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LAFLAMME, JOSEPH-CLOVIS-KEMNER – Volume XIII (1901-1910)

b. 19 Sept. 1849 in Saint-Anselme, Lower Canada

Confederation

Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier

Sports

The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

Sports and Canadian Nationalism
Original title:  Team Canada 1908 London

Source: Link

 

The sports organizer and journalist Henry John Prescott Wilshere GOOD worked to stoke national pride by drawing attention to athletic achievements, which he considered a symbol of the country’s dynamism:

“Throughout his long career, Good stressed three values that have been mainstays of Canadian amateur sport: purposeful recreation, respectable masculinity, and nationalism. He promoted sports for the health, the civic virtues, and the friendships that they encourage.… He abhorred brawling in hockey and had a low opinion of boxing. Probably the most distinctive feature of Good’s writing was his Canadianism. He covered not just Ontario sports, but the prospects and achievements of athletes from the Maritimes, Quebec, and the west, and of immigrants and the First Nations. His columns were replete with suggestions for boosting home-grown talent. He regularly regaled his readers with Canadian victories abroad, and complained when outstanding athletes such as the Toronto Lacrosse Club’s star runner, George Washington Orton, went to the United States. (Orton was the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal, in the steeplechase in 1900, but he did so in the uniform of the University of Pennsylvania.) Success in sports was a barometer of national vitality, Good argued, and Canada should seek to become one of the foremost of nations.”

 

Montreal dentist William George BEERS worked hard to raise lacrosse to the status of Canada’s national sport:

“His promotion of lacrosse revealed Beers’s fervent nationalism. ‘If the Republic of Greece was indebted to the Olympic Games; if England had cause to bless the game of cricket, so may Canada be proud of Lacrosse,’ he asserted. ‘It has raised a young manhood throughout the Dominion to active healthy exercise;. . . and has perhaps done more than anything else to involve the sentiment of patriotism among young men in Canada.’ So successful was Beers as a promoter that his claim lacrosse had been declared the national game of Canada by act of parliament became a myth both long and widely held. Nevertheless, lacrosse did become the national game of Canada by the end of the century.”

 

The following biographies provide additional information about the role of sports and the ways in which athletic achievement contributed to the birth and flourishing of Canadian nationalism:

 

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