Born in Brantford ON, the world's best-ever hockey player has just completed his twenty-year career in the National Hockey League. When he retired at the end of the 1998-1999 season, he had sixty-one records for a hockey player, and was known round the world for his skill.
It has been said that Gretzky dominated his sport like no other athlete in any sport. This was the case from an early age: the scoring records that Gretzky set as a teenager remain intact today. At the age of 17, when he became a professional player, he was the youngest athlete playing a professional sport in North America.
Gretzky's professional team success came only in the first decade of his career, when he played for the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton AB. After the team had won the National Hockey League title (the Stanley Cup) four times in five years, Gretzky was sold by the team's owner to the team in Los Angeles, California. With that team, Gretzky greatly increased interest in hockey in the USA. However, his team never seriously challenged for the Stanley Cup.
He played for two other teams during the remainder of his career. The secret of Gretzky's success, unmatched in any sport, is his agility, instinctive understanding of how plays develop, and a range of vision that is slightly wider than most people's. He was very much an artist of ice hockey, not just an excellent player of the game.
The Hockey Hall of Fame waived its normal waiting period of three years and inducted Gretzky as a member six months after he concluded his career in 1999.