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Ice Hockey in Canada

Hockey is Canada's official national winter sport and perhaps its greatest contribution to world sport. Canada is considered the birthplace of ice hockey, and Canadians generally regard the sport as their own.

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1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Series (Summit Series)

For many Canadians, particularly baby boomers and Generation X, the eight-game hockey series between Team Canada and the national team of the Soviet Union in September 1972 provided the greatest moment in Canada’s sporting history. Most expected that Canada would handily defeat the Soviet Union, but this confidence quickly disappeared when Canada lost the first game. The series was tied heading into the final game in Moscow, which ended in dramatic fashion, with Paul Henderson scoring in the final seconds to give Canada the victory. The series became as much a Cold War political battle of democracy versus communism and freedom versus oppression as it was about hockey. The series had a lasting impact on hockey in Canada and abroad.

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Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada is the official governing body of hockey in Canada, representing the country as a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

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Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto Argonauts are a professional football team in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Formed in 1873 as part of the Argonaut Rowing Club, the team has won 17 Grey Cup championships, the most of any team in the history of Canadian football. In total, the Argonauts have appeared in 23 Grey Cup games, losing only six. (The Grey Cup has also been won by two other Toronto teams — the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers — for a combined 24 championships for the city.)

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Montreal Expos

The first Canadian team admitted to baseball's National League, the Expos began playing in 1969 at Jarry Park in Montréal's north end.

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Lacrosse

Lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports in North America. While at one point it was a field game or ritual played by First Nations, it became popular among non-Indigenous peoples in the mid-1800s. When the National Lacrosse Association of Canada was formed in 1867, it was the Dominion of Canada’s first governing body of sport. Lacrosse was confirmed as Canada’s official summer sport in 1994. The Canadian national lacrosse teams (men and women) rank highly in the world standings, both in field and box lacrosse.

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Davis Cup

Considered the world's pre-eminent men's team tennis tournament, the Davis Cup made its debut in 1900 when a Harvard student named Dwight Filley Davis donated the silver trophy as the prize for a team tournament that summer at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston.

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Kayak

For over 2,000 years, the Inuit have used kayaks for traveling and hunting expeditions, except for the most northerly polar Inuit.

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Edmonton Mercurys

The Edmonton Mercurys, a team consisting of amateur hockey players, was the last Canadian hockey team to win an Olympic gold medal until 2002. The 1952 win at Oslo was the fifth gold medal in six Winter Olympics to that point for Canada.

Editorial

Klondikers Challenge for the Stanley Cup

​With our national game now a multi-billion-dollar professional sport, it is perhaps comforting to look back to simpler times when hockey was closer to community, and was played for love and glory by amateurs. In the early days of Stanley Cup competition, any Canadian team with some success at the senior level could challenge the current champs. In 1905 one of the strangest challenges came from Dawson City, Yukon.

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Lou Marsh Trophy

The Lou Marsh Trophy is awarded annually to Canada’s best athlete, as decided by a committee of Canadian sports journalists convened by the Toronto Star. The award is named after Louis Edwin Marsh, a former sports editor with the Toronto Star. It was first awarded in 1936. More recently, there have been calls to rename the award, due to Marsh’s long, documented history of promoting racism and discrimination in his columns. In November 2021, the Toronto Star agreed to assess “whether it is appropriate and fitting to continue to have his name associated with the award.”

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Canadian Grand Prix

From 1971 to 1977, (except 1975), the Canadian stage of the world circuit took place at Mosport. In 1977, Jody Scheckter, in his Wolf Ford, was the last Mosport champion. The drivers then refused to participate in the racing judging the track too dangerous.

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Women and Sport

Despite early successes, women have had to fight to be involved in sports, and to be recognized for their athletic achievement. While female participation in sports has boomed over the last three decades, many girls and women still face barriers and discrimination in the sports world.