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March 6, 2014

Jon Lujan named United States flag bearer for 2014 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony

Jon Lujan named United States flag bearer for 2014 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

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An image of Jon Lujan with Millie Knight, the flag bearer from Great Britain, that was taken from his Twitter feed earlier today.
Image: Jon Lujan.

File photo of Sonja Gaudet
Image: popejon2.

Sochi, Russia — Yesterday, Jon Lujan of Littleton, Colorado was named the United States flag bearer for the 2014 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony scheduled to take place tomorrow in Sochi, Russia. Lujan is a United States Marine Corps veteran, and will be competing in the alpine events at this year’s Games.

In Sochi, Lujan is rooming with Heath Calhoun, the 2010 Winter Paralympics United States flag bearer. Like Lujan, Calhoun is also a veteran, having served in the army.

In 2003, while serving in Iraq, Lujan ruptured two discs in his back. Following a back surgery in 2005 that attempted to fix the discs, he had complications that resulted in permanent nerve damage and paralysis in his lower legs.

Also yesterday, wheelchair curler Sonja Gaudet was named the flag bearer of the Canadian delegation.

Earlier today, skier Millie Knight was selected as the flagbearer for Great Britain. At 15 years of age, Knight is the youngest member of Team GB.



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February 20, 2013

Spaniard Jon Santacana wins downhill at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

Spaniard Jon Santacana wins downhill at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Miguel Galindo (front) and Jon Santacana (behind) cross the finish line in the downhill. With this race they won the event and became World Champions.
Image: Raystorm.

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This morning Spanish para-alpine skier Jon Santacana won the gold in the men’s visually impaired downhill at the IPC Alpine World Championships, which are taking place from February 20 to 27, 2013 at La Molina, Spain, and became the first winner of the Championships.

Santacana and his guide, Miguel Galindo Garcés, came in first in the downhill event to the joy of the local fans who had come to support the skiers. Italian Alessandro Daldoss won the silver medal, and Canadian Chris Williamson won the bronze.

Santacana won gold in the Super-G, Super Combined, and Giant slalom events in the last World Championships held in Sestriere, Italy, in 2011, in which he also won silver in Downhill and Slalom. At the most recent Winter Paralympics, he earned a gold in the Downhill.

Born in San Sebastián, this para-alpine skier classified as B2 is considered Spain’s best hope for the 2014 Winter Paralympics to be held in Sochi, Russia.



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Spaniard Jon Santacana wins the downhill at IPC Alpine World Championships

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Miguel Galindo (front) and Jon Santacana (behind) cross the finish line in the downhill. With this race they won the event and became World Champions.
Image: Raystorm.

Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

This morning Spanish para-alpine skier Jon Santacana won the gold in the men’s visually impaired downhill at the IPC Alpine World Championships, which are taking place from February 20 to 27, 2013 at La Molina, Spain, and became the first winner of the Championships.

Santacana and his guide, Miguel Galindo Garcés, came in first in the downhill event to the joy of the local fans who had come to support the skiers. Italian Alessandro Daldoss won the silver medal, and Canadian Chris Williamson won the bronze.

Santacana won gold in the Super-G, Super Combined, and Giant slalom events in the last World Championships held in Sestriere, Italy, in 2011, in which he also won silver in Downhill and Slalom. At the most recent Winter Paralympics, he earned a gold in the Downhill.

Born in San Sebastián, this para-alpine skier classified as B2 is considered Spain’s best hope for the 2014 Winter Paralympics to be held in Sochi, Russia.



See also

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 10, 2012

Wikinews interviews Australian blind Paralympic skier Melissa Perrine

Wikinews interviews Australian blind Paralympic skier Melissa Perrine

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Vail, Colorado, United States — Yesterday, Wikinews sat down with Australian blind Paralympic skier Melissa Perrine who was participating in a national team training camp in Vail, Colorado.

Wikinews reporters LauraHale, Hawkeye7 and Bidgee interview Australian Paralympic skier Melissa Perrine

Melissa Perrine
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png This is Melissa Perrine. And are you like Jess Gallagher and just here training and not competing?

