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Age: 23 Local Club: Gloucester Concordes # Olympics: Second @Vince_DeHaitre

De Haitre has medal hopes in second take By Brianne Smith Vincent De Haître’s Olympic dreams are coming true for the second time. After taking gold in the 1000 and 1500 metre races at the national qualifying rounds, the 23-yearold Cumberland, Ontario native will represent Canada on the world stage this February in Pyeongchang. In 2014, De Haître made his Olympic debut as the youngest Canadian speed skater at the Games. However, it’s this past season that’s been a personal best for the long-track athlete as he broke a world record in the team sprint event, captured a silver medal at the ISU World Sprint Championships and became the first Canadian speed skater to come in under the 1:07.00 mark in the 1000 metre event-a childhood dream for him. “[This year] has been pretty awesome I’ve got to say, I’m really happy with it looking back. I definitely made some pretty big steps toward where

photo: coc

I want to be,” the three-time Ottawa Sports Awards Male Athlete of the Year outlined. “I kept just thinking, I can do it, I can do it, and then I did.” The speed-skater is currently ranked in the top 10 for both the 1000m and 1500m races, and he knows he’ll have to be at his peak against the world’s best in South Korea. For the past four years De Haître

has been training with the Canadian national long-track coach, Bart Schouten. A coach for 33 years, Schouten is in his eighth year coaching the Canadian national team. He says in the years he’s known De Haître, he’s seen him progress not just physically, but mentally. “Physically he’s very strong,” Schouten said. “He knows those dates in Korea he needs to skate and be his

Tue., Feb. 13 Wed., Feb. 21 Men’s 1,500 m Men’s Team Pursuit Finals - 6 a.m. 6 a.m. ET Fri., Feb. 23 Sun., Feb. 18 Men’s 1,000 m Men’s Team Pursuit Qualification - 6 a.m. 5 a.m. best and he will be there to perform, he deals very well with pressure and is really good at bringing his best race when he needs it most.” De Haître’s racing-instincts date back to a passion for speed sports that he developed in his childhood. “Vince was always an active boy,” his mother, Lucille De Haître, said. “If there was something to do he wouldn’t stay inside and watch TV, he would go out and create his own little obstacle course and find ways to be active.” As a child he enrolled in the Nancy Green Ski Program and as a teen, he took up BMX riding, competing in various local competitions. De Haître credits his speed skating start to his childhood neighbour who took him to the rink for the first time at the age of six. The feel of the rapid speed on the ice had him hooked. Though rewarding for De Haître, it’s been a long and difficult journey to make it to where he is today. In Calgary - the home to Canada’s elite instruction facilities for the sport - he trains at least 5 days a week, with an average day for him consisting of

two workout sessions combining for anywhere from four to seven or more hours of training. As De Haître gears up for his races in South Korea he keeps in mind what he learned from the last Winter Games four years ago. “The last Olympics was a time management and energy management experience for me. Going into [it] I was as much of a rookie as you could possibly be, so I just had to take that and learn from it as much as possible…what I learned was you can’t do everything you want, you have to remember that you’re there to compete,” he said. For the athlete, he chooses to focus on one race at a time. “I just visualize those first few steps I have to take and try being explosive. It’s a mix of visualization and relaxation… I know I can step out on the ice and truly perform against the best and be one of them.”

Read more about De Haitre’s journey to his second Olympic Games at SportsOttawa.com.


Bob Wilson

Dan Stoddard

Earle Morris

Mayor’s Cup (Outstanding Contribution to Local Sport)

Spirit of Sport Award

Lifetime Achievement Award – Coach

Erica Wiebe

Vincent De Haître

Taffe Charles

Kristina Groves Female Athlete of the Year Award

Male Athlete of the Year

Male Coach of the Year

George Findlay

Lifetime Achievement Award – Technical Official

Jen Boyd

Female Coach of the Year

Cathy Skinner

Lifetime Achievement Award – Volunteer

Visit SportsOttawa.com to see video features about the OSA’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winners

Carleton Ravens Men’s Basketball Team Male Team of the Year


Team Homan Ottawa Curling Club Rink Female Team of the Year

Age: 27 Local Club: Gloucester Concordes # Olympics: Second @IvanieB


Wed., Feb. 21 Wed., Feb. 10 Mon., Feb. 19 Team Pursuit Finals Women’s 3,000 m Women’s 6 a.m. 6 a.m. ET Team Pursuit Sat., Feb. 24 Fri., Feb. 16 Qualification Women’s Mass Start Women’s 5,000 m 6 a.m. 6 a.m. 6 a.m.

Not 1... Not 2... Not 3... Team leader to skate 4 races By Mat LaBranche

photo: coc

Blondin doesn’t envision it happening. “I’ve never really had the luxury of having a teammate work for me,” disclosed Blondin. “In Canada we don’t really have set rules for a second skater sacrificing their own race. Some other countries only send a second skater for the purpose of helping the first skater.” The 27-year-old skater is looking forward to going overseas with not only Morrison, but the other members of her team pursuit squad, which has seen a special bond develop over the past few months thanks to several training camps. “Relationship-wise I’d say Keri and I are pretty good friends,” acknowledged Blondin. “A year ago





been racing it at the World Championships for the past few years, and some World Cups as well. But once we’re at the Olympics it’s going to be a bit of a different race, with more at stake, so there will be a lot more elbows out. But that’s my forte, so I’m looking forward to it.” The event will feature a bit of a twist from what Blondin is accustomed to, as she will be racing with a teammate, Keri Morrison. While some countries use a tactic seen in other team racing sports such as cycling and race car driving, which involves various team members doing anything in their power to give one specific member of their team any possible advantages;


Nerves have transitioned to comfortability this time around, as Ottawa speed skater Ivanie Blondin is set to compete in her second Winter Olympics for the 2018 edition in Pyeongchang. “I have a completely different mindset than I had going into (the last Winter Games) in Sochi,” revealed Blondin. “Going in there I was very inexperienced and didn’t really know what to expect and I was focusing only on the end results. There were quite a bit more nerves, as I remember even before the Olympics it was such a stressful time. I’m a lot more calm this time around and I’m not stressed out whatsoever.” Blondin punched her ticket to Pyeongchang via the pre-qualification route, which was due to successful showings at prior World Cups and World Championships. She will compete in the women’s 3km and 5km races, as well as the mass start event and the team pursuit. The mass start event is of special note, as this will be the first time it has been featured in the Olympics. “It’s exciting to make an imprint on a new Olympic event for sure,” said Blondin. “It’s new to the Olympic scene, but not new to me, as I’ve


we were more so acquaintances, as we really didn’t really know each other that well. But because we’re doing the team pursuit together, which is of course a team event, you really have to bond.” Not only will Blondin have some close friends competing with her, but she will also have her boyfriend, Konrad Nagy, competing there, albeit skating for the opposing country of Hungary. While it is strictly business between the two onthe-ice, it is a different story off of it. “When we’re together we don’t necessarily talk about skating and we have a really good balance in that sense, so I’d say we aren’t competitive whatsoever,” said Blondin. “He races in the 15km and on the men’s side, so there isn’t any real competition between us. It’s just nice to have someone that relates to what you do every day and also someone you can joke around with and be relaxed around in a stressful environment.” When it comes to expectations, Blondin has her sights set high after a successful season on the 2017-18 ISU Speed Skating World Cup circuit, where she reached the podium in all four distances. “I think there’s the potential for me to medal for all four different events,” said Blondin. “It’s high expectations for sure, but after performing as well as I did in fields that were not reduced, and had all the strong skaters there, I received a confidence boost and realized my podium goals are not out of reach.”




Age: 22 Local Club: Gloucester Concordes # Olympics: First @i_weidemann

Three’s company; Weidemann the third Gloucester Concorde to realize Olympic dream By Josh Bell At the 2014 Olympics, Ottawa was represented by two long track speed skaters, Vincent De Haitre and Ivanie Blondin. At the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, those same two will be joined by a third, fellow Gloucester Concorde Isabelle Weidemann, who says her sophmore teammates provide a measuring stick for her own performance. “It’s pretty cool,” Weidemann starts, “We’re all from the same club in Ottawa. Ivanie and I compete directly against each other in the same distances, so we have a good partnership. We push each other.” While at the same time, heading to the Games with two sophomore competitors also gives Weidemann someone to go to with questions, “They’re amazing athletes; some of the best in the world at what they do. I want to learn as much as

Age: 39 Local Club: Ottawa Curling Club # Olympics: Second @johnnymocurler

ISABELLE WEIDEMANN SPEED SKATING I can about what to expect and how to compete well. They know the secrets,” she laughs. For Weidemann, the Olympic qualification is a lot of hard work paying off, and a dream coming true, “It’s so, so exciting. I am extremely honoured to represent Canada, it’s something I’ve been working towards for a while.” Weidemann locked in her spot on the Olympic team after she concluded the 2018 Long Track Team Selections by winning the 5000m with a time of 7:00.64 and finishing second in the 3000m with a time of 4:05.01, just behind Blondin’s 4:04.31. With the Games approaching, Weidemann is trying not to set expectations for herself, and instead just take in the Olympic experience. “We’ve been training hard ramping up into the games, so I’m looking forward to tapping off the work load and competing,” the 22-yearold explains, “I’m a little nervous, but who isn’t. Mostly I’m just super excited to experience it all.” That hard work ramping up has paid off for Weidemann, who set personal bests for herself


Vancouver 2010 champ back in new event By Charlie Pinkerton On home soil (and snow) in the 2010 Winter Games, Canadian Olympians provided the nation’s faithful with countless storybook moments. There was mogul-skier Alexandre Bilodeau who sent the crowd into a frenzy after finishing in first for Canada’s first gold medal of the Games; and Sidney Crosby’s golden goal in overtime, lifting Canada to victory over the Americans in hockey; and Kevin Martin released the final stone as a raucous home crowd sung the final notes of O Canada, clinch-

file photo

ing men’s curling gold. Representing Canada in Pyeongchang is a group wiped of most but not all of the heroes from those Games. John Morris is one familiar face returning to Team Canada. He won gold with Canada’s curling team in 2010. He said Martin’s final throw accompanied by a chorus of the national anthem is a

Wed., Feb. 10 Women’s 3,000 m Mon., Feb. 19 Wed., Feb. 21 Women’s Women’s 6 a.m. ET Team Pursuit Team Pursuit Fri., Feb. 16 Finals Qualification Women’s 5,000 m 6 a.m. 6 a.m. 6 a.m.

photo: coc

in all of her distances. On top of this, Weidemann had a stellar season, with two bronze medals in World Cup competitions in the Team Pursuit, two 1st place finishes at the Fall World Cups Selection in the 3000m and 5000m, and her best World Cup finish in the 5000m in Stavanger, Norway, finishing 4th. However, Weidemann claims this

Sun., Feb. 7 CAN vs NOR 7 p.m. ET Mon., Feb. 8 CAN vs USA 6 a.m.

moment he’ll never forget. “It took four years of hard work and it finally all came together and it was just excitement and relief and a lot of joy,” Morris said. “It was just an experience I’ll never have again,” he added. Morris’ second trip to the games will be much different than his time is Vancouver based off the fact alone that he’ll be competing in a different event. Morris is partnering with Kaitlyn Lawes in mixed doubles curling. Lawes won gold as third for the Jennifer Jonesskipped team at the 2014 Games. This year is the first time that mixed doubles curling is included in the Olympics. The event is similar to tradi-

advance in her speed skating career is just part of the development. “I’d like to think it’s part of my growth as an athlete,” Weidemann explains, “The goal is to get faster and faster every year; setting personal bests in the distances that I specialize in. Every year, as I gain more experience, I train slightly differently. The programs become more specific to the distances that I do.” Weidemann has been speed skating ever since she was 12-years-old, when a family friend introduced her, her brother and her sister to the sport. “It’s awesome to have family in the sport. My brother and I often cycle together.” Now, about a decade after her introduction to the sport, Weidemann is seeing her dreams come true. While she takes this step in her career, she won’t be taking it alone. “I’m very fortunate that my family will be traveling to support me in South Korea.” She says, “I’ve got quite a few teammates, not on the Olympic team, that will be heading out as well.”

Mon., Feb. 8 Tue., Feb. 9 CAN vs CHN CAN vs SUI 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. Mon., Feb. 8 Wed., Feb. 10 CAN vs FIN CAN vs OAR 11:30 p.m. 6 a.m.

tional curling with a few exceptions. Mixed-gender teams of two play eight ends. Before each end, two stones are placed on the centre line with one stone starting in the house and the other as a guard. The team whose stone starts in the house plays the last stone of the end. Both teammates throw stones in each end and sweep after every throw. “It takes an all-around game, so you can’t just be a good sweeper or a good strategist - you have to have every shot in your arsenal and every skill in your game,” Morris said. He picked up this version of the sport about 10 years ago and has played it more consistently over the last 3-4 years.

Proud to cheer on Beacon Hill-Cyrville’s first families of curling & speed skating – congrats to the Morris & Weidemann Olympians! 613-580-2479 Ward9@Ottawa.ca Knoxdale Merivale Ward

“I’ve really enjoyed it and its one of my favourite sports to play,” Morris said, adding that his training for mixed curling slightly differs from that of men’s curling. “As a skip, I don’t sweep a lot in team curling but in mixed doubles I sweep a tone so I definitely had to do a lot more interval training and circuit training.” And though this time he won’t have the backing of the home crowd, Morris is looking forward to the “away” aspect of his pursuit for his second Olympic gold medal. “As much as I loved Vancouver and having that support, not having so much attention on me in Korea might be a good thing,” Morris indicated. “It’ll just be really cool to see the difference.”

Congratulations to all Ottawa athletes ready to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Your city councillors support you as you represent Canada and Ottawa on the world stage. GO CANADA GO!

Wed., Feb. 10 Fri., Feb. 12 CAN vs KOR Semi 2 - 6 a.m. Bronze - 7 p.m. 7 p.m. Thu., Feb. 11 Sat., Feb. 13 Gold Semi-final 1 6 a.m. 7 p.m.

613-580-2486 Riley.Brockington@Ottawa.ca River Ward


Age: 28 Local Club: Ottawa Curling Club # Olympics: First @RHoman89

Wed., Feb. 14 CAN vs KOR 7 p.m. ET Thu., Feb. 15 CAN vs SWE 6 a.m.

