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Sports and Recreation

Banff Springs HotelAlberta has a long and memorable history in sport. From the elite level to the amateur scene to the backyard skating rink, competition and sport have been common themes for provincial athletes of all ages. Add to this the diversity and the inherent challenges of the provincial landscape and extreme climate, it is no wonder that sports and recreation are an intrinsic components of life in Alberta, and have fuelled many innovative efforts.
 

Women\'s bowling teamNumerous sport inventions in Alberta’s history were never patented and remain tools, games and equipment developed to please and entertain the inventor, his family and his local community. Some inventors took the process further, however, and while patented sport and recreation inventions in Alberta over the last century may not be great in number, they are as diverse as the host of activities that have and continue to take place in our province. For example, a 1956 bowling pin resetter is joined by Emmett A de Frood’s 1968 ski release harness and Elias B. Olson's 1963 curling ice shaver.
 

While Alberta’s entries in the Canadian Patent Record for recreation inventions may pale in number to those from other sectors of industry, innovation in sport technology is growing in the province through a number of ingenious efforts. In 1988, Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics; the facilities used to host the event remain and Canada Olympic Park has became the jewel in the crown for our nation's winter athletics community. The Olympic Oval, located on the campus of the University of Calgary, boasts the fastest ice in the world, and is now a training centre to some of the best speed skaters in the world. Located in Edmonton, Dynastream Innovations, a spin-off company from the University of Alberta, has used their expertise to develop a motion analysis system that uses advanced technology to calculate the speed and distance travelled by a walker, hiker or runner. The lightweight wireless system has 3-D imaging properties and applications for prostheses wearers.

1988 Winter OlympicsAlberta’s sport and recreation innovations have and continue to reinforce the spirit of adventure, competition and drive that fuels the inventive spirit.
 

 

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