When Ice Hockey was a Summer Sport

It’s difficult to visualize a group of hockey players grabbing their sticks and lacing up their skates to play in an international rivalry with glory and national pride on the line.

Even though hockey isn’t played in the summer, lots of fans would love some hockey to carry them through the long summer days.

And as enquiring as it would be to see how fast Usain Bolt and other track stars would be on skates, we will have to wait until the fall and winter time to get our ice hockey fix.

Though years ago, Olympic ice hockey wasn’t played during the winter. Rather it was a summer game. Even in the Olympics.

During this time, the Winter Olympics were absent, so ice hockey players and figure skaters were asked to compete in the Summer Olympics instead.

When the Olympic Games were cancelled because of World War I, the 1st ice hockey tournament was cancelled right along with the 1st World Championship too. Previously, the Ligue International de Hockey sur Glace in 1908 and now called the International Ice Hockey Federation hosted European championships beginning in 1910, but there was yet to be a world game with the US and Canada.

Both North American teams were officially accepted into the world federation in the 1920 Games which happened between April 23-29.

In 1920, 7 countries, the US, Canada, France, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, France, Sweden, and Switzerland went to Antwerp seeking the 1st ever hockey gold medal. The other two countries in the LIHG, Austria and Germany, did not participate in the Olympics as a result of WWI.

Something similar is done today. During the beginning of the year, a NHL hockey game is played outdoors and it is a hit. The fans come sit outdoors.

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