Fri., Feb. 16 Sun., Feb. 18 Tue., Feb 20 CAN vs DEN CAN vs SUI CAN vs CHN 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. Sat., Feb 17 Sun., Feb 18 Wed., Feb. 21 CAN vs USA CAN vs JPN CAN vs OAR 6 a.m. 7 p.m. 6 a.m.

Fri., Feb. 23 Semi 6 a.m. Sat., Feb. 24 Bronze 6 a.m. Gold 7 p.m.


Ottawa’s curling queen gets long-awaited shot at Olympic glory By Charlie Pinkerton Pictured on the wall in the hallway just outside the main office of Cairine Wilson Secondary School is one of Canada’s 2018 Olympic Winter Games medal-favourites. Amidst the other portraits making up the Orleans’ school’s Class of 2007 photograph is Rachel Homan, donning the typical graduate garb of a white-collar shirt and gown, completed with the blue and orange Wildcat colours. Just around the corner from that photo are many more of Homan. In these – photos in the school’s wall of fame – she looks more familiar. The collection of some of her best in-rink moments detail the dominance she’s had in the sport of curling throughout her life. But nowhere on this wall are the five rings of the Olympics, a reminder that the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics will be her first time competing at the Winter Games. Homan missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics after being knocked out of the Roar of the Rings in the semi-final round. “She had hoped we would be together in Sochi,” Homan said about her friend since early high-school, Ivanie Blondin, who made her Olympics debut in 2014. Blondin went to school nearby, only a short drive down Orleans Boulevard away, at Ecole secondaire catholique Garneau. Pyeongchang will be the speed-skater’s second time

photo: steve kingsman competing at the Winter Games. In place of Homan, it was Jennifer Jones who won the 2013 Roar of the Rings and skipped Canada’s women’s Olympic curling team. “Jen did an unbelievable job for Curling Canada,” Homan added. Jones won gold. Though she didn’t join Blondin in Sochi, even prior to those Games, Homan’s body of work held up against the other premier competitors of her sport. Her resume reads as that of a prodigy, which of no doubt she was. A third-generation curler, she was throwing rocks by the age of five. She swept the provincial bantam curling championships in four straight years, from 2003-2006. She first won

Age: 28 Local Club: Ottawa Curling Club # Olympics: First @emmamiskew

Miskew realizing a childhood dream by going to the Olympics with her ‘sister’ By Charlie Pinkerton As Chelsea Carey’s final stone came to a halt at the 2017 Roar of the Rings, the feed of the nationally broadcasted Olympic curling qualifier cut to Rachel Homan and Emma Miskew to catch the expressions on the faces of Team Canada’s new skip and third. But the viewers at home missed the looks of Miskew and Homan as the two already had their arms locked around each other with their faces clenched in the other’s shoulder, in an Olympic-embrace more than 16 years in the making.

the junior division of the Ontario Curling Championships in 2009 before repeating that title the next year and following it up with a Canadian Junior Championship win. That year, 2010, she came second at the World Junior Curling Championships. In her Scotties Tournament of Hearts debut in 2011, Homan came just short of a medal, skipping the Team Ontario rink to a 4th place finish. Homan’s first win at the Scotties came in 2013, about a year before the qualifiers for the Sochi Games. At the World Curling Championships that year she won bronze. After missing out on qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Homan didn’t let up. In a Jones-less field, Homan took first place at the Scotties again in

EMMA MISKEW CURLING “You can always imagine, but you never really think it’s going to be a reality and I think that’s why we were both just in utter shock and happiness at the other end for a few seconds because we just needed to take that time for the two of us,” Miskew said about the moment between Homan, who she calls a sister. The two’s tenure as teammates dates back to 2002, when as 12-year-olds their fathers thought to bring them together as a team for the local Junior SuperSpiel qualifier, which they placed well enough in to advance to the event that draws some of the world’s best youth talent in the sport. “We’ve known each other for so long and played together and battled and tried so hard to be better and be the best and it’s really hard

2014. In the 2015-16 season, while participating in the World Curling Tour circuit her team would win six consecutive events. She again won the Scotties last year, then her first ever World Curling Championship in Beijing, before taking 1st place at December’s Roar of the Rings, winning the right to represent Canada at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, where this time she’ll join her old friend, Blondin. “It’s pretty cool being childhood friends and that we’re finally going to the Olympics together, it’s pretty special,” Homan said shortly after her team punched their ticket with the win. Minutes earlier, while still on the ice in the aftermath of her victory in front of the hometown crowd at the Canadian Tire Centre, Homan stumbled

Wed., Feb. 14 CAN vs KOR 7 p.m. ET Thu., Feb. 15 CAN vs SWE 6 a.m.

while answering a question, referring to the upcoming Olympics as Sochi, before correcting herself with a laugh. “Sorry, not Sochi, Pyeongchang,” she said immediately before being asked a question about how it feels wearing her newly earned Team Canada jacket. “It’s perfect. Like a glove. We can’t wait to wear this Maple Leaf and represent Canada as best that we can,” she told reporters. Alike photos of Homan, there’s another fixture on the walls of Cairine Wilson S.S., the school’s motto: Carpe Diem. It wasn’t in the stones for Homan in 2014, but in Pyeongchang she’ll be one of Canada’s top athletes expected to seize the day. —with files from Dan Plouffe

Fri., Feb. 16 Sun., Feb. 18 Tue., Feb 20 CAN vs DEN CAN vs SUI CAN vs CHN 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. Sat., Feb 17 Sun., Feb 18 Wed., Feb. 21 CAN vs USA CAN vs JPN CAN vs OAR 6 a.m. 7 p.m. 6 a.m.

photo: dan plouffe

work,” Miskew added. Even without their Olympic bid as the ex-

Fri., Feb. 23 Semi 6 a.m. Sat., Feb. 24 Bronze 6 a.m. Gold 7 p.m.

clamation point, the team’s success already in the season was a testament to their hard work. Prior to the Roar of the Rings, Team Homan won the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the 2017 World Women’s Curling Championship – doing so unbeaten. As for clinching an Olympic Bid with a victory at the Roar of the Rings, in the moments after, Miskew said it felt surreal. “I always wanted to grow and continue to be a better player but I never really thought of this at all.” “Until you kind of get close it seems kind of unrealistic,” she said of the Games, adding that to compete at the Olympics has always been a dream. —with files from Dan Plouffe.



Age: 32 Local Club: Ottawa Curling Club # Olympics: First @lweagle19

Weagle follows in footsteps of golden 2014 Olympic lead By Charlie Pinkerton Despite it being a team new to the Olympics representing Canada in women’s curling in PyeongChang, fans tuning in may feel a creeping sense of déjà vu watching Lisa Weagle on the ice. Four years ago at the Sochi Winter Games, another Ottawa-native played lead for Canada’s women’s team on their way to a gold medal victory victory. At those Games it was 33-year-old Dawn McEwen who wore the Maple Leaf. Before that, at the 2013 Roar of the Rings she faced off against fellow University of Ottawa communications alumnus Weagle and the rest of Team Homan in one of the final draws of the trials’ round robin play.

Age: 28 Local Club: Ottawa Curling Club # Olympics: First @JoanneMCourtney

A narrow 7-6 win by McEwen’s team, skipped by Jennifer Jones, would ultimately secure Team Jones 1st place, advancing them directly to the tournament’s finals. Team Homan wouldn’t get a second shot at Team Jones, losing to skip Sherry Middaugh’s team in the playoffs. “We were a bit disappointed it wasn’t us at the trials,” Weagle reflected, a four-year Olympic cycle later, just after the 2017 Roar of the Rings. “But once they won the trials we were just cheering for them. Losing the trials were probably a good thing for us in hindsight and we were so proud of (Team Jones) and what they did for Canada.” In the round robin of this Olympics’ trials, Weagle’s and McEwen’s teams squared off in the final draw. With both teams’ playoff position already clinched and a rematch pre-set in the trials’ semifinal, Team Homan won 9-4 over Team Jones. “It’s nice to have some family and friends

By Charlie Pinkerton

photo: dan plouffe

daugh. Middaugh’s team would then lose to the eventual gold medalists at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Team (Jennifer) Jones. Team Homan, the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts champions, defended their title at the 2014 version

here to cheer us on,” McEwen said during the 2017 trials held at the Canadian Tire Centre. “The crowd is super respectful, but they love their Team Homan, that’s for sure.”

of the event by going undefeated and throwing their championship rocks on the eve of the day that Team Jones would launch into their Olympic gold medal pursuit. Team Homan’s victory made Rachel the youngest skip to ever repeat as champion in the tournament. But Ottawa’s on-the-rise team faced a dilemma; Kreviazuk, their two-time Scotties champion second, was bound for a move to Sweden towards the end of the year with fellow-curler-boyfriend, Fredrik Lindberg. Cue moment; enter Joanne Courtney. Courtney, who was 25 at the time, the same as Homan and Miskew, was the second for a rink skipped by Val Sweeting out of Alberta. She had lost to Homan in the finals of the Scotties

Good luck to our Canadian athletes!

Co ngr t Ol o a atu ym ll la pic of tio ath our ns let es!

(613) 580-2491 |Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca | RideauGoulbourn.ca

Contact Scott (613) 580-2491 Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca | (613) 580-2491 RideauGoulbourn.ca

Fri., Feb. 16 Sun., Feb. 18 Tue., Feb 20 CAN vs DEN CAN vs SUI CAN vs CHN 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. Sat., Feb 17 Sun., Feb 18 Wed., Feb. 21 CAN vs USA CAN vs JPN CAN vs OAR 6 a.m. 7 p.m. 6 a.m.

photo: dan plouffe


Final team member brought what it takes While shuffling through the chronology of Team Homan’s road to the Pyeongchang Olympic Games there’s a moment that stands out. Right before that moment was a period of almost-but-not-quite for Team Homan, that began almost exactly four years ago. Team Homan, composed of skip Rachel Homan, third Emma Miskew, lead Lisa Weagle – three of the team’s current members – and second Alison Kreviazuk, had been bounced from the 2013 Roar of the Rings in a decisive 10-4 semifinal loss to the fellow Ontario rink skipped by Sherry Mid-

Wed., Feb. 14 CAN vs KOR 7 p.m. ET Thu., Feb. 15 CAN vs SWE 6 a.m.

Wed., Feb. 14 CAN vs KOR 7 p.m. ET Thu., Feb. 15 CAN vs SWE 6 a.m.

Fri., Feb. 23 Semi 6 a.m. Sat., Feb. 24 Bronze 6 a.m. Gold 7 p.m.

In a sort-of Canadian Olympic Curling Trials rubber-match in the 2017 Roar of the Rings semifinal, Weagle and Team Homan overcame McEwen and Team Jones, propelling Team Homan to the finals where they would beat Team (Chelsea) Carey to clinch the Olympic berth. Weagle was impressed to down someone she’d looked up to herself for many years. “She’s an amazing lead and someone I’ve always chased and her being from Ottawa is pretty cool, that means that we both kind of have that connection. I think she’s a great curler,” Weagle added. To catch McEwen, circa 2014, there’s one thing left for the 32-year-old Weagle to do, and that’s win an Olympic gold medal. “That’s definitely the goal, to bring home the gold for Canada.” —with files from Dan Plouffe.

Fri., Feb. 16 Sun., Feb. 18 Tue., Feb 20 CAN vs DEN CAN vs SUI CAN vs CHN 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. 12:05 a.m. Sat., Feb 17 Sun., Feb 18 Wed., Feb. 21 CAN vs USA CAN vs JPN CAN vs OAR 6 a.m. 7 p.m. 6 a.m.

that year at the conclusion of what she called at the time a breakthrough year for her rink. A few months earlier her team had missed the Roar of the Rings playoffs by one game. She was not expecting an invitation to join Team Homan for the next four years to get a shot come the next Olympic trials. “When I got the phone call at the end of the last quad, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Courtney said after winning the 2017 Roar of the Rings. Like her soon-to-be-teammates, Courtney had a lust for the Olympics. “I was crying,” Courtney said of the moment she watched Jennifer Jones’ rink capture Olympic Gold. “I think my heart rate was 180 for the entire final. It was great to see them

Fri., Feb. 23 Semi 6 a.m. Sat., Feb. 24 Bronze 6 a.m. Gold 7 p.m.

achieve their dreams on that stage. The look on their faces made you feel great and really proud to be Canadian and to be involved with curling.” With another Scotties title (2017) and a World Curling Championships gold medal (2017) crammed inbetween, Homan, Miskew, Courtney and Weagle have created a bond that’s far eclipsed their old post-match handshakes. “I have so much respect for my teammates. They’re unbelievable people. They’re fantastic curlers, and beyond that, they’re like my sisters now. I feel I’ve gotten to be so much better, even better than I could have ever thought I could be. I can’t say enough about them. They’re amazing.” And now they’ve got one goal left. —with files from Dan Plouffe.

OTTAWA AT THE OLYMPICS Coach clutch completes curling crew

Rockin’ Rebelles Wrap

By Charlie Pinkerton Adam Kingsbury wants one thing to be clear – he’s no Olympian. “I’m associated with four incredible athletes and a part of their support staff,” Kingsbury said of the Ottawa-bred quartet of Team Homan, just after the women won the 2017 Roar of the Rings. “But did I ever think that I would be able to go (to the Olympics) as part of a team? Never.” Kingsbury is in his second season as the head coach of the team that will be representing Canada in women’s curling at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Unlike those before him, Kingsbury is a curling outsider; he’s a long-time competitive amateur golfer and now a PhD candidate in sports psychology at the University of Ottawa. His specialization as Team Homan’s coach is improving the team’s


Exploratory sports program explodes at Louis-Riel high school

photo: dan plouffe

mental strength, and while ingame, collecting data from each stone throw for postgame technical analysis. “When I was brought on officially as the head coach a couple of years ago it was for this cycle, in fact everything led to the (2017 Roar of the Rings) with the hopes to qualify and win the trials,” Kingsbury said. Unsurprisingly, it was on that stage where Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, and Lisa Weagle impressed Kingsbury the most. “The pressure that those four girls were under in their hometown, I’ve never seen anything like it. I think they handled it remarkably,” he reflected.

