Top 10 Canadian winter sports
With so many months of cold, wintery conditions, it's no wonder that Canucks excel at a number of athletic activities that are centred around the snow. Running the gamut from exciting to leisurely, quiet to very loud, these are the top 10 Canadian winter sports.
A sport that requires skill, a steady hand, and a great set of lungs ("HAAAAARD!"), curling has been a classic winter sport since the days of yore in Scotland, where this activity was born. According to the Canadian Curling Association, approximately 15,000 competitive curlers from all provinces and territories enter play at the curling club level today with the hopes of becoming one of the Canadian Champions crowned annually.
Does it come as any surprise that hockey is on this list of top 10 Canadian winter sports?! It's probably the sport of the season (and all year long, in fact), being deemed the official national winter sport of Canada – the first organized hockey game in the country was played in Montreal back in 1875.
The First Nations began playing this sport more than 500 years ago, and today lacrosse is an integral part of native culture as well as across the country. Evolving over the years, lacrosse is now recognized as Canada's official national sport.
A fast-paced form of skiing, there's a wide range of downhill options, from family-oriented mountain skiing to extreme cat skiing and even heli skiing operations. And with several mountain ranges coast to coast, particularly the picturesque Rockies, it's been a beloved Canadian pastime for decades.
This more relaxed, easy-going type of skiing is enjoyed by hardcore exercisers as well as novices. Cross Country Canada says some two million Canadians participate annually in this activity, which has “no boundaries” for age, region, gender, or conditioning level.
The snow is all the more enjoyable when you're carving your way down a mountainside on a snowboard. Much like surfing on water, snowboarding has become a popular Canadian winter sport in the last 10 years, with certain runs being devoted solely to boarders.
If your idea of a great sport is sitting under blankets and feeling the icy wind on your face, where the only exertion required is being able to yell "Mush!", then dog sledding is for you. There are a variety of places that offer dog-sled tours, from the Haliburton Highlands in Ontario to Bow Valley on the West Coast.
Have a liking for trout, northern pike, walleye, whitefish, or perch? They're within your gloved reach even after the lakes and rivers have frozen over. Different ice fishing companies can get you all equipped for a relaxing afternoon of ice fishing, complete with tents, carved holes, equipment, bait, and sometimes even meals.
Got a penchant for things that go "Vroom vroom?" Snowmobiling was once reserved for utility purposes, such as transporting materials and other necessities across the winter tundra, however today they're enjoyed as a fun recreational Canadian winter sport. Search online for the nearest rental companies and snowmobiling trails.
This activity is not for the faint of heart – it's an adrenaline-pumping scare-the-wits-outta-you pastime that will test your limits. It became such a popular wintertime sport that many places now offer summer-time road luge like Skyline Luge in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.
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