Portal:Sport in Canada

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The Sports of Canada Portal
This is a sister portal of the Canada Portal

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 Canada national rugby union team represents Canada in international rugby union. They are governed by Rugby Canada, and play in red and black. Canada is classified by the International Rugby Board (IRB) as a tier two rugby nation. There are ten tier one nations, and seven tier two nations, the others being Fiji, Japan, Romania, Samoa, Tonga and the USA. Canada competes in competitions such as the Churchill Cup and the Rugby World Cup. The sheer size of Canada means that talent is scattered across the country making the job of coaches and selectors very difficult. The climate is also unfavourable for playing rugby union for much of the year in most parts of the country.

Canada has been playing international rugby since the early 1930s, making their debut in 1932 against Japan. Canada have competed at every World Cup since the tournament was first staged in 1987, the only North American team to do so. Canada achieved their best result at the World Cup in 1991, where they reached the quarter-finals. Canada is currently ranked fourteenth by the IRB.

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The Montreal Shamrocks lacrosse team, Champions of the World, 1879

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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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Elena Dementieva - 2009 champion
The Canada Masters (also long known as the Canadian Open), currently sponsored as the Rogers Cup, is an annual tennis tournament held in Canada. The men's competition is a Masters 1000 event on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour. The women's competition is a Premier 5 tournament on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour. The competition is played on hard courts. The two competitions are currently held in separate weeks in the July-August period. The events alternate from year-to-year between the cities of Montreal and Toronto.

The event has a long and illustrious history. The men's tournament began in 1881, and was held at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, while the women's competition was first held in 1892. Of the major tennis tournaments in the world today, only Wimbledon and the US Open have been around as long. In 1989, two Canadian male tennis players, Grant Connell and Andrew Sznajder, reached the quarterfinals of the event. The women's tournament has recently been moved to just before the US Open grand slam tournament and is a Premier 5 event. The WTA's rules for 2010 require each year-end top-10 player from 2009 to participate in at least four Premier 5 tournaments during 2010.

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