The Favourite Games Of Leonard Cohen, Part 3

olyIn commemoration of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Cohencentric offers the third post in the three-part survey of the sports of Leonard Cohen. For the previous entries, see Part 1 and Part 2. Update: More Leonard Cohen Favourite Games – Unified Heart Touring Company Teammates


bowarrow bowarrow2









The Early Years


At Altitude – On Mount Baldy


Onstage Sprinting


Hop, Skip, and Jump (Without The Hop & Jump)

Vigo 2009


Marathon – Skipping Offstage AND Galloping Back Onstage

O2 in London on November 18, 2008

Play Ball

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Target Shooting

Leonard Cohen’s history includes several personally significant guns;1 the Winchester rifle displayed above is discussed in this excerpt from Leonard Cohen, The Lord Byron of Rock-and-Roll by Karen Schoemer (New York Times, November 29, 1992):

After New York, Mr. Cohen lived for a year on a 1,500-acre homestead in Franklin, Tenn., rented for $75 a month. “Ah, that was a very pleasant period of my life,” he says wistfully. “… I had one of those centennial rifles that Remington put out, I think, in ’67.” He pauses. “When was this country founded? ’76?” He seems somewhat dismayed that mathematics could interfere with a colorful detail of his story. “Anyway, I had some kind of centennial rifle. I would amuse myself by shooting icicles on the far side of the creek.”2

And in 1986, Leonard Cohen told Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air:

I have some pellet guns now and my children and I set up a little target range in my house in Montreal and we do target practice with that.

Quick Draw

From “Hallelujah:” by Leonard Cohen:

Well, maybe there is a God above,
But all that I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

Urban Games



Photo by Joseph S. Carenza III



Photo by Mark Hanauer


From No. I’ve Never Contemplated Suicide, Says Leonard Cohen by Peter Wilmoth. The Age: May 24, 1985:

What does he [Leonard Cohen] like to do outside music? There is a long pause. “Bowling.” Ten pin bowling? “Yes, and I like playing pool.” Are you any good? “No.”

And, What Good Is Sports Excellence Unless It Results In An Endorsement?

For the full story on Leonard Cohen’s proposed cologne, see Leonard Cohen & The Sweet Smell Of Indifference

Credit Due Department: Access to photos used in Archery and Play Ball sections made possible by Maarten Massa

Note: Originally posted Aug 8, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. See Firearms In The Work & Life Of Leonard Cohen []
  2. While the Bicentennial of the United States, the date of which Mr Cohen was attempting to plug into his formula to calculate when he purchased the rifle, was, one supposes, a nice enough event, it was not the occasion the Winchester Repeating Arms Company chose to celebrate with the manufacture of their Centennial Rifle. Chuck Hawks explains:

    1966 was the Winchester Repeating Arms Company’s 100th year of operation. To commemorate this occasion, Winchester produced a run of fancy Model 94 rifles. These were based on post 1964 Model 94’s actions with a gold plated receiver and forend cap, brass “rifle” (curved) buttplate, saddle ring, and a heavy octagon barrel with a full length magazine that was nicely polished and deeply blued. The straight hand stock was select walnut. All were in caliber .30-30 Winchester. There were rifle (26″) and carbine (20″) barrel lengths, and sets of rifle and carbine with consecutive serial numbers were also offered. The point to all of the gold and brass was to make the 1966 Centennial reminiscent of the brass framed Winchester 1866 “Yellow Boy” rifle that was Winchester’s first product. []

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