Showing posts with label Paralympic Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paralympic Games. Show all posts

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's All Over - The 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Are Officially Over

Well that's it folks. The Olympics are over and now The Paralympics are officially over. That's it. All done.

To be honest, I'm a little sad about it. I really enjoyed the Olympics and the Paralympics.  I seen some great stories over the last month or so and it's been a crazy time. I'm very proud of all the Canadian athletes that participated in both games. Just one last time for another 4 years... GO CANADA!

OK. That's out of my system. The Canadians did pretty good at the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver. After it was all said and done, Canada had 10 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals for 19 in total. Excellent work guys and girls. *claps hands* Those 19 medals helped Canada finish in 3rd overall at the Paralympics. Considering what Canada did at the Olympic games and what Canada did at the Paralympics, I'd say the podium was owned, don't you?
As I said above, there was some key stories that I followed. I watched a lot of the Team Canada sledge hockey games. As I had written before, the game of sledge hockey is freaking intense. Massive body checks that would hurt most people were flying all over the place. Those players were not only creative with their plays, they had some very deadly shots. Being a goalie sure didn't look easy.

Canada had won the gold at the last Paralympics and being on home soil this time, they were heavy favorites to win gold once again. In the semi finals they met up with Japan. The game was a hard fought game but the Canadians just couldn't score on the Japanese goalie. He played well and made some huge saves to keep his team in it. But as time was winding down and with the score tied up at one each, the Japanese team found a way to score. With 1:13 left in the 3rd period, the Japanese made it a 2-1 game. With Canada pressing in the last few seconds, they made an error and while making a bad pass, the puck slid all the down into their own net. 3-1 Japan. Game over and so is the gold medal sweep in hockey (Men's and Ladies won gold in Olympic Games).

So now they were off for the bronze medal game and they were up against Norway. Once again the Canadians were confidant in their team going into the game. I never questioned them NOT winning the bronze. But they didn't. The Norwegians played a heck of a game - they were silver medalists in 2006 - and really took it to the Canadians. They out shot Canada 8-1 in the 3rd period and Canada just couldn't muster any offence and they lost 2-1.

The gold medal favorites finish 4th. Not how I had envisioned it at all. I'm sure either did they.


Brian McKeever had himself a few stories. First, he was going to ski in the Olympics (the men's 50km cross-country race). Then out of the blue, he's not in the because the coach pulled him in favor of another racer who had done well in a earlier event at the games. McKeever was devastated by the news. And rightfully so. He just wanted to be treated fairly regardless if he's visually impaired. He has a slight vision problem where he can't see the straight ahead stuff, just the peripheral view. So obviously when you ski in the Olympics, you can't have a guide and that presents challenges for Brian. His older brother, Robin McKeever, competes as his guide when Brian skis in the Paralympics. But it was a fight he could not fight so get changed his focus to concentrating on the Paralympics.

He did however do great at the Paralympics and that helped ease the pain from the previous days. Brian McKeever won three gold medals at the 2010 Paralympic Games. And we here at Oilers Jambalaya congratulate Brian McKeever for his dedication and drive to be the best.
- Gold in the 1km Sprint Visually Impaired
- Gold in the 10km Classic Visually Impaired
- Gold in the 20km Freestyle Visually Impaired

The other sports were fun to watch but i really didn't have an attachment to anybody else like sledge hockey and Brian McKeever. I did however learn about a few different sports that I never really knew about. Like the wheelchair curling was fun tho watch. No sweepers, just throw the rock and where it goes, it goes. To win at wheelchair curling, you need to be a skilled shot.

Team Canada in wheelchair curling consists of Jim Armstrong,  Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forrest, Sonja Gaudet and Bruno Yizek. These fine folks won gold in a thrilling 8-7 game against Korea. This was a very fun game to watch.

I didn't get to watch much of the downhill ski events. But what I did see it was pretty exciting. It takes a lot of guts to do what these athletes do. Here is a great story about Canadian skier Lauren Woolstencroft who won FIVE gold medals. She was amazing and is such a great story.

Thanks to everyone that helps to put on the Olympic and Paralympic games. You all did a wonderful job. THANK YOU CANADA!!!  WOOoOooOoOOoOOO!!!

