When you do a quick online search about ice hockey, you’ll soon figure out that it is the most popular sport in many countries across the globe. However, two countries that absolutely adore the sport, making it one of – if not the – most popular sports are Finland and Canada. Sports fans across both of these countries show their support for their favourite teams quite regularly but which country is just that bit more enthusiastic? Keep reading to hear what we think about this.
Canada is famous for its amazing ice hockey culture. Many people are brought up loving the sport and it remains a top hobby for people across the country. Outsiders probably believe that Canadians are so enthusiastic about ice hockey because they are simply great at the sport. The Canadian ice hockey team has won around 13 gold medals at the Olympics which means they are historically one of the best teams in the world.
Moreover, one of the best ice hockey players of all time – Wayne Gretzky – is Canadian. Perhaps this fuels some nationalism across Canadians as they know that they’re good at the competitive sport.
Ice hockey is a huge part of the society in this country and many people have season tickets to their team’s matches. Even those who don’t manage to make it along to the game every week enjoy tuning in on the TV. The World Ice Hockey Championships gain billions of viewers around the world each time the event is held and quite often, most of these come from Canada.
If you look at the ice hockey guides, you’ll find that some of the most popular teams in Canada include the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers. Each of these teams have huge fan bases with fans who will wear their jersey to the supermarket and never miss a game. It really can be difficult to beat the enthusiasm that Canadians bring to the sport of ice hockey.
The Finnish ice hockey team rarely disappoints fans. The team is known for picking up the
pace of games and leading the country to victory. In fact, the highest professional league in Finland is considered one of the strongest leagues in Europe; the Sm-Liiga does not disappoint.
Like Canada, Finland has won many gold medals in various championships which is why ice hockey is so popular in the country. There is a strong sentiment among fans because the country is great at the sport.
Hockey first appeared in Finland back in 1928 which is quite a bit later than in Canada. It wasn’t until 1939 that the Finnish team first placed in the World Championships but this has not stopped Finland from becoming an ice hockey loving nation.
Many people are surprised to hear that the population of ice hockey fans in Finland is so great. The truth is that Finland has a smaller population of around 6 million yet they can compete with such a large nation like Canada. Finland is the first country in Europe to have created an Ice Hockey Museum and Hall of Fame. Without the enthusiasm and support from fans, this would not be possible.
Finally, we should note that tons of Finnish players appear in the National Hockey League. Some of the best players in the league include Teemu Selanne, Jari Kurri and Mikko Rantanen. Some of these players are part of the Finnish national team while others have made their mark on Canadian based teams.
Ice hockey is regarded as the number one sport in Finland when it comes to spectators.
Why Is Ice Hockey Popular In These Countries?
There are tons of reasons why ice hockey is so popular in Finland and Canada but often, it is down to the fact that it is seen as a winter sport and these countries both have typically cold climates. While other countries have the facilities to enjoy ice hockey indoors in the warmer months, citizens of both Finland and Canada grow up playing at their local outdoor rink.
Additionally, ice hockey brings in a lot of revenue for both of these countries and so over time, the enthusiasm has been boosted as a result.
Based on what we found, it is clear that both of these countries are extremely enthusiastic about ice hockey. However, it goes without saying that Canada has made a name for itself with a long list of great hockey players and teams. Even the Finnish players have moved over there to play and so this shows just how popular ice hockey is in this country.
Overall, we believe that Canada is probably the most enthusiastic country that has a passion for hockey. But don’t let us sway your judgment – you can make up your own mind!