The Ice Hockey World Championships is an annual international ice hockey competition which is run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. It was first launched at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp which led to being one of the first sports to be in the Winter Olympics Games. The first event that was held outside of Olympic years was in 1930 with twelve nations participating in the competition.
The IIHF recognized the first World Championship to be held in 1920 at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp. It was played between the 13th-19th April with seven teams entering the first tournament. Canada, Czechoslovakia, United States, Switzerland, Sweden, France and Belgium. The Winnipeg Falcons (who was representing Canada) took home the gold medal scoring 30 goals in three matches. United States, and Czechoslovakia came in second and third. Following on in 1921, where the first Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix. Every tournament up to until 1964, the Olympics was an official World Championship tournament. Canada won the gold in 1928 and 1932 while Sweden and Austria would claim their first medal in 1928.
Canada continued their dominance and in 1934, the United States took the gold medal to break the Canada streak of seven gold medals. Germany would be the next winner to take home a gold medal after they won the 1938 edition in Prague as they defeated Canada in the final. The second World War would cancel the event until 1947. Following on from the second world war, the Czechoslovakia team took out the 1947 edition with the only game where they had to battle being against Sweden. The 1948 edition of the tournament was what would be the forgotten year with the Amateur Athletic Union and the Amateur Hockey Association sending American teams to the Olympics which was held in St. Moritz during that year. With the two teams ready to play at the Olympics, a tense showdown between the two and the IOC deemed that neither team would be able to compete in the competition. With this decision, the LIHG boycotted the Olympics which cancel the 1948 edition of the World Championships. After this incident the Americans were banned from playing in international ice hockey tournaments for five years but would later be dropped to three after an appeal.
The 1949 edition was the first edition to not have the Americans in the competition and it was Czechoslovakia who would take out the title after winning all five of their matches. The next year, the competition went back to a four team opening group round instead of the three team group that happened in the previous year. Canada would take out the title for the 12th time after they defeated Sweden in the final game of the competition to record the title while for Sweden they would finish in the runner up spot once again.
The early 50s would see a Canadian victory with the team winning the 1951 and 1952 edition by comfortable margins. In 1953, the competition would only see three teams competing with Canada and United States both withdrawing because of costs this left the door open for Sweden to take out the first title of the nation in ice hockey with the team winning all four of the games against Switzerland and West Germany. The next edition saw the start of the rivaly between Canada and the Soviet Union
Countries in italics no longer compete at the World Championships.
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