Coming up with big shots in the big moments has become a trademark of a high-stakes Team Homan crew that may perhaps be a reflection of the focus of their head coach. He may be no Olympian, but Kingsbury’s proven to have four of Canada’s most promising medal-threats poised for a peak-of-the-podium finish in Pyeongchang. “It’s been fun but we have one step to go now, and we’re going to enjoy this,” Kingsbury added with a laugh. “The next mission is to go out and bring gold back for Canada. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly and that the girls don’t either.” —with files from Dan Plouffe.

Good luck to all the local athletes set to compete at pyeongchang 2018 Olympics Bonne chance à nos athlètes locaux qui vont compétitionner aux Jeux olympiques de pyeongchang 2018


There are some days on the job where veteran teacher Sherry Polomark just wants to jump off a cliff. Most teaching roles don’t include the chance to escape a heatwave by taking the plunge into the fresh lake water below, but Polomark isn’t part of your average school, and the organizer of the exploratory sports program at LouisRiel secondary school wouldn’t have it any other way. “What a great outdoor experience,” Polomark recounts of the overnight trip she’s led in recent years to Camp Air-Eau-Bois, north of Gatineau Park, for LouisRiel’s middle school students. “It’s a ton of fun.” The leadership camp provides the traditional kickoff to the Louis-Riel exploratory sports program. “A school classroom is like a family,” explains Polomark, a teacher of 15 years at Louis-Riel – her own alma mater. “You’re there for six years, so you need to create a good atmosphere for the kids to enjoy.” The outdoors camp is just one component of “sports-exploratoires.” There are monthly outings to try less common sports, such as rowing, curling, trampoline, wrestling or sport stacking. “By introducing different skills and training in a range of sports, you’re developing a lot of the abilities to be a

better-rounded athlete,” outlines Polomark, whose program follows long-term athlete development principles. The Louis-Riel philosophy includes phys ed classes every day. Members of the exploratory sports program also choose a favourite sport to follow each semester. On Wednesdays, they’ll train in their chosen sport under Louis-Riel’s exceptional cast of coaches. Specialists lead ongoing skill development/education sessions, such as yoga instruction, and an introduction to physical training from the school’s strength coach. “It’s the continuity of it that’s really valuable. It’s not just that we have a week of this and then we’re done,” underlines Polomark. “Long-term, some of the students will become elite athletes. The building blocks we provide can help make that possible, while everyone benefits from the increased confidence they get to participate in physical activity.” Louis-Riel also embraces the training requirements of high-performance athletes, allowing those individuals to practice their sport in the afternoon, thus opening up their evenings for family, friends, homework or rest. With over two-thirds of Grade 7/8 students electing to take part in the low-cost program, there is an ever-present energy at Louis-Riel – whether in the hallways day-to-day, or when leaping through the air into the cool water below. “I’ve got a pretty good job here. I love it,” smiles Polomark, a former national-level fastpitch player herself. “It’s as fun for me as it is for them.”

La popularité du programme sports-exploratoires explose à LR

Certains jours au travail, Sherry Polomark, enseignante chevronnée, n’a qu’une envie : se jeter en bas d’une falaise. La majorité des rôles d’enseignant ne comportent pas l’occasion d’échapper à une canicule en se jetant dans les eaux fraîches d’un lac en contrebas, Mme Polomark n’enseigne toutefois pas dans une école ordinaire et la responsable du programme sports-exploratoires à l’école secondaire Louis-Riel ne voudrait pas qu’il en soit autrement. « Il s’agit d’une expérience de plein air extraordinaire, souligne Mme Polomark en parlant des sorties éducatives avec nuitée qu’elle a effectuées ces dernières années au camp Air-Eau-Bois, situé au nord du parc de la Gatineau, avec les jeunes de l’école intermédiaire Louis-Riel. Nous avons beaucoup de plaisir. » Le camp de formation en leadership lance chaque année le programme sports-exploratoires de l’école Louis-Riel. « Un groupe scolaire est comme une famille, explique Mme Polomark, qui cumule 15 ans d’expérience à l’école Louis-Riel, dont elle est elle-même issue. Les jeunes sont avec nous pendant six ans. Nous devons donc instaurer un climat qui leur permet de s’épanouir. » Le camp en plein air n’est qu’une facette du programme sports-exploratoires. Ce programme comporte des sorties mensuelles qui permettent aux jeunes d’essayer des sports moins courants, comme l’aviron, le curling, la trampoline, la

Sherry Polomark. lutte ou l’empilage sportif. « En apprenant à pratiquer un éventail de sports, les jeunes acquièrent beaucoup des compétences nécessaires à la création d’un athlète plus complet, précise Mme Polomark, qui fait remarquer que le programme adhère aux principes de développement à long terme de l’athlète. » L’école Louis-Riel, où est enseigné le programme sports-études novateur au niveau secondaire, est devenue un chef de file et elle aide les élèves-athlètes à maximiser leurs habiletés athlétiques et scolaires. Le programme comporte des cours quotidiens d’éducation physique. Les participants au programme sports-exploratoires choisissent un sport préféré à pratiquer chaque semestre. Le mercredi, ils le pratiquent avec l’aide des entraîneurs exceptionnels de l’école Louis-Riel. Ils prennent aussi part à des séances de perfectionnement

de compétences et de formation avec des spécialistes, comme des cours de yoga, en plus de suivre un cours d’introduction à l’entraînement physique avec l’entraîneur de musculation de l’école. « La richesse du programme repose sur sa pérennité. Nous ne centrons pas notre attention sur un sport pendant une semaine pour ensuite passer à autre chose, fait remarquer Mme Polomark. À longue échéance, certains de ces élèves deviendront des athlètes de niveau élite. Ces éléments de base leur permettront cette possibilité, et tout le monde acquerra de la confiance à participer en activités physiques. » L’école Louis-Riel saisit les exigences d’entraînement des athlètes de haut niveau, leur permettant de pratiquer leur sport l’après-midi, ouvrant d’abord leurs soirées pour la famille, les amis, les devoirs ou le repos. Ce programme peu coûteux remporte un énorme succès et deux tiers des élèves du niveau intermédiaire de l’école LouisRiel ont décidé d’y participer. Cet enthousiasme est omniprésent et il peut être ressenti au quotidien en marchant dans les corridors de l’école ou en sautant dans l’eau fraîche en contrebas. « J’occupe un emploi de rêve qui me comble de joie, dit Mme Polomark tout sourire. Je m’amuse autant qu’eux. »



The St. Anthony Futuro File

St. Anthony Futuro player joins Team Haiti About as fast as Ed Florent flashes down the field did the 16-year-old St. Anthony Futuro Soccer Academy player recently impress the coaching brass of the Haitian under-17 men’s national team. In just his second trip back to his birth country – his family moved to Canada only a few months into his life – the Orleans Celebrating 65 Years striker earned the chance to reon the Ottawa Soccer Scene turn to the Haiti national team program, and, if all goes according to plan, play in the World Cup one day down the road. “That feeling was indescribable,” Florent says of the moment he was invited to stay on with Team Haiti. “It’s a new step. I have the chance to do big things. There are a lot of chalEd lenges coming, so I need to keep my Florent standards high and just keep playing my football.” The Futuro player of four years felt well-prepared for the four-day camp in Port-au-Prince, held the week before Christmas. The drills weren’t any different than what he experienced with his home Academy, and he held his own despite the Haitian players’ impressive size, strength, aggressiveness and quick ball movement. Though he’s got great ball skills, it was Florent’s speed and running ability that sold him to the Haitian coaching staff and suited the team’s style. “I want to represent my country and let the world know that Haiti’s on the map – that we can win Cups and be a country that plays in big tournaments,” underlines Florent, whose female Haitian counterparts beat out Canada for the last U-20 Women’s World Cup spot in January. Set to rejoin the team for full training around March Break, Florent originally connected with the Haitian football federation last year by sending them video clips from his Futuro games. Florent’s football-mad father – a national-level talent himself before an injury derailed his career – played a big part in this latest step and throughout his son’s soccer journey. Florent thanks his father for providing “soccer in my blood”, the parents and coaches from his club, his church for their prayers and support, and his teammates for always bringing the training intensity required to flourish. “I love the atmosphere here,” signals Florent, who celebrated a title with “my brothers” this past spring in the Toronto-based SAAC soccer academy league, which came on the heels of back-to-back regional crowns. “Since I got to Futuro, I’ve got more clever, faster, stronger, smarter and improved my technical abilities.”

NATIONAL TEAM PLAYER SUCCESSES FUEL THE DREAM FOR YOUNG ST. ANTHONY’S PROSPECTS Florent is not the first Futuro player to play with a Caribbean/Central American nation. Carmen Marin broke into the Costa Rican program as a 12-year-old and has since played in multiple CONCACAF events. “Carmen sparked the fire,” recalls Futuro technical director Sanjeev Parmar. “Kids see that from this one small little academy, a girl, at 12 years old, can make an under-17 national team. That’s very big.” There are countless other Futuro success stories. In the past year alone, Claire Rea played with the Canadian under-15 program, Ben Penticost represented Canada at the Danone Nations Cup, Noah Abatneh joined the AS Roma academy, and another trio moved on to the Montreal Impact. “Our kids are moving on to professional and international levels. That’s what’s ignited the fire in these kids to dream,” Parmar adds. “Once a player like Ed gets to the national level, it’s a massive accomplishment. We’re really proud of Ed’s dedication to constantly improve himself, and we’re excited to see where his dream takes him.”

OttawaStAnthony.ca • FuturoSoccer.com

Age: 29 Local Clubs: Ottawa Lions T&F Ottawa Banshees # Olympics: First @MirelaRahneva

The ‘skeleton tree’ of supporters’ names on Mimi Rahneva’s sled inspires the self-made slider before every run


Fri., Feb. 16 Heat 1 & 2 6:15 a.m. ET Sat., Feb. 17 Heat 3 & 4 6:15 a.m.

the roots represent being grounded. “It means a lot to me. The people I’ve put in my roots are my family members, and the people who have really, really helped me get off the ground. “Through the stem and into the branches are all the people who have really helped me grow as a person and develop By Dan Plouffe as an athlete, and kind of branch out into When rocketing around corners down the world.” a frozen course at over 100 km/h, one Rahneva’s roots in sport came with the wrong turn can be disastrous for a skelOttawa Lions Track-and-Field Club. As an eton racer. 11-year-old, she’d bike 10+ km each way But for Ottawa native Mimi Rahneva, a from home near the Nepean Sportsplex to wrong turn wound up giving her skeleton Terry Fox Athletic Facility so she could atcareer an instrumental twist on her path to tend the club’s summer camp. the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. She turned to rugby at Merivale High In the dead of winter in 2015, the CalSchool and went on to win three Ontario gary-based athlete was headed home from gold and four Canadian bronze medals with a Flames game when she and a fellow slidthe Guelph University Gryphons. ing friend took the train the wrong way. So Rahneva’s skeleton ride began at the they got off and waited for the next ride to closest track to home in Lake Placid, come in the opposite direction. where she stayed in a church basement “We were stuck on a platform, just for several months to start her career. cold and trying to huddle together. And Frugality and self-funding were major this guy’s like, ‘Are you guys alright?’” rethemes throughout Rahneva’s early years counts Rahneva, who struck up a converin the sport. Even after she got her sled, sation with the fellow hockey fan while they she was still faced with debt from $20,000 shivered. in team fees while living off national develTurns out he was part of a project manopment card funding of roughly $10,000. agement company with a focus on sports But the 29-year-old has since drawn photo: dan plouffe events called Compel Inc. She explained support from the likes of True North Mortthat she was a national team slider looking works with me.” gage and the Canadian Athletes Now Fund to break onto the top international circuit, Or perhaps it simply rewards persist- after delivering an unbelievable rookie seaworking full-time as a caterer at the WinS- ence and hard work – a philosophy in- son on the World Cup circuit in 2016-17, port Olympic Park all the while in order to grained by her parents, who emigrated to which saw her finish 3rd in the overall fuel the dream. She noted that she was in Canada from Bulgaria when Rahneva was standings. the midst of a fundraising campaign to buy 10 to give her a better life along with her Frequently the fastest starter in the herself a top-of-the-line sled. two younger sisters. field, Rahneva now finds herself as a po“He said, “You guys are interesting. When it came time to design a graphic dium threat in Pyeongchang, alongside We’d like to help you out,’” recalls Rahneva, to go on her new sled, family occupied a Canadian teammates Elisabeth Vathje who wound up getting her sled paid for central place amongst the collection of and Jane Channell – all ranked inside the by the friendly stranger and three of his names that helped make her skeleton jour- world’s top-8. friends. “It was such a big coincidence. ney possible. “I do it for the love of the sport, I don’t He’s the reason why I have the equipment I “I put together the skeleton tree to rep- know how else to describe it,” highlights have today. I have a phenomenal sled, and I resent my roots,” explains Rahneva, who the winner of five World Cup medals. “It’s would not have been able to afford it in my has a big heart around the name of her incredible to be out and to have Canada fourth year in the sport. That was huge. mother, recently deceased due to cancer. behind you. And it’s really cool when you do “I’m just lucky. The universe just kind of “I’m grateful for where I’ve come from, and well because it’s like, ‘Well that’s for you, Canada.’” Proud to support the local sports community & our Ottawa Olympians! Making it to the Olympics has been Rahneva’s dream since her childhood days running down a 100-metre segment of a bike path near the Sportsplex. “At first, I wanted to go as an 800-metre runner. Then I wanted to go as a rugby player when rugby sevens was introduced to the 2016 Summer Games. All of a sudden, it was skeleton – this sport I had no idea about until 2010,” smiles Rahneva. “To be representing Canada, from a small town in Bulgaria, it’s just... I don’t know, the world is your oyster. You can do anything you wish.”


Age: 30 Local Club: Ottawa Lions T&F # Olympics: Second (First Winter Games) @Seyi_Smith

#OnlyOneLaneInBob: Olympic relay sprinter seeks to ease pain of 2012 disqualification By Michael Sun Seyi Smith’s bobsleigh career only began a few months ago at the WinSport training facility in Calgary. The Olympic sprinter-turned-bobsledder had been training around other Olympic athletes to stay in shape after retiring from track two years ago. “The consistency from being around other athletes sort of brought me back into it,” he said. “Had I been going to Goodlife Fitness [or regular gyms], I probably wouldn’t have come back.” “When I retired from track a couple of years ago, I didn’t think about it right away, but this year, I was just approached, and I said, ok, I’ll give it a shot, see what happens,” he recalled. Smith will now represent Canada at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang with an eye on gold after winning a silver medal at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria, in December as part of Justin Kripps’ four-man sled. For Smith, the transition to bobsledding “wasn’t too, too steep” because of his experience working with Quin Sekulich, his strength and conditioning coach in bobsledding and his track coach.

