Canadians are forward-thinking. We invented everything from the telephone to the snowmobile, as well as the Wonderbra and the zipper. Here are 5 Olympic Sports Invented by Canada that you did not know about:
Lacrosse – Sports invented by Canada
Lacrosse, Canada’s official national summer sport, is popular among athletes across the country. This uniquely Canadian sport began as a spiritual practice in Indigenous communities. As the sport was widely played across Canada, each tribe had its version.
The game was later adapted by Canadian William George Beers, who established the National Lacrosse Association in 1867, now known as the Canadian Lacrosse Association, as North America’s first national sport governing body. Lacrosse has since been played at two Summer Olympics, once in 1904 and again in 1908, with the Canadian team winning gold both times.
In 1905, the first patent for a lacrosse stick was granted.
Here are The Most Popular Sports In Canada
Dr. James Naismith, a former McGill University physical education teacher, began teaching at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891. During the harsh winter, the Almonte, Ont., native was tasked with developing a new indoor activity for his gym class.
Naismith came up with a new idea after failing to keep his students entertained with modified versions of common outdoor sports. He nailed two peach baskets to the gym’s walls and gave his class an old soccer ball.
“I told them the plan was to throw the ball into the peach basket of the opposing team.” “I blew a whistle, and the first basketball game began,” Naismith explained in a rare radio interview in 1939. The Canadian admitted that the first attempt did not go as planned. However, things improved after he devised the game’s 13 original rules. One of those rules was that you could not tackle your opponent to get to the ball.
Basketball made its Olympic debut in 1936 in Berlin and is now one of the world’s most popular sports.
Hockey – Sports invented by Canada
Though the origins of the game have been widely debated, there is no doubt that hockey is Canada’s game. Whether it was invented in Windsor, Newfoundland, Kingston, Ontario, or Montreal (heck, new research suggests the birthplace of hockey was in the United Kingdom), modern hockey was born on March 3, 1875, during an indoor game at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal.
The game was organized by Halifax native James Creighton, who brought together mostly McGill University students. The nine-person teams competed on the ice using a flat wooden puck. By 1877, some basic rules had been established, such as no forward passing and a maximum of seven players on the ice. Two years later, the first hockey team, the McGill Hockey Club, was formed. In 1886, the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada was formed, with members from Ottawa, Quebec City, and Montreal.
Hockey grew in popularity quickly, and in 1892, Governor General Lord Stanley donated the Dominion Challenge Cup, which is now known as the Stanley Cup. The Coloured Hockey League was founded in Nova Scotia in 1895, and women’s teams were formed at McGill a year later.
The National Hockey Association was founded in 1909, and the National Hockey League was formed in 1917. Hockey made its debut at the Antwerp Summer Olympics in 1920. From there, hockey grew and evolved into what it is today.
Baseball is a hugely popular sport in the United States, but did you know that Canadians helped develop the game’s rules? Baseball was introduced to North America through the influence of English rounders and had grown in popularity prior to the American Civil War. On June 4, 1838, one of the first recorded baseball games in Canada was played in Beachville, Upper Canada. The New York Knickerbockers rules, also known as the “New York Game,” were introduced seven years later. It is believed that our American friends used Canadian rules to modify their baseball rules.
Baseball was first recognized as a medal sport in 1992 and was last seen in the Olympics in 2008. It will return to Olympic programming this year in Tokyo after a 13-year absence. In Toronto, Ontario, one of the first industrial designs for a baseball glove was registered in 1923.
Wheelchair rugby – Sports invented by Canada
Wheelchair rugby was created in 1976 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, by a creative group of tetraplegic athletes looking for an alternative to wheelchair basketball. This sport was originally known as “Murderball,” and it allowed players with limited arm and hand function to participate on an equal footing. The sport has been part of the Summer Paralympics since 2000. Canada won silver in 1996, 2004, and 2012, as well as bronze in 2008.
The Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association registered “Wheelchair Rugby Canada” as a trademark in 2017, despite the fact that the name has been in use since 1989.