Tagged: paralympics

Paralympic-esque Blog Wrap Up

Wrapping up the Paralympics. A week late but work took up a lot of time. 12 day stretch with 1 night off. Takes a toll.

A rundown of all the medals from the games. The official website is not the easiest to figure out. Thank you Wikipedia. Medals along with dates that they happened.

Big winner was Lauren Woolstencroft with 5 Gold Medals in skiing. She works as an engineer with BC Hyrdo so quite an impressive feat to win that many in your home province.

Brian McKeever rebounded from the Olympics to win 3 Golds. Viviane Forest, Colette Bourgonje and Karolina Wisniewska rounded out the multiple medallists. Josh Dueck won a silver as well in alpine.

The Wheelchair Curling won Gold. Team consisted of Jim Armstrong, Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forrest, Sonja Gaudet and Bruno Yizek.

Gold Brian McKeever: Cross-country skiing Men’s 20km free, visually impaired March 15
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s slalom, standing March 15
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s giant slalom, standing March 17
Gold Brian McKeever: Cross-country skiing Men’s 10km classic, visually impaired March 18
Gold Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s downhill, visually impaired March 18
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s downhill, standing March 18
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s Super-G, standing March 19
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s Super combined, standing March 20
Gold Jim Armstrong, Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forrest, Sonja Gaudet, Bruno Yizek: Wheelchair curling March 20
Gold Brian McKeever: Cross-country skiing Men’s 1km sprint, visually impaired March 21

Silver Colette Bourgonje: Cross-country skiing Women’s 10km free, sitting March 14
Silver Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s slalom, visually impaired March 14
Silver Josh Dueck: Alpine skiing Men’s slalom, sitting March 14
Silver Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s Super-G, visually impaired March 19
Silver Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s Super combined, visually impaired March 20

Bronze Karolina Wisniewska: Alpine skiing Women’s slalom, standing March 15
Bronze Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s giant slalom, visually impaired March 16
Bronze Colette Bourgonje: Cross-country skiing Women’s 5km classic, sitting March 18
Bronze Karolina Wisniewska: Alpine skiing Women’s Super combined, standing March 20

Sledge Hockey team showed there is equality. They can overlook a team in the playoffs and lose like any other team. Lost to Japan in which one of the players even said afterwards that they might’ve been looking to the next game. Didn’t feel so bad for that result. The Japanese goalie went to Algonquin College in Ottawa the same time I did. So a fellow Alumni won a Silver medal. Good for him.

Mitsuru Nagase has played for 15 years and finished 5th in three straight Paralympics. A silver and beating Canada in Vancouver along the way might make up for those years.

Glad to see the Closing Ceremony was put on CTV.  Wish the coverage on the channels had been better.  Almost everything being taped and at weird times didn’t help.  Ratings for Sledge Hockey was bigger than they expected so I think CTV/Rogers underestimated how much Canadians wanted to watch.  A chance to see Canadians win medals on home soil is big for many people.  Coverage was better than past year with CBC.  However that wasn’t that hard to do seeing as those were in foreign countries.  With all the resources they had it was a missed opportunity.

Congratulations to all the people involved in the Paralympics.  They had no control over TV coverage and hopefully this will help things get better the next time around.

Paralympic-esque Blog Day 1-3

Paralympics kicked off on Friday. Opening Ceremonies only shown on TV in British Columbia. Apparently it was only going to be on the web at first. People complained so they aired it out west and said “well if you get that channel in other time zones you can watch”. I do at home, however most people don’t. And at work they have basic cable. Nice try CTV. None of us fell for your lame attempt at spinning. Friday nights are not big nights for TV viewing so CTV should’ve aired the Opening Ceremonies.

Saw some of the taped coverage on Sunday afternoon. CBC’s coverage would air it late at night when nobody could watch. As for quality of the coverage. Editing left a lot to be desired. Things came across as slow. Jamie Campbell did voiceovers for highlights but there would be long stretches of near silence. Barely hear any audio from where the sport was being held. Cranked up the volume to no avail on many occasions. Weird.

