Who invented Canadian football?
One could also deal with the problem very briefly: Why has never been an ice hockey world championship in Canada? Because the Canadians have better things to do in ice hockey at this time of year. And why is the World Cup taking place in Canada in 2008 of all times? Because the world ice hockey association is exactly 100 years old and the Canadians thought it would be a successful birthday present if they host the anniversary tournament for it. The fact that there has never been a World Cup in Canada is a curiosity - as if a soccer World Cup had never taken place in England, Brazil or Germany. This sport was first practiced in Canada, there are still a lot more active people here than anywhere else, Canada is one of two partners (alongside the USA) in the best league in the world - the NHL - and from Canada there are thousands every year by professionals on their way as guest players abroad.
Olympic for the first time in 1920
Who invented it? The Canadians, and when the Europeans (Belgium, France, Great Britain and Switzerland) founded the international ice hockey federation (then LIHG, now IIHF) on May 15, 1908 in the Rue de Province in Paris, the Stanley Cup had already been played 14 times . With the man who thought up ice hockey as a more civilized and ice-skated version of the Gaelic Shinty, Halifax, the place where the German national team completes its preliminary and intermediate round program, comes into play early on.
The city in Nova Scotia is not directly a hotspot for ice hockey and is currently only represented nationwide by the Halifax Mooseheads, a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. But the first set of rules for the game, formulated in 1870 by James George Aylwin Creighton, is called the Halifax Rules. According to them, the first official game in history was played in Montreal on March 3, 1875, and Creighton's team from McGill University won 2-1 against the team Victoria of a certain Fred Torrence.
The first attempts were not made in Europe until 20 years later, in 1905 the first international match (Belgium against France) took place in Paris, and at the first European championships in January 1910 in Les Avants near Montreux, the teams from Switzerland, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium also competes with the Oxford Canadiens, made up of Canadian students. The world federation was actually a European federation, even when ice hockey was on the program of the Summer Olympics in Antwerp in 1920. Canada and the USA were among the participants, not yet members of the LIHG, but hopelessly superior to the rest of the world.
Helmet off to the throw
The Winnipeg Falcons won gold, and both American states joined the LIHG at the post-tournament congress. From then on, the Canadians were no longer self-sufficient at home, but dominated their national sport worldwide, and by 1947 in Prague the Czechoslovaks became the first non-American team to become world champions, the Canadians had won the title eleven times. In 1952, represented by the Edmonton Mercurys, they became Olympic champions for the sixth time, but not for 50 years after that. In 1961, represented by the Trail Smoke Eaters, they became world champions for the 19th time, but not for 33 years.
The fact that the professionals of the National Hockey League were not admitted to the international tournaments ignited a long-term dispute and a thorough alienation of both parties. In 1970 the Canadians resigned as the host of the World Cup because of this dispute (the locations would have been Montreal and Winnipeg), Sweden stepped in as the organizer, and what was even more serious was that the inventors boycotted the World Championships from then on - until 1977, when NHL professionals played in Vienna for the first time allowed to. They did not win a medal back then, and their star striker Phil Esposito demonstrated what they thought of international customs by taking the helmet, which had been forced on him by the regulations for two weeks, to the stands in the direction of the association after the last game -Granden hurled.
Gradually, however, one got used to the international customs, in 1994 in Milan Team Canada under the guidance of George Kingston (who became national trainer in Germany a year later) was finally able to inherit the Trail Smoke Eaters, and with the Olympic final in 2002 between Canada and the team USA fulfilled the dream of the founding fathers. Now it was time for Canada to host the World Cup - with one small caveat: the country's strongholds are not available for this - not Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton or Toronto, no place where the NHL is at home. Then to the provinces, to Halifax, or Quebec City, where they no longer have an NHL team since the Nordiques were sold to Denver in 1995. But Canada is ice hockey country everywhere, and the World Cup is finally coming home - actually for the first time.
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