Olympic Medals
Games Participations2
First Olympic GamesLillehammer 1994
Year of Birth1974


An ice hockey player since the age of four, forward Paul Kariya was the youngest hopeful when he tried out for the British Columbia Junior Hockey League’s Penticon Panthers, a renowned club. Despite his age he made the team, was voted captain, was named to the Under-18 squad of the Canada national team, and won the provincial Junior Player of the Year Award, all within the span of a year. After the 1992 Junior World Championships he entered the University of Maine and began suiting up with their hockey team, the Black Bears, although he remained affiliated with Team Canada. During his two year stay he won the Hobey Baker Award in 1993 as the top collegiate men’s ice hockey player after helping his school bring home a national championship. He also won a series of national medals with team, including a gold medal at the 1993 Junior World Championships and a silver one at the 1994 Winter Olympics. At the latter tournament he scored three goals in eight games.

Kariya had been recruited by the National Hockey League’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1993, but did not want to play with them until he had attended at least one edition of the Winter Olympics with his country. Thus, upon his return in 1994, he began an on-ice affiliation with the team that would last for nine seasons, until 2003. Along the way he was named team captain for the 1996-1997 season, took home a silver medal from the 1996 World Championships, and planned to attend the 1998 Winter Olympics, although his fourth on-ice concussion left him unable to skate for the majority of the 1997-1998 season. He got another chance in 2002, however, and took home Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in 50 years at that year’s ice hockey tournament, where he scored three goals in six games. He joined the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche in 2003, but became affiliated with the Nashville Predators for two years after the 2004-2005 league lockout. Since 2007 he has been a member of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.

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