If you are interested in Ice Hockey, then I am sure you must have heard of the name Mario Lemieux.
The Magnificent One is one of the living legends in the history of Ice Hockey. He is the only person who was on par with Wayne Gretzky.
Mario is renowned as “The Magnificent One,” “Le Magnifique,” and “Super Mario” due to his significant and outstanding plays.
“The Magnificent one” is the perfect nickname for him as his game and form are both magnificent.
He played for Pittsburgh Penguins for 17 years, and later in his career, he ended up buying the club he played for.
So yes, he is also the current owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He is an Olympic gold medalist, Hall of Famer, and a runner-up for the NHL All-Time Points per Game Leaders.
Before we dive into the story of Mario, let’s peek at some quick facts about him.
|Full Name||Mario Lemieux|
|Birth Date||October 5, 1965|
|Birth Place||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Father’s Name||Jean-Guy Lemieux|
|Mother’s Name||Pierrette Lemieux|
|Siblings||Alain Lemieux , Richard Lemieux|
|Children||4; Alexa Lemieux, Austin Nicholas Lemieux, Lauren Lemieux, Stephanie Lemieux|
|Age||56 years old|
|Weight||235 lb/107 kg|
|Eye Color||Light Blue|
|Hair Color||Dark Brown|
|Profession||Ice Hockey player|
|Former team||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Active Years||1984–1997 and 2000–2006|
|Net Worth||$200 Million|
|Social Media||Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube|
|Merch||Signed Sticks, Signed Photo, Signed Rookie Card, Autograph card, Jersey|
Age, Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Mario is currently 56 Years Old.
The Magnificent one stands tall at 6 feet and 4 inches. Similarly, he weighs around 235 pounds which is approximately 107 kg.
Pretty huge body for an athlete.
But we couldn’t be more wrong. Despite having that huge body, he is well known for his fast skating in the rink, and his body is pretty intimidating to face head-on.
To compliment Mario’s huge body, he has two pearl-like light blue eyes with his dark brown hair.
Unfortunately, there is no information about his body measurements.
With that huge body of his, he dominated the Ice Hockey World.
Mario Lemieux: Nationality, Ethnicity, and Horoscope
Mario is a Canadian by birth, and he has Canadian citizenship as well.
Despite him being Canadian, he is not pure Canadian as he belongs of French ancestry as well.
His last name Lemieux also comes from French origins. Similarly, his father and mother also come from French origins as well.
Mario is the first French Canadian in the last 50 years to be drafted into the NHL.
Under the Zodiac sign, Mario is a Libra. Libras are well known for being diplomatic and clever.
Similarly, Mario was born in the year of snake on the Chinese calendar.
Mario Lemieux: Early Life, Family, and Education
Mario Lemieux was born on October fifth, 1965 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
He was born in a working-class family to his parents, father Jean-Guy Lemieux, and mother, Pierrette Lemieux.
His mother was a housewife, whereas his dad was a great engineer. He was born in Montreal and grew up around the Ville-Émard district.
He grew up alongside his brothers, Alain Lemieux and Richard Lemieux.
As we know, it gets chilly in Canada, so the sport of Ice Hockey is very popular and one of their most-watched sports.
So yes, like most children, Mario was interested in Ice Hockey as well, and guess what, he was only 3 years old.
The Magnificent One used to play with his brothers in the basement. They used kitchen equipment like spoons as the hockey sticks and bottle caps as the puck.
Their father saw that his kids loveIce Hockey and made them a rink on their front lawn so they could play and practice.
Mario Knew that he could become a professional in Ice Hockey at an early age, and he started practicing from thereon with that goal in his mind.
At the age of 15, when Super Mario was drafted for the Laval Voisins in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), he said that he would break many records in the future.
And he certainly did what he said.
Moving on to his educational background, there is no information about which school he attended.
But in an interview, Mario revealed that he quit his education after passing out from his 10th grade.
He called quits for education because he wanted to focus on his Ice Hockey career.
Mario Lemieux: Career
Mario’s career began in high school when he started playing amateur games in his local hometown clubs.
The first club he was drafted by is Laval Voisins of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League; he was just 15 years old.
And Lemieux was a fantastic player, and he was already starting to do what he had promised to do.
He broke the league record for the highest points scored in a season with 282 points. His 292 points consisted of 133 goals and 149 assists in only 70 games.