Crowds on Saturday for alpine skiing were great. However weather messed up the plans for that day and most things got delayed till later in the week. It happens.

Sledge Hockey was live on Sportsnet. Humourous start from a broadcasting perspective. Two hosts were clearly in TSN’s studio in Toronto before it was sent to Vancouver. Then TSN’s Dave Randorf was in the arena with a CTV microphone. After the Paralympics you won’t see this mix of companies again till 2012.

Congratulations to the medal winners from Sunday. TSN Sportscentre sadly did not give it much time. In total I’d say I saw 45 seconds on the 3 medal winners. More time spent on sledge hockey. I know Canada is hockey crazy but spending more time on a 10-1 game then people who won medals was sad when TSN is supposedly one of the channels involved in coverage.

Don Cherry was in Vancouver during the past week with supporting the Paralympics. Grapes throwing his support behind it over the past few years is great for helping them get extra notice. Even if you don`t agree with Grapes he does bring additional media attention to things.

Crowds at the hockey have been great. Curling disappointing with stands only half full. After how amazing they were for Curling during the Olympics it’s strange so few people are showing up for this. Wheelchair curling is different in an interesting way. No sweeping since that would be imposssible. Teams are all co-ed though. Hope people get out as the week goes along.

First medal for Canada went to Colette Bourgonje. Silver in the 10km cross country sit ski event. And she won it at the age of 48. Chris Chelios is barely hanging on to an NHL spot at that age. Colette wins a silver medal. Impressive. She has won medals in both summer and winter games. Two bronze medals in the 100 and 800m wheelchair races in the summer of 1992. Add two more bronze medals in Atlanta and two silver medals in Nagano. Apparently not enough for TSN to give her more than 15 seconds on Sportscentre during a Sunday night.

Another silver medal went to Viviane Forest. Women`s Slalom Visually Impaired. Event where they have a guide in front of them as they go down the hill, for Forest that was Lindsay Debou. Downhill skiing would be hard enough when you are visually impaired. Slalom where you go through gates boggles the mind.

Third silver medal of the day went to Josh Dueck in the men’s sitting category in the slalom. Quote from Dueck after the race “I first thought after my accident that my disability wasn’t cool, this silver medal proves that anything is possible if you work hard at it. I once heard someone say, ‘You never know what will happen in life, so just get on with it.'”

Hope the sports shows decide to spend more time giving the Paralympians their due. Especially the medal winners for Canada. Great stories that shouldn’t be treated as an “obligation”.

Con O’Brien from The Irish Descendants on tonight

Interview with Con O’Brien from The Irish Descendants on tonight’s program.  Spoke to him a few days ago.  Runs about 15  minutes which I’ll play during the show tonight.  Talk about the 20th anniversary tour, recent stops in Vancouver and Texas and the concert in Kingston on Tuesday.  You will also hear about where you can meet and greet with the band after the show.  Just keep your ticket stub.  It’s in a certain Irish Pub downtown.  Big hint.

Friday is the start of the Paralympics with the Opening Ceremony.  Tape delayed till Saturday afternoon on CTV, but I believe you can watch it live on the web.  As opposed to the Olympics your bet to see things live is on the internet.  TV coverage is the most ever in Canada.  But it’s packaged into a highlights show.  So all those who teased our American friends who got stuck with NBC you will know how they feel.  Some live sports though, the Gold Medal Sledge Hockey game for instance.

I’ll be keeping tabs on it, with working overnight I should see more highlights than the average person.

Olympic-esque Blog Day 17

Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death is a big part of what will be remembered about vancouver 2010. Anytime an athlete dies that will leave a mark on an event. For me the Luge Federation’s horrible attempt to blame Nodar himself the next day is why I thought I’d open up the last blog with it. One of the lowest points of an Olympics I’ve seen.

