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Theo Fleury

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameTheoren Wallace "Theo"•Fleury
Used nameTheo•Fleury
Born29 June 1968 in Oxbow, Saskatchewan (CAN)
Measurements168 cm / 82 kg
AffiliationsCalgary Flames, Calgary (CAN) / New York Rangers, New York (USA)
NOC Canada

Biography

An ice hockey player since the age of five, right winger Theoren Fleury was nearly forced to quit the sport at thirteen when an on-ice injury severed his brachial artery and left him unable to play for a year. He spent his first season as a junior (1983-1984) with the St. James Canadians of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and then the next four with the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors. In 1988 he shared the Bob Clarke Trophy as top scorer in the WHL with Joe Sakic and suited up for two matches with the International Hockey League’s Salt Lake Golden Eagles. He also began his international career during this time, being disqualified at his first attempt for the “Punch-up in Piestany”, a 20 minute bench-clearing brawl between Canada and the Soviet Union at the 1987 World Junior Championships. He fared better at the 1988 World Junior Championships and took home a gold medal as squad captain. After being drafted by the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League in 1987, he split the 1988-1989 season between the Flames and the Golden Eagles before skating exclusively with the Flames until 1999, with the exception of a 10 game stint with Finland’s Tappara during the 1994-1995 NHL lockout. Along the way he helped capture the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 1989, attended the 1990 and 1991 World Championships (winning a silver at the latter tournament), and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which inflames the intestines, in 1995. He was also team captain from 1995 through 1997 and attended the 1998 Winter Olympics, scoring one goal in six games, but failing to reach the podium.

By 1999 the Flames were unable to afford Fleury, so they traded him to the league’s Colorado Avalanche for the remainder of the 1998-1999 season. The following year he signed on with the NHL’s New York Rangers and stayed with them for three years, which were dogged by emotional and substance abuse problems. He joined the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks for the 2002-2003 season, but his alcoholism overtook him and he left the league after a suspension in 2003. He did manage to play at the 2002 Winter Olympics, however, where he suited up for six matches and took home one of Canada’s first Olympic ice hockey gold medals in 50 years. He had seven games with the Horse Lake Thunder of the North Peace Hockey League in 2004-2005 and thirty-four with the Belfast Giants of the Elite Ice Hockey League in 2005-2006, where he was named the league’s Player of the Year. He reemerged during the 2008-2009 season for thirteen matches with the Steinbach North Stars of Hockey Manitoba, but a comeback with the Flames the following year proved infeasible, and he retired in September 2009. He had many endeavors off the ice during his career, including a minority stake in the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, a concrete business, a pilot for a reality show, and two games with the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League. His autobiography “Playing With Fire”, released a month after his retirement, alleged sexual abuse at the hands of coach Graham James in the early 1980s.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1998 Winter Olympics Ice Hockey (Ice Hockey) CAN Theo Fleury
Ice Hockey, Men (Olympic) Canada 4
2002 Winter Olympics Ice Hockey (Ice Hockey) CAN Theo Fleury
Ice Hockey, Men (Olympic) Canada 1 Gold

Special Notes