Melissa Perrine: I’m not competing right now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you competed in 2010 in Vancouver?

MP: I did. Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And who was your guide?

MP: Andy Bor.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Why a male guide? He’s got to have different skis, and he can’t turn exactly the same way.

MP: I think that with me it was just that Andy was the fittest person that was with the team when I came along. He used to be an assistant coach with the team before I started with him.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you guys have a good relationship?

MP: Yeah!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Like a husband and wife relationship without the sex?

MP: No, not at all. (laughs) Older brother maybe. Good relationship though. We get along really well.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So have you ever lost communications on the course in an embarrassing moment?

MP: We ski courses without communications. (unintelligible)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You’re a B3 then?

MP: I’m a B2.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you can see even less than Jessica Gallagher.

MP: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you ski down a course when you can’t even see it?

MP: Andy!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You just said you had no communications!

MP: Oh, I just have to be a lot closer to him.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So if he’s close enough you can overcome that issue?

MP: Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Why are you doing skiing?

MP: Why? I enjoy it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You enjoy going fast?

MP: I love going fast. I like the challenge of it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Even though you can’t see how fast you’re going.

MP: Oh yes. It’s really good. It’s enjoyable. It’s a challenge. I love the sport, I love the atmosphere.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I’ve asked the standing skiers, who’s the craziest Paralympic skiers? Is it the ones who are on the sit skis, the blind ones or the ones missing limbs?

MP: I probably think it’s the sit skiers who are a bit nuts. I think we all think the other categories are a bit mental. I wouldn’t jump on a sit ski and go down the course. Or put the blindfold on and do the same thing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png B1 with the black goggles. Is your eye sight degenerative?

MP: No, I’m pretty stable.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Not going to become a B1 any time soon?

MP: Oh God, I hope not. No, I’m pretty stable so I don’t envision getting much blinder than I am now unless something goes wrong.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you’re trying for Sochi?

MP: Definitely.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you think your chances are really good?

MP: I think I’ve got a decent chance. I just have to keep training like I have been.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Win a medal this time?

MP: I’d like to. That’s the intention. (laughs)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you like the media attention you’ve gotten? Do you wish there was more for yourself and winter sports, or of women athletes in general?

MP: I think that promoting women in sport and the winter games is more important than promoting myself. I’m quite happy to stay in the background, but if I can do something to promote the sport, or promote women in the sport, especially because we’ve got such a small amount of women competing in skiing, especially in blind skiing. I think that’s more important overall.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Most skiers are men?

MP: There’s more men competing in skiing, far more. The standards are a bit higher with the males than with the females.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The classification system for everyone else is functional ability, and you guys are a medical classification. Do you think you get a fair shake in terms of classification? Are you happy with the classification?

MP: I think I’m happy with it, the way it’s set out. With vision impairment I’m a B2, against other B2s. It may be the same category, but we have different disabilities, so there’s not much more they can do. I think it’s as fair as they possibly can.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You like the point system? You’re okay with it? Competing against B1s and B3s even though you’re a B2?

MP: The factors even all that out. The way they’ve got it at the moment, I don’t have any issues with them, the blind categories.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What was it that got you skiing in the first place?

MP: An accident, basically. Complete by chance. A friend of mine in the Department of Recreation used to run skiing camps in the South West Sydney region, and she had a spare spot at one of the camps. Knew that I was vision impaired, and: “Do you want to come along?” “Yeah, why, not, give it a go.” This was back when I was about twelve, thirteen. I went, and I loved it. Went back again, and again, and again. And for the first five or six years I just skied for like a week a season sort of thing, like, you’re on a camp. Fell in love with the sport; my skiing and the mountain atmosphere, I love it, and then, when I finished my HSC, I decided to take myself off to Canada, and skiing Kimberley, the disabled race program that was run by the ex-Australian who coaches Steve Boba, and I’d heard about it through Disabled Winter Sports Australia. And I thought I’d spend some time in Canada, which is for skiing, and had a year off between school and uni, so… first time I ran through a race course actually. It was pretty awesome. So I went back again the next year, and Steve [Boba] recommended me to Steve [Graham], and he watched me skiing in September in the South Island, and invited me on a camp with the Australian team, and I trained for Vancouver, and I qualified, and I said “sure, why not?” And here I am!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you liked Vancouver?

