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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


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7,931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Canada's track and field team to skip Beijing opening ceremonies

23 hours ago

TORONTO — When the Summer Games open Aug. 8 in Beijing, Canada's track and field team will be in Singapore.

The Olympic schedule, along with concerns about pollution, traffic and access to training, will keep the Canadian track and field team out of the opening ceremonies and far away from Beijing until the last possible moment.

The Beijing track program doesn't start until Aug. 15, a week after the opening. The Canadians will hold their pre-Olympic training camp in Singapore and then make the five-hour flight into Beijing - depending on the athlete and the event - a couple of days before they compete.

"Not just because of the pollution but because of the environment of training," said Canadian head coach Les Gramantik. "There's only one track that you train at (in Beijing), it's a relatively long distance and the traffic is always crazy.

"It's just a more peaceful in Singapore."

The Canadians held a training camp in Singapore prior to last summer's world championships in Osaka, Japan.

"We worked very well in Singapore last year, they were very supportive of us, it's a very peaceful, clean, quiet environment," Gramantik said.

Gary Reed, who won a silver medal in the 800 metres at last year's world championships, said he'd rather train in Singapore than bounce off the walls in the Olympic village.

"It doesn't make sense for athletes to go there and spend that much time inside the Olympic village before their event," Reed said in Vancouver, where he will compete in the Harry Jerome Track Classic Saturday. "It's almost suicide."

Dylan Armstrong, a shot putter competing in his first Olympics, said it would be a thrill to be part of the opening ceremonies.

"It's one of those things," said Armstrong. "As an athlete you have to make certain choices. That is a very crucial time.

"If it means missing the opening ceremonies to get a couple good days of training in, so be it."

The Australian track and field team is taking a similar approach, keeping its athletes in Hong Kong until three or four days before their scheduled events.

"As many sports have said, China presents difficulties for athletes going in and being there for a period of time," Athletics Australia national performance manager Max Binnington told The Associated Press. "Anything more than five or six days and they inevitably end up with some sort of respiratory problem. So that was they many of the sports who don't have to be in there early are choosing not to go in.

"And the outcome is that it's almost impossible to go for the opening ceremony."

Gramantik said, except for one or two questions raised at a meeting earlier this year, none of the Canadian athletes had problems with taking a pass on the opening ceremonies when informed of the plan.

"It's really not an issue," the coach said in a phone interview from Calgary. "Most of the people accept the fact that opening ceremonies is for the public and TV and for those athletes who have no hope to go anywhere, and we don't carry those athletes anymore.

"Our athletes have more than just participation dreams, they want to be competitive."

Beijing officials have said that they're cutting down on pollution by halting construction and shutting down heavy industries after July 20.

Gramantik said he's not overly concerned about the pollution problems they may face when they eventually arrive in the host city.

"We tend to create an opportunity to find excuses, 'Well the air is bad,"' Gramantik said. "The air is going to be bad for everybody. Some obviously will be affected more than others, in some events, but it's still going to be the Olympics, still going to be competing.

"But I think it's going to be much better than people anticipate. I'm not really that concerned, but we're going to spend as little time as possible in Beijing for each athlete."

34 Posts
"It's really not an issue," the coach said in a phone interview from Calgary. "Most of the people accept the fact that opening ceremonies is for the public and TV and for those athletes who have no hope to go anywhere, and we don't carry those athletes anymore.

Such a bold statement. So indicative of the new direction of the Canadian Olympic Association.

39,238 Posts
Beijing promises to be a pivotal moment in Canadian sports. The optimism and confidence going into these Olympics is palpable. We're not a top 10 nation yet, but we could be back as a major sporting nation again by 2012 in London.

39,238 Posts
I've been a close follower of developments in Canadian sports for roughly 25 years now. There has been a cultural shift in the way Canada looks at sport. Before, it was only hockey that Canada took seriously. All other sports have traditionally been managed in a very amateur way. We were content to just show up and compete. This is why Canada has never really been a factor at the Olympics until very recently.

