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Team MVP leads Canada to Games qualification COURTNAY PILYPAITIS

SPORT: BASKETBALL POSITION: GUARD AGE: 24 ASSOCIATIONS: ST. PETER CHS KNIGHTS UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT GLOUCESTER WOLVERINES PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: FIRST

By Braedon Clark

Canada is sending a basketball team to the Olympics for the first time in 12 years and Ottawa’s Courtnay Pilypaitis is a big reason why. The 24-year-old’s MVP performance (21 points, six assists) in the final game of the lastchance FIBA qualification tournament against Japan assured Canada of the last available spot at this year’s London Games. The team went into the tournament in Turkey expecting to qualify, Pilypaitis notes, but that confidence did little to quell the celebration when the final buzzer sounded. “It was a moment I’ll never forget,” says Pilypaitis, who was back home in Ottawa for a little R&R before reconvening with Team Canada in Toronto on July 16. “Especially for the older players who have gone through this program for eight, nine, 10 years and haven’t had a chance to go, it was so rewarding to see their faces.” And they were faces of joy. Players draped flags around their shoulders and jumped around together in a giddy circle after they won the game.

GLOBAL BASKETBALL TRAVELLER Basketball has taken Pilypaitis all over the world, most recently to that court in Turkey and soon to London. She played her college hoops at the University of Vermont and has spent the past two years playing professionally in Lithuania. But her roots are local. She played her high school ball at St. Peter Catholic in Orleans, where

With five berths available, Courtnay Pilypaitis and the Canadian women’s basketball team had their backs against the wall as they battled for fifth place at the last-chance Olympic qualifier in Turkey, but the Ottawa guard’s game-high 21-point performance against Japan lauched Canada to London.

photo provided

she was coached by Mario Gaetano, a man whom she described in glowing terms. “He’s like a second father to me,” remarks the former Gloucester-Cumberland Wolverine. “He helped me when I was in high school to mature as a person and on the basketball court.”

AIRPORT CELEBRATION FOR HOMETOWN HERO Gaetano still has coaching tips for his former star player, too. After games in Turkey, Pilypaitis would open her Facebook account to find a message from Gaetano, giving her his opinion on how she and the team played. He was also there when Pilypaitis arrived back in Ottawa. He’s been a big part of an incredible support system that has inundated Pilypaitis with congratulatory phone calls and text messages since the Olympic berth was sealed on, of all days, July 1. “It’s a little surprising the fact that there are so many people wishing us well,” Pilypaitis says. “But at the same time whenever I’ve come back from a tournament with Canada Basketball I’ve had really good support.” The team will need all the support it can get, because it’s been placed in the proverbial “Group of Death” for the Olympic tournament. Four of the five teams Canada will face in the round robin are in the top 10 of FIBA’s world rankings.

COMPETITION SCHEDULE

SAT., JULY 28 – CAN VS RUS, 5:15 A.M. ET MON., JULY 30 – CAN VS GB, 10:45 A.M. ET WED., AUG. 1 – CAN VS FRA, 3 A.M. ET FRI., AUG. 3 – CAN VS BRA, 8:30 A.M. ET SUN., AUG. 5 – CAN VS AUS, 8:30 A.M. ET TUE., AUG. 7 – QUARTER-FINALS THU., AUG. 9 – SEMI-FINALS SAT., AUG. 11 – MEDALS

The schedule-makers haven’t done Canada any favours with their first game, either. Pilypaitis and her teammates will open against secondranked Russia on July 28, the day after the Opening Ceremonies. Considering the difficult grouping, Pilypaitis says the team’s goal is to make it to the quarter-finals, meaning they must finish ahead of at least two teams in their opening-round group. As for herself, Pilypaitis just hopes the hot shooting hand she had in Turkey makes its way to London. Her contract in Lithuania is up and so she is, for all intents and purposes, a basketball nomad. But she’ll worry about that later. For now, her focus is on making more history. If Pilypaitis is able to will her team to the podium, it would be Canada’s first medal in women’s basketball since the sport was introduced at the 1976 Games in Montreal.

3-1-1 (24h) 613-580-2496 jim.watson@ottawa.ca jimwatsonottawa.ca @JimWatsonOttawa 2011026009


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COMPETITION SKED

By Ian Ewing

It wasn’t until he arrived in London for the first time that it really sunk in for Michael Tayler: he’s going to the Olympics. “It definitely took a while,” Tayler laughs. “I got there for the first training camp, and it started to seem real.” The whitewater kayaker beat out Canadian heavyweights like John Hastings and five-time Olympian David Ford in April for a berth to London. Since then, it’s been a busy schedule travelling to train on the actual Olympic course in London, attending a pair of World Cup races elsewhere in Europe, and getting used to a new boat. And getting laser eye surgery. Less than a month after winning the lone Canadian K1 slalom position, the Carleton University student took a week off from training to have the surgery and recover. Although he’d worn contact lenses for years while

