Professional hockey has been Canada's most popular sport and the one most connected with national identity. Other major sports include basketball, baseball, and football.
In this article, we'll focus on professional hockey. In fact, we'll go a step further and talk about how Canadian ice hockey became an international sport.
Canadians love their hockey and it's not hard to see why. The sport is fast-paced, requires quick decisions, and is highly competitive - exactly what modern athletes want from a game. And did I mention it's fun?
Canadian ice hockey has evolved over time and taken its global audience by storm. Let's take a look at some of the most important events in its history.
1875: The first organized game of ice hockey is played between McGill University and Bishop's College. The game is based on an earlier version of soccer called "Cork and Ball."
1911: The Montreal Canadiens win the first of what would be many Stanley Cups. They do so by defeating the Vancouver Millionaires 4-3 in overtime of the final game of the series.
Canada-US matchups are among the most significant in international hockey for both genders and all age categories. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, this competition has undoubtedly been one of the most heated. By far the most competitive sport between the two countries is ice hockey.
The first official international game was played in Montreal on January 5, 1924. The United States won that match 3 to 0. The series was held every four years after that, with the Americans winning each time except for 1977 when they lost to Canada. In total, the United States has a 12-3-1 record against Canada.
The Americans won their last match against Canada on April 7, 2004. The Canadians took home the gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver while the Americans went home with the bronze.
Canada-USA games are very popular with American sports fans, who often make the trip across the border just to see them play. The Canadians are also famous for their success in ice hockey, so there's always plenty of excitement when these two great nations meet on the ice.
Hockey is Canada's official national winter sport, and it may be the country's most significant gift to international sport. Ice hockey is claimed to have originated in Canada, and Canadians largely view the sport as their own.
The first evidence of organized ice hockey in Canada comes from Montreal and Toronto. The two cities are rivals at the ice hockey world championship level today, but they were also rivals at the time of the first games. In those days, Montreal and Toronto did not hesitate to take on the role of championing the sport across Canada.
Today, hockey is more popular in Canada than ever before, with thousands of people participating in various forms of the game. There are major league teams in all four Canadian provinces, and dozens of smaller communities have hockey clubs. Quebec is the homeland of ice hockey, but it is played everywhere in Canada. Although hockey is a team sport, you do not have to be on a team to play or watch hockey. Anyone can join in the fun by playing ice hockey online.
In British Columbia, hockey is the most popular sport.
Is hockey truly a Canadian sport? According to the statistics, more Canadian adults play golf than ice hockey, but nearly twice as many children under the age of 14 play soccer as hockey. There are also more ice hockey players in the United States than in Canada. The most obvious explanation for this disparity is that American schools offer ice hockey while Canadian schools do not.
That being said, people in Canada love their hockey and when it comes to popularity between soccer and hockey, there is no contest - unless you include fan interest in European football clubs. In Europe, soccer is by far the most popular sport among children and young adults, while ice hockey dominates among older men.
Canadians also love their baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Since its founding in 1977, the franchise has won two World Series titles - and was once named the greatest sports team in Canada - and has made the playoffs every year except one. However, unlike in America where only elite athletes can make it into Major League Baseball, many successful Canadian players choose to try out for NFL teams instead.
In conclusion, hockey is more popular in Canada than soccer. However, baseball is more popular in Canada than either hockey or soccer.