Wayne Gretzky is one of those heroes.
His #99 Edmonton Oilers jersey was the first hockey jersey I ever owned. My parents bought it for me during a trip to Quebec. I adopted his number when I played lacrosse and hockey, not because I had his talent – I don’t – but because I wanted to emulate his work ethic.
Today, the Great One is celebrating his 52nd birthday.
He is the leading point-scorer in NHL history, with more assists than any other player has points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records.
Class act on and off the ice. If you’re looking for a sports hero, look no further.