Age: 27 # Olympics: First Local Club: Ottawa West Golden Knights @3ricODell

O’Dell dialed 6-1-3 when told Olympic news By Charlie Pinkerton With players from the NHL being prohibited from participating in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,

Smith is a brakeman and the last person to get in the bobsled. “My job…is just trying to maintain a good velocity because I bring top end [speed] to it,” Smith said. “The best thing I can do is use my speed so when we hop in, we’re moving as fast as we can.” Smith reflected on the ups and downs of his track career – the biggest moment being when the 4x100 metre relay team in 2012 Olympics won bronze but were disqualified with minutes because of a lane violation. “It was happiness…finally, ‘we’ve done what we wanted to do,” he said of the moment. “And all those injuries and stress fractures and missed teams and the money spent, it was all worth it because we’re going to be Olympic bronze medallists for life in the fastest race of all time.” “It was pure elation up until we saw we got DQed up on the screen and then it went sideways pretty quick.” Smith put the heartbreak into words: “When you’re disqualified, you’re thinking, ‘Oh, what the hell, why can’t we just catch a break’.” “You go from pure elation to, not disbelief, but kind of a despair that no matter how much you get everything perfect, sometimes it still isn’t enough to achieve your goals and that’s a difficult thing to wrap your head around.” Smith stills reflects on the moment today and what could have been. “There’s still days… I wake up and I say to myself that I could have


Fri., Feb. 23 4-man bosled Heat 1 & 2 7:30 p.m. ET

photo: dan plouffe

been an Olympic medallist,” he said. “When you’re an Olympic medallist, you’re an Olympic medallist for life.” “We know, there will be a time when all that will be forgotten because there’s nothing to remember, nothing to hold on to.” However, that DQ from 2012 – along with “intrinsic motivation” - made him more motivated

ERIC O’DELL HOCKEY who might make up Canada’s men’s hockey team was a mystery until the team’s formal announcement on Jan. 11. A few days before, the players who made the cut were notified and told to keep it private until after the public announcement. When Eric O’Dell heard from Team

Thu., Feb. 15 CAN vs SUI 7 a.m. ET Fri., Feb. 16 CAN vs CZE 10 p.m.

Canada, he couldn’t help but call his parents in Ottawa. “I called my family right away. I called my mom and dad back home and told them and they were obviously really excited,” the Ottawa native said. O’Dell is overseas, stationed at the site of the last Olympic Winter

Sat., Feb. 24 4-man bosled Heat 3 & 4 7:30 p.m. ET

than before to comeback from injuries and disappointments. “Any injury I’ve had after 2012 is needed to keep myself motivated because I remember what it felt like to keep myself motivated and that feeling is enough motivation to do anything that will get you back there.” Despite all the close calls, including multiple stress fractures in 2013, Smith noted, “something inside of me kept me going.” Smith said he takes that learning experience and attention to detail into his bobsled training. “I’ve been learning every day,” he noted. “Every day I learn something new. Whether it’s holding my hands a certain way or learning how to survive a crash.” He also pointed out the difference between the two sports. “I think people don’t appreciate how it’s a different style of running. It’s not just track and field behind a sled,” he said. “There’s specific technical cues that you need to think about in bobsledding that you don’t need to worry about in track and it’s not an easy crossover.” However, any bobsledding medals or glory won’t fully make up for the pain and agony of losing that bronze medal in London. “It might soothe. It might act as a balm for the lack of burn I feel from athletics but I wouldn’t call it redemption but I’m sure it will help a little bit, but not enough.”

Sun., Feb. 18 Tue., Feb. 20 CAN vs KOR Quarter-finals 7 a.m. 10 p.m. Mon., Feb. 19 Fri., Feb. 23 Qualification Semi-finals playoffs - 10 p.m. 2:30 & 7 a.m.

Games, where he plays for Sochi HC of the Kontinental Hockey League, though the 27-year-old keeps a house in Kanata, where he and his family spend their summers. “We love it there,” O’Dell said of his hometown. O’Dell played for the Ottawa West

Sat., Feb. 24 Bronze 7 a.m. Sat., Feb. 24 Gold 11 p.m.

Golden Knights while growing up in the Carling Avenue area. He’d watch the Golden Knights Jr. ‘B’ team at Barbara Ann Scott Arena, or as he called it, “the biggest thing in the area.” At 16, he joined that team.

O’DELL continues on p.19



613-580-2477 PHONE E613-580-2477 MAIL




EMAIL Mark.Taylor@Ottawa.ca

Ottawa City Councillor — Bay Ward Ottawa City Councillor — Bay Ward

Mark.Taylor@Ottawa.ca WWEE B B BayWardLive.ca BayWardLive.ca



Age: 34 Local Club: Eastern Ontario Cobras # Olympics: First @Roy9ner

Thu., Feb. 15 CAN vs SUI 7 a.m. ET Fri., Feb. 16 CAN vs CZE 10 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 18 Tue., Feb. 20 CAN vs KOR Quarter-finals 7 a.m. 10 p.m. Mon., Feb. 19 Fri., Feb. 23 Qualification Semi-finals playoffs - 10 p.m. 2:30 & 7 a.m.

Absent NHLers translates into Olympic dream realized for former Sens rival

couple hundred people come out and watch us play. That was huge when you’re 14 or 15 with which the Rockland native years old.” By Charlie Pinkerton won a Bantam AA championRoy said through his days Derek Roy hasn’t repres- ship. in junior hockey, which he spent ented an Ottawa hockey team “We’d have all our friends entirely with the Kitchener since well before his NHL days, come to the games to sup- Rangers, and onward into the but when discussing his path to port us. The arena was always NHL, that playing back in Ottawa making Canada’s Olympic team, packed when we were playing,” was always special. the Rockland native is most en- Roy remembers. “It would be really special to thusiastic talking about playing in The team played their home see all your friends and family the nation’s capital in his youth. games at Jean-Marc Lalonde after the game, or even if you As a child, Roy played for Arena, across from Roy’s old score to look up in the crowd teams in Vanier and Clarence high school, école secondaire and see a section cheering for Creek, including the Cumberland catholique L’Escale. you when everyone else is quiet,” Barons before the team turned “It was really a cool exper- Roy said. into the Eastern Ontario Cobras, ience at that time to have a Roy played in the NHL from 2003-2015, excluding the 2004-05 lockout season. He spent the majority of his seasons playing for the Buffalo Sabres, Barrhaven Councillor the team that drafted him in the Chair, Planning Committee second round of the 2001 NHL Barrhaven Councillor Good luck to all athletes Entry Draft. Good luck Chair, to all athletes 613-580-2473 Planning Committee heading to the 2018 While playing for the Sabres Jan.Harder@Ottawa.ca heading to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games! and in the midst of his fourth Barrhaven@BarrhavenJan Councillor Olympic Winter Games! 613-580-2473 Chair, Planning Committee straight 60+ point season, facebook.com/BarrhavenJanHarder Roy attended Team Canada’s Jan.Harder@Ottawa.ca www. JanHarder.com 613-580-2473 www. .com Olympics selection camp. But he

JanHarder www. JanHarder.com @BarrhavenJan

Jan.Harder@Ottawa.ca facebook.com/BarrhavenJanHarder @BarrhavenJan facebook.com/BarrhavenJanHarder

www. JanHarder.com

www. JanHarder.com

photo: hockey canada

wouldn’t be named to Canada’s team. That team won a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. “I didn’t think I would ever play in the Olympics (after that),” he said with a laugh. “I never thought about having another chance at it. That was a great opportunity; I was in my prime playing well, and to not make it was obviously devastating.” The next season, while leading the Sabres in points with 35 in 35 games, he tore his left

quadriceps tendon. That was the end of his year, and his next season would be his last in Buffalo. After stints in Dallas, Vancouver, St. Louis, Nashville and Edmonton, Roy found himself in Washington’s camp prior to the 2015-16 season. He was unable to crack the Capitals roster and instead signed with Schlittschuh Club Bern of the National League in Switzerland. The team won a league championship with Roy who averaged close to a pointper-game (42 in 49 games, in-

Sat., Feb. 24 Bronze 7 a.m. Sat., Feb. 24 Gold 11 p.m.

cluding the playoffs). During the next season the rumblings over whether NHL players would attend the Olympics emerged. “At that point that became a goal for sure,” Roy added. Two years later, the 34-yearold who now plays for Linköping Hockey Club in the Swedish League, has realized his Olympic dream after impressing Hockey Canada with his play on the national team earlier this season in the 2017 Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov and 2017 Channel One Cup. When the team takes the ice in Pyeongchang, supporting Roy in the crowd will be a collection of his friends and family, including his parents, making the trip from his childhood home in Rockland. “For them to take the time out of their schedule and fly across the world and watch me play is on like they have their whole lives is obviously a cool feeling,” Roy added.



À propos du programme sports-études Fondé en 2005, le programme sports-études à l’école Louis-Riel est rapidement devenu un leader et un innovateur dans la promotion de l’excellence en classe et dans le sport. Il s’agit de la première destination pour les élèves-athlètes au niveau secondaire motivés à réussir dans leurs activités académiques et sportives.

About the Sports-Study Program Founded in 2005, the Louis-Riel sports-study program has quickly become a leader and innovator in fostering excellence both in the classrooms and in sports. It is the premiere destination for high school student-athletes driven to succeed in their athletic and academic pursuits.



Équilibre idéal entre les études et le sport

Une philosophie enracinée d’appuyer les activités des athlètes

• Permet aux athlètes de performer à des niveaux optimaux • Appui pour maintenir un haut niveau de réussite scolaire

Les élèves assistent à 4 classes par jour • Commence à 8 h 45 et termine à 15 h 00 • 3 périodes de 75 minutes en classes académiques traditionnels • 4e période consacré à l’entraînement – répartition entre pratique dans leur sport et musculation • Reçoivent un crédit d’éducation physique chaque semestre tout en VIVANT UNE EXPÉRIENCE HORS PAIR THE SPORTS-STUDY FORMULA Ideal balance between school and sports • Enables athletes to perform at optimal levels • Support to maintain high level of scholastic achievement Sports-study students have 4 classes each day • School day begins at 8:45 am, ends at 3 pm • 3 x 75-minute periods in traditional academic classes • Daily sports training year-round in their 4th period • Sport-specific training one day, physical conditioning the next • Receive a phys ed credit each semester while


• L’école comprend pleinement les exigences pour exceller dans les sports de haut niveau • Des enseignants flexibles pour répondre aux besoins des athlètes qui doivent s’absenter afin de participer à l’entraînement ou d’assister aux compétitions • Résumés de classe et devoirs électroniques • Cours disponibles en ligne • Des examens et des dates d’échéance des devoirs peuvent être modifiés • Le club de devoirs est offert de 15 h à 16 h du lundi au jeudi EMBRACING ELITE ATHLETES Ingrained philosophy to support athletes’ pursuits • School fully comprehends requirements to excel in high-level sport • Teachers flexible to accommodate athletes away for training/competitions • Electronic class summaries & assignments • Courses available online • Exams & assignment due dates can be adjusted • Homework club runs from 3-4 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.

MEILLEURE PRÉPARATION POUR LE SPORT UNIVERSITAIRE Le milieu favorise la poursuite des études postsecondaires et des bourses scolaires • Exigences de sports-études semblables à celles du sport inter-universitaire • 4 ans d’expérience de la gestion du temps facilite la transition au niveau universitaire • Séances d’information et de préparation à l’université • Les élèves sont en mesure d’obtenir tous les préalables universitaires pendant les heures de classe régulières • Les élèves partagent les mêmes intérêts et s’appuient dans la poursuite de leurs ambitions BEST PREP FOR UNIVERSITY SPORT Environment promotes pursuit of post-secondary studies/scholarships • Sports-study demands similar to varsity sport • 4 years experience managing schedule facilitates smooth transition • Information & university readiness sessions • Students able to obtain all university prerequisites within regular class time • Like-minded students fuel one another’s ambitions

« Le programme sports-études a beaucoup aidé à me préparer à l’université. J’ai appris à gérer mon temps comme il faut pour pouvoir bien réussir dans mes études et le sport en même temps. Les entraîneurs ont vraiment aidé à mon développement et les installations sont incroyables. Pour moi, c’est la meilleure chose au monde. » “The sports-study program helped me a lot to prepare for university. I learned how to manage my time so that I could handle both school and sports commitments. The coaches really helped with my development, and the facilities are unreal. For me, it’s just the best thing in the world.”

—Abdou Samaké, Université de Michigan Wolverines


UNE CULTURE DE DÉVOUEMENT « Le personnel d’entraînement que nous avons ici est justement merveilleux. C’est vraiment impressionnant de voir l’expertise que les entraîneurs partagent avec leurs élèves et le dévouement montré à leurs athlètes. « Les entraîneurs offrent plusieures heures additionnelles – à l’heure de déjeuner, après ou avant les classes – afin de donner les athlètes plus de répétitions, de les rencontrer individuellement en vue de déterminer où ils sont et où ils veulent aller, et de développer un programme adapté à leurs besoins. « C’est une grande partie de la culture ici: les entraîneurs sont très voués à faire d’eux les meilleures personnes possibles. »

Chaque volet sport est dirigé par un entraîneur spécialisé • Tous offrent expérience, expertise et appui exceptionnelles • De nombreux membres du personnel sont des entraîneurs d’équipes provinciales/nationales en dehors de l’école • Aident à coordonner les horaires chargés des élèves et créer un plan de réussite scolaire et sportif

Séances avec des professionnels • Nutritionniste • Entraîneur en performance mentale • Massothérapeute et thérapeute en sport • Médecin en médecine du sport • Accès prioritaire à la clinique de physiothérapie sur place • Athlètes/entraîneurs de niveau élite invités

GRADE A COACHES Each sports stream is led by a specialized coach • All provide above-and-beyond experience, expertise & support • Numerous staff are provincial/national team coaches outside school • Help coordinate students’ busy schedules and implement scholastic & sports success plan Sessions with sports professionals • Nutritionist • Mental performance coach • Athletic/massage therapist

AMÉNAGEMENT SPÉCIAL Transport gratuit compris • Les autobus Louis-Riel transportent les élèves à des sports hors site • Accès pendant la journée aux arénas, aux collines de ski, aux clubs sportifs communautaires et ainsi de suite • Le programme attire des élèves à travers la région • Les élèves qui demeurent hors zone reçoivent un transport gratuit par autobus jaune ou par le laissez-passer OC Transpo

Partenariat Nike Team • Louis-Riel est partenaire du programme exclusif Nike Team, en général réservé aux universités • Les athlètes reçoivent uniformes, vêtements et équipements de classe mondiale A SPECIAL SETUP

« C’est parfait. J’arrive à mon club en autobus fourni par l’école. « Mes parents n’ont donc pas à venir me chercher et à m’amener à la gymnastique tous les jours. « Et mes enseignants savent que je dois partir tôt, alors ils me donnent des devoirs à l’avance. » “It’s perfect. The school busses me to my club, so my parents don’t need to come get me and bring me to gymnastics every day. And my teachers know I have to leave early, so they give me assignments beforehand.”