Then another achievement for Mario was when he played for the national junior team of Canada in 1983.
He was invited to participate again in the 1984 championships, but he refused because he disliked the coach.
Debut at Pittsburgh Penguins
His professional career began when the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted him in 1984.
At first, he was arrogant and said that he was upset with the Penguins because they did not want him enough.
Well, we could see where that arrogance was coming from. He plays great, so yeah, he wanted to be felt relentlessly wanted by different teams.
When Lemieux joined the Pittsburgh Penguins, they were really in a bad state, and they were on the verge of collapse, and they had not won a single title in the last 5 years.
Things were about to change soon for them as Mario Lemieux debuted for Pittsburgh Penguins on October 11, 1984, against the Boston Bruins.
And Mario shined as he scored his first goal on the first-ever shot he took in his NHL career. Fans rejoiced, and hopes were dangling in their mind.
Mario ended that season in great fashion and won the award for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
His rivalry with Wayne Gretzky began in 1985 when Mario came second in highest points, and Wayne took first place.
Since then, they have been battling for the rest of their careers.
In 1987, Mario was finally able to come out on top of Wayne when he won the NHL scoring title.
Mario’s and Wayne’s rivalry continued as Mario again in 1988 scored his career highest of 199 points.
That was the closest anyone has ever gotten to Wayne’s record of 215 points.
Mario continued his excellent form in upcoming years and scored points in every match till his 46th game in 1989.
Unfortunately, his streak was broken when he suffered an injury and missed the next game.
Diagnosed with Cancer
For his next season in 1990, he could not do anything because he suffered a severe back injury and had to undergo surgery.
This caused him to miss 50 games before his return.
After returning, he played in the finals against the Minnesota North Stars of the Stanley cup. Despite serious back pain, he continued to play and led his team to victory.
This was Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-ever Stanley cup trophy.
The next season came, but again, another tragedy befell the magnificent one as he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It is a type of cancer where cancer cells originate from White Blood Cells.
After the diagnosis, he was sent for treatment and had to go through aggressive traditional treatment for 2 whole months.
He was in a fatal condition, but he pulled through and returned to NHL after recovery.
When Mario was gone, the Penguins suffered a lot as their core player was missing, and they had fallen 12 points behind any other teams.
After his return, the Penguins were back on track and also made an NHL record for 17 consecutive games to finish first overall.
Mario was the backbone of the team in their wins and always contributed the most. He scored and assisted and led the team to victory.
Unfortunately, again in mid-1993, Lemieux had to go through another back surgery, and he was set to miss a lot of games again.
He missed 58 games in total that season.
Mario returned to the rink back again after a long break in the 1995 season. That season he became the top player again and also scored his 500th career goal along the way.
Super Mario also became the 7th player to win three Hart trophies that season.
In the 1997 season, he scored his 600th career goal and became the second player to do so again behind Wayne Gretzky.
Similarly, in October of 1997, Mario announced his retirement and became the only player to retire from the National Hockey League with a greater than 2 points per game average.
He was also inducted into the hall of fame right after his retirement.
Not to mention, Mario’s rookie card value is a higher grade than that of others due to his abilities and skills. His rookie cards range from $1000 to $14,0000.
After he retired in 1997, Pittsburgh declared that they were on the verge of bankruptcy around a year later of Mario’s retirement.
This was all caused due to the mismanagement of the owners and way too much spending on unnecessary things that were deemed necessary by the owners.
When the Penguins were on the verge of going bankrupt and leaving the city, their legend Mario Lemieux stepped in and offered to buy the club.
The penguin’s owners owed $32.5 million worth of money to Mario, and Mario took that opportunity to turn the team into his possession.
He agreed to make $20 Million on equity and asked for $5 Million in cash for him to manage the interest.
On September 1, 1999, the NHL boards approved their application of ownership from Mario, and he officially became the owner of the club he played for.
Returning from Retirement
Around the end of 2000, Lemieux returned from his retirement to play for Penguins again, and he stated that one of the reasons for his return was that his son Austin wanted to see him play.
Two days after Christmas of 2000, Mario returned to the rink, ready to play once again.
In the 2001 season, Lemieux only played around 46 games, but despite the low number of games, he had scored 76 points.
His skills were still there, and it was like the return of the legend for the Penguins fans.