MICHAEL TAYLER

SPORT: CANOE SLALOM EVENT: SINGLE KAYAK AGE: 20 ASSOCIATIONS: OTTAWA RIVER RUNNERS CARLETON UNIVERSITY PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 1ST

SUNDAY, JULY 29 MEN’S K-1 HEATS, 8:24 A.M. ET WEDNESDAY, AUG. 1 MEN’S K-1 SEMIS, 7:30 A.M. ET MEN’S K-1 FINAL, 9:15 A.M. ET

Michael Tayler competed in the first World Cups of his career in June and will now head to sport’s biggest stage in London. photo: tim cutts

paddling, it was never ideal. And at his first training session in London, he had a lot of problems with his lenses. “There’s more waves and more features than normal, so it was especially difficult there,” he describes. “I kept getting hit in the face with water. It was a struggle for me.” After talking to his coach, they agreed that getting the procedure done would be worth it in the long run, in spite of the time off from training. Now, he says, it’s made it much easier. Since recovering, he’s been over to London twice more to practice on the Olympic course. But he hasn’t seen much of the city yet. “I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible on the water. It’s important to learn the course and learn the water,” affirms the Nepean High School grad. “The focus is trying to make London feel as much like a home course as possible.” Tayler mentions that it’s one of the most difficult courses he’s been on. But it’s also one of the best-designed. “And,” he grins, “it’s fun to paddle. It’s pretty much perfect.”

Kayaking for 12 years now, Tayler has been training for competition since 2003. Last year, he narrowly missed selection to the national team. In two of his four runs on the last day, he finished second, to Ford both times, only because of penalties. Tayler says that experience, coming so close, let him know that he was capable of performing at that level.

In April this year, his only goal was to make the national ‘A’ team. But after posting the best time during the first run at the Olympic trials this year – his first win at that level – he knew he had a shot to win it. “Still,” he says, “it was definitely a bit of a shock to see my name on the top (after the final run). I was pretty stunned in those 10 minutes afterwards.”

SHERRAINE SCHALM

SPORT: FENCING EVENT: EPEE AGE: 37 RESIDES: VERONA, ITALY ASSOCIATIONS: OTTAWA FENCING CLUB UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 2000, 2004, 2008

In the wake of his win and automatic selection to the Olympic team, friend and training partner Hastings had nothing but good things to say about the man who beat him by 0.11 seconds to take the victory. “The protégé becomes the master,” he tweeted immediately afterwards. “It was always his dream to race at the Olympics too,” Tayler says of Hastings. “I was always sort of chasing him. He’s been amazing; so supportive.” After missing the semi-final round by less than two-tenths of a second at his last World Cup stop in Spain late last month, Tayler thinks semis are within his reach for London, and from there, who knows. “It’s the nature of the course. It’s so difficult, that really anything could happen. It’s such an unpredictable sport,” explains the young star who could have several more Olympics in his future. “This is a really good way to start a career.”

Baby brings new life to fencing vet By Braedon Clark

With an unmatched resume in Canadian fencing, 37-year-old Sherraine Schalm of Ottawa Fencing will enter the London 2012 Games with a different mindset than any three of her previous Olympics experiences. The University of Ottawa graduate had plenty on her plate already, but that workload grew exponentially when she gave birth to her first child just three months before London qualification began. She and husband Matteo welcomed daughter Gaia two winters ago. SCHALM continued on p. 6

Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor/Conseillère Ward 4 – Kanata North/ Quartier 4 – Kanata-Nord

City of Ottawa/Ville d’Ottawa

110, av. Laurier Ave. West/Ouest, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1 tel./tél.: 613-580-2474 fax/téléc.: 613-580-2514 e-mail/courriel: Marianne.Wilkinson@ottawa.ca web: ottawa.ca

OTTAWA AT THE OLYMPICS SPECIAL

International rookie’s wild ride turns to London


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First-time Olympian enters Games as contender By Dan Plouffe

Most athletes making their Olympic debuts in their early 20s head to the Games looking to soak up the experience. But for modern pentathlete Melanie McCann, there is very real potential for a top performance.

MELANIE McCANN

The 23-year-old blasted onto the podium contender radar in late May when a 5,180-point performance earned her a seventh-place result at the World Cup finals in China – only 20 points away from the bronze medal. “Of course I’m dreaming of a medal,” McCann smiles, reflecting a lifelong ambition that’s only become a realistic possibility recently. “Twenty points here or there – if I had had another touch in the fencing or one less rail in the riding, I would have been right there.” It was less than two years ago that McCann placed 21st at the world junior championships, and even last season she struggled to make it into the final round at World Cups. “In 2010, I made a firm decision that this is what I wanted for 2012 to go after it,” explains McCann, who moved to Ottawa that fall to work fulltime with national team coach John

SPORT: PENTATHLON AGE: 22 ASSOCIATIONS: ROC SWIM CLUB, OTTAWA FENCING, WESTOCK FARMS PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 1ST

COMPETITION SKED

SUN. AUG. 12 – FENCING, 2 A.M. ET SWIMMING, 6:35 A.M. ET – RIDING, 8:35 A.M. ET – COMBINED, NOON ET Hawes after studying civil engineering technologies at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. “Coming here was a really good decision. I have John helping me organize all my training and he’s there for most of it as well.”

