Portal:Sport in Canada

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The Sports of Canada Portal
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Introduction

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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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The French Connection was a line of professional ice hockey forwards who played together for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League from 1972 until 1979. The line consisted of Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault at centre and All-Stars Rick Martin and Rene Robert at left wing and right wing, respectively. All three players were French Canadian; Perreault is from Victoriaville, Quebec, Martin is from Verdun, Quebec, and Robert is from Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The name was related both to the origins of the players and the 1971 hit movie entitled The French Connection, based upon the book of the same name.

The trio excelled together, with each being named to the Official NHL All-Star Team at least once and to the National Hockey League All-Star Game at least twice while playing together as a unit for seven full seasons. Perreault and Martin were the Buffalo Sabres' first-round draft picks in the franchise's first two years, and Robert was acquired late in the franchise's second season via a spring 1972 trade. The players were named to several National Hockey League All-Star Game teams and dominated the Buffalo scoring statistical leadership during their years together. They led the Sabres to the franchise's first Stanley Cup Finals appearance and continue to hold many of the franchise's scoring records.

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The Canadian men's national soccer team represent Canada in international competitions at the senior men's level. They are overseen by the Canadian Soccer Association and compete in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). In 1904 Galt Football Club represented the WFA at the Olympic Games in St Louis, Missouri. As just one of three teams competing, Galt defeated two American clubs, Christian Brothers College (7-0) and St. Rose (4-0) to win the tournament. No medals were awarded at the time as the competition was a demonstration event, but the IOC subsequently awarded Canada a gold medal and upgraded the status of the competition to an official event.

Their most significant achievements include qualifying for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, winning the CONCACAF Championship in 1985, CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000 and winning the gold medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics.

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Joseph Jacques Omer "Jake the Snake" Plante (January 17, 1929 – February 27, 1986) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. During a career lasting from 1947–1975, he was considered to be one of the most important innovators in hockey. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1953 to 1963; during his tenure, the team won the Stanley Cup six times, including five consecutive wins.

Plante retired in 1965 but was persuaded to return to the National Hockey League to play for the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1968. He was later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970 and to the Boston Bruins in 1973. He joined the World Hockey Association as coach and general manager for the Quebec Nordiques in 1973–74. He then played goal for the Edmonton Oilers in 1974–75, ending his professional career with that team.

Plante was the first NHL goaltender to wear a goaltender mask in regulation play on a regular basis. He developed and tested many versions of the mask (including the forerunner of today's mask/helmet combination) with the assistance of other experts. Plante was the first goaltender to regularly play the puck outside his crease in support of his team's defencemen, and he often instructed his teammates from behind the play.

Plante was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978, was chosen as the goaltender of the Canadiens' "dream team" in 1985, and was inducted into the Quebec Sports Pantheon in 1994. The Montreal Canadiens retired Plante's jersey, #1, the following year.

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The Canadian Amateur Championship, begun in 1895, is the men's amateur golf championship of Canada. It is staged annually by the Royal Canadian Golf Association. It was played at match play until 1968, went to stroke play beginning in 1969, and reverted to match play in 1995. It returned to stroke play in 2008. The Royal Canadian Golf Association was founded in June 1895, at a meeting held in Ottawa by ten charter member clubs, hosted by the Ottawa Golf Club (later the Royal Ottawa Golf Club), and the new organization was granted the prefix 'Royal' in 1896. In conjunction with the meeting, the first men's amateur championship was staged, at match play, with the Governor General, Lord Aberdeen, donating a trophy, the Aberdeen Cup, to the champion. Thomas Harley of Kingston, Ontario won the first championship. George Lyon the tournaments most celebrated player won the Championship eight times between 1898 and 1914, and won the Canadian Seniors' Golf Association Championship ten times between 1918 and 1930.

The tournament was held annually until 1914 inclusive, but then was cancelled from 1915 to 1918 because of World War I. It resumed in 1919, and then was staged annually until 1939 inclusive, being cancelled again from 1940 to 1945 because of World War II. It has been held annually since 1946. .

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