—Avery Rosales, gymnaste

Nike Team partnership • Louis-Riel a partner in exclusive Nike Team program generally reserved for universities

• Program attracts students from across the region

• Daytime access to arenas, ski hills, community sport clubs, etc.

• Student-athletes receive set of world-class • Students from outside school’s boundaries receive uniforms, clothing & gear free transport by yellow bus or OC Transpo pass


–Kristina Bechthold,

Anglophone Student Louis-Riel Soccer Academy 2016 Junior Athlete of the Year Academic Excellence Awards in Math, Science, English & French

–Ken Levesque,

Coordonateur Sports-Études Sports-Study Coordinator 613-590-2233 ext. 3 ken.levesque@cepeo.on.ca

• Sports medicine doctor • Priority access to on-site physio • Elite guest athletes/coaches

Free transport included • School’s own buses bring students to off-site sports

“Speaking French has really opened new doors for me. I was really shy at first, but all my coaches and teachers helped me through it and have really pushed me to do my best. Now I’ve made a bunch of new friends and I’ve really applied myself academically. I’ve really exceeded what I thought I would ever do.”

A CULTURE OF DEDICATION: “The coaching staff we have here is just mindblowing. It’s really impressive to see the expertise the coaches have to share with their students, and the dedication they have to their athletes. “They’ll take a lot of their own time – lunch, after or before school – to give them extra reps, to sit down 1-on-1 to see where they are and where they want to go, and develop a program tailored to their needs. That’s a big part of the culture here: the coaches are very dedicated to making them the best people they can be.”

• Milieu d’apprentissage francophone dynamique, chaleureux et stimulant • Propice à la réussite personnel, scolaire et sociale des élèves • La diversité est reconnue, appréciée et recherchée • Fournit les compétences et les connaissances nécessaires à s’épanouir dans un monde en changement QUALITY FRENCH-LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION • Dynamic, welcoming & nurturing Francophone learning environment • Devoted to personal, academic & social success • Diversity is recognized, appreciated & desired • Providing skills & knowledge required to thrive in an ever-changing world • Louis-Riel sports-study attracts many Anglophone students studying in their second language • Invaluable language skills for employment & life in a bilingual country


• Diplômé en kinésiologie de l’Université d’Ottawa hautement qualifié et certifié • Entraîne de nombreux athlètes professionnels • Enseigne la bonne mécanique d’entraînement physique et les habiletés motrices de base • Plans adaptés pour améliorer chaque athlète individuellement dans leur sport choisi • Plan périodisé pour permettre la performance à intervalles établies et une récupération appropriée

JEAN-ROBERT LÉGER Entraîneur de conditionnement physique du programme sportsétudes à Louis-Riel Personalized Training with Louis-Riel Strength Coach • Highly-certified University of Ottawa kinesiology grad • Trains numerous professional athletes • Teaches proper physical training mechanics

• Plans tailored to improve each athlete individually in their chosen sport • Periodized training enables peak performances & proper recovery

VALEUR HORS PAIR • Les frais varient en fonction du volet sport • Tous les programmes offrent une valeur exceptionelle qui n’est pas offerte dans d’autres contextes sportifs • Aide financière disponible • Fees vary according to the sports stream • All programs provide extensive value unseen in other sports settings • Assistance available to help students in financial need

« UNE FOIS REBELLE, TOUJOURS REBELLE. » • Sentiment de famille à une école plus petite • Liens forts entre les élèves et le personnel • Personne n’est perdue dans les chiffres • Esprit d’école extraordinaire • Occasions de participation communautaire

“Once a Rebelle, Always a Rebelle.” • Family feel at smaller school • Strong bonds amongst students/staff • No one lost in the numbers • Exceptional school spirit • Community involvement opportunities

DOME LR – UN NOUVEAU JEU DÔME SPORTIF DE CALIBRE MONDIALE OUVERT TOUTE L’ANNÉE À CÔTÉ DE L’ÉCOLE • La salle de poids et haltères sur place donne en effet un abonnement gratuit au gymnase • Un ensemble complet d’équipements d’entraînement de haute-performance • La seule piste intérieure de 400 m au Canada avec un revêtement Mondo haut de gamme • Terrain multisports à gazon, terrain de soccer intérieur à taille réglementaire de FIFA • Gymnase avec des terrains de volleyball et de basketball à taille réglementaire • Accès prioritaire à la clinique privée de physiothérapie à tarif réduit • L’école a un accès exclusif au Dôme de 8 h 30 à 17 h 00 du lundi au vendredi • Athlètes olympiens/professionnels s’entraînent au Dôme WORLD-CLASS YEAR-ROUND SPORTS DOME ADJACENT TO SCHOOL • Onsite weightroom effectively provides a free gym membership • Fully-stocked set of high-performance training equipment • Canada’s only 400-metre indoor track, with top-of-the-line Mondo surface • Multi-sport turf playing field, full-size indoor FIFA soccer pitch

• Gym floor for regulation volleyball & basketball courts • Priority access to private physiotherapy clinic at discounted rates • School has exclusive access to Dome from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. • Olympians/pro athletes train at the Dome

PROGRAMME SPORTS-EXPLORATOIRES À LOUIS-RIEL (7e -8e ANNÉE) Le programme sports-exploratoires expose les élèves d’école intermédiaire à un large éventail de sports et d’activités (qui adhère aux principes de développement à long terme de l’athlète). Les principes fondamentaux pour mener une vie saine et active sont enseignés, permettant aux élèves-athlètes de participer à des activités physiques en toute confiance, et d’employer les habiletés de base afin de poursuivre l’entraînement de haut niveau. The exploratory sports program exposes middle school students to a wide range of sports and activities (adhering to long-term athlete development principles). The fundamentals to lead an active, healthy lifestyle are taught, enabling student-athletes to participate in physical activities with confidence, and build the foundation to pursue high-level training.

Dans le même ordre d’idées que le programme sports-études, le programme sports-exploratoires a intégré la psychologie pour répondre aux besoins des élèves-athlètes, y compris des horaires scolaires adaptés pour faciliter les engagements sportifs. Like in sports-study, the exploratory sports program has the built-in psychology to accommodate student-athletes’ needs, including adapted academic schedules to facilitate sports commitments.





• 7e année: 1 soir en cabine • 8e année: 2 soirs en tente • Amitié, camaraderie et travail d’équipe dès le début

• Aviron • Cyclisme • Golf • Curling • Trampoline • Zip-lining • Raquette • Lutte • et plus!

• Étirement des fibres musculaires (yoga) et musculation (avec entraîneur physique) • Visites mensuelles de spécialistes (nutrition, aptitudes mentales et ainsi de suite)

• Les élèves choisissent un sport préféré afin de s’entraîner pendant un semestre • Les mercredis en matinée, travailler avec un entraîneur de ce sport





• Stretching (yoga) & muscle training (with strength coach) • Monthly visits from specialists (nutrition, mental skills, etc.)

• Students select a favourite sport to train in for full semester • During 1 phys ed class per week, work with coach from chosen sport

• Grade 7: 1 night in cabins • Grade 8: 2 nights camping • Builds friendships, camaraderie & teamwork from the start

• Rowing • Curling • Snowshoeing • Cycling

• Trampoline • Wrestling • Zip-lining • And more!

« C’est tellement génial d’avoir des amis qui eux aussi aiment le sport. Nous nous comprenons parce que nous avons tous le même genre de vie. » “It’s a lot of fun having friends who also love sports. We understand each other because we all have the same kind of life.”

–Sophie Scully,

gardienne de hockey & joueuse de soccer hockey goalie & soccer player


REBELLE. Academics. Athletics. Excellence.

Leadership. Innovation. Passion.



NOS PROGRAMMES Sportsexploratoires 7e et 8e année

Pré-concentrations en sports 7e et 8e année

Majeures Haute Spécialisation (MHS) Transports

Sports-études 9e à la 12e année

Académies Basketball, Hockey et Soccer, 9e à la 12e année

1655, chemin Bearbrook, Ottawa, ON, K1B 4N3 613-590-2233 | louis-riel.cepeo.on.ca @ESPLouisRiel | @ESP_LOUISRIEL

Age: 28 # Olympics: First Local Club: Mont-Ste-Marie @dustincook

Ottawa’s most decorated male alpine skier ever set to make Olympic debut By Martin Boyce With the changing sceneries and unpredictability on the road to his first Olympics, alpine skier Dustin Cook takes comfort from one constant in his life: craft beer. Cook, a super-G specialist and Mont Ste. Marie product, says he developed a ritual of having one craft beer from home the night before race day. It all started in 2014, before what turned out to be the 28-year-old’s best race of his career at the time. “It’s just a nice way to keep things as normal as possible,” suggests Cook. “You’re on the road and everything is always different so if you can keep one thing constant, that’s nice.” Having missed qualification in 2010 and 2014, the self-proclaimed craft beer nerd

is finally bound for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. Qualifying with an 11th place finish in his first race of the season in Lake Louise in Alberta, he’ll be taking his ritual with him to his first Games. “It was a little bit of relief,” he admits. “I was happy to have it in the pocket right off the bat in the first race of the year.” It has been a long journey for Cook - one that began before the soon-to-be Olympian was even two years old. Before moving to Ottawa, he spent his early childhood skiing in Collingwood, north of Toronto, and instantly fell in love with the thrill of the high-speed sport. “They say they couldn’t get me off the hill I loved it so much,” he smiles, noting it was his ski-instructor parents that brought him onto slopes. “I never really


photo: alpine canada/ malcolm carmichael

stopped from there.” Young racers don’t train for the faster disciplines like super G and downhill, and rarely get the opportunity to race them until provincial championships, when they get older. Cook, despite this lack of experience, found himself achieving his best results in super G. “It’s the perfect blend of GS and downhill. You’ve got the tactics and the speed but you’ve

also got the technical ability that you need. I love all the events but super G just clicks with me. That’s the best way I can put it,” he laughs. Quickly rising up the ranks of Canadian skiing, earning a stint with Team Quebec before reaching the national team, the Nepean High School alumnus gradually cemented himself as one of the top super-G racers in the world.

Wed., Feb. 14 Men’s Super-G 9 p.m. ET Sat., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom 8:15 p.m. Coming off the best season of his career in 2015, having raced to his first World Cup win in Méribel, France, a World Championship silver in Beaver Creek, Colorado and a 5th place ranking in the discipline, Cook suffered a harrowing blow the following season: a torn ACL. “The mental part was definitely harder than I thought it would be,” he reflects, noting it was his first break from the sport in roughly 15 years. “To go a whole year without racing or training or that kind of intensity was a little more difficult than I thought it would be.” He says the physical recovery couldn’t have gone smoother but the return to racing-form was slower than anticipated, despite hovering around the top 15 mark in the World Cup standings. “If I could do anything differently in the recovery process, it would be to not be on the road


so much last year,” he signals. “It just kind of mentally killed me.” He says the constant grind culminated in an uncharacteristic wipeout at the World Championships last season, the lowest point for him during his comeback. “I kind of lost it after that,” he recalls, “just went home, took a full week and didn’t ski, didn’t think about skiing and came back a little bit refreshed.” He says while after that race he didn’t want to talk to anyone, his family, girlfriend and closest friends provided “invaluable” support throughout the process. “They kind of understand where you’re coming from in terms of being mentally fatigued or completely just pissed off,” he highlights. “Without them it would be significantly more difficult.”

COOK continues on p.20

– ELITE – Heartbreak for Chartrand; figure skater misses Olympics by one spot


By Brandi Awad While Olympians get ready for the biggest competition of their lives on a world stage at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, it’s all too easy to forget about the Olympic dreamers that worked endlessly to end up at their sport’s Olympic trials and come all too close, but not make it. One of those athletes is Ottawa’s Alaine Chartrand, a figure skater with a big dream. “I’ve been thinking of the Olympics since I was 10 years old,” Chartrand said. “It would be achieving the ultimate goal as a high-level athlete.”

Chartrand began her figure skating career at age four at her local CanSkate program, where she fell in love with every twirl, jump and landing. “That floating feeling when you’re in the air or when you land a big jump… that’s something that’s pretty addictive,” she explained. “I love the performance and I love that I can connect with people in a different way and share emotions and a story. I think it’s really helped develop me as a person.” At CanSkate in her hometown of Brockville, she met her eventual long-time coach Mary Jayne Rashotte – who Chartrand still trains with to this

day. 17 years later. “The talent was pretty obvious from a young age,” Rashotte said. “And I guess I first realized she had something special when she first started competing because she would pretty much win every little competition that she went to. But she was also the type [of athlete] that once she hit the higher competitions was like ‘okay, I’ve done this category and I want to go to the next one’ and she would just keep going up higher and higher until she got to senior ladies. She didn’t stay in a category to win it, but she stayed in a category as she went along because she wanted

to get even better.” She did just that, reaching her first national competition at age 13 where she took home a senior bronze medal. Now, at age 21, she’s competed in every Canadian Figure Skating Championship since, collecting another bronze, a silver and a gold. Internationally, she’s also reached the podium, taking the bronze medal at the Rostelecom Cup during her 20142015 season and a silver at the Autumn Classic International last year. This past season she spent time in Colorado Springs to train with former figure skater

and U.S. Olympian Christy Krall in preparation for Pyeongchang. Going into this year’s Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Vancouver, the competition that would determine Chartrand’s Olympic fate, she said she felt confident. Though she gave a strong performance, it was only enough to earn her 4th place, a spot shy of qualifying for Canada’s Olympic figure skating team. Just like that – just like at the 2014 Canadian Nationals, where she placed 5th, falling short of the team for the Sochi Winter Olympics – Chartrand’s dream slipped away. “It’s obviously hard when you

Glen Cairn figure skater squeezes into nationals and lands 7th in short program By Anil Jhalli In her debut on the national stage, Victoria Gardner was Ottawa’s top performer at the 2018 Figure Skating Nationals in Vancouver. Gardner, 14, who skates out of the Glen Cairn Skating Club in Kanata, finished 7th on the short program in the novice women’s division (2nd amongst Ontario skaters) and 8th in the free skate program, which was the 3rd best finish of skaters from Ontario.

“I’ve never been to a competition this big,” said Gardner, adding that the event was a nerve wracking experience. “But, it was definitely my strongest performance.” After placing 6th at the Ontario Summer Series, the first step in qualifying for Nationals, Gardner went on to sectionals, where she placed 19th (top 18 move on to Challenge - the final qualifier for nationals). However, Gardner was named an alternate for Challenge and two days before the event, she


received a call that a skater withdrew. Gardner jumped at the chance to compete. Gardner was up to the challenge by placing 13th at the event, and earning the opportunity to skate at Nationals. “Honestly, I did think I had a chance to head to Nationals,” added Gardner. “But I had a clean solo (at Challenge) and I hadn’t done that all year. I wanted to go out there and really perform the way I wanted to and it felt pretty amazing.” Gardner had one goal for the most recent skating season, and that was to qualify and compete at Nationals. She was the 36th ranked skater at the beginning of the season and credits her coach for helping make the neccessary changes to her training to get her she is today. “We kept my training very consistent,” said Gardner. “We knew what we had to do get things done. We kept practicing and I felt better after every competition and I was able to climb my way in the ranks.” Marie Hamelin, Gardner’s coach from the age of six, has been a figure skating coach for three decades. “Victoria progressed very quickly once she gained the confidence to believe she could do something if she put her mind to it,” said Hamelin. “She was always passionate about skating and was eager to be better and skate more.”


Alaine Chartrand file photo

make it that far and thinking of the 2014 meet still makes me emotional to this day,” she said, prior to this year’s qualifier. “But in those super hard experiences, there’s always something to be learned and I think they add character.”

Victoria Gardner

supplied photo

Hamelin said that Gardner and her hashed out the plan for the upcoming season and never looked back. The determination and willingness to what it took to achieve the goal for the past skating season was within reach as long as they stuck to the plan. “This doesn’t come without many endless hours of work on and off the ice. We make sure she (Gardner) eats well, sleeps properly and is able to recover well after each training day. These are all important factors that go into her skating journey, and this journey has been amazing to be part of,” Hamelin added. Gloucester Skating Club’s Emmanuelle Proft also competed in the novice women’s category at Nationals, finishing 17th in both the short program and free skate. David Brinberg of the Nepean Skating Club came 13th in both the short program and free skate in the junior men’s division. Christian Reekie, from Ottawa, finished 8th in the short program of the junior pairs division, and 6th in the free skate.



BONHOMME AND GEE NAB MEDALS AT MILTON WORLD CUP, LAND SPOTS AT COMMONWEALTH GAMES Two Ottawa cyclists placed on the podium at Round 3 of the Union Cyclist Internationale Track Cycling World Cup. The Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton played host to the event for the first time and on home soil Ottawa Bicycle Club products Ariane Bonhomme and Derek Gee both contributed medal performances. Canada’s team pursuit squad, of which Bonhomme rides as part of, caught New Zealand in the gold medal final to win first place. In the men’s team pursuit, which Gee rides as part of, Canada overcame a crash to capture a silver medal. In their gold medal qualifying race the men’s team set a Canadian record in the event with a time of 3:58.359. Both Gee and Bonhomme were named to Canada’s team for the XXI Commonwealth Games based in Gold Coast, Australia in April. Gee will ride in the men’s track endurance and road team, while Bonhomme will ride as part of the women’s team.

STEVE GRAY INDUCTED INTO RUGBY ONTARIO HALL OF FAME Ottawa’s Steve Gray was honoured as a member of the Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017. Gray tallied 47 international caps for Canada, and had three World Cup appearances in 1987, 1991, and 1995, and one 7s World Cup appearance (1993). Gray was a captain of Team Canada on numerous occasions. In 1986 he scored three tries in a game for Canada, which set a team record. Gray was also a member of the Ottawa Irish 1st XV 1986-1992, which was named to the Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame in 2015.

HOUSE OF SPORT OFFICIALLY OPENS IN OTTAWA The RA Centre’s House of Sport celebrated its official opening on January 18. The $8 million renovated space in the re-purposed section of the Centre’s west wing will house more than 20 National Sports Organizations, Multi-Sport Organizations, not-for-profits and sport-related businesses.


The West Ottawa Soccer Club’s 2003 girls team had an unblemished showing at the Disney Showcase in Orlando in November. The team swept its three games by scores of 1-0, 4-0 and 1-0. In December, two of the club’s older players, Amanda Smith and Alexander Hewish, made their declaration to play at St Francis Xavier University.


Ottawa will be the host city for the Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association upcoming Football Bowl Series. Nine games will be played between Nov. 26-28, 2018 at TD Stadium. It’s the first time the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association will host the event. Games.


Gabriela Dabrowski is on a tear. The tennis player won the doubles division of the Sydney International with her partner Xu Yifan by beating the tournament’s top seeded team of Latisha Chan and Andrea Sestini Hlackova in straight sets in the tournament’s final. She followed that up by winning the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open with her partner Mate Pavic of Croatia. It’s a strong start to the year for Dabrowski, who became the first Canadian woman to win a senior Grand Slam title in last year’s French Open with her partner Rohan Bopanna.

MARGARET GIBSON AWARDED OTA’S HIGHEST HONOUR Ottawa’s Margaret Gibson was awarded the Ontario Tennis Association’s Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s 2017 annual general meeting. Gibson played at Grand Slam events including Wimbledon before becoming a coach. She also managed the Canadian Junior National Tennis Team in the 1980s and worked with juniors for a period extending beyond 30 years. Recent Australian Open mixed doubles winner, Gabriela Dabrowski is a notable former pupil of hers. Among her other achievements, Gibson was also recognized for promoting and pushing the sport of tennis to new heights in Ottawa.


Shainah Joseph added to her incredible volleyball resume with an NCAA division 1 silver medal. The Franco-Cite graduate had 11 kills and 11 points for the Florida Gators in the tournament final in what was the University of Florida’s first appearance in an Final Four in women’s basketball since 2003. The Ottawa Mavericks and Canadian national team member was also named as an American Volleyball Coaches’ Association second team All-American.


Ben Kendrick took bronze at the 2018 Elite National Championships for Judo, held in Montreal in January. Competing in the senior 90kg weight division, Kendrick lost to the eventual national champion in the semifinals. A month earlier at the Asian Open in Hong Kong, Kendrick won a bronze medal for Canada.

OTTAWA GIRLS INVITED TO TEAM CANADA BASKETBALL ASSESSMENT Three Ottawa girls were invited to Canada Basketball’s Women’s National Age-Group Assessment Camps in December. Julia Chadwick, who competes for Durham Elite, was invited to be assessed to compete in the next FIBA U18 Americas Championship. Merissah Russell and Isabella Gaudet, who play for Capital Courts in Orleans were in attendance for assessment for Canada’s FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup team.


Kristin Stremlaw, 17, and Jade Warren, 15, got an early Christmas present by being named to Synchro Canada’s 2018 Junior Worlds Athlete Pool. Stremlaw, who trains with Ontario’s Regional Training Centre, and Warren, from GO Capital Synchro, will be part of a team of 24 who will enter the final phase of selection to represent Canada at the FINA Junior World Artistic Swimming Championships next summer.

YOUNG KEEPS UP CANADA PLAY Ariel Young landed another stint with Canada Soccer. The 16-year-old made her debut for Canada’s women’s team in November and pulled out her Maple Leaf kit again for the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in Trinidad and Tobago. Young, a member of the Ottawa Fury, was one of only 7 girls born in 2001 to be named to the team.

Ottawa at the Olympics: other athletes’ ties to the Capital Though for all, their connections may not be as outright like the Gloucester speedskaters, the Ottawa Curling Club’s quartet, or some locally-raised former NHLers, there is a cast of athletes heading to Pyeongchang with ties to the nation’s capital. Genevieve Lacasse, a goaltender on Canada’s women’s hockey team is one athlete who’s local ties run deep. Originally from Kingston, Lacasse has long spent her summers

training in Ottawa. She’ll be hoping to capture her second Olympic gold medal South Korea, to add to her collection

that includes a gold from Sochi. Heading into his third Olympic Games, 27-year-old

Geneviève Lacasse.

photo: hockey canada

figure skater Patrick Chan has been persistant competitor at the Olympics since he was a teenager in Vancouver in 2010. At the Games he’s totalled two silvers, but never gold. Chan was born Ottawa, though he grew up in Montreal and then Toronto. Chris Kelly played more than 800 NHL games, the most of any player on Canada’s men’s hockey team. Many of those came in his eight seasons with the Ottawa Senators.

OSU Force Academy Zone

Region-best 28 Force with Team Ontario

7 players from the OPDL Cup/ Charity Shieldchampion OSU 2002 Girls are part of Team Ontario, while Isabella Hanisch is with Team Canada. Ottawa South United Soccer Club is pleased to announce that 28 of our players have been selected to the 2017-2018 Provincial Projects. These 28 players, who come from our teams competing within our Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) Teams are recognized as some of the top players in the province. Across the board, we have 15 female players, and 13 male players joining the program. We are proud of the significant representation in both genders. In addition to this, OSU vastly leads Eastern Ontario with selections, and is amongst the top three in the province for placements by a club. The provincial projects will take place between January and April, and include player screening, talent identification and player benchmarking through competition. Congratulations to the following players for their selections by Ontario Soccer: • 2002 Girls:  Madolyn Bush,  Martina Milito, Victoria Miller,  Katie Richardson, Katherine Chadwick, Jade Taylor-Ryan, Shannon Phee • 2002 Boys: Ilyes Outaleb,  Mohamed Maadani,  Varouje Avedissian, Naufal El Mansari • 2003 Girls:  Evelyn Arsenault,  Georgia Hogan,  Juliann Lacasse,  Nyah Slusarenko • 2003 Boys: Dylan Greene, Luka Vujicic, Peyton Ferdinand, Owen Pensom • 2004 Girls: Clare Sun, Maya Stoppa, Lily Goss • 2004 Boys: Alex Toma, Ethan Stroud, Liam Pender, Marcus Allen, Nathan Amankwah

OSU ALUM NAMED TOP CANADIAN U-20 PLAYER OSU Soccer is pleased to announce that Kris Twardek has been named Under-20 Canadian National Team Player of the Year, by Canada Soccer. Twardek, who joined OSU at Under-9 has spent the past four years with Millwall F.C. of England. Kris began his journey with trips to Everton F.C. at 12, as part of our club affiliation before signing on with Millwall when he turned 16. His success over the past few years comes as no surprise to his former coaches in the club. Even at the early age of 9 when he joined OSU, our club recognized the special talent that Kris possesses along with his tremendous drive to excel and be the best he can be. At the international level, Kris Twardek represented Canada at the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship in February (one goal in two matches) and then made his international “A” debut against El Salvador in October. In England, he went on loan to Braintree Town where he made 12 appearances at the end of the 2016-17 season, then started the new season back at Millwall FC and made his League One debut in a 0:0 draw against Hull City on 21 November. “Kris is a player that has evolved quite a lot in the past year and you can tell we have in our hands a great player for Canada,” said past Canada Soccer Men’s National Team Head Coach Octavio Zambrano. “He did not disappoint when he came into the Men’s National Team in October as everything we saw him do with his club he brought into our camp.”

OSU TRIO JOIN TEAM CANADA’S EXCEL CENTRE Ottawa South United is wishing best of luck to Emily Amano, Kayza Massey and Isabella Hanisch who recently joined the newly founded Ontario Regional EXCEL Super Centre. This represents a significant achievement for the club, having one player in each age group (2000, 2001 and 2002) all invited into this program, which is integral to the national team program for female players in our country.


– COMMUNITY CLUBS – Ottawa Gymnastics Centre teammates place 1-2 in first Ontario Cup


By Charlie Pinkerton It was the perfect comeback for Ben Astorga who placed 1st in his debut competition of the season after spending two years riddled with injuries. “It’s good to be back,” the 17-year-old said with a smile. “And it was a pretty good way to get (the season) started.” In the early going of the men’s artistic gymnastics first Ontario Cup at the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre in December, Astorga looked like a lock for 2nd place as he trailed his teammate, Canada’s reigning allaround open division champion, Eric Gauthier. That was until the national champ made a rare mistake. Gauthier, 20, set the bar early with a strong performance on the rings, recording a score of 13.133, which would hold as best score in his division. Competing one-after-another all afternoon, Astorga stayed on Gauthier’s heels through their first three events. Halfway through the meet Gau-

thier looked poised to pull away with a 2.5-point lead over his teammate and the rest of their division. In their fourth event, the high bars, Gauthier missed his hand placement while attempting a pirouette and hit the mat. He said he doesn’t remember ever making that mistake while attempting the move. “Freak accidents happen,” Gauthier said. “It was honestly just kind of a fluke. Honestly, I don’t know what happened; I just missed the bar for some reason.” Gauthier laughed off the mistake and finished his routine. He was awarded a score of 10.4. “I wasn’t really looking at the all-around scores at that point,” Astorga said. “I really focus on just taking it one event at a time because if you look too far ahead or behind it just messes up everything because I have to stay very narrowly-focused and make sure that I do my routine properly. If he fell or not that doesn’t change my outcome.” Astorga turned in a meet-

Ben Astorga

photo: charlie pinkerton

best 12.9 immediately after Gauthier, erasing his lead with


only the floor and pommel horse remaining.

