“Montreal is the first city in the world outside the U.K. to adopt water polo; the world’s oldest Olympic team sport”

Jun. 16, 2017

“Montreal is the first city in the world outside the U.K. to adopt water polo; the world’s oldest Olympic team sport”
Canada’s only 4-time water polo Olympian, David Hart made that startling announcement to Water Polo Canada (WPC), FINA and the rest of the sporting world June 11, 2017 at the WPC’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto.
Three years of full-time archival research led Hart to uncover its previously unknown 1886 start date along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the names of Canadian Water Polo’s ‘Founding Father’s’ and its list of men’s champions dating back to 1893, rivalling even hockey’s own Stanley Cup tradition.
This remarkable Canadian sport story unfolds from thousands of newspaper reports, allowing the reader to follow the sport’s emergence in Canada year by year, ‘as if they were there’.
As both Montreal and Canada celebrate major milestones this year, the Canadian Water Polo community celebrates its own 131st year of existence; a truly remarkable achievement in a nation whose geography and climate worked so acutely to discourage the growth and acceptance of this unique Olympic sport.
Through the support and cooperation of Water Polo Canada, Hart will embark upon a cross-Canada book tour in the fall of 2017 to promote “ The History of Canadian Water Polo - Volume 1 (1886-1929). Montreal first outside the United Kingdom” of his planned three volume series.
About the Author
David Hart’s career as an athlete, coach and leader in the sport of water polo is the most extensive of any Canadian water polo personality in the history of the sport. His outstanding contribution has been felt in many capacities (athlete, coach, administrator, mentor, innovator, official, instructor, author, scout and volunteer) over six decades and twelve Olympic cycles (1965 to 2017).
David competed in four Olympic Games for Canada; 1972 and 1976 as an athlete and 1984 and 2000 as a coach. He is the only Canadian water polo personality to have coached with all six Canadian national team programs and the first ever Canadian to have coached a foreign national team (Head coach Brazil women 2002-2003).
In addition to his four Olympic appearances he competed in the 1975, 1978, 1998, 2001 and 2003 World Championships as well as the 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1999 and 2003 Pan American Games. As a coach, he won eight international medals.
His impact on the sport in Canada has been a profound one, having been the creative force behind many key initiatives including: The Canadian Water Polo League (1981); the world’s first-ever computer game analysis program for water polo (1982); the Legacy Coaching program (1994); the Canadian Water Polo Dream Team program (1995); the I Love Water Polo program (2001).
David was inducted into the McMaster University Sport Hall of Fame (1992), the Ontario Aquatic Hall of Fame (1994) and the Hamilton Sport Hall of Fame (2014). He has been the recipient of numerous awards: Gord Tippet Award for contribution to sport in the city of Ottawa (2000), People of Significance Award city of Hamilton (2009), C.A.C. Geoff Gowan Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to coaching in Canada (2012), Brian Kilrea Award for lifetime contribution to coaching at the Ottawa Sport Awards (2013), Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for lifetime achievement in coaching in Canada (2013) and the Hamilton Sports Hero Banner at city of Hamilton annual sport awards (2013).
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For more information on the book, please contact David Hart: dhart55@yahoo.com