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Lenka Koutn

Sport in Canada
Canada belongs to one of the most sports-oriented countries in the world. Sport as a part of
culture plays very important role in life of every Canadian. There is no wonder that Canada
has many successful athletes which are known all over the world. ut sport is not !ust a
part of a healthy lifestyle" it also significant due to Canadian identity.
There are many popular sports and sport disciplines in Canada. They can be performed by
individuals and also by teams. The most famous is without hesitation ice hockey. #ockey
is official national winter sport of Canada declared in $ay %&" %''( in )ational Sports of
Canada *ct +Canadian #eritage" &,,-.. /e can find many reasons why especially hockey
is so famous in Canada. 0t is a sport which can be performed by everyone. There are
(''"1'2 registered players which represent %.23 of population of Canada +Sport Canada"
&,,2.. $en and women of all ages spend their free time playing ice-hockey on amateur or
higher levels of competition. 0t is also not very e4pensive sport and there are many places
where hockey can be played. 5very city has ice rinks and there are also fro6en lakes and
rivers because of the climate. Canada has very successful national ice hockey team for
both" men and women. There are many professional competitions which are held in ice-
hockey as well. $ost significant is so called Stanley Cup. The playoff winner of this ice-
hockey championship finale which is held since %-'7 gets the trophy named by the Lord
Stanley of 8reston then 9overnor 9eneral of Canada.
Those athletes who are successful and gifted become famous. *nd for some young children
they also become role models and idols. They are admired and respected. The most popular
and known are /ayne 9ret6ky and $ario Lemieu4. 5very small boy or girl wants to play
like /ayne and sees him or herself as the ne4t $ario. ut because of the length of Canada
and the high number of ice-hockey players all around the country it is very difficult to be
better than anyone else. There are many schools which concentrate on taking care of young
talented sportsmen and sportswomen. ut !ust few of them are recogni6ed as talented and
later chosen to play in professional field by so called sport couches. Those are usually
members of some hockey team which look for future hockey stars. :thers have to give up
their dream of professional sport career. ;ortunately they do not give up on ice hockey
entirely. This is proved by people of all ages that never cease to play hockey !ust for fun.
ut sport and especially ice hockey is not !ust a way of healthy lifestyle as it may seem. 0t
also became entertainment for many people. 5very week during hockey seasons thousands
of hockey fans head to hockey stadiums to cheer on their favourite teams. They don<t
hesitate to spend high amount of money on !erseys" mascots and other souvenirs connected
with their beloved team. #ockey matches in Canada became very good business !ust like
*merican football in the =nited States is. $illions of dollars are spent on television
broadcasts" advertisements" promo actions and tickets. There are also special sports
channels which broadcast !ust sport games and matches" ice hockey included. ut there is
also a bright side to this enormous business and money maker.
/e should reali6e that professional ice hockey players and sportsmen are not !ust rich and
arrogant people. Some of them try to give back to those who were not so fortunate. They
visit sick children in hospitals and organi6e different kinds of charity events for good
cause. They are role models for many young children who look up to them with
ama6ement and respect. They help to build national proud and belief in Canadian identity.
Sport is for many Canadians also an opportunity to sense and re-discover national
connection and feeling. 0t does not matter if the athlete is *nglophone or if he or she
speaks ;rench" if his origin is *sian or other. The most important fact is that they fight in
the name of their home country. They all want to make proud fellow Canadians and hear
national anthem while standing on the podium. Sport is great way to reconnect and put
conflicts and misunderstanding behind.
This was greatly shown during last :lympic 9ames which were held in >ancouver this
year. 0t is great honour for every country to be part of such an important sports event.
$illions of people all around the world take part in this celebration of sport" friendship and
national feeling. Canadian athletes were very successful and did their best on so-called
home soil. They gathered total amount of &1 :lympic medals and therefore became on of
the most successful countries. ut it was also great opportunity for Canada to prove the
world what a great country it is. ?uring opening and closing ceremonies magnificent and
significant events of Canadian history and some traditional dances were shown. 5veryone
was able to admire the beauty of Canadian nature.
Sport helps create better life for many people and also helps Canadians to gain national
feeling and preserve their national identity and culture. 0t is very important for people of
Canada to have some passion that they can share together. )o matter what language they
speak or what their race is" sport can make individuals and complete strangers come
together as one.
Sources@
National Sports of Canada Act. Canadian #eritage. %Ath )ovember" &,,-. &2th :ctober" &,%,.
BBhttp@CCwww.pch.gc.caCpgmCscClegsltnCn-%1-eng.cfmDD
Strengthening Canada: The Socio-economic Benefits of Sport Participation in CanadaReport August 200.
Sport Canada. %st Euly" &,,1.