ALL-DAY TRAINING Before 6 a.m., McCann will be in the pool with Hawes’ Ravens of Carleton Swim Club. She’ll then move on to the weight room or the track at Terry Fox for running and hopefully shooting, followed by a fencing lesson or practice at the RA Centre, plus some nights there’s riding at Westar Farms. Fencing is McCann’s strongest event, which makes Ottawa Fencing and Canadian national team coach Paul ApSimon wonder what she might achieve if she devoted her full energy to that one sport. photo: dan plouffe “At a mod-

ern pentathlon level, she’s amongst the best,” he says, noting the fencing event winner at the pentathlon World Cup final has also made podiums on the Canadian fencing circuit. “Obviously fencers who train fulltime are in general at a higher photo: darryl dyck / coc level than the pentathletes, but Melanie is able to be or three more Games in her. It’s someat that level and be competitive against thing to look forward to.” national team competitors.” For McCann to be able to even think realistically about Olympic hardPODIUM POTENTIAL? ware is a feat on its own in a sport that Ranked 23rd in the world, McCann requires years and years to master five isn’t a medal favourite, but neither was distinct disciplines. “It adds a little bit of pressure,” the 2008 Olympic champion, who’d won just one World Cup medal in the acknowledges McCann, who will be joined in London by about 30 family previous four years prior to Beijing. “In looking at the history, even the and friends from back home in southlast six or seven years, we see that the western Ontario near Grand Bend. medalists come from almost anywhere “But if the pressure wasn’t there, in the field,” Hawes highlights. “Will it you’d be missing that aspect of the happen on the day this time? Well, who competition and that extra little bit of knows? She’s only 23, so she’s got two adrenaline.”

A superstar overseas, Games provide chance for spotlight at home By Dan Plouffe A herniated disk has kept him out of action for almost all of 2012, but worry not, judoka Nick Tritton has an ace up his sleeve for use at the London 2012 Olympics – baby power. The 27-year-old and girlfriend Tomoko Mori welcomed Taylor into the world two months ago, and Tritton is hoping for the same good fortune he received when two-and-a-half-year-old Emma was born. “During the eight month period before she was born and afterwards, I was like unbeatable,” Tritton smiles. “My girlfriend was like, ‘It’s perfect timing. You’re going to be just on fire at the Olympics.’” But more than a good luck charm, the -73 kg competitor believes there was a practical reason With 12 career World Cup / Grand Prix medals, judoka Nick Tritton feels one can be his in London.

photo provided

for the success he found as a parent. “It’s changing,” Tritton explains. “For me, I was always thinking sports and doing sports. Having a daughter kind of took that away a little bit. It actually makes you open your eyes and say, ‘Oh. Sport is sport, and this is the real world. She comes first.’ “It actually helps me perform because it’s taken so much stress out of my sport.” Both girls sleep well, but his daughters’ arrival has required some scheduling discipline during the day. It usually starts with an early wakeup to get Emma ready for daycare, a morning workout, a bit of recovery downtime (or housework), and then picking up Emma while Mori gets home from work so he can go to night training. “There’s no party time any more,” Tritton notes. “There’s no hanging out with the boys.” The grueling international travel schedule required of elite judokas – a sport with “no offseason” and Olympic qualifying events most weekends of the year, Tritton notes – has now become even more taxing with a family back home. “It’s tough being away,” says the Perth, Ont. native who would travel in to Ottawa to train several nights a week during his teenage years. “You go away for a month and then you look at your daughter when you come back and she’s a totally different kid.” It doesn’t help that the trips are frequently to less-than-pleasant training camps in eastern Europe, where prison-style slop on a plate for breakfast is all part of the fun. But of course there’s an upside too, and it comes with visiting the parts of the world that

treat judo like Canada treats hockey. “There’s crowds of 15,000 people watching you. Here, there’s like 15 people watching you,” Tritton describes. “When I come off the plane in Paris, people know me. It’s kind of like if Kobe Bryant was walking down the street here – it’s the same thing for judo in Paris or Japan. You’re like a superstar.” Owning medals from some of the most challenging World Cup events on the circuit, the world’s 28th-ranked judoka had designs on a podium place in London, and that outlook hasn’t changed despite a back injury that kept him out of training for three full months and the better part of two more before his recent return to action. “I think my body kind of just broke down and said, ‘Enough is enough,’” Tritton recounts, again highlighting the intense Olympic qualifying schedule. “I feel like I have enough time to get back into shape,” he adds. “I still have a little ways to go obviously, but overall, my strength and conditioning is good.” In his first trip to the Olympics in 2008, Tritton drew a solid opponent in the first round, lost in overtime, and that was it. “It was tough to swallow, but leading into these Games, I’ve been thinking every day about that moment,” recalls Tritton, who’s won 12 career World Cup/Grand Prix medals and wants another from London. “I’ve beaten everybody there. I’ve beaten the world champion, so it’s within my means, but you’ve got to show up on that one day and deal with all the pressure and make sure that everything’s perfect.”

