Sports & Recreation | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article


    About 20% of adult Canadians play at least one game of chess a year. These games are mostly played for fun in backyards and basements, but for several thousand tournament players chess is a serious game.

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  • Macleans

    Chess Master Beats Computer

    "I remain a cautious optimist in the progress of the human brain," Garry Kasparov told reporters during a historic chess match last week. "I still believe that there are some horizons it will be very difficult for a computer to cross.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on February 26, 1996

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  • Article

    Chuckwagon Races

    Chuckwagon races have become modified horse races; since 1923, races have concluded, not by firing up the stove, but by crossing the finish line in front of the grandstand, and, instead of draft horse teams, entrants use thoroughbreds.

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  • Macleans

    Class act

    Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir rose above politics and scandal to show what it means to be Olympic greatsThis article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on March 3, 2014

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  • Article

    Colored Hockey League

    The Colored 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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  • Article

    Commonwealth Games

    Since the first British Empire Games were held at Hamilton, Ontario, in August 1930, and attended by 400 competitors representing 11 countries, Canada has been a leading proponent and participant in this quadrennial multi-sport festival.

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  • Article

    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 Cup playoffs. 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). 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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  • Article

    Cricket (Game)

    In September 1844, teams from Canada and the United States of America met in what was arguably the first international match in cricket history, and perhaps even the first international sporting fixture in the world.

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  • Article


    Curling is a sport in which two teams of four players each send stones over an ice surface toward a target circle in an attempt to place nearest the centre. In Canada, curling has steadily grown in popularity since the first club was formed in Montréal in 1807. The national championships (Brier, Scotties) and Olympic trials are among some of the most popular sporting events in the country, and many winners of these tournaments have also achieved victory on the international stage. Curling is one of the country’s most popular sports, and is the most televised women’s sport in Canada.

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  • Macleans

    Curling Achieves Cult Status at 2002 Winter Games

    Her name is Rhona Martin of Dunlop, Scotland. On ice, she barks orders like a gunnery sergeant, and slings stones like a giant killer. She lists her occupation as housewife, and her hobbies - when not crushing the gold medal hopes of Kelley Law's dream team - as swimming and working out.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on March 4, 2002

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  • Macleans

    Curling: Special Report

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 16, 1998. Partner content is not updated. Sean O'Hare is a little nervous as he stares through the windows of the Fort Simpson Curling Club at the action on the ice below. It is clear that he is trying to figure out just what exactly the people are doing with the rocks and brooms.

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  • Article

    Competitive Cycling in Canada

    Bicycle racing comprises many events, from short-distance sprints on banked velodromes to road races covering distances of 30 to over 5,000 km, as well as mountain bike, BMX and para-cycling competitions. Canadians have made their mark in international cycling, including podium finishes at major competitions like the Olympics/Paralympics and world championships.

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  • Article

    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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  • Article

    Dene Games

    Dene games are tests of physical and mental skill that were originally used by the Dene (northern Athabascan peoples) to prepare for the hunting and fishing seasons, and to provide entertainment. Today, Dene games (e.g., Finger Pull and Hand Games) are still played in many schools and community centres in the North as a means of preserving tradition and culture. As competitive sports, Dene games are also featured in various national and international athletic competitions, including the Arctic Winter Games.

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  • Article


    The sport of diving can be traced back to 400 BC through pictures on Egyptian and Roman vases. Plain diving was practised from cliffs to the oceans during the 8th to 10th centuries by Vikings in Sweden and later in the 1770s by Indians in Acapulco, Mexico.

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