For more than 45 years, Simon Fraser University has nurtured the talents of student-athletes who have gone on to achieve great things in either aspect of that role, producing Rhodes Scholars and Olympians alike. Since winning its first championship in 1972—swimming and diving in men's NAIA—the Clan has claimed victory in more than 50 National NAIA or CIS championships in such sports as skiing, women's basketball, and women's wrestling. Each year, rather than honouring its athletes as in other schools' age-old traditions—sending them off on an ice floe to fight the Soviets—SFU bestows an outstanding male and female each with a highland sgian dubh, a traditional Gaelic weapon that symbolizes courage, respect, and loyalty.
On September 9, 1979, more than 100,000 Whitecaps fans lined Robson Street to salute their hometown club. That day, the Whitecaps returned home after becoming Vancouver's first professional sports team to win a major North American championship: they had just defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies to claim the North American Soccer League title.
Since that first one, the franchise has won six additional titles–including four in a row from 1988–1991 while playing as the 86ers in the Canadian Soccer League. In fact, the club competed under that 86ers moniker until 2000. That year, spurred by public support and an unexplainable 'Caps logo beamed into the night sky, it re-emerged under its original Whitecaps identity. Today, the 21st-century incarnation of the club continues to battle for its first championship as part of Major League Soccer, where it began play in 2011.
The extreme athletes at Feral Kiteboarding School harness and fuse the raw powers of wind and water to fuel kiteboarding sessions. Driven by a passion for the outdoor lifestyle, they have also studied the demands of their environment to design apparel and equipment for the sport. Lessons with a BKSA- and IKO-certified instructor take place along the sandy beaches and shallow waterways of White Rock. Wave-cresting staffers also specialize in introducing beginners to the pastime, organizing equipment packages complete with trainer kites, instructional DVDs, and jars big enough for students to trap their own gusts of feral wind.
In 2006, a small group of women met over a plate of nachos to discuss a dream that they shared: launching Vancouver's first all-women roller derby league. Seven years later, the Terminal City Rollergirls has blossomed into a flat-track institution, with more than 60 active participants, four full teams, and its own training program that teaches aspiring competitors the tricks of the trade. The league's teams— the Riot Girls, the Bad Reputations, the Faster Pussycats, and Public Frenemy—square off in bouts overseen by Terminal City's in-house referees, who call major fouls by putting players in the penalty box and recognize good play by throwing smiley-faced stickers into the crowd.