#TBT Sports Blog: NHL Great Mario Lemieux

NHL great Mario LemieuxNHL great Super Mario Lemieux is my choice for today’s #TBT sports blog. The back story behind his Super Mario nickname, coupled with his personal overcoming story, make for a compelling read.

Here’s an excerpt on Lemieux from my book Favorite Overcoming Athletes. . .

The likeable hero of the top selling video game series of all time was introduced during the rookie season of one of the most admired National Hockey League’s players ever.

Beginning in 1985, Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers reigned over video game sales. That same year, Super Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins began dominating NHL games with his speed, strength and superb hockey skill.

Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr once remarked that Mario Lemieux, nicknamed Super Mario, was the most talented hockey player he had ever seen.

Lemieux’s excellence on the ice allowed him to lead the NHL in scoring six times. Big #66 also won the Hart Trophy three times as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

A 1997 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, LeMieux finished his hockey career with 690 goals and 1,033 assists. He was the only player ever to score five goals in different ways in a single game. These goals included an empty net, power play, penalty shot, shorthanded and full strength.

The 6’4″ and 235 lb. French Canadian’s career highlights include an Olympic Gold Medal in 2002, a World Cup of Hockey Championship in 2004 and two NHL Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992.

Lemieux also won a third Stanley Cup title in 2009 as Chairman of the Board of the same NHL team he played for, the Pittsburgh Penguins, whom he rescued out of bankruptcy.

Lemieux Overcame Both Injuries and Illness

The former Penguin battled injuries and illness that sidelined him for several seasons. Lemieux overcame back problems and a bout with Hodgkins disease to return to the ice after he had already retired. He proved that hockey’s Super Mario trumps any video game heroics and is much more than just a hockey hero.

Video game icon Super Mario may have shown off his heroics by successfully saving Princess Toadstool from her nemesis Bowser during their valiant Nintendo struggles.

However, ice hockey hero Super Mario Lemieux repeatedly showed bravery, courage and an amazing personal drive.

MIKE on sports!

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