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1930s & Earlier / 1924 Olympic Hockey Tournament
The inaugural Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France in 1924 featured a hockey tournament that was far from competitive. The two North American teams handily crushed all European opposition. The eight-team event had Canada in one four-team pool and the United States in the other. The Canadians, comprised of amateur players solely from Toronto, won their first three games by ridiculous scores of 30-0, 33-0, and 22-0 versus Czecholslovakia, Switzerland, and Sweden respectively. The Americans were having an equally easy time vanquishing Belgium, France and Great Britain by a combined score of 65-0. In the semifinals Canada thumped Great Britain 19-2 while the United States whipped Sweden 20-0. Canada beat the US 6-1 in the gold-medal match. None of the champion Canadians ever played pro hockey. Canada's performance was so daunting that at the 1928 Winter Olympics, the Canadians were awarded an automatic bye to the finals while the other 10 teams battled each other to see which nation would get the honor of being pummelled. Switzerland emerged from the pack as the challenger--and promptly lost 11-0 to a team wholly comprised of students from the University of Toronto.