In 1986, the Canadian men’s soccer team made its first and to date only appearance at the FIFA World Cup. Most of the team had professional playing experience, particularly in the North American Soccer League. At the World Cup, Canada faced France, Hungary and the Soviet Union and ended the tournament with three losses and without having scored a single goal. Despite this, the team’s appearance at the World Cup inspired the next generation of players. Since then, Canada has failed to qualify for the tournament, despite the popularity of the sport among Canadian youth and the success of three Major League Soccer franchises in the country.
Olympic Games are an international sports competition, held every four years. Until 1992 the Olympic Summer Games and the Olympic Winter Games were held in the same year, but beginning in 1994 they were rescheduled so that they are held in alternate even-numbered years.
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games were held in PyeongChang, South Korea, from 8 to 25 February 2018. Canada sent 225 athletes (122 men and 103 women) and finished third in the overall medal count with 29 medals (11 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze). It was Canada’s highest medal total at a single Olympic Winter Games. The Canadian team won 29 medals in nine different sports, including seven medals in freestyle skiing and its first medals in luge (bronze in women’s singles and silver in the team mixed relay). Canadian figure skaters won four medals at the 2018 Games, including ice dancing champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who became the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history with five career medals in total. Moir and speed skater Charles Hamelin also tied the Canadian record for most career Olympic medals by a male athlete.
The 1960 Olympic Winter Games were held in Squaw Valley, California, from 18 to 28 February 1960. Canada sent 44 athletes (34 men, 10 women) and finished eighth in the overall medal count with four medals (two gold, one silver and one bronze). Anne Heggtveit won gold in the slalom, becoming the first Canadian Olympic ski champion. Robert Paul and Barbara Wagner dominated the pairs figure skating competition in their second Winter Games, while Donald Jackson added a bronze medal in men’s figure skating. The Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen represented Canada in the Olympic hockey tournament and finished second to the Americans. It was the last time Canada was represented by a club team in Olympic hockey.
The Paralympic Games are an international competition for elite athletes with a disability. The name comes from "para," as in "parallel" or "equal." Like the Olympics, the Paralympic Games take place every two years, alternating between summer and winter sports. The country hosting the Olympic Games also hosts the Paralympics. Canada has participated in the Paralympic Games since 1968.
The 1952 Olympic Winter Games were held in Oslo, Norway from 14 to 25 February 1952. Canada sent 39 athletes (31 men, 8 women) and tied with Italy for eighth in the overall medal count with one gold and one bronze medal. Speed skater Gordon Audley took bronze in the 500 m final and the Edmonton Mercurys won Canada’s fifth gold medal in ice hockey. The country would not win hockey gold again until 50 years later, when the women’s and men’s teams defeated the Americans at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
The Arctic Winter Games (AWG) are biennial games initiated in 1970 to provide northern athletes with opportunities for training and competition, and to promote cultural and social interchange among northern peoples. Although the Games originated in North America, they have grown to include athletes from other parts of the world, including Greenland and parts of Russia, including Magadan, Sápmi and Yamal.
The 1956 Olympic Winter Games were held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, from 26 January to 5 February 1956. Canada sent 35 athletes (27 men, 8 women) and finished ninth in the overall medal count with one silver and two bronze medals. Figure skating pair Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden took home silver, while Lucile Wheeler won Canada’s first medal in alpine skiing, finishing third in the women’s downhill race. In ice hockey, Canada took the bronze medal, defeated by both the Americans and the Soviets, who won gold in their debut at the Olympic Winter Games.
Olympic Games are an international sports competition, held every four years. Although winter events were included in the 1908 and 1920 Olympic Games, the first separate Olympic Winter Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Canada has hosted two Olympic Winter Games: in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010. In total, Canada has won 199 medals at the Olympic Winter Games: 73 gold, 64 silver and 62 bronze medals. This does not include the gold medal in ice hockey won by Canada at the 1920 Olympic Games; while considered the first Olympic medal in ice hockey, it preceded the establishment of the Olympic Winter Games. The country ranks fifth in the total number of medals won at the Olympic Winter Games.
The 1932 Olympic Winter Games were held in Lake Placid, New York, from 4 to 15 February 1932. Canada sent 42 athletes (38 men, 4 women) to the Games and placed third in the overall medal count with seven medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze). The Winnipeg Hockey Club won Canada’s fourth consecutive Olympic medal in ice hockey, while speed skaters Alexander Hurd, William Logan and Frank Stack became the first Canadian medallists in speed skating. Montgomery Wilson took bronze in the men’s figure skating competition, becoming the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in the sport.
The 1936 Olympic Winter Games were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, from 6 to 16 February 1936. Canada sent 29 athletes (22 men, 7 women) and placed ninth in the overall medal count with one silver medal. For the first time at the Olympic Winter Games, Canada did not win the gold medal in ice hockey. It was a controversial result, with the Port Arthur Bear Cats finishing second to a British team that included several Canadian players. The 1936 Olympic Winter Games were themselves contentious, given the anti-Semitic policies of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Left-wing and Jewish groups in Canada and other countries proposed a boycott of the Games but were unsuccessful.
The 1948 Olympic Winter Games were held in St Moritz, Switzerland, from 30 January to 8 February 1948. Canada sent 28 athletes (24 men, 4 women) and placed eighth in the overall medal count with two gold medals and one bronze medal. The RCAF team was victorious in the ice hockey tournament, while Barbara Ann Scott won gold in women’s figure skating. It was the first time Canada had won more than one gold medal at the Winter Games, and the first gold medal in a sport other than hockey. Suzanne Morrow Francis and Wallace Diestelmeyer took bronze in pairs figure skating.
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.