MP: It was just an amazing experience. I came into Vancouver… I had quite a bad accident on a downhill course in Sestriere about seven weeks out from the games, and I fractured my pelvis. So, I was coming into Vancouver with an injury and I had only just recovered and was in quite a lot of pain. So it was an amazing experience and I was quite glad I did it, but wish for a different outcome.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you are more optimistic about Sochi then?

MP: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png One of the things about skiing is that it’s really expensive to do. How do you afford to ski given how expensive it is? And the fact that you need a guide who’s got his own expenses.

MP: I’m lucky enough to rank quite high in the world at the moment, so due to my ranking I’m awarded a certain amount of funding from the Australian Sports Commission, which covers my equipment and expenses, and the team picks up training costs and travel costs. All I’ve got to pay for is food and my own equipment, which is good, so I’ve managed to do it a budget.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What do you do outside of skiing, because you look kind of young? And you being not like, 30 or 40?

MP: I’m 24. I’m a student still.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which university?

MP: University of Western Sydney. It’s my third university degree. I’ve completed two others prior to this one that I’m doing now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which degree? That you’re currently pursuing.

MP: Currently, physiotherapy.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Because of your experience with sport?

MP: Not really, except that my experience with sport certainly helped my interest and kind of fueled a direction to take in the physiotherapy field when I’m finished my degree, but more the medical side of injury, rehabilitation that got me interested in physiotherapy to begin with, burns rehabilitation and things like that.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You view yourself a full-time student as opposed to a full-time professional skier.

MP: Not really. I’m a student when uni’s on and when uni’s finished I’m a skier. The way that the term structure is in Australia it gives me all this time to ski. The uni starts at the end of February and goes to the beginning of June, and then we’ve got a six or seven week break until beginning or mid-August, and uni starts again then, and we go up to mid way through November, and then we’ve got a break again. Skiing fits in very nicely to that.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What’s the route for qualification to Sochi for you.

MP: Just maintaining my points. At the moment I’ve qualified. I just need to maintain my points, keep my points under, and then I qualify for the Australian team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So there’s a chance they could say no?

MP: If I’m skiing really badly. An injury.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Or if you’re like those Australian swimmers who had the guns…

MP: I’ve no sign of picking up a gun any time soon. Giving a blind girl a gun is not a good idea. (laughs)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It just seemed to us that Sochi was so far away on out hand, and yet seemed to be in everybody’s mind. It’s on their program. Sixteen months away?

MP: Yes, something like that. Sixteen. I think it’s been on our mind ever since Vancouver was over and done with. Next season, that was that, it was like: “what are our goals for the next four years?” And it was, “What are our goals for the next three years and two years?” And subsequently, next season, it’s Sochi. What we need to work on, what we need to accomplish for then, to be as ready as possible.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What is your favourite event of all the skiing ones? You like the downhill because it’s fast? Or you like Giant Slalom because it’s technically challenging? Or…

MP: I prefer the speed events. The downhill; frightens me but I do love the adrenalin. I’m always keen to do a downhill. But I think Super G might just be my favourite.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you do any other adrenalin junkie type stuff? Do you go bungee jumping? Jumping out of airplanes? Snowboarding?

MP: I don’t snowboard, no. I have jumped out of a plane. I thought that was fun but downhill has got more adrenalin than jumping out of a plane, I found. I do mixed martial arts and judo. That’s my other passion.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you thought of qualifying for the Summer [Para]lympics in judo?

MP: As far as I know, Australia doesn’t have a judo program for the Paralympics. But, if I ever get good enough, then sure.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They sent one.

MP: They’ve sent one, and he’s amazing. He beats up blind guys, able bodieds, quite constantly. I’ve seen video of him fight, and he’s very very good. If I ever reach that level, then sure, it’s something I’d look into it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Does judo help with your skiing?

