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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Barney Stanley.jpg
The Calgary Tigers, often nicknamed the Bengals, were an ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada from 1920 until 1927 as members of the Big Four League, Western Canada Hockey League and Prairie Hockey League. The Tigers were revived in 1932, playing for a short-lived four years in the North Western Hockey League. They played their games at the Victoria Arena.

Created ostensibly as an amateur team in hopes of competing for the Allan Cup, the Tigers helped form the Western Canada Hockey League in 1921 to become the first major professional team in Calgary. In 1924, after winning both the league and Western Canadian championships, the Tigers became the first Calgary based club to compete for the Stanley Cup. Five Tigers players would later gain election to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Canada2010WinterOlympicsOTcelebration.jpg
Canadian men's ice hockey team celebrates winning the gold medal (2010 Winter Olympics).

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Ned Hanlan.jpg
Edward "Ned" Hanlan (12 July 1855 – 4 January 1908) was a World Champion professional sculler, hotelier, and alderman from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Winning triple crowns the Hanlan Club disbanded, its mission accomplished. But the oarsman himself had one more goal, the World Championship, held by Australian Edward Trickett. On 15 Nov. 1880 he raced him on the Thames River’s historic Putney to Mortlake Championship Course of about four and a quarter miles. Some 100,000 spectators lined the banks. He has been deemed a Persons of National Historic Significance by the government of Canada.

Harry Kelley piloted the Australian, and Bright performed the same office for Hanlan, but the race seemed to be over before they reached Hammersmith Bridge. The Canadian won in a time of 26 minutes-12 seconds and three lengths ahead, and thus he gained the World Title. The Stake was £400. In doing so he became Canada’s first world sporting champion in an individual or singles event. News of Hanlan’s success, spread by telegraph and newspaper, touched off a rare moment of communion among English-speaking Canadians. His victory also enriched “hundreds” of Ontarians “from Judges to peanut vendors” (Toronto Globe) who had backed him with cabled wagers.

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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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