150 years of Canadian sport: the 1910s

Credit: olympic.ca

As the countdown to Canada’s 150th anniversary on July 1 continues, so too does Olympic.ca’s look back at major moments in the country’s sporting history.


With the 1910s upon us, we are now a third of the way through our weekly series. If you missed any of the decades gone by, you can find those here.


But for now, let’s focus on the decade that included the golden anniversary of confederation and the athletes who made Canada proud on the field of play and the field of battle.


1912 – Canada’s First Olympic Double Gold Medallist


George Hodgson in the 400m freestyle at the Stockholm Games in 1912


Of Canada’s three gold medals won at Stockholm 1912, swimmer George Hodgson was responsible for two, making him the country’s first ever double gold medallist at a single edition of the Olympic Games.


First came his victory in the 1500m freestyle. His competitors knew he meant business when he set a world record in his opening heat. In the final, Hodgson took the pace out quickly, establishing a 25m lead over his biggest rival, Brit Jack Hatfield, at the 500m mark. He passed the 1000m mark in 14 minutes and 37 seconds, a world record for that distance. He completed the 1500m in 22 minutes flat, setting a world record that would stand for 11 years. But he didn’t stop swimming there, going on to set a third world record in the same race as he covered a mile (1609m) in 23 minutes 34.5 seconds.


Four days later, Hodgson was back in the pool for the final of the 400m freestyle, which he won in Olympic record time of 5 minutes 24.4 seconds. Canada’s first Olympic swimming medallist, he remains as Canada’s only Olympic gold medallist in either of those events.


1912 –  Canada’s First Individual Back-to-Back Olympic Medallist


Canada’s Calvin Bricker leaps towards a silver medal performance in the long jump event at the Stockholm 1912 Olympic Games. (CP Photo/COC)


Cal Bricker had already enjoyed Olympic success at London 1908 where he won bronze in the long jump after having set a national record at the Canadian trials that would stand for 27 years. But four years later at Stockholm 1912 he did something no Canadian had done before – win medals at back-to-back Olympic Games in the same individual event. After having missed the silver in London by just a centimetre, he got to the second step of the podium in Stockholm with a leap of 7.21m. Since 1965, Athletics Canada has awarded the Cal D. Bricker Award to the Canadian athlete with the single outstanding performance of the year.


1913 – Canada Reaches Davis Cup Semifinals


In a feat that wouldn’t be replicated for a century, the Canadian team of Robert Powell and Bernard Schwengers advanced to the semifinals of the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, the 12th edition of what is now known as the Davis Cup. In their first round tie against South Africa, they came away with a 4-1 victory. They then defeated Belgium 4-0 before being stopped one round shy of the championship showdown with a 3-0 loss to the United States.


It wasn’t until the quartet of Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Daniel Nestor and Frank Dancevic got through Spain and Italy during a dream season in 2013 that Canada had a crew back in the Davis Cup semifinals.


1914-1918 – Canadian Olympians in World War I


Photo courtesy Canada Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada


With the onset of the First World War, the second Olympic Games that were to have taken place in the decade had to be cancelled. Instead of competing in Berlin in 1916, many of Canada’s top athletes became soldiers, including five Olympians who lost their lives in battle.


Cree runner Alex Decoteau had finished sixth in the 5000m at Stockholm 1912. Five years later, the Edmonton police officer perished in October 1917’s Second Battle of Passchendaele when he was hit by a sniper’s bullet.


Another 1912 Olympian, James Duffy, finished fifth in the marathon in Stockholm before winning the Boston Marathon in 1914. On April 23, 1915 he was fatally wounded near Ypres, Belgium where Canadian forces faced the first documented use of poison gas on the Western Front.


World War I bunker known as “Cheddar Villa” in St. Julien, Belgium. The bunker was a German strongpoint, which was taken on the opening day of the Third Ypres battle. (Canadian Press)


Percival Molson had raced in the 400m at St. Louis 1904 before forming an infantry unit of former McGill University graduates to help reinforce the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. After surviving an attack at the Battle of Mount Sorrel in Belgium in June 1916, he returned to action a year later and was killed by a direct hit from a German howitzer near Vimy Ridge, France in July 1917.