Astorga’s routine on the pommel horse was good for a score 11.1 (2nd place) in spite of a fall that he had midway through. Gauthier came 1st with 12.3. Where Astorga separated himself from his teammate was on the floor, the duo’s second last routine of the afternoon. Gauthier had to use his hands on the landing of one of his tumbling lines, in which he attempted a double backflip. He said it’s something he’s added to his routine this year. “It is a new skill for this year so hopefully it will get more consistent as the year goes,” he said. He scored 11.8 on floor. Astorga scored 13.266 in his floor routine. He finished just over a half-point ahead of Gauthier to win the meet’s gold medal. “For me this was an ego boost,” Astorga said with a laugh. “I feel a lot more confident going into the next competition.” As well as winning the allaround gold medal in the open division of the first men’s Ontario Cup for artistic gymnastics, the

Ottawa Gymnastics Centre athlete placed 1st in high bars, 2nd in vault, pommel horse, and floor, 8th in parallel bars and 9th in rings. Gauthier came 1st in pommel horse, rings and parallel bars, and came 6th in vault, 11th in floor, and 9th in high bar. Both Ottawa Gymnastics Centre athletes have lofty ambitions for this season. “I am determined to go to Nationals and either get a medal in some event, or place all-around in the top 5 at least,” Astorga said. Gauthier agreed that his sights are set on Nationals once again. Nathanael Teng of Rideau Gymnastics won all-around bronze in the men’s open division at the meet. He finished 4th in floor and parallel bars, 3rd in pommel horse, 7th in rings and vault, and 5th in high bars. Astorga placed 1st at the second Ontario Cup in Kitchener in January, where Gauthier and Teng didn’t compete.

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Local non-profit sports clubs grapple with minimum wage hike By Martin Boyce Many Ottawa sport organizations say they’re forced to weigh their options and limit costs after the hike made to Ontario’s minimum wage on Jan. 1. Going from $11.60 per hour to $14 with the turn of the new year, local clubs have had varying responses to the increase, but each interviewed by the Ottawa Sportspage highlighted the future dependence on volunteers and likely increase in program fees to compensate.

NEPEAN HOTSPURS The Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club is one of the organizations grappling with the increased cost but says, because it’s early in the year, the effects are still unknown. “I think it’s hard to say at this point,” signals general manager Kari Ross, of the impact on her club. “But it will really show itself at the end of the fiscal year.” She says the club’s primary re-

sponse to the increase will likely involve changes to current staff and recreational coaches’ pay, increases to registration fees as well as limiting the amount of purchases, such as equipment, the club makes throughout the year. “We purchase a lot through the local stores,” she notes. “The fact that their minimum wages are going up does affect the cost for our club.” The organization only employs a few minimum-wage workers as parttime staff and as summer coaches but will still have to re-evaluate how it operates and budget accordingly for the year. While, like most sport organizations, the Hotspurs already rely heavily on volunteers, Ross says turning even more toward volunteers, rather than paid staff, will help keep fees lower for the players.

FC CAPITAL UNITED FC Capital United Soccer Club, which employs between seven to 10 youth and junior coaches at minimum

O’DELL: Olympics ‘didn’t cross my mind’ continued from p.9 “Putting on that Junior B jersey was a cool thing; to be from the area and have your friends get to watch you play was pretty cool,” O’Dell reflected. O’Dell played for two local Canadian Junior Hockey League teams after that – the Ottawa Jr. Senators for two games, and the Cumberland Grads for 34 games (in which he recorded 56 points) – before leaving

his hometown after being drafted by the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League. O’Dell nearly returned to play in Ottawa professionally by signing with the Senators in July 2015, just over seven years after being selected in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft. He spent the next season with the Sens’ American Hockey League affiliate at the time in Binghamton before being traded to the Rochester Americans, the Buffalo

file photo wage, says it finds itself in a similar situation post wage hike. Raz El-Asmar, the club’s founder and Technical Director of Youth Development, says FC Capital United is preparing to raise competitive program fees in order to compensate. Although fees were likely to rise anyway, he says the wage hike has added some

Sabres’ affiliate. The following offseason, O’Dell signed with HC Sochi. At that point he’d never expected he’d be representing Canada in Pyeongchang. “It didn’t really cross my mind before I started going to the tournaments and playing for Canada, and once I started thinking about it, it kind of became a reality,” signalled O’Dell, who played for Canada at the Sochi Hockey Open, the Karjala Cup and the Channel One Cup. “Seeing my name on the (Olympics) roster was absolutely thrilling.”







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OTTAWA NATIONAL DIVING The Ottawa National Diving Club, however, finds itself in a different predicament than the soccer clubs. “I have always paid way over the minimum wage and have not lost any staff to retail because of it,” notes

ONDC Founder Kathleen Murphy, who says she pays her staff – mostly lifeguards – 15 dollars per hour. “Now, it’s just slightly over and not as enticing.” She says the Board of Directors are taking into account whether other organizations in similar situations are raising wages above the $15 mark and determining an appropriate response for the ONDC. “If so, many of our positions are paid well because they are a coach and lifeguard. We will need to look at the impact in that light,” she says, also noting the club has increased athlete-coach ratio from 5:1 to 6:1 in order to compensate. Much like the Nepean Hotspurs and FC Capital United, Murphy stresses the emphasis ONDC will have to put on recruiting volunteers in the future. “The severity was huge for notfor-profit organizations and sporting organizations – our dependence on volunteerism will increase substantially,” she underlines. “It is already difficult for parents to manage time and now we will need more of it.”



Mailing address: 345 Meadowbreeze Dr. Kanata, Ont. K2M 0K3 Website: SportsOttawa.com

YMCA-YWCA OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION STARS OF THE MONTH Team of the Month: Team Wallingford, Women’s Junior Curling Team

Contact: Editor: Charlie Pinkerton 613-929-3681 Editor@SportsOttawa.com OTTAWA COMMUNITY SPORT MEDIA TEAM Board of Directors Josh Bell Anne Duggan John Haime Josh Karanja Dan Plouffe (Executive Director) Mohamed Sofa The Ottawa Sportspage is a not-for-profit publication devoted to shining a spotlight on local amateur sport. Under the direction of the Ottawa Community Sport Media Team, our group also runs the CAMPS Project alongside the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation’s recLINK program. The Connecting Athletes of All Means to Paths in Sport Project links OCH children & youth to free opportunities with our partner sports groups, which receive heavily discounted advertising in exchange for offering the positions in their programs at no cost to our participants. CAMPS PROJECT PARTNERS Beaver Boxing Club Bytown Storm Triathlon Club Capital City Dance Capital Wave Water Polo Club Carleton Jr. Ravens Cumberland United Soccer Club ÉSP/Dome Louis-Riel FC Capital United Soccer Club Geng Table Tennis Academy Gloucester Griffins Lacrosse Kanata GymnoSphere Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club KV Dance Studio Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club Nepean Nighthawks Field Hockey Olympia Gymnastics Ottawa Gymnastics Centre Ottawa Lions Track & Field Club Ottawa National Diving Club Ottawa Rowing Club Ottawa South United Soccer Club Ottawa Table Tennis Club RA Centre Resolute Gymnastics Centre Rideau Canoe Club Royal City Soccer Club St. Anthony’s Futuro Soccer Club Tennis For Life Ottawa Tumblers Gymnastics Centre YMCA-YWCA

Athlete of the Month: Owen Dunn About: It was a good start to the year for 13-year-old tennis star Owen Dunn. Dunn, who trains at Carleton University and Tennis Outaouais Performance in Gatineau, started 2018 atop the rankings of boys’ tennis players under the age of 14, according to the Rogers Rankings and Tennis Ontario. Dunn is also the number 2 player in the country in his age group, based on the Canadian rankphoto: kyle clapham ing-system that uses similar rules to that of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and International Tennis Federation (ITF). He finished the month off by making it to the quarterfinals of singles play at the U14 Indoor National Selection Series, as well as to the tournament’s semifinals in doubles play.

Team Members: Emma Wallingford (Skip), Grace Holyoke (Third), Lindsay Dubue (Second), Hannah Wallingford (Lead), and coaches Doug Kreviazuk and Earle Morris. About: After winning the U21 Provincial Curling Championships, Team Wallingford of the Ottawa Curling Club headed to Shawinigan, Quebec to represent Ontario at the 2018 Canadian Junior Curling Championships. There, the team finished with a record of 6-4, with three of their losses coming against teams who competed in the playoff for the national championship. E-mail editor@sportsottawa.com to nominate your Stars! Courtesy of the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, the selected Stars of the Month will receive free passes to the Y.

Curling accomplishments crowned at 65th annual Ottawa Sports Awards By Charlie Pinkerton In the Ottawa Sports Awards 65th year, the annual sports recognition organization is set to do itself one-better by recognizing 66 athletes at its annual banquet on Jan. 31. Set to take home top honours at the gala held at Algonquin College is Male Athlete of the Year, speed skater, Vincent De Haître, and Female Athlete of the Year, curler, Rachel Homan. Homan’s curling team was named the Ottawa Sports Awards Female Team of the Year as well, taking twice the hardware for the second time in four years. It’s also the seventh time in total that the team has been honoured with the award that they first won in 2007. With the Winter Olympics quickly approaching for both athletes, both De Haître and Homan will miss the banquet. But Rachel and the rest of Team Homan – Emma Miskew, Lisa Weagle, Joanne Courtney, and coach, Adam Kingsbury – were presented their awards a night early by Ottawa Sports Awards co-chair Barclay Frost at the team’s official Olympics send-off at the Ottawa Curling Club. “You’re important to the history of Ottawa and you’re going forward to make more history,” Frost said during the presentation of the awards in which he compared the athletic achievements of Homan against the likes of Barbara Ann Scott, Sue Holloway and Kristina Groves, among others. In his speech, Frost also drew attention to Earle Morris, the long-time coach of Team Homan who was in attendance as well. Later, the crowd gave Morris a standing ovation fol-

Earle Morris

photo: dan plouffe

lowing the praise of Homan. He’ll be celebrated at the Sports Awards’ banquet, eceiving the Brian Kilrea Lifetime Achievement Award for Coaching. After retiring from his own competitive career, in which he reached three Briers himself, Morris became one of the sport’s most impactful coaches. The Saskatchewan-native who moved to Ottawa in 1983 would coach his son, John Morris, to a Canadian Junior Curling Championship, before doing the same with Homan. He also coached Jennifer Jones’ rink and Australia’s national curling team as well as inventing the stabilizer curling broom. At 72, Morris hasn’t yet retired from coaching. Of Canada’s three curling teams at the Olympics, Morris has spent time coaching members of each. His son spoke to the Ottawa Sportspage about the impact he had on him as a coach. “I had a bit of a temper when I was a kid and maybe I didn’t have the best

attitude out there when I was younger,” he said. “I remember (Earle) pulled me aside after one bonspiel and said, ‘you’ve stop showing your emotion and getting angry out there, because you’ll run out of teammates to place with,’ and that really hit home with me.” Like Homan, the younger Morris will be a former pupil of Earle’s competing for a medal at this year’s Olympics. “He’s just very good at bringing the best out of people,” John Morris said. As well as Morris, three others (Bob Wilson – Mayor’s Cup, George

Findley – Technical Official, Cathy Skinner – Sports Volunteer) will be honoured with lifetime awards at the Ottawa Sports Awards. Tribute videos for each of the 2017 Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Award recipients can be found at SportsOttawa.com after the banquet. Also set to be honoured with major awards for their outstanding seasons in 2017 is the Carleton University Ravens men’s basketball team, who are winning the award for the 12th time – matching national championships they won in each year of recognition. Jen Boyd will collect her third consecutive Female Coach of the Year award. In 2017, her Gee-Gees women’s rugby team won their fourth straight RSEQ conference championship and finally captured their first national championship. Taffe Charles will be awarded the Male Coach of the Year for the first time. Charles led the Carleton Ravens women’s basketball team to its most successful season in history (18-1 in the regular season) and won a bronze medal at the national championships after winning their first ever OUA title. See OttawaSportsAwards.ca for info about all this year’s winners.

COOK continued from p.15 passion for racing and that With three strong World Cup finishes this season, Cook says he’s gaining more and more confidence as the Olympics creep closer. “It’s a different thing between skiing to finish and skiing because you know you’re going to

win a race - which is the point I was at a couple years ago,” he notes. “Now that I’m back in the rankings a little bit, I’m trying to let loose a little more and get back on the podium.” While his injury was a setback, he says his

“feeling like no other” of being in and out of control, rattling down an icy slope looking to go even faster isn’t going anywhere. “I still enjoy doing it now so I don’t really know why I would stop, especially when all my goals and dreams as a kid are slowly coming true.”

21 – ELITE – Former Carleton Place Canadians goalie nets gold at World Juniors By Michael Sun Former Carleton Place Canadians goaltender Colton Point won gold with Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. “It’s always been a dream of mine to represent Canada,” Point said. “To be able to fulfill that was really rewarding and amazing experience and I’m grateful I got the chance to be a part of it.” The Colgate University sophomore noted he felt he “stole” a spot on the team. “Going in there, I knew that if I wanted to play, I really had to show up,” he said. “A lot of people were talking about how the two spots were set already so I just wanted to go in there, show them what I was capable of and keep playing my game.” He made 20 saves in a 6-0 shutout over Slovakia, in his lone tournament action. “It’s exciting – first World Juniors game ever – but I knew I still had to come with same approach,” Point said. “I just tried to stay relaxed.” Point has dual citizenship eligibility but was two months short of being eligible to play for the United States.

Colton Point

photo: hockey canada

“At first it was whoever offered [the opportunity] and all that but then I thought about it and was like, ‘I was born and raised in Canada’…I would much rather play for Canada with the pedigree.” Point also described the adjustment and confidence being at the tournament gave him. “Playing at the World Juniors introduced me to a higher speed and allowed me to know this is what I’m able to do and bring it back with more confidence.”

