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 cricket team is the national cricket team representing Canada in men's international competition. It is run by Cricket Canada. While Canada is not sanctioned to play Test matches, the team does take part in One Day International matches and also in first-class games (in the ICC Intercontinental Cup) against other non-Test-playing opposition, with the rivalry against the United States cricket team being as strong in cricket as it is in other team sports. The match between these two nations is in fact the oldest international fixture in cricket, having first been played in 1844.

Perhaps the most successful exponent of Canadian cricket has been all-rounder John Davison. Davison was born in Canada but played club and — occasionally — first class cricket in Australia, achieving a reputation as something of a journeyman. Taking advantage of his Canadian birth, he became a regular in the national squad. At the 2003 World Cup, Davison hit the fastest century in tournament history against the West Indies in what was ultimately a losing cause. One year later, in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against the USA, he proved the difference between the two sides taking 17 wickets for 137 runs (the best haul in first-class cricket since England's Jim Laker took 19 wickets in 1956) as well as scoring 84 runs of his own.

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

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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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Finish line at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta
The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta started in 1880 as the first championship for the newly formed Canadian Amateur Rowing Association. It changed venues often until 1903, when it was decided to hold it at St. Catharines Port Dalhousie's Martindale Pond hosted by the St. Catharines rowing club permanently.

Originally the race was 1 mile 550 yards long (2112m), the same distance as the Henley Royal Regatta in England at the time. The pond was an ideal location because the level of the water could be controlled. Wooden grandstands were built, and in 1947, women raced for the first time.

In 1964, the distance was changed to 2000 meters, the current standard distance for international competition. The facilities were completely redone in 1966, and in 1972, women's races became a permanent, rather than exhibition event. In 1999, the facilities were again upgraded for the 1999 World Rowing Championships.

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