MP: Yes, it increases my agility and balance, and strength, for sure.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I want to let you get back to changing. Thank you very much.



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April 7, 2010

Naperville, Illinois welcomes home Olympic silver medalist Molly Schaus

Naperville, Illinois welcomes home Olympic silver medalist Molly Schaus

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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US goaltender Molly Schaus in a game against the Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Stars on January 3, 2010.
Image: Sara Melikian.

US Olympic ice hockey silver medalist Molly Schaus returned to her hometown of , Illinois last weekend. Her travels culminated in a visit on Monday to Spring Brook Elementary School, where as a fourth-grader she set the goal of some day being an Olympian. Schaus’s dream was fulfilled this year during the , when she played for the US women’s ice hockey team and won a silver medal. 

As she addressed and answered questions from students and teachers at the grade school, Schaus explained the large amount of work she had to invest to achieve her goals. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that “she has been practicing for three to four hours a day nearly every day for the past year.” She told the students to “make a dream and follow it because you never know what can happen and just have fun with it.”

The nostalgic visit to her elementary school followed a weekend of other appearances in Naperville, including a celebration last Saturday at Rosebud’s Italian Specialties and Pizzeria. Saturday had been declared Molly Schaus Day by Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel, who also gave Schaus a key to the city. 

Schaus has not been the only Olympic alumnus to return to the school; figure skater and gold medalist Evan Lysacek returned to his Naperville hometown and spoke to the students at Spring Brook on March 26. “It’s amazing we had two Olympians come to our school. It’s like 1 million to one that they both get medals,” remarked fourth-grader Alexandra Van Cleave.

Schaus lived in Naperville until moving to Massachusetts during her sophomore year in high school, having attended Gregory Middle School for junior high and Benet Academy during her freshman year of high school. After speaking at Spring Brook on Monday, she visited Gregory later that day and then went home to Massachusetts. She is expected to visit the White House with the rest of her team later this year. She will also start preparing for her final season at Boston College.



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March 28, 2010

Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek gets hero\’s welcome in hometown

Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek gets hero’s welcome in hometown

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

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Evan Lysacek holds his gold medal during the men’s medals ceremony at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships.
Image: David W. Carmichael.

Residents of the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois celebrated Evan Lysacek Day last Friday. Held in honor of the gold medalist in figure skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the day started with a rally at the former Naperville resident’s high school, Neuqua Valley High School. 

Neuqua awarded Lysacek its first-ever Distinguished Alumni Award. He was the first American since 1988 to win the gold in men’s figure skating, having started the sport since he was eight. Despite being busy with other engagements and starring in the TV show Dancing with the Stars, Lysacek was excited about the opportunity to visit his hometown. 

He also took the opportunity to thank his former teachers, who he said worked hard to keep him caught up in his studies amidst his hectic skating career. “I’ve been waiting to get back home and celebrate with the community that’s backed me and been so instrumental in my development as a person, as an athlete and take this opportunity to say thank you, not just to the community but more so to the faculty here,” he told the crowd at Neuqua. 

The skater’s achievements have inspired the residents of his hometown. “I was inspired by what he showed me. He showed that I can do anything I want to do,” said Neuqua student Gbenja Okubaja. At a Chamber of Commerce lunch held later that day, Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel awarded Lysacek the key to the city, saying “I don’t know what it opens, but I’ve been told its already opened the hearts of everyone here in Naperville.” In response Lysacek joked, “I hear it opens all the banks here in Naperville.”

Afterwards, Lysacek attended a fundraiser held in honor of skater and long-time friend Stephanie Joseph, who died of cancer at the age of 21. 



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March 1, 2010

Medvedev asks for resignations from Russian Olympic officials after performance in Vancouver

Filed under: Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games — admin @ 5:00 am

Medvedev asks for resignations from Russian Olympic officials after performance in Vancouver

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Dmitry Medvedev, the president of Russia, has called for the resignation of some of the country’s Olympic officials who prepared athletes; this call follows the country’s poorest-ever performance in Vancouver, in terms of medal count.

