Welcome to my new series, the “Canadian List of Ten”! Ten weeks, ten posts, ten lists and one hundred new Canadian things for you, from food to language, from city to weather.
There is more to Canada than ice hockey, eh!
Indeed, Canadians participate in a variety of sports, professionally or as amateur. They compete in various championships and international games and Canada is a good contender in many fields.
Have you ever heard of curling? Did you know that cricket was popular here? Can you name Canada’s official summer sport?
Looks like you need this 10 Canadian sports list!
- Curling: this is a sport I had never heard of before I came to Canada. To me, curling is like playing darts horizontally on ice…! Basically, curling is a sport in which teams take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones down the ice towards a target. This sport is most popular in the prairies.
- Baseball: although more strongly associated with the United States, baseball is also popular in Canada. The only Major League Baseball team are currently The Toronto Blue Jays, since the Montréal Expos moved to Washington.
- Lacrosse: this is a true original Canadian sport, since First Nations started playing it some 500 years ago. Today, it is a widespread sport among autochtones and Canadians of all backgrounds, and it has been recognized as Canada’s official summer sport.
- Football: not soccer (one of Canada’s weak points!), but US style football. Canada has eight football teams: the B.C. Lions, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger Cats, and Montréal Alouettes.
- Basketball: it is a popular sport in Canada, especially in Nova Scotia and Southern Ontario. Currently, the only professional team is the Toronto Raptors.
- Cricket: although not as big as in India or Pakistan, cricket was the most popular sport in Canada until the early 20th century. It is still played today by a number of fans. The match between the USA and Canada the oldest international fixture in cricket, having first been played in 1844.
- Auto Racing: who hasn’t heard of Gilles Villeneuve, the famous Grand Prix Driver? It was a huge deal when the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montréal has been dropped from the Formula One calendar in 2008, but it is scheduled to return in 2010. Indeed, the Canadian Grand Prix was the most watched Formula One GP in the world in 2005.
- Running: although it is not really a professional sport in Canada, running is something that a lot of Canadians enjoy doing. It is a popular activity and it’s not rare to spot courageous soul jogging in a blizzard (I even took a picture once!). Marathons, semi-marathons and various races are also often organized to fund raise for various charities and participation is surprisingly large.
- Field Hockey: what do you do in the summer? You play field hockey, a fun substitute to ice hockey, very popular in many countries including Canada.
- Ice Hockey: Canada’s official pastime is best watched live, among other fans who will cheer during each fight. Many stereotypes are associated with hockey, starting with the toothless bloodshot-eyed players cliché. But in fact, the sport is surprisingly graceful. It is also fast-paced and quite fascinating, not only for the game itself but for the skating skills of the players.