Four years after taking Canada to the Davis Cup semifinals, Robert Powell was an army lieutenant who died leading a charge at Vimy Ridge just two weeks after Canadian forces famously captured the strategic high ground. Powell had competed in both the singles and doubles tennis tournaments at London 1908.


Menin Gate in Belgium where the WWI missing are immortalized.


As a rower, Geoffrey Taylor won a pair of bronze medals with the four and eight at London 1908. He returned to the Olympic Games at Stockholm 1912. Three years later, he went missing during the Second Battle of Ypres after Canadian troops advanced into the village of St. Julien where they encountered poison gas. Taylor’s name appears on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Belgium.

Top Stories

WATCH: What Ed Orgeron said following LSU’s lightning-delayed spring game

BATON ROUGE, La. — There’s rarely such thing as normal at LSU, even for something as simple as a spring game. Fortunately, Ed Orgeron is already used to it early in his coaching tenure after already dealing with one hurricane-altered game last season. LSU’s spring game was played at two different venues in one night. The […] The post WATCH: What Ed Orgeron said following LSU’s lightning-delayed spring game appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 11 hours ago
  • 11

Tennessee recruiting: Vols’ land 2019 WR Cameron Wynn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Saturday turned out to be a productive day on the recruiting trail for Tennessee despite the rain-shortened Orange and White game. Shortly after the game was called off, 3-star QB Michael Penix announced his commitment to the Vols. As it turns out, that was just the first commitment of the day. Shortly thereafter, […] The post Tennessee recruiting: Vols’ land 2019 WR Cameron Wynn appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 15 hours ago
  • 7

Daily Motorcycle News • IANNONE ELEVENTH IN AMERICAS GP QUALIFYING

IANNONE ELEVENTH IN AMERICAS GP QUALIFYING Team Suzuki Press Office – April 22.
  • 13 hours ago
  • 7

Daily Motorcycle News • SUZUKI WORLD MXGP AIM TO GET BACK ON-TRACK AT ‘HOME’ GP

SUZUKI WORLD MXGP AIM TO GET BACK ON-TRACK AT ‘HOME’ GP Team Suzuki Press Off
  • 13 hours ago
  • 5

2017 NBA Mock Draft: Kentucky in position to have multiple top 10 picks

With the NBA playoffs in full swing, the season is officially over for about half of the league’s teams, and those franchises are looking ahead to June’s draft, where they’ll have their next opportunity to reverse their fortunes. Of course, for those of us not in front offices, that means in addition to the games […] The post 2017 NBA Mock Draft: Kentucky in position to have multiple top 10 picks appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 hours ago
  • 5
farawayyachtingcharters - Easy Branches
botoxfillerveintheraphyinphuket - Easy Branches

Latest in Sport

Top student of Myles Garrett’s high school class remembers life early on with possible No. 1 pick

Myles Garrett, the brawn of James Martin (Arlington, Texas) High School’s Class of 2014, hopes to become the NFL draft’s top pick on Thursday. The class’ brain? Shariq Haseen, who graduated with Garrett and was named valedictorian, prepares to complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Arlington in May before climbing more academic mountains. […] The post Top student of Myles Garrett’s high school class remembers life early on with possible No. 1 pick appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 23 minutes ago

SEC spring games attendance: Alabama and Georgia take the top spots in the SEC

After 4 more SEC spring games this weekend, there are 2 new teams sitting on top in terms of most fans. Alabama set a conference best with an attendance total of 74,426. Georgia now sits in second with 66,133 fans, which is still impressive even if it failed to match last year’s 93,000 fans. Among […] The post SEC spring games attendance: Alabama and Georgia take the top spots in the SEC appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 23 minutes ago

