May 17, 2012 3:56 PM | By Ian Harrison, MSN Sports
Canadian sporting icons

Sandra Schmirler

Sandra Schmirler - Canadian sporting icons (© PC Photo/AOC)
  • Men and women of the Maple Leaf who've achieved the status of sporting icons. (© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
  • Sandra Schmirler - Canadian sporting icons (© PC Photo/AOC)
  • Mario Lemieux - Canadian sporting icons (© CP Photo/COC/Andre Forget)
  • Russ Jackson - Canadian sporting icons (© The Canadian Press)
  • Catriona Le May Doan - Canadian sporting icons (© AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
  • Maurice Richard - Canadian sporting icons (© CP PHOTO/Files-AP)
  • Donovan Bailey - Canadian sporting icons (© PC Photo/AOC)
  • Ferguson Jenkins - Canadian sporting icons (© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
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A combination of talent and tragedy combined to make Saskatchewan curler Sandra Schmirler a Canadian sporting icon. Active in badminton, volleyball, softball and swimming during her youth, Schmirler threw her first stones as a young teen, and showed an immediate aptitude for the game, winning a provincial championship in high school. With the help of her Regina rink, Schmirler would go on to win back-to-back Canadian crowns in 1993 and '94, and add consecutive World Championship titles those same years. She was Canadian and World champion again in 1997, then captured Olympic gold at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, the first time curling was a full medal sport. Two years later, she was dead, struck down by cancer at age 36, leaving behind a husband and two children. Her funeral was carried live by TSN and CBC, the first time two TV networks had provided such coverage for a Canadian athlete.

* Bing: Which other famous Canadian athletes came from Saskatchewan?

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