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He Shoots, He Scores! A Love of Winter Games

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This is the perfect time to write about winter sports with the excitement of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games fresh in our minds.  A few years ago I did an exhibit of the Library’s winter sport and game books from 1800- 1950. The following are selected examples of notable works I used for the display:

Sunday morning relaxation. Park Pond. Frequented by both school and mill boys and girls. Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts (1912)
Sunday morning relaxation. Park Pond. Frequented by both school and mill boys and girls. Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts (1912)

 Ice Hockey

“He Shoots, He Scores!” exclaimed premier hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt who was the first to coin the phrase. Hockey enthusiasts have Mr. Hewitt to thank for bringing play-by-play broadcasts of the game to homes in Canada and the U.S., beginning in the 1920’s. If you are interested in the history of the sport, check out Mr. Hewitt’s 1938 Down the ice . You also might want to check out Canadian Broadcasting Centre’s Digital Archives- The Voice of Hockey: Foster Hewitt

Irving Brokaw and wife skating on Central Park Lake (1913)
Irving Brokaw and wife skating on Central Park Lake (1913)

Figure stating

In the early 20th century, George H. Browne, president of the Cambridge (MA) Skating Club, and Irving Brokaw, a national figure-skating champion, both made contributions to the techniques of ice skating. It  was Browne, author of the first how- to figure skating books in North America, who brought the international style to the United States.  Although Browne and Brokaw worked together, many consider  Browne the instructor and Brokaw the demonstrator.

Partnering with the Sloan Foundation and the Internet Archive, the Library is in the process of digitizing a collection of  pre-1923 books. Now you can read a copy of  Irving Brokaw’s 1913  Art of skating right in the comfort of your home.

George H. Browne’s  1900 Handbook of figure skating arranged for the use on ice can be read via Internet Archive.

Curling in Central Park, New York (1900-1906)
Curling in Central Park, New York (1900-1906)


 I have noticed much debate on what curling is and whether it’s a sport or game. Whatever your opinion of curling, its origins date back to 16th century Scotland. John Kerr’s 1890 History of curling and fifty years of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club  provides an in-depth history of curling (you can read a digital copy via Google Books –History of curling )


Sir Arnold Henry Moore Lunn, credited with inventing the modern slalom ski race in 1922, was a leading authority on skiing and authored many books the sport. His 1920 Cross-country ski-ing provided a practical how- to for the beginner and his follow-up 1921  Alpine ski-ing at all heights and seasons, which includes a discussion on avalanches, is recognized as a classic.  (As far as I can tell, these titles are not yet available in digital form) [Correction 1/23/14 Sir Arnold Henry Moore Lunn’s 1920 Cross-country ski-ing has digitized]

The Library has also digitized many of the early Spalding Athletic series. Here are some titles related to winter sports:

WPA Poster Skiing in the East (1936-39)
WPA Poster Skiing in the East (1936-39)

Spalding’s 1916 How to play ice hockey

Spalding’s 1913 How to become a skater

 Spalding’s 1921 Figure skating for women

Spalding’s 1899 Curling: complete rules and regulations, with diagrams of play  

You might want to take a look at: Olympic games handbook; containing official records of the seventh Olympiad, winners in previous Olympiads, the 1924 Olympic games, official Olympic athletic rules and the official world’s records and noteworthy performances ( The 1924 Summer Olympics hosted an International Winter Sports Week which included hockey, skating, and skiing.)

You can  find more of our digitized books from the Internet Archive Library of Congress page.

Comments (9)

  1. Couldn’t pass up leaving a comment about the just ended Winter Olympics. I keep hearing about how all the women want to see the figure skating, ice dancing, etc. Well, I have to say, nothing captivated me more than the Gold Medal final hockey game between the USA men and Canada. My heart leapt into my throat when Parise scored to tie the game with 24 seconds left in regulation. And them my heart broke when the phenomenol Sidney Crosby scored the winner in overtime to give Canada the goal. So proud of our US men, who were big underdogs going in. Figure skating is nice, but give me Gold Medal hockey anytime!

    • I must say I am a bit biased- love hockey! The final seconds’ goal to tie it up almost gave me a heartattack.IMHO The Gold Medal hockey was a perfect way to end the Winter Olympics 🙂

  2. The sport of curling is new to me. Thanks for the link to more information as I am interested in learning more about this sport. I really enjoyed the winter games – I was really proud of our U.S. team.

  3. i really like foster hewitt he inspires me to become a great announcer just like him one day and my line will be Rasheed he shoots and he rips a gino

  4. i am the biggest ranger fan aound and i have had season tix for about 20 years now and i have gone through hte hard times and the great times and they always get better and i play hockey myself and i rip GINOS LIKE ITS MY JOB BUT THAT BC IT IS MY JOB

  5. i Actually think wayne gretzky wasnt that good.

  6. i am planning on being inthe olympics 2014 and i willl be a skier so loomk out for me thamks<3

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