sport

Van Koeverden overcomes jet lag to advance in Nationals

Posted on Updated on

REGINA — Adam Van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., advanced to the K-1 500 and 200-metre finals at the Sprint Nationals canoe and kayak championships Thursday.

In his K-1 500 heat, Van Koeverden clocked one minute 43.448 seconds to finish ahead of world championship teammate Angus Mortimer of Ottawa (1:43.448).

Van Koeverden won bronze in the event at the world championship in Poland on Saturday.

In his K-1 200 heat, Van Koeverden took top spot ahead of Hughes Fournel of Lachine, Que.  Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, N.S., and Andrew Willows of Carleton Place, Ont., were the victors in the other two heats.  “My goal this week is to race well and do my club proud,” said Van Koeverden, competing at his 14th Canadian championship for the Burloak Club. “I want to win the races I traditionally win.”

Van Koeverden didn’t use jet lag from his recent arrival from overseas as an excuse for performances this week.

“I try not to think about it too much,” he said. “There is no trick to getting over jet lag. I just try to manage my time and be as prepared as best as I can when I’m travelling. I’ve done this enough times in my career.”

In the C-1 500 heats, Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Hall of Pointe-Claire, Que., was first in the opening heat with Andrew Russell of Dartmouth, N.S., second while in the second race Richard Dalton of Halifax finished ahead of Mark Oldershaw of Oakville and Ben Russell of Dartmouth.  Emilie Fournel of Lachine, Que., took a women’s K-1 1,000 heat ahead of Una Lounder of Dartmouth and Kathleen Fraser of Mississauga, Ont.

Read entire article here.

McKeever strikes gold for Canada

Posted on Updated on

After the historic lost opportunity for Brian McKeever to race at the 2010 Olympics, becoming the first athlete ever to compete in both Olympic and Paralympic games, this is a very sweet result. A dominant victory to take some of the sting away from the disappointment from Whistler.

Andy Clark, Reuters Brian McKeever, left, claimed gold--Canada's first in the visually impaired 20-kilometre cross country freestyle event.

Paralympic Games: ‘It couldn’t fall to a more worthy person’
Terry Bell, Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WHISTLER – The 2008 Olympics in Beijing had Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. The 2010 Olympics had Lindsay Vonn and a rather remarkable goal by Sidney Crosby.

The 2010 Winter Paralympics have Brian and Robin McKeever.

Brian McKeever, the 30-year-old legally blind Paralympic cross country skier/ biathlete from Canmore, Alta., is a major star at these Games, his star rising even higher after he had qualified for the Canadian Olympic cross-country team only to be denied a chance to compete by the team’s coaching staff.

Yesterday morning at Whistler Olympic Park, he laced up his boots and with the help of his brother Robin, who acts as his guide, won the men’s 20-kilometre freestyle visually impaired event . The gold medal is Canada’s first at these Games. As this is the first time Canada has hosted the Winter Paralympics, it also marks the first winter gold on Canadian soil.

Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=2686762#ixzz0iP5FPIu4

Erik Guay takes Kvitfjell Super-G

Posted on Updated on

Free of the super hype surrounding Whistler and the Olympic races there, Guay took his place at the top of the podium today in Kvitfjell, Norway. As he said in interviews, he was .03 off the podium in Whistler and won today by .02. Ridiculously tight results. Other Canadians: Manny Osborne-Paradis finished 11th and Jan Hudec, 17th.

I’d like to see Erik bring his momentum to the World Cup finals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen next week. Sentimental location for me, as that was where I taught skiing for a couple of seasons.

Erik Guay kept his slim hopes of claiming the men’s World Cup super-G title alive by taking victory in the event at Kvitfjell.

The Canadian clocked a time of one minute 31.95 seconds to claim his second ever World Cup race win and first in super-G.

Michael Walchhofer missed out on his chance to take an unassailable lead in the standings as the Austrian could only manage a sixth-placed finish.

Walchhofer’s compatriot Hannes Reichelt trailed Guay home by a mere 0.02 seconds.

Olympic star Aksel Lund Svindal, riding on home snow in Norway, shared third place with Swiss Tobias Gruenenfelder.

The result leaves Svindal 46 points behind Walchhofer in the super-G standings, with Guay a further 23 points adrift in third place.

Read the rest of this entry »

Majdic won bronze in XC sprint despite broken ribs, collapsed lung

Posted on Updated on

This is the most remarkable story of the Olympics to date. It’s unimaginable how a skier could compete at all in a sprint event like this, let alone win a bronze medal.