Also saying the track wasn’t dangerous but then putting in various changes because it clearly was showed how two-faced they were. Case where I don’t blame the IOC but it fell on VANOC. Various racers leading up to these games warned them about it. Luge, Skeleton and Bobsleigh are treacherous no matter what. When they are worried about a track you listen and don’t blow them off. From Yahoo Sports.


LOSER: Vancouver Organizing Committee

It was obvious they had built a sliding track in Whistler that was too fast and too challenging. Luge athletes were complaining from the start of practice. Then Nodar Kumaritashvili died when he was ejected from the track and into a steel pole. They slowed the luge track, yet then watched bobsledders struggle to make it down later in the Games.

Later, documents, emails and other smoking guns became public that showed concern about the track from officials, including those within the International Luge Federation. Luging is a dangerous sport, but there is no need to make it this difficult. The death of Kumaritashvili should be used to improve safety going forward. It was a terrible and unfortunately lasting moment from these Games.

Those athletes take risks everytime they race so it takes a lot for them to raise a red flag. Similar to race car drivers.

Takes a lot for me to agree with Jacques Rogge but I did in some quotes he’s said in the last few days. He said the IOC didn’t set the standards for the Whistler track.

“But we are morally responsible. Our responsibility is to make sure that no unnecessary risks are taken. There will always be risk in sport but it has to be reasonable. And the athletes take a lot of risk themselves.”

“The IOC has been very clear in saying to the Russians [2014 Winter Games] please deliver us a track that will be not hazardous. We never ask for more speed on the ice. Never. There has never been any requests to say you should go faster, it should be more difficult. This is something that clearly emanated from the international federation who approved the design.”

About Kumaritashvili’s death compared to other Olympic tragedies.

“It will be a part of the Games. It would be stupid to say the opposite. Just ask about what happened in Munich. What happened in Munich is part of the Games. What happened in Atlanta is part of the Games. There is no way you can isolate it.”

Rogge said the death affected him “very strongly,” and he didn’t sleep for two nights.

“In my profession, you are used to seeing people pass away, but for acceptable reasons, because of disease, because of age. [Rogge was a practicing physician.] And when you see a young athlete pursuing his dream of participating in the Olympic Games and end up in such an accident, it hurts.”

CTV Sunday morning had Rod Black and Jamie Cambpell on. I said before on the blog how I wasn’t a fan of his play by play. I do like him as a broadcaster. Always heard good things about people meeting him as well. Host asked them near the end what you would remember most about these games. Jamie gave the brutally honest answer.

The face of luger who died. Jamie was at the Broadcast Centre that Friday preparing for the sports he was going to call on Saturday. He saw the crash on TV, possibly before most of us had even heard about it. Once he heard he died he admitted he broke down. Betting CTV was looking for the first Gold Medal on home soil story from Jamie. Some things are more important.

Still haven’t watched an Olympic Gold Medal hockey game since 1994 between Canada and Sweden. Don’t like the professionals at the games. That’s it. I have to say the pros are the only ones who I saw cause anger in people the last 2 weeks. Where I work we had a lot of people come by and watch parts of the Olympics on a TV we have in the lobby. If Canada didn’t win in other sports no one got angry.

End of the Canada-Switzerland game which Canada won I saw angry people. Think I quoted this before but one guy before the shootout. “These Motherf$%kers get paid millions of dollars and they can’t beat the Swiss”. Didn’t hear anything like that if a speed skater finished 4th. More swearing at the team at the end of the Canada-Slovakia game.

Reading Twitter tonight and the word “relief” came up alot. Not happiness as much as people relieved they won. A bit strange. Felt much more happiness online when Moir/Virtue won. Tweets from women crying during that so it was memorable reading.

