Today is the start of the 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022. Canada has a long history of involvement with the FINA World Championships. It first appearance was in 1975 in Cali, Colombia. Thanks to the work of the Canadian Water Polo Hall of Fame Committee and David Hart, we can give you the names of the first players to represent Canada at this prestigious event and even show you who they were. 🤽???Those athletes who represented Canada, and you will recognized their names, are some of the pionneers of the modern history of water polo in Canada:
Back Row Left to Right: Leslie Machan (deceased), Deszo Lemhenyi (head coach/deceased), Dr. John Richardson (manager/deceased), David Hart, George Gross, Paul Hart, Jim Ducharme;
Front Row Left to Right: Stephen Hart, Guy LeClerc, Jean Luc Dion, Gabor Csepregi, Gaetan Turcotte (deceased), Clifford Barry (deceased);
Canada's results at the Worlds were as follows:
Canada 4 Italy 6
Canada 4 Netherlands 9
Canada 4 Mexico 5
Canada 6 Iran 4
Canada 5 Spain 9
Canada 7 Iran 4
Canada 7 Yugoslavia 8
Final Results: 14th overall
The Canadian women were also pionneers of the sport on the world stage. Canada had a team in Cali in 1975 even if women water polo was still a demontration sport and that it would take another 11 years for it to become an official sport at the FINA World Championships.
5 nations organized a demonstration event with the final standings being: 1. Netherlands 2. Australia 3. USA 4. Canada 5. West Germany ** scores unavailable
Pictured below is the Canadian women’s team, left to right: Tracy Crandall, Martine Gervais, Michele Jean, Sylvie Thibault, Isabel Deschamps, Johanne Gervais, Johanne Derome, Sylvie Dion, Michele Despatis, Lyne Thivierge and Valerie Leger - not pictured (Claude Lavoie - head coach).
To contribute to the Canadian Water Polo Hall of Fame Committee work, you can donate here: