Canadian Olympic firsts

Although we Canadians have collected a record (for us) number of medals this Olympic games, we have suffered a few heartbreaking and painful firsts.

  • the first time the women’s curling team did not qualify for the playoff round since the inception of curling as an Olympic sport.  I have to admit though, the South Korean women curlers were so impressive, cool calm and collected throughout their games.
  • the first time both the men’s and women’s team have missed the podium in traditional curling (although we did capture gold in mixed doubles)  Again, since the inception of curling as an Olympic sport.
  • the first time (in five years) our women’s hockey team had to settle for a silver medal although nothing to scoff at there. They were outplayed, although the officials could have been less biased in their calls.

These disappointing firsts are a result of many things in my mind.  Canada has always been respected for their curling and hockey prowess, but obviously other teams are catching up fast.  It does not help that curling teams from around the world come to Canada to compete against the best for practice on the world stage.  It also does not help that many of these teams are paying Canadian curlers to coach their teams.  As for the hockey, the USA and Canadian women’s teams have always been neck and neck, with all other teams lagging far behind.  After 4 consecutive gold medals for the Canadian women, it was time for the USA to win one.  No other team even comes close, but that may change too in the years to come.

The fact that the Canadian teams mentioned were the reigning and repeated gold medal holders in their respective sports puts an immense amount of pressure on them.  All other teams strive to knock them off the podium.  The German team celebrated like they had won the gold medal after beating team Canada in the semi-final.

The fact that no current NHL players are on the men’s Olympic hockey teams weighs in too.  In previous years Canadian and USA rosters were loaded with NHL players.  The NHL chose to not allow their players to participate in the Olympics this time after the IOC (International Olympic Committee) refused to pay the players’ (considerable) insurance premiums and travel costs.

Day 13 of the winter Olympics proved to be unlucky for Canadians in a few sports.   However, there were a few great firsts to cheer about other days.  Just as other countries are gaining respect in sports they were not historically known to medal for, Canada is too.  More medals in figure skating and speed skating made up for those lost in hockey and curling in our total medal count. Here are a few of those awesome firsts:

  • Canada has won the most medals in speed skating since its Olympic inception.
  • John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won the first gold medal in mixed doubles curling
  • Sebastien Toutant won the first gold in the snowboarding “big air” thriller
  • first time Canada has won four medals in figure skating, two gold and two bronze
  • first time Canada has won 29 medals at a winter games, previous record was 26
  • first time Canada has won the third most medals in a winter games, (previous record was 4th) 9 behind Norway, one behind Germany (we were in second until the last night of competition when Germany won two medals in bobsled) and 6 ahead of the USA.

 

The time change (they are 14 hours ahead of us here in EST) was a bit annoying with these winter Olympic games held in PyeongChang, a first for South Korea.  Sometimes it was hard to tell what was old news and what was new.  Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the talented athletes.  Well, maybe not the curling  or hockey.

If you have a few more minutes to spare, please check out my other blogs…

LOL laugh out loud with me on Your Daily Chuckle. These posts are NOT originals, merely things I saw on Facebook or elsewhere that made me chuckle.

WoW stands for Words of Wisdom, motivational and inspirational words. Again, I am NOT the original author, just want to share words that move me.

GARDENS4U is the website for my gardening business that is the reason I don’t post on this blog as much during the summer.

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Do curlers have to be physically fit?

In my youth, the only curlers I knew were the rags my mother used to put in my hair.   I was vaguely aware that my BFF’s brother was a curler, but I cannot say I was interested enough to find out anything about the sport.  In fact, I’m not sure it was much of a sport back then.

My husband was a great curler in his youth, representing his club in the provincial playdowns several times.  His teenaged years were consumed with curling.  His knowledge of and passion for the game, not to mention the numerous trophies that we have in our home, (those were the days when no one but the winner got a trophy) taught me all about the game.  Not just the logistics of the game, but how difficult it is (here in Canada) to be the best team in your club let alone your zone, province, or country.  That degree of difficulty has not changed.  It might be even tougher as there are so many good teams out there.

My two eldest sons started curling at the age of four.  They both curled locally for years,  coached by their father. The younger of the two was not as passionate about the sport as the elder who also went on to curl competitively including representing our area in the provincials.  Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of his dad, his curling days took a back seat to his goal of becoming a civil engineer.  Both sons learned a lot on the curling ice, including leadership, team play, and communication skills.  Both developed friendships that have lasted over the years.   In fact, my eldest son met his new wife within the first few years of his curling career.  They both still curl at the same RCC although she is currently taking a hiatus to give birth to their first child!

