Olympic Channel

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History of

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a fast, fluid and exciting team sport. It draws big crowds at the Olympic Games thanks to the drama and tension of the matches.

A Canadian Past

Ice hockey originated in Canada in the early 19th century, based on several similar sports played in Europe, although the word “hockey” comes from the old French word “hocquet”, meaning “stick”. Around 1860, a puck was substituted for a ball, and in 1879, two McGill University students, Robertson and Smith, devised the first rules.

Stanley Cup

The first recognised team, the McGill University Hockey Club, was formed in 1880 as hockey became the Canadian national sport and spread throughout the country. In 1892, the Governor General of Canada donated the Stanley Cup, which was first won by a team representing the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association.