To be the best on snow and ice: Documenting Canada’s achievements at the Olympics

The Sochi 2014 Games mark 90 years of Canadian athletes representing their country on the Winter Olympic stage. Canadians have competed in all Winter Olympics, starting with the first Games in Chamonix in 1924. Canada is also part of a handful of countries that have won medals at every Winter Games.

Library and Archives Canada holds a rich collection documenting memorable Canadian performances at the Games, the athletes behind these achievements, and the historical development of winter Olympic sports disciplines in Canada.

The Canadian Olympians site provides a visual history of Canada’s participation in the Games. It consists of more than 10,000 images of athletes who participated in the Winter and Summer Olympics, from the early 1900s through 2004.

Find out more about the following winter sports:

Use the Archives Search tool to discover many historical documents and images by using keywords such as athletes, sports, Olympics or medals. Here are some examples of what you may find on our website:

Canada's Nancy Greene (top) celebrates her gold medal win in the giant slalom alpine ski event at the 1968 Grenoble winter Olympics. (CP Photo/COA).

Canada’s Nancy Greene (top) celebrates her gold medal win in the giant slalom alpine ski event at the 1968 Grenoble winter Olympics. (CP Photo/COA). Source

Canada's Marc Gagnon competes in the speed skating event at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. (CP PHOTO/ COA).

Canada’s Marc Gagnon competes in the speed skating event at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. (CP PHOTO/ COA). Source

See also:

  • Our Flickr album on this subject
  • The Fitness and Amateur Sport records, which contain over 40,000 photographs documenting the performance of Canadian athletes at national and international competitions, including the Olympics

Enjoy the Sochi Games!

Discover Canada’s Olympic and Sports History – Part II

Do the London Olympics inspire you to learn more about the history of the evolution of sports in Canada?  If so, a great place to begin your research is at Library and Archives Canada. We hold the records of the national bodies for the following sports:

You will also find more information in the Fitness and Amateur Sport Branch records of the former Department of National Health and Welfare (now Health Canada); this is the main source for learning about the federal government’s involvement in the area of sports. It includes over 40,000 photographs documenting the performance of Canadian athletes at national and international competitions (including the Olympics) during the 1960s and 1970s.

For more information on sports, please visit our other websites:

Please remember that not all of our material is available online; however, it is possible to order archival material through our online Request for Retrieval of Documents Form, or by telephone at 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll-free).

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Discover Canada’s Olympic and Sports History – Part I

With the London Olympics well underway, it is fitting to remember the past Canadian accomplishments at the Games and to get acquainted with Canada’s relationship with sports throughout history.

For those interested in a visual history of Canada’s participation at the Olympic Games, Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) Canadian Olympians database and web pages consist of more than 10,000 images of athletes from the 1904 St. Louis Olympics in the United States to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Some of the early important events in Canada’s Olympic history documented at LAC.

*For more information on George Hodgson and other athletes, visit Sporting Lives: Images of Canadian Athletes (archived site).

Please remember that not all of our material is available online; however, it is possible to order archival material through our online Request for Retrieval of Documents Form, or by telephone at 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll-free).

For more photographs from past Olympics, visit our Images of summer sports and leisure activities Flickr set.

Enjoy the London Games!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!