Portal:Sport in Canada

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The Sports of Canada Portal
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Introduction

Goalie at Ryerson.jpg
The sporting culture of Canada consists of a variety of games. Although there are many contests that Canadians value, the most common are ice hockey, Canadian football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. Great achievements in Canadian sport are recognized by Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, while the Lou Marsh Trophy is awarded annually to Canada's top athlete by a panel of journalists.

Ice hockey, referred to as simply "hockey", is Canada's most prevalent winter sport, its most popular spectator sport, and its most successful sport in international competition as well as being Canada's official winter sport. Lacrosse, a sport with Native American origins, is Canada's oldest and official summer sport. Canadian football is Canada's second most popular spectator sport, and the Canadian Football League's annual championship, the Grey Cup, is the country's largest annual sports event. Association football, known in Canada as soccer in both English and French, has the most registered players of any sport in Canada.

Other popular team sports include curling, street hockey, cricket, rugby and softball. Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Canada currently. Popular individual sports include auto racing, boxing, cycling, golf, hiking, horse racing, ice skating, rodeo, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, tennis, triathlon, track and field, water sports, and wrestling. As a country with a generally cool climate, Canada has enjoyed greater success at the Winter Olympics than at the Summer Olympics, although significant regional variations in climate allow for a wide variety of both team and individual sports. Major multi-sport events in Canada include the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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Stanly Cup in Hockey Hall of Fame (may 2008).jpg
The Stanley Cup (French: La Coupe Stanley) is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs champion. It has been referred to as The Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously (chiefly by sportswriters) as Lord Stanley's Mug or Lord Stanley's Cup. The Stanley Cup is surrounded by numerous legends and traditions, the oldest of which is the celebratory drinking of champagne out of the cup by the winning team. Unlike the trophies awarded by the other three major professional sports leagues of North America, a new Stanley Cup is not made each year; Cup winners keep it until a new champion is crowned. It is unusual among trophies, in that it has the name of the winning players, coaches, management, and club staff engraved on its chalice. The original bowl was made of silver and has a dimension of 18.5 centimeters (7.28 inches) in height and 29 centimeters (11.42 inches) in diameter. The current Stanley Cup, topped with a copy of the original bowl, is made of silver and nickel alloy. Today, it has a height of 89.54 centimeters (35.25 inches) and weighs 15.5 kilograms (34.5 lb / 2 st 6½ lb).

Originally inscribed the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy was donated in 1892 by then Governor General of Canada the Lord Stanley of Preston, as an award for Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. In 1915, the two professional ice hockey organizations, the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), reached a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other for the Stanley Cup. After a series of league mergers and folds, the Cup became the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926. The Cup later became the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947.

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Grey Cup circa 2006.jpg
The Canadian Football League or CFL (Ligue canadienne de football [LCF] in French) is a professional sports league located in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football, a form of Gridiron football.

The CFL was officially founded in 1958. It is the highest level of play in Canadian football, the most popular football league in Canada, and the most popular major sports league in Canada after the National Hockey League.

Its eight teams, which are located in eight cities, are divided into two Conferences of four teams each—East and West. The league's 19-week regular season runs from late June to late November; each team plays 18 games with one bye week. Following the regular season, the six teams with the best records (regardless of Conference) compete in the league's three-week playoffs, which culminate in the late-November Grey Cup championship, the country's largest annual sports and television event.

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View of the Rogers Centre as seen from the CN tower.

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Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox, CC, OD (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. In 1980, as a one-legged amputee, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Though the spread of his cancer forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,280 kilometres (3,280 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his determination and example created a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$500 million has been raised in his name.

In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. Fox hoped to raise one dollar for each of Canada's 24 million people. He started with little fanfare from St. John's, Newfoundland in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. Fox was the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian award. He won the 1980 Lou Marsh Award as the nation's top sportsman and was named Canada's Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, roads and parks named in his honour across the country.

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Statue of Northern Dancer at Woodbine
The Summer Stakes is a Canadian Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Contested on turf over a distance of 1 mile (8 furlongs), it is open to two-year-old horses. Raced in late September/early October, the Grade III event was a Grade II event but in 2006 was downgraded to its present Grade III status. Part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, the winner of the 2008 Summer Stakes automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Inaugurated in 1953 at Fort Erie Racetrack as a sprint race on dirt, the Summer Stakes was moved to the turf in 1962. Since inception it has been run at various distances:

  • 5 furlongs : 1953-1956 on dirt at Fort Erie Racetrack
  • 5.5 furlongs : 1957-1960, 1961 on dirt at Fort Erie Racetrack
  • 8 furlongs (1 mile) : 1962-1984 on turf at Fort Erie Racetrack, since 1985 on turf at Woodbine Racetrack

The Summer Stakes showcases the rise to fame of many horses including Northern Dancer. Northern Dancer won the "Summer Stakes" in 1963 and won 14 of his next 18 races. Northern Dancer was a Canadian-bred thoroughbred racehorse and would go on to be the most successful sire of the 20th Century.

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