NICHOLAS TRITTON

SPORT: JUDO AGE: 28 (ON JULY 20) RESIDENCE: MONTREAL, QC ASSOCIATIONS: TAKAHASHI DOJO, OTTAWA JUDO CLUB PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 2008

COMPETITION SCHEDULE

MON., JULY 30 – MEN’S -73 KG, 3:30 A.M. ET

See SportsOttawa.com for a related story on Nick Tritton’s father’s role in his son’s career.


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By Dan Plouffe

Eugene Wang’s Olympic aspirations were crushed. And it wasn’t due

EUGENE WANG

SPORT: TABLE TENNIS EVENT: MEN’S TEAM AGE: 26 ASSOCIATIONS: NATIONAL TEAM TRAINING CENTRE PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 1ST

to a loss to a top opponent or an untimely injury. Clearly the best player in North America based on world rankings, Wang was the favourite heading into the continental Olympic qualifier, but there was one missing piece of paper preventing him from competing – his Canadian citizenship. The Chinese-born player who took up table tennis at age 7 had received promising news that his application would be processed before the April tournament, so when it didn’t come through in time, Wang resigned himself to waiting another four years for his shot at the Games. “I really didn’t have any hope on this,” Wang recalls. “I’d already kind of given up.” But behind the scenes, the Canadian Olympic Committee kept pushing until he got a phone call on May 31 telling him to be at a citizenship ceremony the very next day. “I didn’t really have time to think about it, it was just so sudden,” the 26-year-old describes. “Once I was there, I realized I could go to the Olympics.”

Although Wang missed his chance to qualify for the singles competition, Canadians Pierre-Luc Hinse and Andre Ho of Richmond, BC had earned a team berth for London, and there was conveniently one more place to be filled.

LONDON TEA WITH THE PM Instead of an uneventful return to practice for the distant future at the national team training centre near Gladstone Ave. and Booth St., Wang was suddenly being invited to 24 Sussex Dr. instead to meet the Prime Minister, which he also did in London for the official opening of Canada House. “He’s a very nice guy and a very cool guy,” Wang says. It’ll be a tough haul for the Canadians in London as one of the two lowest-ranked teams out of 16, but the recent U.S. Open champion is hoping for the best. “For sure I’ll try my best to get some good matches,” says Wang, who appeared in the world rankings top100 earlier this year after reaching the Slovenian Open quarter-final round before slipping to his current 113 pos-

Zhang, 23, ready for 2nd Olympics By Jaehoon Kim

Mo Zhang has been on the move just about all her life, but the 23-year-old is hopeful the next stop will be the best stop as she prepares for the London 2012 Olympic Games. A Chinese-Canadian who moved to Richmond, B.C. in 2003, Zhang took up table tennis at a young age. A local tournament win while playing at the Bridgeport Sports Club led to an invitation to train at the national team training centre in Ottawa. Zhang moved to the capital when she was 17, but in recent years, Zhang has lived primarily in Germany, and in Italy, to further improve her game. “Throughout most of the year, I’m in Italy, training,” Zhang highlights, noting the level of competition is higher overseas. “In Europe, there are professional table tennis leagues. There’s none right now in Canada.” Even though she’s made many friends while training in Italy, Zhang misses living in the Canadian capital. “I like being in Canada, because I get to stay with my family when I’m in Canada,” explains the top-ranked female table tennis in North America. “I’m used to being away from home because back when I was in China, I was

often away from my family, to train in another city and sometimes, I only saw them like once a year. But it is tough.” Currently, Zhang is training in Zhengzhou, China as she fine-tunes her game for London 2012. About six hours north is where Zhang had her first Olympic experience, as she returned to her homeland representing her new country. “To be honest, I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” recalls Zhang, who won her first round match before bowing out in the second. “It was nice to play in China, but I wish that I would SPORT: TABLE TENNIS have done a little bit better.” EVENT: WOMEN’S SINGLES The only Canadian listed in the world’s top 300, the RESIDENCE: ITALY 171st-ranked player booked her ticket to London by win- AGE: 23 ning the 2011 Pan Am Games PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 2008 gold medal – this despite appendix surgery and inconsistent Up against the world’s table play leading up to the October tennis superpowers, a run deep event in Mexico. into the London tournament “I was happy and relieved would be improbable for Zhang, that I was going to return to the but she remains confident in her Olympics,” recounts Zhang, abilities to make some noise who recently tested Prime Min- at the second Olympics of her ister Stephen Harper in a match young career. when the team was officially un“My goal at the London veiled in London. “I wasn’t play- Olympic Games is to do better ing too well before the Pan Am than I did in the Beijing Games,” Games, but I knew I had to win Zhang states. “And long-term, I this tournament and thankfully, want to be ranked in the top 50 everything turned out well.” in the world, as soon as possible.”

