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Canadian Sports

We dominate hockey: Stanley Cups aside, hockey is still Canada’s game. While the percentage of Canadians playing in the NHL has declined since the 1980s, Canadians still make uphockey more than 50 per cent of all players in the league, compared to Americans, who account for just one-quarter of players.

 Better football: Since the late 1970s, the National Football League has been tweaking its rules to encourage more passing—that is, to make the U.S. game more exciting. Up here, we got it right the first time: a three-down game on a great, big field. So on second and 10, you can bet that ball will be in the air.

We’re actually better at tennis now: While most Canadians have been preoccupied with hockey, a young man from Thornhill, Ont., has quietly become one of the most successful men’s tennis players in Canadian history. As of June, Milos Raonic’s ranking was No. 15 among singles players and, statistically speaking, he has the strongest serve in the world, serving more aces per match than any other professional player in 2012. America’s current top male singles player is Sam Querrey, whose ranking, as of June, was No. 19.

 We were first to the races: When it comes to sporting events, Canada got off to an early start. Established in 1816, the Royal St. John’s Regatta is North America’s oldest annual sporting event. Hamilton’s Around the Bay Race is North America’s longest distance road race, which began in 1894, beating Boston by three years. And this July Toronto plays host to the 154th running of the Queen’s Plate, the oldest continuously run stakes race on the continent.

 We have better skiing: Canada’s most popular ski resort, Whistler, trumps America’s most-visited resort, Vail, with more trails (200 vs. 193), longer runs (a total of 36,960 feet vs. 15,840 feet) and more snow (469 inches vs. 348 inches)

We see more of the world: Last year Canadians took close to 10 million trips abroad to countries other than the U.S. Despite having a population nearly 10 times that of Canada, Americans made just 30 million trips overseas. The poor showing from U.S. travellers shouldn’t be a surprise. While 65 per cent of Canadians hold a valid passport, only 35 per cent of Americans do.

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There’s more: We’re more plugged into the Internet: In Canada, 83 out of every 100 people surf the web, compared to 77.9 per cent in America. We invent more sports: Canadians invented lacrosse, ice hockey and basketball. Oh, and five-pin bowling. What did Americans invent? Baseball. (Football doesn’t count since it’s just a mutated form of rugby).  We get outdoors more: A survey by the Canadian Tourism Commission found that more Canadians (30 per cent) consider themselves outdoor adventure enthusiasts than Americans (26 per cent). We spend less time on the couch: Americans watch 34 hours of TV each week, four more than Canadians.

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