Today’s #TBT sports blog focuses on a former Stanley Cup champion and incredible overcoming athlete.
My post blog centers on former Pittsburgh Penguins center Super Mario Lemieux.
Let’s take a look back at this hockey hero.
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. He also won the Hart Trophy three times as the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Mario Lemieux: 1999 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
A 1997 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, big #66 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 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.
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.
In addition to Super Mario Lemieux, you can read about Jason Kidd, Ian Thorpe, Jackie Robinson, Three Finger Brown, Bernard Hopkins and other amazing overcoming athletes.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!