MO ZHANG

ition. “That’s the only thing I can do, I guess.” W a n g first came to Canada in 2004, and moved to Ottawa to train in 2006. H e ’ s represented Canada in international events for upwards of four years, but he needed that long-awaited passport in order to compete at his first Olympic Games this summer in London. “(Playing for Canada) is not anything new for me,” Wang adds, “but the Olympics is obviously a different thing, so I’m very excited for this moment.”

Eugene Wang wasn’t able to compete for a singles berth in the Olympics since his citizenship papers didn’t arrive prior to the North American qualifier, but he was chosen for the team competition once he later did receive his passport.

photo: dan plouffe

TABLE TENNIS SKED

MEN’S SINGLES – JULY 28-AUG. 2 WOMEN’S SINGLES – JULY 28-AUG. 1 MEN’S TEAM – AUG. 3-8 see london2012.com for more detailed info.

Hinse keen to live Olympic life By Dan Plouffe

Pierre-Luc Hinse is going to the Olympics, and that’s all that matters. He’s got a wonky hip and his prospects in men’s singles aren’t great as the 305th-ranked player in the world, but being able to call himself an Olympian is what it’s all about. There may not be a Canadian team member with a bigger grin on their face while posing for their mugshots in Olympic gear than Hinse. Reaching the Games has been the Mont-St-Hilaire, Que. native’s lifelong dream. Part of that journey led him to move from home at age 19 to train at the national team’s home in Ottawa. Leading up to the North American Olympic qualifier, Hinse put his anthropology studies at the University of Ottawa on hold and invested tons of energy and money into training against the world’s best in Europe and China for three months. He’d been close to living his Olympic dream once already, but he lost the seventh and deciding set of the final qualification match for the Beijing Games and had to settle for an alternate role. Now 24 and unsure how long he’d be able to continue in a sport where it’s difficult to make a living in Canada, the buildup was almost overwhelming for Hinse at April’s continental qualifier. “There was so much stress and pressure that I felt,” he recalls. “I had to deal with that the whole tournament, and the weeks before too, and even the morning of the day I qualified, I was so nervous. I always had this pit in my stomach. It was really hard to sleep.” Hinse again reached the final stage of the tournament, but this time survived a draining match that went the distance to clinch his Olympic berth.

“I’ve played back the video so many times when I made that last point,” Hinse smiles. “It’s really a pleasure.” The main focus for Hinse is the team event since he believes teammates Eugene Wang of Ottawa and Andre Ho of Richmond, B.C. can help Canada reach the quarter-final or medal round, although there’s also his men’s singles competition, which kicks off the morning after the Opening Ceremonies. “Some people may skip the Opening Ceremonies, but for me, honestly, I don’t want to miss it,” Hinse says. “I’ve really given everything for these Olympics.”

PIERRE-LUC HINSE

SPORT: TABLE TENNIS EVENT: SINGLES & TEAM AGE: 24 ASSOCIATIONS: NATIONAL TEAM TRAINING CENTRE PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: FIRST

OTTAWA AT THE OLYMPICS SPECIAL

Citizenship comes too late & just in time for Wang


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Rower Nurse carries capital’s best medal hopes CRISTY NURSE

SPORT: ROWING EVENT: WOMEN’S 8+ AGE: 25 RESIDENCE: LONDON, ON ASSOCIATIONS: OTTAWA ROWING CLUB UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 1ST

COMPETITION SKED

SUN., JULY 29 – HEATS, 5:50 A.M. ET JULY 31 – REPECHAGES, 4:50 A.M. ET THU., AUG. 2 – FINAL, 6:30 A.M. ET

By Katherine DeClerq

A two-time World Championships silver medalist, women’s 8+ rower Cristy Nurse is Ottawa’s best bet for a podium position in London, but a bad back may derail those hopes. The University of Ottawa law student is nonetheless delighted to have earned the nod to representing Canada and the capital at the ultimate international sporting event. “I love Ottawa, both the city and my law school, so I am very proud and excited to go into the Games with an Ottawa connection,” Nurse says in an e-mail to the Ottawa Sportspage. Nurse has always been athletic, having competed for her varsity basketball team while doing her undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph. However, having grown up watching the Olympics and rowing in particular, Nurse decided that she had to try her hand at it, so she joined the Don Rowing Club in Mississauga six years ago. Her potential soared as her first coach Paul Westbury predicted that she would be an Olympian one day. Nurse, who represents the Ottawa Rowing Club, completed her first year of law at uOttawa before moving to London, Ont. to train full-time with the national team in the lead-up to the Olympics. The 25-year-old came

Silver medalists behind USA at last year’s world championships, the Canadian rowing women’s eight not only want a medal in London, they want the podium’s top spot.

