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
, 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 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held on February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University Endowment Lands, and in the resort town of Whistler. Approximately 2,600 athletes from 82 nations participated in 86 events in fifteen disciplines. Both the Olympic and Paralympic Games were being organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC). The 2010 Winter Olympics were the third Olympics hosted by Canada, and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.
Following Olympic tradition, the then-current Vancouver mayor, Sam Sullivan, received the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The flag was raised on February 28, 2006, in a special ceremony and was on display at Vancouver City Hall until the Olympic opening ceremony. The event was officially opened by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
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The Canada national rugby union team
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
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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Selected biography -
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 Grey Cup (in French: La Coupe Grey) is both the name of the championship of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the name of the trophy awarded to the victorious team. It is Canada's largest annual sports and television event, regularly drawing a Canadian viewing audience of about 3 to 4 million individuals.
Like the Stanley Cup used in the National Hockey League, the Grey Cup is reused every year. This varies from other professional sports leagues, which make a new (but identical) trophy every season for the new champion. Similarly, the Grey Cup also has the name of the winning players, coaches, and management staff (President & General Manager) engraved on its chalice.
, the Grey Cup was donated by the then Governor General of Canada
, the Earl Grey
, to recognize the top amateur rugby football team in Canada
. By this time, Canadian football
had become markedly different from the rugby football
from which it developed. Over time, the Grey Cup became the property of the Canadian Football League as it evolved into a professional football league. Amateur teams ceased competing for the Cup by 1954
; since 1965, the top amateur teams, playing in Canadian Interuniversity Sport
(CIS), have competed for the Vanier Cup
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