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Lionel Conacher Award

The Lionel Conacher Award is presented annually to Canada's best male athlete, as decided by a poll of Canadian sports journalists. The title was first awarded in 1932 and became known as the Lionel Conacher Award in 1978. It is named after Lionel Conacher, one of Canada’s greatest all-round athletes. The poll was suspended between 1942 and 1945, during the Second World War. Wayne Gretzky won a record six titles between 1980 and 1989 and was named athlete of the century in 1999. The most recent recipient is freestyle skier Mikaël Kingsbury (2018).

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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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Bianca Andreescu Wins US Open

Less than a month after becoming the first Canadian in 50 years to win the Rogers Cup, Romanian Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian tennis player ever to win a grand slam singles title when she defeated Serena Williams 6–3, 7–5 to win the US Open. Andreescu received US$3.85 million for the victory and moved up to No. 5 in the WTA rankings. On 15 September, more than 10,000 people gathered in her hometown of Mississauga for a #SheTheNorth rally. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie gave Andreescu a key to the city and announced that a street would be named in her honour. Mayor John Tory declared that 16 September 2019 was Bianca Andreescu day in the City of Toronto.

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Fred Storey

Frederick Lewis Storey, curler (born 3 March 1932 in Empress, AB; died 2 December 2019 in Calgary, AB).

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Baseball in Canada

Canadian baseball has a proud and vibrant history. From the first recorded game, in Upper Canada in 1838, to the Toronto Blue Jays' winning season in 2015, this collection of articles recognizes the game as played in Canada, and the people around it.

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Larry Walker

Larry Kenneth Robert Walker, baseball player, coach (born 1 December 1966 in Maple Ridge, BC). Larry Walker is arguably the greatest Canadian position player in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. He and pitcher Ferguson Jenkins are the only Canadian players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. A five-time all-star, Walker won seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and the 1997 National League MVP award. He hit more than .300 in nine seasons, led the Major Leagues in batting average three times and was the first Canadian-born player to win a batting title since Tip O’Neill in 1887. Walker leads all Canadian MLB players in hits, home runs, RBI, doubles and runs scored. He won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year in 1998 and received the Tip O’Neill Award as Canada’s best baseball player nine times — more than any other player. He has also been inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Robert Daniel Steadward

Robert (Bob) Daniel Steadward, CCAOE, educator, sports scientist, founding president of the International Paralympic Committee (born 26 May 1946 in Eston, SK). Robert Steadward began working with wheelchair athletes in the 1960s, while a student at the University of Alberta. In 1978, he founded the University of Alberta’s Research and Training Centre for the Physically Disabled (now known as The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement). Steadward helped establish the International Paralympic Committee and was elected its first president in 1989. A professor at the University of Alberta from 1970 to 2001, he is now Professor Emeritus.

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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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Pat Patterson

Pat Patterson (born Pierre Clermont), wrestler, promoter, executive (born 19 January 1941 in Montreal, QC; died 2 December 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida). Pat Patterson was one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was also the first openly gay professional wrestler. He came out publicly in 2014 when he was an executive with the WWE, but he never made a secret of his sexuality behind the scenes. He was released from WWE following sexual harassment allegations in 1992 but was rehired after the charges were dropped. He was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame in 1996.

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Tom Longboat

Thomas Charles Longboat, distance runner (born 4 July 1886 in Ohsweken, Six Nations Grand River reserve; died 9 January 1949). Tom Longboat (Haudenosaunee name Cogwagee) was an Onondaga distance runner from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation reserve near Brantford, Ontario. Largely because of his ability to dominate any race and his spectacular finishing sprints, he was one of the most celebrated athletes before the First World War.

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Carla Qualtrough

Carla Qualtrough, politician, athlete, lawyer (born 15 October 1971 in Calgary, AB). Carla Qualtrough is the Liberal member of Parliament for Delta, a suburban constituency south of Vancouver. She has served as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and is currently Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility. Prior to entering politics, she worked in human rights law and in sports administration. Qualtrough, who is legally blind, was the first Paralympian elected to the House of Commons. She won three bronze medals in swimming at the Paralympic Games and four medals at the world championships.

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Jerome Drayton

Jerome Peter Drayton (né Peter Buniak), marathoner, long-distance runner (born 10 January 1945 in Kolbermoore, Germany). Jerome Drayton is considered Canada’s top male marathon runner and best male distance runner of all time. He set the Canadian men’s marathon record twice, with times of 2:16:11 in 1968 and 2:10:08.4 in 1975; the latter record stood for 43 years. Drayton competed for Canada at the 1968 and 1976 Olympic Summer Games and won the silver medal in the men’s marathon at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. He is the last male Canadian runner to have won the Boston Marathon (in 1977). He also set a world record in the men’s 10-mile run (46:37.4). A member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Drayton earned 12 national titles and set 13 records in various distances.

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Own the Podium

Own the Podium is a non-profit organization that assists national sports bodies in Canada with their investment and training strategies. Based in Ottawa and Calgary, the program provides financial assistance to high-performance Canadian athletes and coaches. It enables them to compete as well as possible at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the goal of medalling (reaching the podium) as much as possible. It was created in 2005, in advance of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Own the Podium is funded by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Foundation.   

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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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Eric Lindros Testifies to Parliamentary Committee on Concussions

Hockey Hall of Famer Eric Lindros, whose playing career was cut short by multiple concussions, urged a Parliamentary health committee to create a national protocol for preventing and treating sports-related concussions. He recommended banning hitting in hockey until players are in their mid-teens, ensuring players have months of recovery time every year, and consolidating various protocols across different sports and regions into a unified approach. 

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Canadian Sports History

Sports have a long history in Canada, from early Indigenous games (e.g., baggataway) to more recent sports such as snowboarding and kitesurfing. Officially, Canada has two national sports: lacrosse (summer) and hockey (winter).

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The Marquess of Lansdowne, Governor General of Canada

Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, politician and governor general of Canada from 1883 to 1888 (born 14 January 1845 in London, United Kingdom; died 3 June 1927 in Clonmel, Ireland). Lansdowne was the first governor general to travel the entire length of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He also mediated a dispute with the United States concerning fishing rights.