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Flying Dutchmen play hockey for Canada

For 48 years from 1920 to 1968, Canada dominated ice hockey at the Winter Olympics, winning gold six times and failing to earn a medal just once. But a dispute over pros competing in the Games kept Canada out entirely in 1972 and '76. NHL players were finally allowed in the 1998 Games, the same year women's hockey became an Olympic event. In 2002 Canada was back on top as both men and women won our first gold medals for hockey since 1952.

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When they won the 1955 senior men's hockey championship, the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen didn't just earn the right to hoist the venerable Allan Cup: they also won a berth at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. In this 1956 team profile from CBC-TV's Newsmagazine, players are seen at their day jobs hauling logs, pumping gas and selling menswear. They also suit up against the Owen Sound Mercuries to get some ice time without their pro players, who are barred from Olympic play.
• One of the founding principles of the Olympic movement was that participants should be amateurs who had never been paid to play sports. This rule still applied in 1956, meaning the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen could not send some of their best players. (Several players on the team had played professionally and then been reinstated as amateurs in their league, the Ontario Hockey Association.)

• After an Olympic streak of six golds and one silver, Team Canada came away from the 1956 Winter Games with a bronze medal in hockey. The Soviet Union, which was competing at the Olympics for the first time, took the gold, and the United States won silver. 

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: Jan. 6, 1956
Duration: 6:33

Last updated: February 24, 2014

Page consulted on November 6, 2014

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