track and field athletes were among the distributed list, including Johnny Miles (Sydney Mines) and Aileen Meagher (Halifax).

Six boxers, including George Dixon (Halifax) and Sam Langford (Weymouth Falls), were also listed.

There were several sports where only one athlete was listed, including curler Colleen Jones (Halifax) and figure skater Rob McCall (Dartmouth).

Nancy Garapick won two bronze medals for swimming during the Montreal Olympics. (Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame)

Rainnie said there will also be an online component where the public will be able to vote. Those votes will be combined with the final selections from a second panel.

In September, the results will begin to be rolled out over 15 consecutive weeks, from Number 15 to Number 1.

About the Author

Paul Palmeter


Paul Palmeter is an award-winning video journalist born and raised in the Annapolis Valley. He has covered news and sports stories across the province for 30 years.