Posted by Meri-Jo Borzilleri

Turns out, Petra Majdic was more than just bruised when she won bronze in the individual classical sprint on Wednesday.

The Slovenian cross-country star was found to have broken four ribs and suffered a collapsed lung when she fell off course during a training run just before the race.

Majdic’s injuries will end not only her Olympics but her season. She has been hospitalized since the accident, and is not permitted to fly home for at least a week.

Her national team has filed a protest with Olympic organizers that there should have been more protection where she tumbled off the course, falling about 10 feet and onto some rocks.

Majdic, the world’s top-ranked sprinter, did not know how badly she was hurt until after the race.

Amazingly, she managed to capture a medal in the event that requires major lung exertion and hard poling by both arms and torso. In a sprint, skiers race in a small pack and go all out for a total four 1.4-kilometer loops on a hilly, technical course.

Majdic appeared in severe pain, crumpling each of the four times she crossed the finish. Her agony was so apparent that while on course, coaches from rival nations cheered her on, she said.

Read the entire article here.

History made by Canada’s XC skiers

Posted on Updated on

Amazing results from the Canadian trio of Babikov, Grey and Harvey.

Three skiers in the top nine. Just fantastic!

Canada's George Grey, right, comes to the aid of an exhausted Ivan Babikov after the pursuit on Saturday. (Javier Soriano/Getty Images)

Canada was the only country with three skiers in the top 10.

Ivan Babikov of Canmore, Alta., led the way, just 9.1 seconds back in fifth place.

National team veteran George Grey of Rossland, B.C., was eighth in 1:15.32, immediately followed by Alex Harvey of St-Ferreol-les-nieges, Que., in ninth place.

Harvey was 11 seconds behind Grey.

Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont. was 16th at 1:16.23.6. A total of 64 from around the world entered the competition.

The Canadians took turns flirting with the lead pack. Grey and Babikov were sitting sixth and seventh respectively at the 22.5k mark, with Harvey overtaking them for a while.

Canadian men have never reached the Olympic podium, but the performance was cause for hope.

To put it into perspective, the top trio of Canadians finished ahead of previous Olympic medallists Petter Northug of Norway, Dario Cologna of Switzerland and Pietro Piller Cotter of Italy.

Does it get better than speed skating gold?

Posted on Updated on

Only skiing gold would be better.

Christine Nesbitt’s gold has been the highlight of the Games so far for me. This medal will resonate like no other with the nations that founded the Winter Olympic Games. And yes, that matters in the world of Olympic competition. See the orange Dutch uniforms on either side of her? That colour composition will matter to the Dutch, the Norwegians, the Germans, and to all the other countries who value the tradional core sports of the Games so highly.

Congrats to Chrstine!

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Of the seven medals won by Canadians thus far, five have been won by women, including two of the three gold medals.

You can discuss among yourselves the significance of those numbers. But, for the Canadian Olympic Committee, it means any thought of owning the podium is inexorably tied up with the XX-chromosome set.

“They’re fierce competitors,” said Marcel Lacroix, the Canadian speedskating coach who works with Nesbitt specifically and Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes and others generally. “They’re going for the kill. Yeah, they’re girls and all that.

“But you know what? Deep down inside they want to win as much as the guys. Put a hockey stick in their hands and I can guarantee they’re going to go into the corners and plow someone. That’s how bad they want to win.”

And in Nesbitt’s mind, that’s how she won.

Vancouver Sun

Alexandre Bilodeau wins historic first gold!!

Posted on Updated on

Canada breaks the home soil Gold medal drought. The dedication he has shown to his brother is what makes this so meaningful. Congratulations Alex!!

Canadian Press

Bilodeau’s older brother, Frederic, who has cerebral palsy, was at the finish line and cheering wildly for his younger sibling. Bilodeau was close to tears when he spoke to CTV about his brother and his family.

“A lot,” he said when asked how much of his historic medal belongs to Frederic. “It’s really getting me right now. My brother is my inspiration. Growing up with handicapped people puts everything back in perspective and he taught me so many things in life. My parents did, too.”

His father Serge Bilodeau says he knew right away that Alex’s run was a winner.

“It is not possible to describe, but I knew it before. I knew it was the best. I have followed the sport for 12 years. I know the sport so well and I knew when he crossed the finish line that it was the best run and no one could beat it.”

Read the entire article here.