After not winning one single gold medal at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, the winter sports bodies in this country took a hard look at how their sports were being administered and the entire sport developmental infrastructure in Canada. The results have been nothing short of stunning. Canada has gone from a mediocre winter sports nation, to a powerhouse in just 2 decades. The success in winter sports slowly led to a cultural shift in how ALL sports in Canada are treated. It's no longer tolerated to only do well in hockey.

The cultural shift has been so dramatic, that the Canadian Olympic Committee managed to hire back Alex Baumann from the Australian Institute for Sport. He said he left Canada 2 decades ago out of utter despair and only returned because he sensed that Canada seems finally willing to treat sports in a professional manner. We are here to win now, not just to go through the motions.

In just a few years, I've already noticed a complete 180 in the fortunes of many summer sports. Our swim team has a confidence and optimism not seen in a long time. They are much stronger than 4 years ago, and know that by 2012 they will be a swimming powerhouse again, like they were in the 1970's. Canada was a stronger swimming nation that Australia back then if you can believe it.

Rowing, canoe/kayak, athletics, soccer, etc. In sport after sport, I'm seeing the same thing. We're not there yet, but Canada is an emerging summer sports power. It is a position that Canada has never been in before only because we never tried.

Thug Life
308 Posts
^^ That's fantastic. Being only 21 years old, I can't remember a time where there hasn't been a great deal of pride accompanying the Olympics. I think my generation is unaware of ever being embarrasingly bad (I didn't realize Calgary was such a bust) It's great to hear of the massive steps forward we have taken.

39,238 Posts
^^ It should be noted that Canada would have won gold medals in swimming at the Montreal Olympics if the admittedly doped East German athletes were stripped of their medals.

7,931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·

CBC announces complete HD Olympic coverage
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | 4:27 PM ET
CBC Sports

Beginning on August 6, CBC will provide 2,400 hours of High-Definition Olympic coverage, it announced on Tuesday.

CBC's "Beijing 2008: The Olympic Games" will mark the first time Canadians will have entire coverage of the Games in HD.

Olympic coverage kicks off with the Canadian women's preliminary soccer match against Argentina (CBC 4:45 a.m. ET). This will be followed by the "Beijing 2008 Preview" on August 7 (also on 8 p.m. ET) and live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on August 8 (CBC 7 a.m. ET).

CBC Television will provide 282 hours of coverage, with CBC Newsworld airing 145 hours, CBC digital channel “bold” broadcasting 250 hours, TSN offering 150 hours and providing more than 1,500 hours.

Radio-Canada and RDS will present more than 450 hours of French coverage.

“CBC’s coverage of the Beijing Games will allow Canadians to have more access to the Olympics than ever before,” said Trevor Pilling, executive producer of ‘Beijing 2008: The Olympic Games.’

“The 2008 Games are a coming-out party for China and feature some of the best athletes the world has ever seen – and CBC will present it all in HD – from inside the stadiums to the crowded streets, our viewers will see everything.”

Viewers will see big-ticket events such as swimming and gymnastics gold medal events during CBC's "Olympic Prime," starting at 6 p.m. daily, due to the 12-hour time difference in Beijing.

Ron MacLean will host Olympic Prime, handing things off to Ian Hanomansing at 12 p.m. ET for "Olympic Pacific Prime." Each day will begin with "Olympic Morning" at 6 a.m. ET until noon, hosted by Scott Russell and Diana Swain.

Throughout the Games, will provide up to nine live, uninterrupted streams each day, as well as interviews, highlights, cultural features, regional reports and radio clips on

CBC digital channel “bold” will be home to equestrian and sailing events during the Games. will provide news coverage, athlete blogs, features, live streaming and on-demand streaming.

Here's the schedules:

Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:

CBC Commentating Roster

CBC has released a list of their Olympic announcers for each sport, here they are. They have also released the analysts for some events.