Kentucky-LSU baseball: Time, TV channel, watch online, stats, score updates

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky won the first, LSU took the second, and now the series will be decided Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Wildcats powered past the Tigers in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader, but the UK bats cooled off in the nightcap. Kentucky left 14 runners on base and went on a stretch early […] The post Kentucky-LSU baseball: Time, TV channel, watch online, stats, score updates appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 23 minutes ago

Approval rating for Georgia football coach Kirby Smart: You decide

Kirby Smart gave Georgia fans a taste of the future on Saturday in the Bulldogs’ spring game. And while quarterback Jacob Eason didn’t have the greatest performance, incoming freshman Jake Fromm flashed some serious potential. Freshman wide receiver J.J. Holloman and sophomore running back Elijah Holyfield also had strong games. And while G-Day didn’t see the same […] The post Approval rating for Georgia football coach Kirby Smart: You decide appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Approval rating for Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn: You decide

Spring practice could not have gone any better for Auburn and Gus Malzahn. That should allow the Auburn coach to breathe a sigh of relief. Former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham looked magnificent in the Tigers’ spring scrimmage. Auburn has always ran the ball well under Malzahn, but if Stidham can throw like he did in […] The post Approval rating for Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn: You decide appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Approval rating for Alabama football head coach Nick Saban: You decide

Nick Saban seemingly can do no wrong. Especially after how both of his quarterbacks played in the Alabama spring game on Saturday. After a ton of staff turnover on offense, specifically with Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both leaving for other jobs, Saban hired Brian Daboll, who was a graduate assistant at Michigan State when […] The post Approval rating for Alabama football head coach Nick Saban: You decide appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Approval rating for Tennessee football coach Butch Jones: You decide

Butch Jones is not in an enviable position as he has to replace a wealth of talent and somehow live up to the expectations of the Tennessee fan base. And because of inclement weather, he got only about half a spring game to see his team on Saturday. The Tennessee football coach went 9-4 for the second consecutive […] The post Approval rating for Tennessee football coach Butch Jones: You decide appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Approval rating for LSU coach Ed Orgeron: You decide

He may not have been the ideal choice, but Ed Orgeron has done all he’s been asked to do as coach of the Tigers. After being promoted to the full-time head coaching role in November, Orgeron moved to retain Dave Aranda as defensive coordinator and later brought in Matt Canada as offensive coordinator. He brought […] The post Approval rating for LSU coach Ed Orgeron: You decide appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Approval rating for Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema: You decide

With the Arkansas spring game less than a week away, Bret Bielema will be looking to see some improvements from his football team. Bielema teams have had a tendency of finishing the season strong, but that usually comes after a poor start. The 2016 season was different, as the Razorbacks started 5-2 but lost 4 of […] The post Approval rating for Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema: You decide appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Details emerge regarding arrest of UGA signee D’Antne Demery

On Saturday night, 2017 Georgia football signee D’Antne Demery was arrested on 1 count of criminal trespass and 1 count of simple battery, both of which are misdemeanors. A police report of the incident has not yet been released but an Athens-Clarke Country representative released a recap of the events that led to Demery’s arrest. Downtown […] The post Details emerge regarding arrest of UGA signee D’Antne Demery appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Former NFL QB compares Quinten Dormady Tennessee scrimmage performance to Tom Brady

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Everyone at the Tennessee football Orange and White Game had an opinion on the Vols’ quarterbacks, and SEC Network Clint Stoerner was no different. Stoerner, a former Arkansas quarterback who went on to play with the Dallas Cowboys, provided plenty of insight into Tennessee QBs Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano during the […] The post Former NFL QB compares Quinten Dormady Tennessee scrimmage performance to Tom Brady appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 hour ago

Tennessee Orange and White Awards: Vols’ hidden heroes emerge

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Orange and White Game is the public showcase for Tennessee football, but there were 14 practices before the exhibition Saturday that were just as important to coach Butch Jones. Jones and the Vols staff made sure to recognize the top players with a brief awards ceremony at midfield of Neyland Stadium after […] The post Tennessee Orange and White Awards: Vols’ hidden heroes emerge appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 2 hours ago