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Winnipeg has a long and storied sports history. It has been home to several professional hockey, football and baseball franchises. There have also been numerous university and amateur athletes over the years who have left their mark.

Contents

Hockey

In 1972, the Winnipeg Jets were one of the original teams of the World Hockey Association and won three Avco World Trophy league titles in eight years. The Jets entered the National Hockey League in 1979 and played in Winnipeg until 1996. The Jets featured such Hall of Famers as WHA coach Rudy Pilous and players Bobby Hull, Dale Hawerchuk, and (briefly) Serge Savard, as well as potential Hall of Famers Teemu Selänne and Phil Housley. In 1996, the team was sold to an ownership group based in Phoenix, Arizona, and moved there to become the Phoenix Coyotes.

Since 1996, Winnipeg has been home to the minor-league Manitoba Moose, currently a member of the American Hockey League. The Moose are the farm team to the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.

The old Winnipeg Arena (1955-2006) was originally home to the Winnipeg Warriors (minor pro) of the Western Hockey League (minor pro) from 1955 to 1961. The Warriors were World's Minor Professional Champions in 1955-56, winning the Edinburgh Cup. The Arena was also home to the Winnipeg Warriors of the WHL from 1980 through 1984, and the Winnipeg Monarchs of the same league in the 1960s and 70s.

The Manitoba Moose currently play out of the MTS Centre.

Old-Time Hockey

Winnipeg produced Hall of Fame hockey players Andy Bathgate, Bill Mosienko, Art Coulter, Ching Johnson, Frank Fredrickson, Jack Ruttan and Terry Sawchuk. Another former NHLer is Ernie Dickens.

Picture of the Gold Medal-winning Winnipeg Falcons taken en route to the 1920 Olympics (photo includes an unidentified ship's officer and a woman)

The Stanley Cup was won three times by the Winnipeg Victorias in 1896, 1901 and 1902. The Winnipeg Falcons won the gold medal in the 1920 Winter Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. The Winnipeg Hockey Club won the gold medal in the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. [1]

Football

Winnipeg has a team in the Canadian Football League, the Blue Bombers, who have won 10 Grey Cups, the league's championship trophy. The Winnipeg 'Pegs won the Grey Cup in 1935. Winnipeg also hosted the Grey Cup game in 1991, 1998 and 2006.

Years Operated Team League(s) Championships
1930-Present Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL 10
1920-1996 Winnipeg Hawkeyes MJFL, CJFL 0
1920-1994 Winnipeg Rods MJFL, CJFL 5
2002-Present Winnipeg Rifles CJFL 0

Baseball

Canwest Park
Years Operated Team Championships
1902-1942 Winnipeg Maroons
1953-1964 Winnipeg Goldeyes
1970-1971 Winnipeg Whips 0
1994-Present Winnipeg Goldeyes 1

Minor-league baseball has a long history in Winnipeg.

1902-1942: Winnipeg Maroons of the original Northern League

1953-1964: Winnipeg Goldeyes, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Class C Northern League

1970-1971: Winnipeg Whips, AAA affiliate of the Montreal Expos

In 1994, the Rochester Aces of the independent Northern League re-located to Winnipeg, and the team was renamed the Goldeyes.

Initially, the team played at multi-purpose Winnipeg Stadium. In 1999, the team moved to the downtown CanWest Global Park, a baseball-only stadium. The Goldeyes are owned by current mayor Sam Katz.

Soccer

Winnipeg was once home to the Winnipeg Fury professional soccer team, playing in the CSL and winning the final championship to be hosted in the league.

Years Operated Team League(s) Championships
1987-1992 Winnipeg Fury CSL 1

Horse racing

The first track horse race in Winnipeg took place in 1922. Whittier Park and Polo Park were used as racetracks in the past. Today, Assiniboia Downs is a six and one half furlong oval located on the western edge of the city. It is operated as a non-profit organization by the Manitoba Jockey Club. Live thoroughbred horse racing takes place in the summer.

Amateur sports

Winnipeg hosted the 1967 Pan American Games and 1999 Pan American Games. In 1991, the city hosted the fifth Western Canada summer Games

Some of the notable sports figures from Winnipeg include six time Olympic speedskating medallist and most decorated Canadian Olympian Cindy Klassen [2], Olympic Taekwondo athlete and bronze-medallist Dominique Bosshart, Summer and Winter Olympic medal winner Clara Hughes and Canadian Olympic Women's Hockey Gold Medallist Jennifer Botterill.

Daniel Yanofsky, the first chess Grandmaster developed in the British Commonwealth, lived in Winnipeg from infancy, and he organized and played in Canada's first Supergrandmaster chess tournament in Winnipeg 1967. [3]

Skateboarding

Canad Inns Stadium

Winnipeg has a number of skateboard parks- some leftovers from the 1970s and many more recent additions to the skateboard scene. [4] In 2006, Winnipeg completed a project that saw the construction of a large skate plaza at the Forks. The plaza was visited by Tony Hawk in his Secret Skate Park Tour in the same year. In 2007 and 2008 the plaza was host to the Rogers WAM International skate board competition, in addition to numerous other competitive and non-competitive events. [5] [6] [7]

University sports

The University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba have active and successful programs in sports, especially volleyball and basketball. The University of Winnipeg's women's basketball team won 88 consecutive games during the 1990s, tying a college sports record. The University of Manitoba Bisons football team has won three Vanier Cup trophies, won the Hardy Trophy ten times and won the Mitchell Bowl four times. Volleyball is particularly strong, with consistently high-calibre play, dating back to the standing (in 2007) record of four consecutive national university championships held by the University of Winnipeg Wesmen since the early 1970s.

Curling

Winnipeg is also home to many of the world's best curling teams and has hosted the World Curling Championships in 1978, 1991 and 2003. Several World Curling Championships winners have called Winnipeg home including Don Duguid, Kerry Burtnyk, Jeff Stoughton, Georgina Wheatcroft and Jennifer Jones.

Notable Current Sports Figures

An ice hockey game, 1919, Winnipeg

See also

References

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