I’ll have one more Olympic-esque blog tomorrow as I catch up on things I missed. I’m a big sports fan but I know sports are a fun distraction. Nothing more and nothing less. Enjoy the game while watching it however it shouldn’t eat away at you if your team loses. Was my opinion of Canada or self worth going to change if the country didn’t win the ‘battle of the millionaires’ ? No, that be crazy. Tomorrow is another day win or lose.

In June it’s the world’s biggest sporting event of the year. 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Winter Olympics are big, but not World Cup of Soccer big. Don’t kid yourself. Those fans border on the insane from time to time. Killing a player for scoring on his own net for example. Not everyone knows the story about Andres Escobar. Scored on his own net against the USA in 1994. A month later in Columbia he was shot 12 times as the shooter reportedly yelled “GOAL!” after each shot. Whether the murderer was hired by Colombian drug syndicates who had bet heavily on the game was never proven. You can imagine that would be difficult and dangerous to prove in that country. The murderer was sentenced to 43 years in prison, then reduced to 26 years. And he only served 11 after being let out for ‘good behaviour’. No, that’s not fishy at all. To also show how big soccer is his funeral was attended by a few people. 120,000 to be exact.

Dark side of sports but let’s hope nothing approaching that happens this time. Does put “crazy hockey fans” in perspective though. Imagine a hockey player getting hurt at all for making a mistake. Unfathomable.

Remember Vancouver 2010 is not over yet. Even though some of the TV coverage would have you believe it is. The Paralympics start on March 12th. CTV/Rogers is doing more coverage than CBC has done. Didn’t see it but Brian Williams even said he’s hosting it. Glad they’re finally giving those games their due. I’ve tried to watch in the past but it would be tape delayed till late at night. CTV, TSN and Sportsnet showing it. We’ll see how they do. I’ll be here to write about it.

Thanks to Olympic Price Watch for linking to the blog yesterday.  I’ll post tomorrow any updates from the site.  Let’s hope the bad ones smarten up before the Paralympics start.

Quite easy to sum up the games’ ups and downs. Got the new Peter Gabriel CD as he covers various artists. Does a song by Randy Newman from 1968. Vancouver in one sentence over the last 2 weeks.

“Human kindness is overflowing and I think it’s going to rain today.”

Olympic-esque Blog Day 16

Think I watched too much of the Olympics at the start. Haven’t caught much the last few days. Keeping track of the medals coming in has been a lot of catching up. Need a day off from work just to sit down and go back over what I missed.

Men’s Curling with a Gold medal. Which means Canada will finish first in the Gold category, no matter what happens on Sunday. Total medals is US by a country mile. First time someone from ‘own the podium’ sounded reasonable. Chris Rudge.

“Through some kind of transference, I might segue over to gold medals and say Own The Podium met its goal, but that would be unfair and that would be a rationalization. Our goal was the most medals and we didn’t get the most medals.”

Glad he didn’t do the politician spin on it. As I said yesterday, strange coinicidence that once they admitted Canada wouldn’t get the most all these medals came in. A lot of the Canadians not used to intense pressure or don’t perform well under it. Exceptions of course with the ones who did.

However you have the entire ski team that didn’t win one medal. They got an extra $10 Million in funding for these games. Pressure they couldn’t handle apparently. Some got injured before the games but zero medals means they choked. Can’t sugarcoat it.

Paralympics start up in a couple of weeks. For those on the West Coast I’d advise checking it out. Friend from Twitter Katie Lawrence pointed out tickets for sledge hockey between Canada and Italy are $20. Twenty bucks. Not $200 or $2000. Twenty bucks. Impressive pricing considering the gouging we’ve seen in Vancouver.


Going with USA beating Canada 4-2. Not watching the game since it is the equivalent of 3am to me and who wins doesn’t interest me. American Moneybags or Canadian Moneybags. Not like Women’s hockey where you can see this is the end all and be all for the year. The guys? Back to their NHL jobs and push for the Stanley Cup playoffs. One of the women on Team USA even said as much. “It’s different for the guys.” Especially with World Cup 2011 next year for the Men.

