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.
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.
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.
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.
With our national game now a multi-billion-dollar professional sport, it is perhaps comforting to look back to simpler times when hockey was closer to community, and was played for love and glory by amateurs. In the early days of Stanley Cup competition, any Canadian team with some success at the senior level could challenge the current champs. In 1905 one of the strangest challenges came from Dawson City, Yukon.
Special Olympics is a global sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. The impetus for the organization was research done by Canadian sports scientist Dr. Frank Hayden, who helped develop the first International Special Olympics Games in Chicago in 1968. The World Games are now held every two years and alternate between summer and winter events. The 2015 Summer Games were held in Los Angeles, California, and the 2017 Winter Games will be held in Austria. Canada began holding National Games in 1969, thanks to the efforts of broadcaster Harry “Red” Foster. Like the World Games, the National Games alternate between summer and winter events, with the 2014 Summer Games held in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the 2016 Winter Games held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. Special Olympics Canada has chapters in all provinces and territories, except Nunavut, and there are currently more than 40,000 children, youth and adults registered in Special Olympics programs across the country.