**Some of the photos are from Getty Images**

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Canadian Sledge Hockey Team Goes For Bronze After Losing To Japan

How far sledge hockey has come...

I would have to think with the exposure and the fact that the Paralympic games are held in Canada, the popularity of sledge hockey is on the rise. These guys are incredible. They play a tough game that can leave them bleeding and scarred and yet they come back to play the next day all over again. Forget incredible, these guys are hardcore. If you think a hit in hockey is harsh, check out sledge hockey.  If you want to be like these guys, ram two shopping carts together at high speed. Oh, you need to be sitting in them. BAM!

I have had the pleasure to watch a few of there games and I can say I enjoyed every minute of it.

Coverage of the game of last weekend's preliminary sledge hockey match between Canada and Italy, drew more than a million TV viewers. That's a good number for this sport. In fact, I'd say it's a great number. It's just too bad all thier games weren't shown on primetime TV.

We can all just hope that maybe now, some more Canadians will embrace these guys and cheer for them just like any other Team Canada team. GOCANADA!!!



Today the Canadian sledge hockey team lost in a dramatic semi-final game to Japan in a 3-1 loss. With the score tied up at one, the winning goal -- the 2nd goal of the game for Japan -- came with 1:13 left in the 3rd period.

The third goal was scored as an own goal on an empty net by Greg Westlake, the tournament's leading scorer. He was trying to make a pass to the blueline and missed the defencemen and it sailed all the way down into the empty Canadian net.

The Canadian fans were stunned with shock while the Japanese fans were crying with joy. Even the Japanese goaltender couldn't hold his emotions and was crying after that final buzzer went.

One country ecstatic, the other, devastated.

"Canada would beat us if we played them 1,000 times, we're going to lose 999,'' said Japanese head coach Kojin Nakakita. "But not this one.''  Not this one indeed.

The Canadian sledge hockey team now moves on to the bronze medal game. Even with the disappointment of not making it a sweep of gold for hockey -- and repeat as champions -- these guys are making us proud no matter what.

Captain Jean Labonte had this to say, "We had a lot of chances and we had them pinned down in their end quite a few times during the game and we couldn't capitalize,'' said Labonte, who helped Canada win gold at the 2006 Paralympics. "Hats off to them (Japan).''

Get ready Canada, you have a bronze medal to win.

If you have never watched sledge hockey and you have no idea what I am talking about, please click on the link below and enjoy the highlights of the game.

-Written by Smokin' Ray Burnt-

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Paralympic Games - Go Canada Go!

For the past few days, the 2010 Paralympics have been on and thanks to Sportsnet we have been able to watch some of the games. I've enjoyed what I have watched so far, so thanks CTV and Sportsnet, you guys have done a great job.

Let me tell you when I say this, SLEDGE HOCKEY IS CRAZY!  Those guys are rough and mean. It seems like a really tough sport. Let's hope Canada can get the gold and sweep the hockey medals.

Here's another crazy sport. You want skilled curling? Watch these teams curl. These people are making great shots and they don't even have a sweeper(s) to help them out. That makes the sport that much more challenging. I challenged my Dad to a game like that. He's still thinking about it...

All the events have challenges and hurdles that they all must conquer. I think that's why I really respect all of those that participate in these games. It takes guts and courage to do what these people are doing and yet the fanfare isn't the same as it was weeks ago for the actual Olympic games?

Why is that? What makes these people not the same? In fact, why are these athletes not included in the Olympics games anyways? What makes them any different than you and I?  NOTHING!

I'll be honest, I never really gave much thought to it until the last Olympics rolled around in Torino. Why are these people declared different?

They shouldn't be any different because they're not. My grandfather lost his hand and part of his forearm jumping off a train when he was a teenager. Does that accident make him any different? No, it didn't. The only difference was he was right handed before the accident. Now he's left handed.

I wish the Olympic decision makers would get a grip and look at what stupidity they are showing the entire world. This is not right. Not right at all.

I hope this can change someday...

But regardless of how I feel, I do want to say that we here at Oilers Jambalaya, support the Paralympic games and we wish all the athletes well. GOCANADA!

2 Gold / 3 Silver / 2 Bronze

Two Guys & Hockey Talk NHL News (CLICK PIC FOR LINK)

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