Mark's book is about how George Orton, Canada's first ever Olympic Gold Medallist overcame incredible odds to become a World Champion. He remains relatively unknown in his country of birth.

“Hebsy, always a fount of sports knowledge and trivia, sets the record straight on a great Canadian athlete long overlooked or forgotten altogether. An entertaining and informative read. Mark’s high energy personality and unbridled love for sport shine through on every page.”

Rob Baker, Lead Guitarist for The Tragically Hip and Strippers Union.


"But only one Canadian athlete's story bridges Canada and Philadelphia by combining the world's of sports doctrine and sporting deeds, one story in which public issues result in the forfeit of personal prudence. It's the story of a gold medal winner, but is also much more. It is the story of a man who did not leave his mark in Canadian sports history — until it was left to Mark to tell his story."

Ron MacLean, host of Hockey Night In Canada and the Olympics on CBC

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Paralyzed as a child and told he would never walk, George Washington Orton persevered to become the greatest runner of his generation, a world-class hockey player and a Ph.D who could understand 12 languages and was fluent in 9. His 1900 Paris Olympic medals were credited to the United States for 7 decades and then awarded to Canada. Yet, he is as obscure in Canada as the winter is long.

As a sports pioneer, Orton introduced the idea of numbered football jerseys and brought hockey to Philadelphia, forming the first teams and building the city's first indoor arena. He was one of the earliest and most influential supporters of female athletics in North America and a staunch defender of equal rights. He is enshrined in 7 Halls of Fame, all of them posthumously.

Buy the regular paperback or Kindle version from Amazon.ca.

“Mark Hebscher has brought to life George Washington Orton for all of us to enjoy with his book “The Greatest Athlete (you’ve never heard of). Well, we have now! Mark’s research and writing skills combined with his finding so many historical pictures capture a person and a time that had escaped us. A job well done, Mark.”

Jerry Howarth, former play by play broadcaster (37 years), Toronto Blue Jays

“Chasing ghosts is a mug’s game. More so, when the ghost is a world class turn-of-the-century runner. But Mark Hebscher is dogged, tracking down the bizarrely under-told story of Canadian athletic legend George Orton, a steeplechase phenom who knew something about pace. As does author Hebscher. His book is a commendable yarn, and a race to the finish.”

Brad Wheeler, journalist, The Globe and Mail.

“I liked that you mixed in other sports, like Jack Dempsey boxing and Man ‘O War horse racing. That Orton was some kind of guy. Too bad he didn’t spend more time in Canada, or we’d all know about him. Great story, though. Good work, Mark. I really enjoyed your book”.

Don Cherry, formerly of Hockey Night in Canada