He also noted how his single season at Carleton Place in 2015-16 helped him develop mentally. “I always had the size and the speed,” he added. “Being able to control my emotions and manage emotions throughout a game…all that stuff is what developed from Junior A to now.” Point came in as the backup at Carleton Place and won the starting job as well as the playoff MVP as the team took the Central Canada Hockey

Ottawa at the Paralympics By Charlie Pinkerton A month after the 2018 Olympic Winter Games begin in Pyeongchang, Canada’s Paralympians will take on the best in the world at the 2018 Winter Paralympics. And just like at the Olympics, some of Ottawa’s top athletes will be vying for gold for Canada. Tyrone Henry is optimistic that he’ll be heading to his first Paralympics in March. “The first time I saw sledge hockey was at the Paralympics in Vancouver, so to be able to go ahead and be a part of (the upcoming Paralympics) would be a dream come true,” Henry said. “I’m just trying hard to make the team and be a positive influence for our team members and the team in general.” The 23-year-old para ice hockey player from Stittsville spent the bulk of January in Toronto training with Canada’s National Team. Henry won a gold medal at last year’s World Para Ice Hockey Championships in Gangneung, South Korea. This season, in December, he won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2017 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Joining Henry on those medal-winning teams and also contending for Canada’s Paralympic para ice hockey team this year is Ben Delaney. The 21-year-old St. Pius X high school graduate was the youngest member of Canada’s ice sledge hockey team in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, where he won a bronze medal. As well, para snowboarder John Leslie

John Leslie

League title. “That was a very character year for me,” he said. “I built a lot of my skills from that year and had a lot of people helping me. I just learned how to overcome adversity.” Part of that experience in dealing with adversity helped when Point missed eight weeks with infectious mononucleosis last season. “It was not fun at all. Being away from the team and the rink takes a toll on you. Once I did finally get back,

getting back in shape was another thing. It was a pretty long process but in the end it gave me some character and grit and some willingness to push even harder.” He also acknowledged how Carleton Place helped his late maturity process. “My mental game was pretty weak. I’d get rattled by things. It took getting older to realize there’s certain things you can’t control.” Point’s success at Carleton Place payed off when the Dallas Stars drafted him 128th overall in 2016. He said it was “a pleasant surprise” as he didn’t talk to a single Stars scout or official before being picked. Point said he tries to work on a variety of things throughout the season. “Goaltending is a constantly evolving position and there’s always something new you can learn out there and there’s always something old you can better at.” Point said he plans to graduate from Colgate and then fight for an NHL spot. “Long term, it’s hopefully make to the NHL,” he said. “That’s what I want to do with my life and my career and that’s what I keep working towards.”

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photo: canadian paralympic committee

looks to improve upon his 7th place finish in the snowboard cross in Sochi, where the sport officially debuted at the Games. At the 2017 International Paralympic Committee World Championships, Leslie placed 11th in the snowboard cross and 5th in the banked slalom. Todd Nicholson, a former star for Canada in para ice hockey, will also represent Ottawa at the Games as Canada’s chef de mission. In the role Nicholson will be the official spokesperson for the Canadian Paralympic team and will promote Canadian athletes in an effort to raise awareness for Paralympic sport and the Canadian team. Nicholson was a team captain for Canada for 15 years and competed in five Paralympic Games. He was Canada’s flag bearer at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Turin, Italy, where he won a gold medal, as well.

Be sure not to miss March’s Ottawa Sportspage for a special section profiling all the local athletes headed to the March 8-18 Paralympic Games.

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Gloucester Rangers best at Bell Capital Cup

Rockin’ Rebelles Wrap

Individual skills practice at school gives LR hockey players the edge For Mason Carter, skates are the perfect tool to a higher education and maybe even a pro hockey career. Rarely are the defenceman’s skates the ideal tool to use to receive a hard pass, but that’s what coach Dan Sauvé commands during a frenetic practice session for the LouisRiel sports-study hockey program. The idea is that when the stakes are high, players will be able to call upon a sometimes overlooked ability with confidence. “The program here is awesome,” says Carter, a key figure for the 26-2-1 Rockland Nationals U18 Midget ‘AAA’ squad. “It’s not flow drills or systems, you’re mostly working on personal skills like puck protection or stick handling – doing things that you don’t really get to practice at a team practice.” Sauvé, who coaches for the Nationals Jr. ‘A’ club that Carter hopes to join next season, leads the program’s afternoon sessions at Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex – a short trip by Rebelles sports-study bus from the nearby high school. The high-performance practices take the place of a regular phys ed class during school hours. They occur every second day; the other half of the time, program participants are working out in the world-class Dome

LR, adjacent to the school. For hockey-mad players like Carter, it gives them the edge they need to excel. “It’s a lot of hockey,” smiles Carter, who’s on the ice another four times a week with his club team. “And a lot of stress on your body. But it’s good. It gets you in shape.” The physical training at the Dome is led by Jean-Robert Léger. Léger has worked with just about every east-end hockey player who’s made it to the pros in recent years, including Louis-Riel grads Erik and Alex Gudbranson. “It’s cool if you think about it, because he trains OHL guys, AHL, NHL,” highlights Carter, who also works out with Léger in the summer. “It’s cool to look up to them and just watch how they train. We’re lucky to have that.” Several fellow Midget Nationals teammates are also part of the Louis-Riel program, which includes two tiers to allow players to develop at an ideal pace against well-matched counterparts. “It helps you work on the harder things, the stuff you want to improve on,” signals Carter. “You have guys pushing each other to get better.” The program helps Carter in his quest towards his biggest future goal: getting a great education while playing hockey. “Obviously I want to reach the highest I can – everyone does,” signals the past Eastern Ontario Cobras and Wild player from Embrun. “I want to be able to play against bigger and stronger guys every year, train as hard as I can to get to the next level, and just do the best I can.”

La pratique d’habiletés individuelles soulève les hockeyeurs à Louis Les patins sont l’outil par excellence pour mener Mason Carter à l’enseignement supérieur et, qui sait, peut-être même à une carrière d’hockeyeur professionnel. Il est rare que les patins de défenseur soient l’outil idéal pour recevoir une solide passe. Toutefois, c’est ce que l’entraîneur Dan Sauvé a demandé à Mason de faire durant une vigoureuse séance d’entraînement dans le cadre du programme sports-études hockey de l’école Louis-Riel. Ainsi, lorsque les enjeux sont élevés, les joueurs sont capables de faire appel en toute confiance à une habileté qui est parfois méconnue. « Le programme est formidable, déclare Mason, un joueur clé de l’équipe U18 Midget AAA des Nationals de Rockland. Ici, nous centrons principalement notre attention sur des compétences individuelles, comme la protection de la rondelle ou le maniement du bâton, et nous nous exerçons à des habiletés qui ne sont pas perfectionnées dans le cadre d’une séance d’entraînement en équipe. » M. Sauvé, qui est l’entraîneur du club Junior A des Nationals dont Mason espère faire partie la saison prochaine, dirige les séances d’entraînement du programme en après-midi au centre récréatif Bob MacQuarrie. Ce centre se trouve à une courte distance de l’école Louis-Riel, que les élèves franchissent en autobus du programme sports-études des Rebelles. Les séances d’entraînement de haut niveau, qui ont lieu tous les

deux jours, remplacent les cours ordinaires d’éducation physique durant les heures de cours. Les autres jours, les participants au programme s’entraînent dans le Dôme LR de classe mondiale, qui se trouve à côté de l’école. « Nous jouons beaucoup au hockey, fait remarquer Mason, sourire aux lèvres, qui se retrouve sur la glace quatre autres fois par semaine avec son équipe. Toutes ces heures passées sur la glace stressent le corps, ce qui n’est pas mauvais, car elles permettent également d’accroître la forme physique. » Jean-Robert Léger dirige les séances d’entraînement physique qui se déroulent au Dôme. M. Léger a œuvré au cours des dernières années auprès de plusieurs joueurs de hockey de l’Est qui ont réussi à atteindre les ligues professionnelles, notamment Erik et Alex Gudbranson, diplômés de

l’école Louis-Riel. « Quand on y pense, c’est génial, car il forme des joueurs de la LHO, de la LHA et de la LNH, souligne Mason, qui s’entraîne aussi avec M. Léger durant l’été. C’est vraiment cool de pouvoir observer ces joueurs et de voir comment ils s’entraînent. Nous sommes chanceux d’avoir cette possibilité. » Plusieurs coéquipiers de l’équipe Midget des Nationals de Mason participent également au programme de l’école Louis-Riel, qui comprend deux niveaux afin de permettre aux joueurs d’acquérir des compétences à un rythme idéal et de jouer contre d’autres joueurs aux compétences semblables. « Il nous aide à centrer notre attention sur les éléments qui sont plus difficiles pour nous, donc sur ceux qu’on veut améliorer, commente Mason. On se pousse les uns les autres à devenir meilleurs. » Le programme aide Mason à cheminer vers son objectif : obtenir une éducation formidable tout en jouant au hockey. « Je veux me rendre au plus haut niveau possible – c’est ce que tout le monde veut, souligne l’ancien joueur des Cobras de l’Est ontarien et du Wild d’Embrun. Je tiens à m’entraîner le plus vigoureusement possible pour atteindre le niveau supérieur et simplement à continuer de m’améliorer et de faire de mon mieux. »


photo supplied

By Jake Romphf Ottawa minor hockey teams found success at home in one of North America’s largest Atom and Peewee hockey tournaments over the holiday season. The 19th annual Bell Capital Cup took over a number of Ottawa arenas, including the Canadian Tire Centre, from Dec. 27-31. Gloucester Rangers Green took home the Bell Capital Cup Championship in the minor Peewee AA division of the tournament. Peter Campbell, the head coach of that Rangers’ squad, said it’s the tight schedule that makes the Bell Capital Cup such a hard tournament to win. “We ended up playing five games in basically a day and a half,” Campbell said. Gloucester was in danger of being mathematically eliminated from the tournament after the first day, but Campbell said the players’ ability to quickly buy into a system of short shifts allowed them to come back and win it all. “We’ve been working our butts off making sure everyone understands short, hard shifts, battling and every guy doing

their job,” Campbell reflected. “We showed it in the finals; everyone contributed and won their battles and in the end we were successful.” Spencer Fennell of the Gloucester Rangers led the Minor Peewee AA division of the tournament in scoring with four goals and three assists in seven games. “There are a lot of great players in the Bell Capital Cup and knowing that I was the leading scorer has given me a lot of confidence,” Fennell said. Fennell said his speed is his greatest weapon. “I use my speed to carry the puck and get more space on the ice to make plays and give our team good scoring chances,” said Fennell. “It felt like I had accomplished a huge thing in my life and I will remember it forever,” he added. Gloucester was not the only local team to win the Bell Capital Cup. The Kanata Blazers won the Minor Atom A crown and the Nepean Raiders (black) team won Major Peewee A. The tournament included both boys’ and girls’ divisions and had 18 different divisions

overall, featuring competitive and house league teams. The Bell Capital Cup also attracted two teams from Finland, one team from Japan and more than fifty teams from the United States. The tournament also had a division for players with developmental disabilities that featured two local teams, the Capital City Condors and the Ottawa Valley Ambassadors, along with other teams from across Ontario. Some players from international teams are billeted at the homes of local players, which Scott Lawryk, the Bell Capital Cup’s general manager says makes the outing “more than just a hockey tournament.” “Kids in the past have gone and visited other kids they met at the tournament so it really builds lifelong relationships,” Lawryk said. Some of this year’s games, including championship games, were scheduled to be played on the Canada 150 Skating Rink at Parliament Hill, but after considering the extremely cold weather conditions and discussing it with the teams, the tournament’s games were moved indoors.


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Team Canada teen & living legend team up By Dan Plouffe At 42, Waneek Horn-Miller is more than twice Valeria Rojas’ age, but it’s the high school kid who nearly doubles the former Team Canada captain’s goal output. With Pan Am Games gold, World Championships bronze and a 5th at the Olympics, Horn-Miller enjoyed a lengthy career with the Canadian women’s water polo team. Rojas, meanwhile, took off to Athens at the end of January for her first stint with the senior women’s national program. The contrast is sharp, but you’ll often find the pair side-byside nonetheless competing for the Capital Wave club in Water Polo Canada’s National Championship League. “It’s awesome to have an experienced former Olympian in the water with us,” says Rojas, who’s scored 14 times in 4 appearances for the 4-2-1 Wave to sit 3rd in league scoring (ahead of Horn-Miller’s 8 markers). “It’s just great to learn from her, see what she does in water, see how she sees things.” Horn-Miller tries to make it to a practice or two each week, often scrambling to get into her swim gear in time – the product of family and work commitments. Rojas now has 11 practices in “a great week” – part of the club’s new high-performance program. Led by Canadian coaching guru David Hart (who coached Horn-Miller at the Sydney 2000 Olympics), elite Wave players participate in early-afternoon pool practices, and also train four mornings a week at the RA Centre gym.

Waneek Horn-Miller (right) & Valeria Rojas.

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s p Cam photo: dan plouffe

“It’s a great program, and we’re learning so much from David,” signals Rojas. “It’s helping us immensely. It’s tough, but we love it.” It was another past coach of Horn-Miller’s who drew her back into competitive water polo for the first time in almost 10 years. Michel Roy, her firstever coach with Team Canada, joined the Wave’s staff this season and asked her to help out the next generation. “I’m not in any kind of shape, but maybe I can give them a tip here or there,” smiles HornMiller, noting the reason for the hiatus from water polo was that “I was busy having babies.” Her two youngest children – age 4 and 7 – are part of the club’s Splash Polo program. “Now I’m a mom and I have a different perspective,” signals the Kahnawake native. “When I see the stress of the other players, I’m like, ‘You know what? It’s all good. We’ve got your back. Relax. Shoot the ball.’ “Maybe I bring that old lady

calm to the team.” The younger Wave players have begun calling Horn-Miller “la abuelita”, which means little grandmother in Spanish – a reflection of a collection of cultures on the team including Peruvian, Mohawk, English and French Canadians, and Eastern Europeans. Rojas got to experience that international flavour in full force this past summer. She got to play for the Canadian 17-and-under women’s team at the Pan Am Championships in her father’s hometown of Lima, earning a bronze medal and a berth in next summer’s 17U World Championships. Behind her was a big crowd of relatives sporting “Team Valeria, Go Canada Go!” T-shirts. “It was nice to look up in the crowd and see your whole family supporting you,” reflects Rojas. “It was crazy, a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to play for Canada. It was just a surreal experience that I will remember forever.”

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Profile for Dan Plouffe

Ottawa Sportspage  

The Ottawa at the Olympics Special Edition of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper profiling all of our local Olympians heading to the 2018 Pyeon...

Ottawa Sportspage  

The Ottawa at the Olympics Special Edition of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper profiling all of our local Olympians heading to the 2018 Pyeon...