within one second of beating the U.S. at the 2011 World Championships and is now determined to put Canada on the podium in London. “I don’t think any World Cup, World Championship, or other event can truly prepare you for the magnitude of an Olympic Games, but I have a very experienced crew,” Nurse highlights. “Obviously our expectation is to bring home a medal, and we’re all excited to see how much speed we’ve gained since the World Cup circuit ended about a month ago.” Training has intensified over the last two years in preparation for the Olympics. Nurse explained that a typical day of training would include two

90- to 120-minute sessions of on-water rowing, plus core-strength training. Nurse would like to continue this intense regimen right until race day, however she has experienced a setback with a disc injury that has affected her motion and stability. While this currently impacts her training, Nurse is confident that the healing process will allow her to be back on the water with a week or two to spare before the Games. “At this point, it’s unclear whether I will be able to race,” she notes. “But I remain hopeful in the rehab work I am doing and [am] very confident in the solid training I have behind me. “Obviously I want nothing more than to be in the boat that I was named

Jarvis switches roles to rower by day, lawyer by night By Katherine DeClerq Morgan Jarvis didn’t always picture himself as an Olympian, but a move to the capital helped inspire him on that journey. A Queen’s University law student, Jarvis had been articling at Gowling’s law firm in Ottawa before taking a year off to put his effort into making it big in London. Jarvis says his coworkers at Gowling’s played a pivotal role in reaching for the Olympics by showing immense support for his athletic career. “When I was working in the trademarks group in 2008, one of the partners noted the national team rowing on my résumé,” Jarvis explains. “He started calling me an Olympic rower so I corrected him and explained that the World Champs are not the Olympics. “He then asked why I didn’t go to the Olympics. I actually hadn’t thought of it in this way: why not? “At the time, I just explained the higher level of commitment and sacrifice required to train full time, year round at the training center, and how this would be required to

COMPETITION SKED

SUN., JULY 29 – HEATS, 5:10 A.M. ET TUE., JULY 31 – REPECHAGES, 4:30 A.M. ET WED., AUG. 1 – SEMI-FINALS, 3:30 A.M. ET THU., AUG. 2 – SEMI-FINALS, 4:50 A.M. ET SAT., AUG. 4 – FINAL, 3:40 A.M. ET

compete at the Olympics and would entail too great a sacrifice to the rest of life. “But he’d got me thinking about it. Each morning during the 2008 Olympics I’d come into work to find articles about the progress of the rowing team in Beijing sitting on my chair. “That question – why not? – became ‘why not be the best you can be?’” That question has motivated Jarvis to reach for the top. After a few years of comparatively casual rowing and national championships, Jarvis joined the Ottawa Rowing Club in hopes of making one final focused effort into his rowing career. After a year of intense training, his coach noticed his speed and stamina, realizing that he had the chops to be considered for the top qualifying team. Owner of three international bronze medals (two in doubles at the under-23 worlds and another one in the quad at the World Championships), Jarvis is excited to put his experience, and dedicated journey, to good use – to do his best and get on the podium in the the men’s lightweight double sculls competition. Representing Canada at the Olympics is a dream come true for Jarvis, although he takes his roots in the sport from the other side of the globe. He grew up in New Zealand while his father was posted there as Canadian High Commissioner, and it was also the place he

MORGAN JARVIS

SPORT: ROWING EVENT: LIGHTWEIGHT DOUBLE SCULLS AGE: 28 RESIDENCE: VICTORIA, BC ASSOCIATIONS: OTTAWA ROWING CLUB PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: FIRST developed a love for rowing. “It’s a really friendly community,” highlights the 28-year-old. “I would be proud if it was the Kiwis and us on the podium.”

photo: steve martin

/ coc

to, but at this stage it’s one day at a time and about checking off all the boxes on the route to recovery.” With the support of family and her two coaches Stu MacKenzie and Roger Meager, Nurse remains positive and optimistic about her recovery. Until told otherwise, she is planning to surprise us all come July 27. “London represents the culmination of all the hours of work and dedication that have taken me from novice in 2006 to Olympic nominee six years later,” Nurse adds. “It’s a chance for the Canadian women’s 8 to return to the Olympic podium for the first time since Sydney, and I am so proud and excited to have been a part of the process.”

SCHALM cont’d from p. 3

Paul ApSimon, Schalm’s former coach at uOttawa and Canada’s fencing team leader in London, thinks having the baby has indirectly helped her. “Right now she’s in a good head-space. She’s enjoying life,” ApSimon says. “The birth of her daughter changed the way she approached fencing. She’s got something more in her life, and I think that balance is really going to help her game.” That balance has at least made Schalm’s training sessions more eventful. As she delightfully detailed in a blog for the Toronto Star, Schalm, who now lives in Italy, was forced to take the unusual step of bringing her infant daughter along to watch her train. In addition to charming her mother’s colleagues, as babies are wont to do, Gaia also acted as a de facto bodyguard for Mom. As Schalm relates it, a routine match changed quickly when her opponent, a teenage boy, struck a hard blow to her elbow. Falling to the ground, Schalm cried out in pain, but it was nothing compared to the screeching that cascaded from Gaia’s playpen. She’d seen her mother fall and was not pleased.

