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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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Colored Hockey League

The Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL) was an all-Black men’s hockey league. It was organized by Black Baptists and Black intellectuals and was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1895. It was defunct during and after the First World War, reformed in 1921 and then fell apart during the Depression in the 1930s. Play was known to be fast, physical and innovative. The league was designed to attract young Black men to Sunday worship with the promise of a hockey game between rival churches after the services. Later, with the influence of the Black Nationalism Movement — and with rising interest in the sport of hockey — the league came to be seen as a potential driving force for the equality of Black Canadians. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in honour of the league in January 2020.

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Canada at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Olympic Summer Games were the first Olympic Games to be postponed. They were held in Tokyo, Japan, from 23 July to 8 August 2021. Canada sent 371 athletes (225 women, 146 men) and finished 11th in the overall medal standings with 24 (seven gold, six silver, 11 bronze). It is the most Canada has ever won at a non-boycotted Olympic Summer Games. Of the 24 medals, 18 were won by Canadian women. The seven gold medals tied Canada’s record at a non-boycotted Olympic Summer Games. Highlights for Canada at the Tokyo Games included Penny Oleksiak becoming Canada’s most decorated Olympian; Andre De Grasse winning three medals, including gold in the men’s 200 m dash; the Canadian women’s soccer team winning gold for the first time in dramatic fashion; and gold medallist Damian Warner becoming only the fourth athlete in Olympic history to score more than 9,000 points in the decathlon.

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Ladies Ontario Hockey Association (LOHA)

The Ladies Ontario Hockey Association (LOHA) was the first governing body for community women’s ice hockey in Canada. It was formed in 1922 and disbanded in 1940. Initially, the league consisted of 18 senior teams from across Ontario, from bigger cities such as Toronto, London and Ottawa, to smaller centres such as Bowmanville, Huntsville and Owen Sound. The creation of the LOHA led to the 1925 founding of the Women’s Amateur Athletic Federation, which absorbed the LOHA when it disbanded.

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Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a form of physical activity that uses two wooden-frame "shoes," each strung together with interlaced webbing, to walk or run over snow. Snowshoeing has become a popular pastime among Canadians.

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Origins of Ice Hockey

The origins of ice hockey have long been debated. In 2008, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) officially declared that the first game of organized ice hockey was played in Montreal in 1875. Many also consider ice hockey’s first rules to have been published by the Montreal Gazette in 1877. However, research reveals that organized ice hockey/bandy games were first played on skates in England and that the earliest rules were also published in England. Canada made important contributions to the game from the 1870s on. By the early 20th century, “Canadian rules” had reshaped the sport.

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Goaltender Masks

The first goaltender to wear a mask in an organized ice hockey game was Elizabeth Graham of Queen’s University in 1927. The first National Hockey League (NHL) goalie to wear a mask full-time was Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens; he wore a face-hugging fibreglass mask created by Bill Burchmore beginning in 1959. The construction and design of goalie masks gradually improved to include a caged section over the eyes and nose. This hybrid-style fibreglass mask was adapted for use in baseball by Toronto Blue Jays catcher Charlie O’Brien in 1996. However, concerns have arisen over the safety of goalie masks and goalie-style catcher masks, particularly their ability to protect against concussions.

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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.

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Edmonton Grads

The Edmonton Grads (1915–40) was a women’s championship basketball team coached by Percy Page. During their 25 years as a team, the Grads won an astounding 95 per cent of their matches. The Grads were national and world champions, often defeating their opponents by lopsided scores. The team won the Underwood International Trophy (USA–Canada) for 17 years straight (1923 to 1940), and was undefeated in 24 matches held in conjunction with the Olympic Summer Games in 1924, 1928 and 1936. The Grads were named to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

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Hart Memorial Trophy

The Hart Memorial Trophy (originally the Hart Trophy) is awarded annually to the player determined to be the “most valuable” to his National Hockey League (NHL) team during the regular season. The winner is chosen through a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