Athletics - Mark Lee, Michael Smith, Dave Moorcroft, Scott Oake
Synchronized Swimming - Karin Larson, Karen Clark Le Poole
Swimming - Steve Armitage, Byron MacDonald, Scott Oake
Diving - Steve Armitage,
Basketball - Paul Romanuk, Jay Triano
Baseball - Jim Van Horne, Warren Sawkiw
Softball - Jim Van Horne, Haley Wickenheiser
Football - Nigel Reed, Jason DeVos, Erin Paul
Weightlifting - Nigel Reed, Aldo Roy
Artistic Gymnastics - Brenda Irving, Lori Strong-Ballard
Rythmic Gymnastics - Brenda Irving, BB Ignatova
Rowing - Bruce Rainnie, Barney Williams
Canoe/kayak (flatwater) - Bruce Rainnie, Scott Logan
Canoe/kayak (slalom) - Doug Dirks, Claudia Kerckhoff-Van Wijk
Volleyball - Elliotte Freidman, Charles Parkinson and Erminia Russo
Boxing - Vic Rauter, Russ Anber
Cycling - Mark Connolly, Clara Hughes
BMX Racing - Mark Connolly, Kevin O’Brien
Water Polo - Bob Snoek, George Gross Jr.
Field Hockey - Bob Snoek, Hari Kant
Tennis - Karin Larson
Triathlon - Karin Larson, Barrie Shepley
Wrestling - Karin Larson, Chris Wilson
Sailing - Peter Rusch, Fionia Kidd
Equestrian (show jumping) - Nancy Wetmore, Beth Underhill
Equestrian (dressage) - Nancy Wetmore, Cara Whitham
Judo - Jeff Marek
Taekwondo - Nigel Reed, Tino Dossantos

CBC has not said who will cover tennis with Karin Larson yet.

1,593 Posts
Although it would be assumed Nigel Reed would be doing Football anyway, glad to see his name there.

And it's always great having Steve Armitage on board. Speaking of a man of all trades, Vic Rauter is doing boxing. He's done, Formula 1, World and Euro Cups, curling, hockey, baseball? Personally I really like him.

7,931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Canada's Olympic basketball dream dies

Globe and Mail Update
July 18, 2008 at 7:45 AM EDT

They made it to Athens, but fell well short of making it to Beijing.

The Canadian men's basketball team's bid to qualify for just its second Olympic tournament in 20 years and first since 2000 fell short as they were out-classed 83-62 by Croatia in the quarter-finals in Greece this morning.

It was a must-win game but the best Canada could do was work a 20-20 tie at the midway point of the second quarter against the favoured European team in the FIBA Olympic qualifier. From that point on Croatia steadily extended the lead and Canada was never within 10 points after the opening minute of the second half.

Canada only made it to the quarter-finals thanks to an unlikely comeback against Korea on Wednesday morning, as they used a 14-0 run to climb out of a 12-point hole in the final three minutes of the opening-round game.
Olu Famutimi drives against Croatia

Jermaine Anderson of Canada, left, passes the ball as Stanko Barac of Croatia defends during a quarter-final basketball game for FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament at the indoor Olympic arena in Athens on Friday.

There was no drama this time. Croatia simply suffocated the Canadians defensively and made enough of the open three-point looks Canada gave them that the game was never truly in doubt as they found themselves down by 20 points heading into the fourth quarter and finished the tournament with a 1-2 mark.

The loss ends an Olympic qualifying effort that started with some promise given Leo Rautins's team started the journey by finishing a dismal 10th at the tournament of the Americas in 2005, his first taste of head coaching at any level after taking over from Jay Triano. Two years later Canada finished fifth in the same tournament, failing to qualify for the Olympics but snagging a spot in the 12-team last-chance qualifier in Athens where there were three spots available.

Rautins had high hopes for his team heading into the summer but it wasn't a smooth one. On the first day of training camp Rautins was left to explain why national team veteran Denham Brown wasn't in camp -- he couldn't, Rautins said, because Brown never bothered to call, prefering to simply never show up.