Simple prediction for me just looking at scores. USA hammered Finland. Finland just squeaked by Slovakia for a Bronzel. Canada also just got by Slovakia. US beat Canada already. That’s it. Could be wrong but based on results you would pick the US. From a unbiased point of view.

You must have heard by now about Team Canada crushing the dream of Brian McKeever. When you think Team Canada officials might have their heads on straight they do something like this. Why bring him to the games if you’re not going to have him ski? Lot of people upset because the same officials used Brian as good P.R. before the games. Story of him being the first to compete at both the Paralympics and Olympic games. Went around the world and they liked the publicity it gave them. When push came to shove they don’t allow him to be part of the 50km Cross Country ski team chosen for Sunday. Insane.

Talking about putting in 4 guys who could possibly win a medal. The team has done better than expected but none of them won any medals so far. Brain dead thinking from the Cross Country side. After seeing people’s reaction to Rochette’s skate you would think they would clue in. Final day of the Olympics and which would people care about more. McKeever skiing or some other Canadians finishing 8th. Even if one of them won a medal it’s the same day as Hockey and the closing ceremony. Talk about being overshadowed win or lose. Chance to get your sport noticed to people who don’t watch it was McKeever. So you now have a race many Canadians will not want to watch because of how the team treated him. Nice going. A tweet from him Saturday morning as you can tell he was not expecting it either.

“Olympic dream over. Don’t think I’ve ever been so sad.”

Closing ceremonies shouldn’t be as bad as the opening. Let’s hope they improved the lip synching. Some good news to end this post. Website with the places in Vancouver that are not trying to ripoff customers during the Olympics.


Similar to the list earlier in the week but updated as of this morning with some new entries.
NEW – Charm Modern Thai on Hamilton has no olympics autograt (Source: @asml)

NEW – The Greedy Pig – reported as having nice prices (Source: @thegreenpagesBC)

NEW – The Whip on Main – reported as having nice prices (source: @Kafkascoffeetea)

NEW – Maenam – good review and nice price report (source: @mbender88)

NEW – Ontario Pavilion – regular prices (source – personal visit)

NEW – PumpJack Pub on Davie- regular prices, no auto-grat, specials through Olympics (source: @ReiveD)

NEW – Joseph Richard on Granville – regular prices, no auto-grat (source: venue’s promoter @Bacardi_live)

Funny a place called “The Greedy Pig” isn’t but on the bad list is a place called “Smiley’s”. They’re smiling as they gouge you which means you won’t be smiling later on.

When the Paralympics I wonder if they will ease off on the price hikes. Still a lot of people in town from around the world so you never know. With the internet the good and bad list will live on way past the times the games end. Old adage about getting good service you tell 1 person, you get bad service you tell 10 people. It’s true.

Even on this blog. The horrible stuff on CTV has gotten repeated by a lot of people online. Good stuff like the pieces on difference between athlete’s bodies and ours, first time I’ve mentioned it. Although seeing the General Electric logo is a bit annoying. Does every taped thing on CTV/Rogers have to have a sponsor? The ‘unholy alliance’ overpaying for the Olympics shouldn’t force “Product Night in Canada” on us every single day of the Olympics. Last night saw something taped which ended “brought to you by Bell” and faded into commercial. Immediately followed by a promo for the Fan Choice Awards presented by Bell.

During CFRC football and hockey broadcasts I know not to put the same sponsor on back to back ads. You annoy the listener if that happens. And this is a volunteer position. When you’re getting paid you should know to spread out the advertising. Common sense.

Jay Onrait still trying his best on Olympic Morning.  Almost redeemed the 2 weeks of Olympic Morning today, almost. “A lot of people have been wondering. How do I get the I Believe song? We haven’t been telling you about this much on the show. We haven’t been playing it that much.” Thank you Jay. 🙂