Lemieux continued playing for new few seasons and played a vital part despite being in his mid-30s.
He was able to match the pace with the youngsters and throw them off with his experience.
Mario continued his career till 2006, and around the end of 2006, the Penguins drafted Sidney Crosby, the current captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Furthermore, on January 24th of 2006, Mario retired and served as the coach for Sidney Crosby.
Career after Permanent Retirement
As Mario Lemieux announced his retirement at 40, he was with the team for a few years.
After his retirement, he left the CEO position and was looking forward to selling the team but only to someone who would keep the team in the city.
Lemieux had already dealt with the Research in Motion chairman and CEO, but unfortunately, the deal collapsed due to a dispute between the Chairman and the NHL boards.
To say the least, Mario left the professional field with amazing career stats built over the 17 seasons he played for the penguins.
Out of the 915 games he played, he secured 690 goals with 1033 assists and a plus-minus of +114.
Lemieux has had a significant international career and started playing for his national team even before his club.
His first international match was in 1983 when he participated in the World Junior Championships of Ice Hockey.
He won a bronze medal there and followed it up with a silver medal at the 1985 World Championships.
He also won the 1987 Canada cup and 2004 Hockey World Cup as a national team captain.
The significant one is Olympic gold at the 2002 winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, United States.
Personal Life and Legacy
Mario is a great guy inside and outside of the rink, and he is a family man.
Aside from his good traits, he also had a bad habit back in the day. Super Mario used to smoke a lot of cigarettes, approximately half a pack per day.
He had to call it quits, though, after being diagnosed with cancer.
Mario is a very friendly person who likes to do good for most of the people he can.
To this day, he has opened up his home for young Penguin players who have trouble residing in the area at first.
Lemieux also achieved great feats outside of the rink as the Quebec Premier Jean Charest has awarded him the title of Knight.
He was also made the Order of Canada by then-Governor General Michaëlle Jean. This is the second-highest public award given to the citizens.
Moving on to his legacy, the Pittsburgh Penguins legend has been engraved in stones outside the Consol Energy Center.
Mario’s statue of honor was made to contribute to the team as a player and as their owner.
Mario also has a hockey trading card known as the rookie card, which costs up to $14,000. It is one of the rarest Ice hockey trading cards.
Mario Lemieux: Wife and Kids
Lemieux is in a happy married life with Nathalie Asselin. They have been together for 28 years.
With over 400 guests in their wedding ceremony, we could say the couple had a grand wedding.
That’s a long time. At this point, we can say that they are truly made for each other.
They got married back on June 26 of 1993. They have four children together.
Their first kid Lauren Lemieux was born in 1993. Similarly, Stephanie was born in 1995, Austin Nicholas was born in 1996, and Alexa was born in 1997.
They all live together in the Pittsburgh suburb of Sewickley.
Mario Lemieux: Net Worth
The Canadian is one of the highest-paid Ice Hockey players ever. He has been in the NHL for the past two decades, so it’s only normal that he earned tons from there.
Mario Lemieux has the net worth of $200 Million.
He also made tons of money through endorsements. He endorsed Nike around 2000 when he returned from his retirement.
The Canadian was paid $500,000 to wear and use the Nike equipment.
Mario also has a beautiful mansion that cost him $22 Million in Quebec. It is called the ‘Le château de MARIO LEMIEUX’s Estate’.
Despite him being filthy rich, he is a charitable person and has done many things for the young players.
Firstly, when he was diagnosed with cancer, he created the Mario Lemieux Foundation in 1993, which helps to fund medical research papers.
Similarly, he is also the co-founder of “Athletes for Hope.”
Mario Lemieux: Social Media
Mario is available on all social media platforms. He has accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.
Mario has the most followers on Facebook and the least on Youtube.
His youtube channel has very few followers because it was just created 2 months ago, in the February of 2021.
He likes to share his thoughts and is most vocal on Twitter.
Read about Patrick Kane.
Was Lemieux greater than Gretzky?
As per stats, No Gretzky comes out on top, and Mario is just below him in the second position.
Does Mario still own the Penguins?
Yes, he is still the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
What was Mario Lemieux’s total point at the end of his career?
Mario ended his career with 1,723 points.
What are the famous quotes of Mario Lemieux?
“Play without fear, and you will be successful”, and “Every day is a great day for hockey” are a few of his most famous quotes.