After three weeks of training Rautins cut Juan Mendez of Montreal the day before they left for Europe. Another big man, Jesse Young, was kept on the roster but ended up being unavailable due to an injury suffered in training camp. Most controversially Rautins had a confrontation with Philadelphia 76ers centre Samuel Dalembert in the hours before a do-or-die match against Korea that they won in a stunning second-half comeback that made up for brutal first half and a flat showing against Slovenia in the opener.

Dalembert was released from the squad, shrouding the team in controversy.

There were hopes -- dreams really -- that Steve Nash would join his friend Rowan Barrett and make a national team comeback. He would have been a huge addition to a young Canadian team that had athleticism, depth and some size -- if you count Dalembert, Mendez and Young -- but lacked a single play-maker to lift the group

Canada lost its grip in the first half of the second quarter, a period that coincided with the appearance in the game of newly signed Toronto Raptor point-guard Roko Ukic as he used some penetration to draw the defence before sending the ball out where it would get rotated around the perimeter. A play just like that resulted in a Croation triple that gave them a 27-20 lead with just over five minutes to play in the half to cap a 7-0 run. Barrett -- Canada's best player this summer at 35 years old -- hit a shot to breifly stop the run but Croatia was finding its game as they were able to continue getting open three-pointers. Ukic hit one of his own to give Croatia a 36-26 lead, their largest of the half with just two minutes left

Canada continued to grind and give itself chances as they hustled for eight offensive rebound in the first half, picking up a theme that started in the second-half of the Korea game. But the Canadians couldn't convert the extra chances as they finished the half shooting just four-of-18 from inside the three-point line. Their efforts did get them to the free-throw line and they hit three shots at the stripe late in the half to cut into Croatia's lead and make up for four missed lay-ups over the same stretch as Canada went into the half trailing 36-29.

Canada was led in scoring by Olu Famutimi of Toronto with 14 points, while Miami Heat forward Joel Anthony of Montreal contributed 11 rebounds. Croatia was led by Marko Popovic with 17 points. Canada shot just 17-of-59 from the floor, compared to 30-of-57 by Croatia. Canada did manage 20 offensive rebounds, compared to 10 by Croatia, but they had many more to get.

7,931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As of today:

Archery - 4
Athletics - 31
Badminton - 4
Baseball - 24
Boxing - 1
Canoeing - 21
Cycling - 15
Diving - 10
Equestrian - 14
Fencing - 9
Hockey - 18
Football - 18
Gymnastics - 12
Judo - 5
Modern Pentathlon - 3
Rowing - 34
Sailing - 37
Shooting - 4
Softball - 17
Swimming - 27
Synchronized Swimming - 9
Table Tennis - 5
Taekwondo - 3
Tennis - 2
Triathlon - 6
Water Polo - 17
Weightlifting -5
Wrestling - 10

Total: 365 athletes

7,931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·

The Lucky Loonie has emerged from beneath the hockey ice. In time for the Beijing 2008 Games, the Royal Canadian Mint has brought back the Lucky Loonie — a special edition of the familiar one dollar coin featuring a Canadian loon landing on the water.

The Royal Canadian Mint — an official supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games — has provided each member of the Beijing-bound Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams with a Lucky Loonie. The Mint is also inviting Canadians to visit to share their personal stories of good luck and for a chance to win a one-ounce 2008 gold maple leaf coin and other Royal Canadian Mint Olympic-themed keepsakes.

“Canadians from coast to coast can wish our athletes luck by giving athletes special coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, including the 2008 Lucky Loonie,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Designed by Quebec wildlife artist Jean-Luc Grondin, the Lucky Loonies are distributed exclusively by RBC Royal Bank, a premier national partner of the 2010 Winter Games . Ten million of the 2008 Lucky Loonies have been issued and are now available at RBC branches across Canada.

At first, I thought our goose was on fire.
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