COMPETITION SKED MON., JULY 30 – 4:30 A.M. ET

“Just as she started to calm down, my teenage adversary came over to apologize,” Schalm wrote in the Star. “Gaia looked at him and with all the righteous indignation a 10-month-old can muster, she started screeching, crying and pointing at him as if to publicly shame him for hurting her mother.” Aside from that minor hiccup, Schalm’s training has progressed well, as she is certain to be named to Canada’s Olympic roster on July 10. Owner of 32 career World Cup medals and Canada’s only fencer to win an overall World Cup circuit crown, this will be Schalm’s fourth Olympics. She might not be heading to London as a medal favourite, but Simon, her former coach, thinks Schalm’s dark horse status might give her a leg up on the competition. “I’m looking forward to London and seeing what she can do there,” ApSimon says of the athlete who was ranked 25th in the world last season. “She’s coming in under the radar and I think she’ll be able to surprise a lot of people.” —with files from Dan Plouffe


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By Dan Plouffe

Answering your cell phone in church is generally not a very good idea. But when the person on the other end of the line is your son telling you he was just selected to go to the Olympics, then your sins can be forgiven.

SEGUN MAKINDE

SPORT: ATHLETICS EVENT: 4x100 M RELAY AGE: 21 ASSOCIATIONS: OTTAWA LIONS, uOTTAWA GEE-GEES PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: 1ST

In fact, if that athlete happens to be someone as adored in your community as Segun Makinde is, you’d even be allowed to interrupt the sermon and tell everyone about it. That’s what happened at the Lifecentre in Orleans the morning after the Canadian trackand-field Olympic trials when 21-yearold Makinde was named to Canada’s London 2012 4x100-metre relay team. “My pastor was preaching at the time, and they told my church,” recounts Makinde, Lifecentre. “Everybody knew I was trying to go to the Olympics, so everybody was really excited. Even though I wasn’t there, it was a pretty cool story.” It was an appropriate setting for the breaking news to be shared first since faith plays a major role in the person Makinde is. For the Nigerian-born sprinter who moved to Ottawa in 2003 after his father completed a PhD at the University of Alberta and got a job with the government, it all starts with

COMPETITION SKED

FRI., AUG. 10 – ROUND 1, 1:45 P.M. ET SAT., AUG. 11 – FINAL, 3 P.M. ET

his name – Oluwasegun, which means “God has victory.”

ROLE MODEL IN THE MAKING “When you say my name, it’s kind of like affirming that all the time. I go into every race with that in my head,” explains Makinde, who also frequently thinks of everyone who’s behind him. “Going to church and having people around me that support me really helps me to stay on the right track. I understand that to be an athlete who’s doing great things, you’re going to be in a bit of the spotlight, I make sure to be that example, or a role model for kids, or people older or younger than me.” Nathalie Côté, Makinde’s former coach at Colonel By Secondary School, affirms that it’s Makinde’s personality that is inspirational just as much as his blazing speed. “He’s a grounded kid,” says Côté, noting Makinde has a psychological intensity and focus around race time

Only a few short years ago, 4x100 m relay Olympian Segun Makinde was a record-breaking high school hurdler.

file photo

that is rarely seen in athletes. “A lot of kids definitely look up to him. He’s a nice kid too – he’s really got everything. “Sometimes other athletes may excel, but they’re not the best role model. He truly is a role model – with his faith, and the way he photo: darryl dyck / coc treats people. He’s just so nice.” championships and Commonwealth In high school, it was clear the Games teams in the lead-up to Lonpotential was there for Makinde to don, but the 2011 Summer Universiade achieve big things. An OFSAA triple – where he posted a 20.72 time in the gold medalist in his graduating year, 200 m – wound up being the only one Makinde broke the scholastic 110 m that panned out. hurdles record set by Carlton Cham“Last year in China, with a packed bers, a 4x100 m relay gold medalist at stadium of about 30,000 people, that the Atlanta Olympics alongside Glen- was really exciting – just the energy roy Gilbert – now Makinde’s coach when you walk inside that stadium,” with the Ottawa Lions and also the na- recalls Makinde, who still has to earn tional relay team coach. his racing position on the team that can “I had this planned back in 2008 draw from seven athletes, although he after the Beijing Olympics,” recounts expects he’s in good enough shape to the Ottawa Gee-Gees university run- make it happen. “I love being able to ner who almost earned the chance to compete on those really large stages. run in the 200 m as well by placing To go to London and be in front of alsecond at the Canadian trials. most 100,000 people, it’ll be exhilaratMakinde’s vision included world ing to say the least.”

Ottawa Lion 800 m runner explodes onto Olympic scene By Ian Ewing It might seem like she’s come out of nowhere, but first-time Olympian Melissa Bishop has targeted this for years. Having never before qualified for a Canadian international team, the 23-year-old Ottawa Lions track-and-field club athlete took the running world by storm last month when she ran a 1:59.82 in the 800 m finals at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. That beat the Canadian Olympic A standard of 1:59.90 and set her up for a trip to London, which she clinched by placing second at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Calgary on June 30.

