Last Sunday afternoon, I turned on Wimbledon to find that a Canadian woman was competing in the championship match. At first, I found this ironic and comical. Of course a Canadian was playing in the championship of Wimbledon just as I started working at MSU’s Canadian Studies Center. Then, I reconsidered. Why shouldn’t Canadians be internationally involved in athletics other than hockey? After doing a bit of research I felt silly for ever wondering that.
I stumbled upon a list of Canada’s greatest athletes of all time and was intrigued to notice the variety of sports represented. Of course, there was an exceptional representation from hockey with a considerable list of hockey players such as, Wayne Gretzky known as “The Great One”, Gordie Howe, Maurice and Henry Richard, and Bobby Orr. Yet, there was a wide range of other spots represented such as, sprinters, rowers, boxers, skiers, as well as golf, tennis, soccer, basketball, baseball and football players(who even knew that Canada had a football team?).
Although hockey remains the most popular sport in Canada, other sports such as tennis, baseball, and basketball are on the rise. During this past Wimbledon tournament four Canadians, Frank Dancovic, Milos Raonic, Sharon Fichman, and Eugenie Bouchard competed. Raonic and Bouchard both advanced to the semifinals with Bouchard competing in the woman’s championship match. Although Bouchard did not win the championship, I think it’s safe to say that Canadian tennis is on its way to becoming the number one tennis nation in North America.
Yet, tennis isn’t the only athletic area that Canada is excelling. Canada’s Toronto Blue Jays are currently ranked second in the American League East conference above both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Furthermore, the Canadian NBA team, Toronto Raptors just signed the first round pick of Bruno Caboclo to a rookie contract. Canada seems to be diversifying and prevailing at all forms of athletics.
United States athletics better step up their game before Canadians fully take over. Americans may start watching the Canadian Football League (CFL) instead of the National Football League (NFL) in fact, Bleacher Report Correspondent, Jim Flannery claims, “I have long maintained that the CFL is a superior sport…”