Gone are the days, however, where drinking beer (adults only of course) and munching on junk food after the game were the highlights of the sport, at least at the competitive level.   Today, teams and individuals are known for their fitness level, mental endurance, and strategically amazing shots.  Sorry Ed Werenich, but the days of the belly hanging over the belt as you crouch on the ice to throw your shot are long gone.

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Watching the mixed doubles category in the winter Olympics this week, it is obvious that these curlers definitely have to be physically fit athletes to compete at this level today.  With just two (traditional curling has four) curlers per team, they  are throwing a rock, then quickly jumping up to sweep it down the ice towards the house.  I broke out in a (nervous) sweat watching them, especially the gold medal game between Canada and Switzerland.  The pairing of Canada’s John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes were spectacular to watch as they brought home the gold.

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CBC news: Canada’s John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes win Olympic gold in curling mixed doubles

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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating today

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family celebrating today…

 

happy thanksgiving

If only we could set our scales back 10 pounds on Thanksgiving or any other holiday we spend with friends, family and lots (too much) of delicious food and drink.

 

On a more serious note, be sure to be thankful for what you are celebrating!

happy thanksgiving

Like this sign says, be kind, be thoughtful, be genuine, but most of all be thankful!

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa?

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa today?  There are a few signs that say he may have…

First off the wind is unreal (of course, not nearly as bad as Texans experienced)  When I left my house this morning it was cool (I needed long sleeves and long pants) and cloudy out, but rather nice for gardening (especially compared to yesterday when the sun was very strong and hot).  Two hours later I was weeding and pruning shrubs in my son’s garden and I could barely stand up and the lawn waste bags were like kites…

 

 

 

On my way home I noticed the price of gas here in Ottawa has gone way up too.  Apparently, that too is a remnant of Hurricane Harvey.  With many refineries on Texas’ gulf coast forced to close due to the storm, the wholesale price of gas has risen.  To Canadian consumers, that has translated to at least 10 cents per litre.

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I thought this price was bad, two days later it was up to 131.9 cents per liter….Crazy!

 

I’m pretty sure Canada has its own share of oil refineries so why has the closure of some in Texas affect our gas prices so drastically?  Is it because we must charge an international price for gas to prevent Americans from flooding across our border to fill up if our rates are significantly cheaper?

We wouldn’t mind, after all, we Canadians are the welcoming, friendly sort.

What does Russia really have on Trump?

Russia has reported that they have documentation showing US president-elect Donald Trump engaging in sexual shenanigans with Russian prostitutes and the media is running with it.   What is it about sex that creates such a scandal?   Continue reading

Scams, scams and more scams

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I received two more scams today by email.  The first one was from someone claiming to be “checking my Netflix account”  They (in broken English and poor spelling) wanted me to click on a link to verify my account information with a threat that my family’s access to Netflix would be cut off if I did not follow the instructions.

The second scam was an email from someone claiming to be from Canada Post telling me I had a package that they tried to deliver but no one was home.  Again, they asked me to click on a link to verify my information and find out where to pick up my package.

Both are scams, looking to get information on unsuspecting individuals.  Popular services (such as Netflix and Canada Post) are being targeted because many people use and rely on them.  Clicking on the link provided will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.

Clicking on the link provided in these scams will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.  Instead of clicking on the link, delete the suspicious email immediately.

Here are a few clues that should make you suspect an emailed scam:

  • poor grammar and spelling in the content
  • telling you about something you did not order (packages)  Canada Post would never email you if they stop by and no one is home, they leave a notice at your door.
  • offers of refunds or money for nothing or ways to help you save.  If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
  • emails from someone you know that do not make sense, are very vague (i think you might be interested in this)  or contain a link you know nothing about
  • emails asking for information the (fake) sender (eg. CRA, bank etc) would already have on file
  • they are providing a service you did not request.  For example, they are telling you something is wrong with your computer and want you to log in so they can “help you fix the problem”
  • miracle cures of any sort (skin care, weight loss, etc etc) go under the “too good to be true” category
  • reputable companies do NOT ask for updated personal information via email

 

A PREVIOUS POST talked about scams you might encounter when shopping online.  Remember and be aware that perpetrators can find innocent, unsuspecting victims by email, phone, regular mail and even at your front door.  With modern technology, the world is becoming a much smaller place.  Scams, especially ones through email, can and do come from anywhere in the world today.