Dmitry Medvedev in 2007
Image: Kremlin: Presidential Press and Information Office.

Medvedev made the remarks in a televised address, saying: “Those responsible should take the brave decision and sign a letter [of resignation]. If they can’t we will help them. We must drastically change the training of our athletes, judging by what has happened in Vancouver.”

Medvedev added that “[f]or a long time we have benefited from Soviet achievements. At some point they ran out. We have lost the Soviet sports school, it is simply gone, but we have not formed our own system, even though the amount of money put out into sports was unprecedented. That means that money doesn’t decide everything. Money is an important factor, but it does not decide everything.”

Russia finished the Olympics in eleventh place on the medals table, with three golds; at the 2006 Turin games, the country was in the top five, with eight golds and twenty-two overall medals. In Vancouver, the figure skaters did not receive any gold medals; in hockey, Russia lost 7-3 in quarterfinals to Canada, finishing out of the medals.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also commented on the issue on Friday, two days before the closing ceremony of the Games. “Of course we expected more from our team. But that’s not cause to throw up our hands, wear a sackcloth and ashes or beat ourselves with chains.”

Russia is due to host the next Winter Games, held in 2014, in Sochi.



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Russia at the 2010 Winter Olympics
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February 23, 2010

USA upsets Canada in Olympic ice hockey

Filed under: Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games — admin @ 5:00 am

USA upsets Canada in Olympic ice hockey – Wikinews, the free news source

USA upsets Canada in Olympic ice hockey

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Canada 3 5 United States

The United States men’s ice hockey team upset host country Canada, 5-3, in a preliminary round game on Sunday at the Winter Olympics. It is being called the Americans’ biggest Olympic win since the 1980s “Miracle on Ice” victory over the former Soviet Union.

The game was only 41 seconds in when Brian Rafalski of Team USA fired a slap shot that deflected off Canadian star Sidney Crosby’s stick and bounced past Canadian goalkeeper Martin Brodeur.

The Canadians evened the game on a goal nearly nine minutes into the contest on Eric Staal’s shot. The capacity crowd roared its approval and the stadium announcer was still giving the details of Staal’s goal when Rafalski scored again.

Canada evened the game in the second period, but American Chris Drury put Team USA ahead again, 3-2. The Americans took a 4-2 lead on Jamie Langenbrunner’s shot with just under 13 minutes left in the game.

Cquote1.svg We’re in the winning business. And to win at any level you need momentum-changing saves. Cquote2.svg

—Mike Babcock, Canadian men’s ice hockey team coach

Crosby cut the U.S. lead to 4-3 with about three minutes left. Canada pulled goalie Brodeur, adding an extra attacker in a desperate attempt to tie the contest. The hosts had clearly outplayed the Americans, with a shot advantage of 45-23. But U.S. goalie Ryan Miller, frustrated the Canadians all night, including their last-ditch attack.

Then with just 45 seconds left in the contest, American Ryan Kesler reached around his opponent to slap the final U.S. goal into the empty Canadian net, making it 5-3.

The game was just a preliminary round match, but in hockey-mad Canada, where the sport first originated, it was more than that. To lose to the United States in the Olympics on home soil was devastating.

After the game, Canada fans — many in replicas of the team’s red and white Maple Leaf jerseys — seemed stunned as they filed out of the Canada Hockey Place. Some Americans chanted “U-S-A, U-S-A!” But many Canadians, including Melissa Mazeman of Winnipeg, Manitoba, were still trying to realize what had happened.

“As soon as that first goal was scored within in the first minute, that did hurt, it was kind of crushing,” she said. “But every U.S. player — or every U.S. fan I have seen on the street — I have said congratulations [to].”

Meanwhile, Canadian coach Mike Babcock has replaced Brodeur in the lineup, with Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. Babcock said Brodeur’s coordination with his defensemen that led to turnovers and four goals out of 22 American shot attempts. He also noted that Brodeur did not make many big saves.

