Sidney Crosby: Five things you should know about Canada's ice hockey icon 

'Sid the Kid' is an Olympic and NHL idol and is in the Canada squad for Beijing 2022 where he has his sights set on a third gold medal. Here are some things you need to know about him, from NHL prodigy and Olympic hero to fisherman and philanthropist.

By Ken Browne
Picture by 2010 Getty Images

There are many things we should all know about Sidney Crosby.

Some of them are obvious: A two-time Olympic champion, three-time Stanley Cup winner, an ice hockey prodigy, he scored that immortal overtime winner against arch-rivals USA to give Canada the gold on home ice at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics then captained his country to a second successive Olympic title in Sochi four years later.

But then there's the Crosby enigma: A low-profile megastar with no social media who shuns the limelight as much as a hockey megastar can.

The history enthusiast with a weakness for pizza and donuts ties to stay true to his down-to-earth, working-class upbringing in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. He devotes a lot of time to charity and his foundation, leads a largely private life, and wants to keep it that way.

That's still a tough ask before the Beijing 2022 Olympics where the storied No.87 will play for a third Olympic men's gold medal after returning from surgery on an injury that's nagged him since right after Sochi 2014.

With excitement building among hockey fans at the prospect of seeing Crosby, Connor McDavid, and a host of other Canadian NHL stars play together, here are five things about Sidney Crosby that you simply have to know.

1. Sidney Crosby nickname: 'Sid the Kid'

He might be 34 years old but there are people out there who will forever call Crosby 'Sid the Kid' or 'The Next One'.

Crosby's prodigious talents were well known back home by the time he turned teenage, and at 14 he was already appearing on 'Hockey Night in Canada'.

Crosby exploded onto the NHL stage back in 2005 when he was drafted as first pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins. At 18 years and 253 days, he became the youngest player ever to reach 100 points in an NHL season.

By 19 he was captain.

'Sid the Kid' led the Penguins to Stanley Cup glory in 2009, becoming the youngest captain in NHL history to win ice hockey's most coveted club trophy.

Then he led them to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories in 2016 and 2017, the first team to successfully defend the title since the since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997–98.

Crosby's is a tale of potential fulfilled, of just how far you can take your talent when you're as dedicated to your craft as he is.

2. Sidney Crosby: Olympic icon

Crosby lit up international ice hockey in Canada's red-and-white too.

At 16 he was chosen for the under 20 national team, becoming only the fifth 16-year-old to be selected to the squad, among the other four was Wayne Gretzky.

Crosby won silver at the 2004 Junior World Championships in Finland, then helped Canada claim gold a year later in the USA.

At the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, Crosby gifted Olympic and Canadian hockey fans a moment that will live forever, an overtime 'golden goal' against arch-rivals USA that many call Canada's single greatest ever sporting moment.

His celebration in Vancouver deserves a statue.

Crosby then doubled down at the Sochi 2014 Games four years later, captaining the team to a second successive gold, securing his status as an Olympic icon.

3. Crosby has been selected for Canada's Beijing 2022 squad

A chance at three gold medals in-a-row didn't happen for Crosby in 2018 as NHL players didn't feature at the last Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

In the absence of their NHL stars, Canada fell to surprise package Germany in the semi-final, who were then beaten by the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) in the gold medal final.

The Canadians did go home with a medal after overcoming the Czechs in the bronze medal match, but gold will be the goal in China.

On 3 October 2021, Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong announced the first three names on Canada's Olympic roster for Beijing and inevitably, Sidney Crosby's name was on it.

The other two were Edmonton Oilers' centre Connor McDavid, and defenceman Alex Pietrangelo from the Vegas Golden Knights.

Read More: NHL superstar Connor McDavid - Ready to become Canada's next Olympic icon

A testament to just how much the Canadian Olympic team wants Sidney Crosby on the ice in Beijing is that he was first pick while still recovering from injury.

4. Sidney Crosby injury: Getting back on the ice

Crosby has been carrying a left wrist injury since just after the Sochi 2014 Games when he collided with Ryan Reaves.

"Reavo got a hold of me pretty good at home here after the Olympics," Crosby told Nhl.com. "It was something that I kind of had to manage since then."

"There were points when it bugged me more than others, but it wasn't terrible," Crosby said. "It was just something that was kind of nagging. You just get used to it. It's just something that is part of your daily routine as far as managing it."

As the NHL media team note, 'managing it' meant winning two Stanley Cups, two Conn Smythe Trophies, a Ted Lindsay Award, Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Rocket Richard Trophy, and numerous All-Star selections.

Finally he was forced to have surgery in September 2021 and, despite the delayed start to the season, he was chosen as one of the first three players in the Canadian squad.

5. Sidney Crosby off the ice: The kid who made it big but stayed grounded

Off the ice, Sidney Crosby tries to stay true to where he comes from, an ordinary kid from a proud hard-working background who was gifted with the ability to do extraordinary things with a puck and a stick on the ice.

“I don't ever want to be seen as a guy who's forgotten where he's from,” Crosby told the Pittsburgh Tribune back in 2015.

“I have an appreciation for the people around here, and that's the best way I can show it, by making sure I stay grounded.”

He spends his summers fishing in Nova Scotia and running hockey camps for kids called the 'Sidney Crosby Hockey School' which started back in 2015, regularly donates winnings from awards and international purses to local sport foundations and drops in for visits on kids in the cancer ward.

He set up Sidney Crosby Foundation in 2009 which aims at "proudly supporting charities that improve the lives of disadvantaged children."

When his $20,000 bonus came through from his Vancouver 2010 gold medal win he donated it to the foundation saying:

"I started the foundation in 2009 with the hope that I would be able to give back to local communities like the one that I grew up in. Winning gold in Canada at the 2010 Winter Games has been a phenomenal experience.

"I want to be able to give back to local organizations so that other young people have the opportunity to reach for their dreams as well."

This humble hockey superstar just might be giving back some more as a three-time Olympic gold medallist after Beijing 2022.

GO OLYMPIC. GET ALL THIS.

Free live sport events. Unlimited access to series. Unrivalled Olympic news & highlights.
Sign up here Sign up here