Hometown: Trencin, Slovakia
Sport: Ice hockey
About him: Since he arrived in Boston as a free agent in 2006, Zdeno Chara has been adding to his reputation as one of the best defensemen in NHL history. Serving as captain of the Bruins for the past seven seasons, he has been a staple on a blue line that has evolved into one of the best in the league. He won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 2009 and was a finalist in 2011 and 2012. He led the league in plus-minus in 2011, has played in six All-Star games, and has the hardest recorded slapshot in the NHL at 108.8 m.p.h. But his biggest accomplishment so far has been leading the 2010-11 Bruins to their first Stanley Cup since 1972, becoming just the second European to captain a team to an NHL title. Chara played for Slovakia in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, and was a lock from the beginning to make his third straight Olympic team.