“Hockey, is where we’ve gotten it right”
– David Adams Richards, Canadian Senator, and Writer.
Ask anyone in or outside the country what makes it different from other nations and it does not typically take long for hockey to emerge as something quintessentially Canadian. Whether one appreciates the game or not, the Canada official winter sport is ice hockey and is also the North American nation’s most wide reaching export. Therefore, it is as manifested as living daylight that ice hockey is consistently one of the two most watched sports in Canada.
The passion for the game was at its nirvana when the country was the winter Olympic Games host in 2010. More than 16 million, many with teary eyes, saw their fellow countrymen winning their first ever gold by bettering their rich big brothers from across the border. While Olympics hold their own marvelous distinction, Ice Hockey World Championship, annually organized by IIHF is the sport’s highest profile international tournament. Canada official winter sport is also formally recognized as such by the country’s national sports act. Although, in reality, ice hockey is an all-year-round sport in Canada at all levels.
There are outdoor as well as indoor rinks in every neighborhood across the country. Also, there is year-round media coverage of ice hockey. Moreover, majority of Canadians can tell you where exactly they were when Paul Henderson scored the decisive goal to beat Russia in the Canada/Soviet bilateral. The game reached its crescendo in 2004’s Ice Hockey World Cup Canada, when the country won its inaugural global bragging-rights. The Justin Trudeau led-nation reinforced its status as the crystal king of ice by hosting and winning the 2016 global edition as well.
As of September 2017, Canada is well ahead of second placed Russia to stutter around its number one status in the men’s ice hockey world ranking. On the other hand, women are only 70 points adrift to the first placed USA. Similarly, women are as agile as their male counterparts, winning 10 women’s world cup championships as of 2017. Today, the reason 58% of the nation’s viewers are making ice hockey the most watched sports in Canada is solely due to its men and women national teams’ dominance on the global circuit.
Canada official winter sport includes national championships such as the Allan Cup and the Memorial Cup for the junior and senior teams respectively. Moreover, there are also divisional championships staged across the country. Lastly, Hockey Canada is the game’s governing body and is also a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.
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