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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Olympics and gun control meet on Twitter

What do the Olympics and gun control have in common?  Twitter, they have Twitter in common.  This exchange of tweets on Twitter was too funny (and tragically accurate) not to share!  It came after the USA women’s hockey team beat Canada in the gold medal hockey game and the USA men’s curling team beat the Canadian men’s curling team to advance to the gold medal game in the winter Olympics.  It also came after another shooting rampage in a USA school.

 

Chris Sedenka‏
@ChrisSedenka

Hey @Canada, what else would you like us to beat you in today?
8:43 AM – 22 Feb 2018

 

 

Scott Morrison‏
@scott_morrison

Gun Control

 

This reply was the BEST!  Nothing more to be said that can improve that conversation.  Leave it to a little blue bird to get the last word in!

Twitter

 

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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

 

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.

ed

 

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

Ends for an end to cancer

April is coming soon, which means the (7th this year) annual Ends for an End to Cancer event is looking for support.  April  is cancer awareness month, and since most everyone is or has been affected by this devastating disease, the most obvious time to step up and support any fundraising event.

Ends for an End to Cancer is a curling bonspiel and more held at the Richmond Curling Club (RCC) here in the Ottawa area.  This year it will be held on April 7th.  My daughter-in-law and son are involved in this wonderful, and very successful event, in support of victims and their families.

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There are many ways to help.  You can submit a curling team in the bonspiel, come out to participate in the silent auction, donate items for the auction or donate money to the cause.

If you are interested and available to support this great cause, contact me for more details.

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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

2016 Canadian Brier

 

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The 2016 Brier, sponsored by Tim Hortons, is underway at TD Place in Lansdowne Park, here in Ottawa.  For those of you not familiar with the sport, the Brier is the men’s Canadian curling championship, where all provinces and territories are represented.  Last year’s winning team also qualifies to play as Team Canada.  Opening ceremonies were yesterday afternoon, March 5th.  My seat in an upper row allowed for a great shot of all the teams lined up on the ice during the singing of our national anthem…

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Unfortunately, from this seat, I wasn’t able to get any good closeup shots of the curling matchups within the first draw of the event at 230pm.  I did get a decent shot of Ontario’s team skipped by Glen Howard chatting with the crowd after their victory over Kevin Koe’s team from Alberta…

 

Our tickets for the evening draw (draw 2) at 730 last night were closer to the ice, allowing for some better shots of the three concurrent games.

In these pictures, the two teams on sheet A (top of the picture) are Northern Ontario skipped by Brad Jacobs and Saskatchewan skipped by Steve Laycock.  Center ice had BC skipped by Jim Cotter playing PEI skipped by Adam Casey.  The third sheet (bottom of pictures) pitted North West Territories skipped by Jamie Koe against New Brunswick skipped by Mike Kennedy…

 

The former cattle castle, currently known as the Aberdeen Pavillion, houses the “Brier Patch” the entertainment center of the Brier.   Fans, players and volunteers congregate and mingle here between and after draws.  We dropped by Friday evening, just in time to see and hear all of the teams being introduced to their appreciative fans.  After their introductions, the team members wandered through the crowd, stopping for autographs and posing for photos.

Opening day at the 2016 Brier was a great time.  The recently renovated TD Place and Landsdowne Park area in Ottawa is a beautiful venue for an event like this.  Plenty of parking, free bus service to and from the games, and a wide variety of shops and restaurants all within walking distance make it enjoyable for everyone.   We even got to chat with Jim Cotter, skip of the BC team, while out for lunch at Whole Foods Market.   The weather was perfect too for strolling around the area.

The caliber of the curling competition is outstanding this year at the Brier, with no team favoured to win easily.  We plan to go back later in the week as the competition heats up, with playoffs on the weekend leading into the final game on Sunday, March 13.

I’m not losing a son, I’m gaining a daughter!

engaged

 

This past weekend, my eldest son proposed to his girlfriend.  As the mother of three sons, I am thrilled to welcome my first daughter!

It is difficult for a mother to remain objective when her son is dating, just as (so I have heard) it is difficult for fathers to approve of their daughters’ dating choices.  You have to learn to bite your tongue when you do not approve and only offer advice when it is requested.  You have to hope your children listen when you try to teach them that beauty is only skin deep, but what lies within is much more important.  They have to learn to follow their instincts telling them if a relationship does not feel right, it is not right, and will not last.  You can only hope and pray that your children make the right choice when choosing a mate, and celebrate when they do!

This happy couple have known each other for years, having curled together since they were “little rockers”, close to twenty years ago.  Even though they both dated other people over the years, their friendship, love of curling and the ever-popular social media have kept them connected.  We have no doubt they are ideally matched and are very excited to encourage them in this next step of their lives.

Experts agree that boys that are close to, respectful of, and good to their mothers will make great husbands.  I am fortunate to have three kind, considerate, respectful, compassionate, not to mention handsome, sons that will make great husbands and fathers.  Of course, I am a bit biased…

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Canadian Women do us Proud Today!!

I am very proud of our Canadian women today!  The Canadian women’s hockey team overcame a 2-0 goal deficit in the third period to force overtime against the USA team and then scored again to win the Olympic GOLD medal.  Marie-Philip Poulin scored both the tying goal and the game winning overtime goal for team Canada.

Earlier today, Jennifer Jones’ curling team beat Sweden in the championship final to win gold as well.  This game was a nail biter too, with Sweden having a chance to tie the score or go ahead in the ninth end.  Instead, Jones and the Canadian women’s team stole two points to head into the tenth end with a three point lead that Sweden could not rally from.  As she threw her first rock in the tenth end, a smile lit Jennifer Jones’ face as she (and we) knew she was about to make the easy take out shot to run the Swedes out of rocks and win the gold medal.

Great job ladies!