If you are even the least bit suspicious, google the company represented to see if there are any known scams associated with that company.  Use information available online to educate and protect yourself and others.  For example, I googled Netflix scam, and guess what, a whole list of results turned up.  This particular scam has been going on across Canada for a while now.   Remember, the company is not at fault, they are being used too.  The scammers are relying on these reputable, trusted and popular companies to get your attention.

After you delete the offending email, share the knowledge and warn your friends, family members, and neighbours.  The RCMP has a website for you to report SCAMS  and other fraudulent activity.

Be scam savvy!

Anger rules election

 

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I, like many other Canadians, watched the coverage of the election last night.  I did switch back and forth between the Ottawa Senators hockey game and the election coverage though, very Canadian of me!

Through the whole election process, I was struck by how divided the country (USA) was on their opinions of the candidates.  People were/are very definite in this election.  In past elections (ours included) opinions varied, but there appeared to be much less anger.  Previously, all candidates had their strengths and weaknesses.  Not so with this election.

People are angry at and sick of Hillary’s lies, deceit and suspected corruption.  Others are angry and disgusted with Trump’s comments, actions and lack of political experience.  Today there are many furious and heartsick people in the USA and around the world because Trump won the election.  As naive as it may sound,  I hope this anger dissipates soon so the country can move forward together.

I also hope that president-elect Trump is not the crass, irresponsible,  selfish, crude, racist, sexist, idiot that all of those angry people say he is…

Canada’s shiniest Penny

In case you haven’t noticed Canada is sporting a shiny Penny at the Olympics in Rio.  Although we gave up using pennies in our currency recently, this Penny is a keeper. At just 16 years of age, Penny (short for Penelope) Oleksiak has made a tremendous splash at the Olympics and all Canadians very proud this week.

Penny is the first Canadian athlete to win four medals in a single summer Olympics.  With four swimming medals (1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze) under her belt (or around her neck) she goes for a fifth medal in another relay Saturday night.

Her sunny disposition, ever present smile and unassuming attitude make her a fan favourite.  After her gold medal win, she did not turn around to see her result for a full 25 seconds, then mumbled “oh my gosh!” when she realized she had tied for first place and the gold medal.  No fist pumps or fingers in the air, just an endearing “oh my gosh.” What an inspiration to all youngsters let alone other athletes.

I’m willing to bet Penelope will be a favourite in baby girl names this year here in Canada!

Tears are not Enough and other Christmas music on Majic 100.3 FM

There is nothing like Christmas music to get you into the holiday spirit…

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While Christmas music never fails to inspire me, it also makes me realize how lucky we in Canada are to be able to celebrate the holiday season with loved ones.

Yesterday, while sitting in a dentist chair, I heard the song “Tears are not Enough” on Majic 100’s radio station.  “Tears are not Enough” is a single musical collaboration produced in Canada, in 1985, to raise money for the victims of famine in Ethiopia.  A group of Canadian talents such as singer Bryan Adams and songwriter David Foster came up with the hit under the banner Northern Lights.

The lyrics and voices of Northern Lights and Tears are not Enough were powerful back in 1985, raising more than 3 million dollars for charity.   Today the lyrics continue to be powerful and are especially appropriate and meaningful with all of the unrest in the world.  Take a moment to read the lyrics and listen to the video…

      “Tears Are Not Enough”

As every day goes by
How can we close our eyes
Until we open up our heartsWe can learn to share
And show how much we care
Right from the moment that we startSeems like overnight
We see the world in a different light
Somehow our innocence is lostHow can we look away
‘Cause every single day
We’ve got to help at any costWe can bridge the distance
Only we can make the difference
Don’t ya know that tears are not enough

If we can pull together
We could change the world forever
Heaven knows that tears are not enough

It’s up to me and you
To make the dream come true
It’s time to take our message everywhere

C’est l’amour qui nous rassemble
D’ici ?l’autre bout du monde
Let’s show them Canada still cares
You know that we’ll be there

If we should try together you and I
Maybe we could understand the reasons why
If we take a stand every woman, child and man
We can make it work for God’s sake lend a hand

 

please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE  It is guaranteed to make you LOL.

What’s religion got to do with it?

This reblog about the  controversial, global dilemma of accepting refugees was titled “In which I tell you how religion works” but I have put my own slant on it.  I like the message from it, just do not want to imply that I have the knowledge or desire to tell anyone how religion works…