Babcock said, “We’re in the winning business. And to win at any level you need momentum-changing saves.”

Cquote1.svg As soon as that first goal was scored within in the first minute, that did hurt, it was kind of crushing. Cquote2.svg

—Melissa Mazeman, Canadian fan

Team USA fan David Loring of Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of a vastly outnumbered corps of fans wearing USA Hockey gear, gave goalkeeper Ryan Miller the credit for preserving the win.

“[Team USA] played really well tonight. I have to tell you, they got outplayed by Canada. We had some really good goalie work this evening. Brodeur made some nice saves, but Miller really played well tonight. That was the difference I thought.”

Cquote1.svg I’m not happy with the way we’ve played to this point. We have to play significantly better. We’re playing with about 10 guys carrying us. They don’t hand out any medals for finishing first in the preliminary round. Cquote2.svg

—Brian Burke, US men’s ice hockey team general manager

However, not all Americans are happy. The general manager of the U.S. men’s team, Brian Burke, feels the team isn’t playing at it’s best. “I’m not happy with the way we’ve played to this point. We have to play significantly better. We’re playing with about 10 guys carrying us. They don’t hand out any medals for finishing first in the preliminary round,” Burke said.

He continued saying, “Our center-ice play, we’ve made some glaring turnovers that have resulted in scoring chances. And our overall intensity for 60 minutes — for the first 10 minutes in the second period, I thought we were nonexistent.”

Chris Drury agreed saying, “I’d still say we would be the underdogs on our lack of experience, certainly now that the tournament takes on a whole new meaning with single elimination. We do need to get a lot better.”

The win is the United States’ first Olympic win over Canada since the 1960 Winter Olympics. It also came one day short of the 30th anniversary of the U.S. hockey win over the former Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics’ Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid.

The victory assures the Americans an automatic quarterfinal berth. Canada could still make the round of eight, but must beat Germany in a play-in game Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals.


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February 13, 2010

Georgian Olympian luge competitor dies in training accident

Filed under: Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games — admin @ 5:00 am

Georgian Olympian luge competitor dies in training accident

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

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Hours before the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics, 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died after hitting an unpadded pole during a routine training exercise at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Vancouver, Canada on Friday morning.

According to those on the scene, blood was “pouring” from the athlete’s head as he was being placed into a stretcher. Doctors did try to revive him, but to no avail.

“Our first thoughts are with the family, friends, and colleagues of the athlete,” Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told international media. “The whole Olympic family is struck by this tragedy, which clearly casts a shadow over these Games.”

CEO of the Vancouver organizing committee, John Furlong went on to say: “We are deeply struck by this tragedy, and join the IOC in extending our condolences to the family, friends and teammates of this athlete, who came to Vancouver to follow his Olympic dream.”

The International Luge Federation (FIL) is now in the process of conducting an internal investigation into the circumstances of what occurred. Training was suspended until officials were able to certify the course as safe.

The president of the ILF, Josef Fendt, said in a statement: “This is a terrible accident. This is the gravest thing that can happen in sport, and our thoughts and those of the luge family are naturally with those touched by this event.”

Mr. Kumaritashvili is the fourth athlete to die in Winter Olympic history.



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December 13, 2009

IOC posthumously awards its highest honor to late Vancouver Organizing Committee Chair

IOC posthumously awards its highest honor to late Vancouver Organizing Committee Chair

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has given the late Jack Poole their highest honour, The Olympic Order, according to a report by the Vancouver Sun.

Mr. Poole, one of the people behind the bid by Vancouver to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, passed away on October 23 after losing a fight with pancreatic cancer.

The CEO of the Vancouver organizing committee (VANOC), John Furlong, was quoted as saying “Jack Poole is truly deserving of the tremendous honour of the Olympic Order in recognition of his enormous contribution to the 2010 Games,” also stating that further comment will be made when the IOC makes a formal announcement of the award.

This marks the second award that has posthumously been given to Poole, having been awarded the Canadian Olympic Order by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) earlier in the month, with word that he will also be inducted to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.



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