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 Stanley Cup
: La Coupe Stanley
) is an ice hockey
, awarded annually to the National Hockey League
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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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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Sport in Canada category
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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
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.