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Canadian Olympic Committee

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) is the organization responsible for Canada’s participation at the Olympic Games, Pan American Games, and Youth Olympic Games. It helps select and financially assist Canadian cities in their efforts to host an Olympic Games or Pan American Games. It also manages programs that promote the values of the Olympics throughout Canada. The organization, which was known as the Canadian Olympic Association (COA) from 1912 to 2002, has a staff of more than 100 people. Its offices are in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

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Conn Smythe Trophy

The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded annually to the player judged most valuable to his team in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cupplayoffs. The player is selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association following the final game of the playoffs. The trophy was first presented in 1964 in honour of Conn Smythe, former coach, manager and owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the only Maple Leaf to win the award is Dave Keon (1967). Two-time winners include Bobby Orr(1970, 1972), Bernie Parent (1974, 1975), Wayne Gretzky (1985, 1988), Mario Lemieux (1991, 1992) and Sidney Crosby (2016, 2017), while Patrick Roy won the award three times (1986, 1993, 2001). Five players have won the trophy despite their team losing the Stanley Cup Final: Roger Crozier (1966), Glenn Hall (1968), Reggie Leach(1976), Ron Hextall (1987) and Jean-Sébastien Giguère (2003).

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Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America. It was donated by Governor General Lord Stanley in 1892 for presentation to the top hockey team in Canada, and was first awarded to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (1892–93). Since 1926, the Stanley Cup competition has been under the control of the National Hockey League(NHL). The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team in Stanley Cup history, with 24 victories, followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs with 13. These two “Original Six” teams dominated the championship from the 1940s to the 1970s. (See also Lord Stanley and the Stanley Cup.)

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Calder Memorial Trophy

The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded annually “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.” First presented in 1933, the trophy is named for Frank Calder, who was president of the NHL from 1917 to 1943. The winner is chosen through a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season and is awarded after the Stanley Cup playoffs. Players who have won the trophy and gone on to stardom include Terry Sawchuk, Bobby Orr, Ken Dryden, Ray Bourque, Mario Lemieux and Martin Brodeur.

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Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) player “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” The trophy was donated to the NHL in 1925 by Lady Evelyn Byng, wife of Governor General Byng. It was known as the Lady Byng Trophy until her death in 1949, when it was renamed the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The winner is chosen through a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season and is awarded after the Stanley Cup playoffs. Notable winners include Frank Boucher, Wayne Gretzky, Red Kelly, Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Bossy, Ron Francis and Martin St. Louis.

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Vezina Trophy

The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the best goaltender in the National Hockey League during the regular season. Created in 1927 in honour of Georges Vézina, who died in 1926 at the age of 39, the trophy was originally awarded to the goaltender with the best goals-against average. Beginning in 1946, it was presented to the main goalie for the team that had allowed the fewest goals in the regular season; in 1965, it was expanded to include all of the team’s goalies who had played in at least 25 games. Since 1982, the winner has been determined by a vote among all NHL general managers. Voting occurs at the end of the regular season and the trophy is handed out during the NHL Awards, following the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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James Norris Memorial Trophy

The James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the player selected by hockey writers as the best defenceman in the National Hockey League (NHL) during the regular season. It was presented to the league in 1953 by the children of James Norris, former owner of the Detroit Red Wings. The winner is chosen through a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season and is awarded after the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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Art Ross Trophy

The Art Ross Trophy is awarded annually to the player who leads the National Hockey League in scoring points during the regular season. If there is a tie at the end of the season, the trophy is awarded to the player with the most goals. The trophy was donated in 1948 by Arthur Howey Ross, general manager of the Boston Bruins. Several players have won the award multiple times, including Wayne Gretzky (10 times), Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux (6 times), Phil Esposito and Jaromir Jagr (5), Stan Mikita (4), and Bobby Hull and Guy Lafleur (3).

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a football team that plays in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Located in WinnipegManitoba, the Blue Bombers have alternated between the league’s West Division and East Division. They have been part of the West Division since 2014. Since its founding in 1930, the team has won 12 Grey Cup championships. In 2019, the team won its first Grey Cup since 1990 when it defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33–12. After the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Bombers defeated Hamilton in the 2021 Grey Cup by a score of 33–25. It marked the team’s first back-to-back championship since 1962, and the first in the CFL since the Montreal Alouettes in 2010.