MELISSA BISHOP

SPORT: ATHLETICS EVENT: WOMEN’S 800 M PERSONAL BEST: 1:59.82 AGE: 24 (ON AUGUST 5) RESIDENCE: WINDSOR, ON ASSOCIATIONS: UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR, OTTAWA LIONS PREVIOUS OLYMPICS: FIRST

Although few might have predicted her meteoric rise a year ago, Bishop was already planning for it. Having graduated last spring from the University of Windsor with degrees in Human Kinetics and in Education, she opted to defer her acceptance into grad school in favour of taking a year off from working and studying to focus solely on running. “After last summer, I decided that I need to take the year and give it every shot to try and make the Olympics,” explains the Eganville athlete who traveled to Ottawa for training during her high school years. “Obviously it was the best decision!” The track star who turns 24 just three days before the Aug. 8 800 m heats started taking running more seriously when she got to Windsor. Bishop credits her Lancer teammates and their legendary track and field coach, Dennis Fairall, for that. Although she’s now out of school, Fairall remains her personal coach. Her long-time Ottawa Lions coach, Ray Elrick, says it was just a matter of time until Bishop reached this level. “Melissa always had a bunch of talent,” Elrick explains. “It was just a matter of channeling that talent, and she’s done it this year.” Bishop became only the third Canadian woman to ever run under two minutes in Eugene, while Canadian teammate Jessica Smith became the fourth a week later en route to an Olympic

COMPETITION SCHEDULE WED., AUG. 8 – ROUND 1, 5:35 A.M. ET THU., AUG. 9 – SEMI-FINALS, 1:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY, AUG. 11 – FINAL, 2 P.M. ET

berth of her own. “It was very, very exciting,” Bishop says of running the Olympic A standard in Eugene. “Jessica Smith, she was there with me in the same meet. We had a little celebration; we screamed and hugged when we found out the results.”

EXPECTATIONS ADJUSTED TO MATCH ELITE Heading into London, Bishop still needs to fully embrace the idea that she deserves to be there. It’s a conscious effort, she explains, to put herself on the same level as the rest of the worldclass athletes. “Just putting yourself on a level playing field, it calms you down a little bit,” notes Bishop, who got some advice from Canadian 800 m legend Diane Cummins after qualifying. “You need to expect to be rubbing arms with [people like] Usain Bolt,” Bishop recalls Cummins saying. “They’ll all be in the Athlete’s Village. You have to put yourself on that level.” Bishop’s goal at her first Olympics is to get through the heats and into the semi-finals. That will likely require another personal best time, but she’s perfectly OK with that. Being alongside the

The women’s 800 m at the Canadian track-andfield Olympic trials came down to a sprint, and Bishop was up to the task as she secured her required top-3 finish with a second-place result. photo: klaus andersen

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world’s best at the London Games is an idea that seemed pretty farfetched not too long ago. “Four years ago, when we had Olympic Trials here in Windsor, I didn’t even make the 800 m final. Now, here I am four years later, I’ve made the final and I’m an Olympian. Like, that is…” she pauses. “Oh, it’s just crazy!”

OTTAWA AT THE OLYMPICS SPECIAL

Olympic ideals live strong in ‘grounded’ athlete


OTTAWA AT THE OLYMPICS

OTTAWA AT THE OLYMPICS SPECIAL

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Small-town girl swings with the best in hammer By Dan Plouffe

When Sultana Frizell missed out on qualifying for the 2011 IAAF world track-and-field championships, there was about a week where she was walking around “like somebody kicked my puppy.” But that didn’t stop the Ottawa Lions hammer thrower from moving on and reaching the London 2012 Olympics. After all, she’d been through

SULTANA FRIZELL

SPORT: ATHLETICS EVENT: HAMMER THROW AGE: 27 RESIDENCE: KAMLOOPS. BC ASSOCIATIONS: OTTAWA LIONS PAST OLYMPICS: 2008 PERSONAL BEST: 75.04 M

worse – like when she was 13 years old and wound up breaking her arm in multiple places at her grandmother’s farm. “My grandma told me to stay out of the barn, so what did I do? I went into the barn, I fell down the hayloft and completely broke my ulna and radius,” Frizell recounts in her trademark unabashed style. “The chute that was normally closed had hay over it so it looked like it was closed. “And you know what I fell on? A huge pile of sh--. The only thing that didn’t kill me is that my uncle did not remove the sh-- out of where the hayloft came down, so I didn’t hit cement – I hit poop. “What broke my arm is that I hit the chute door on the way down. They ended up airlifting me to the Children’s Hospital. “If someone told me not to do it, I was going to do it regardless, and I was going to do it in a big way. If I’m going to break a bone, I’m going to do it so badly that I need to be flown somewhere. “It was pretty epic. It was pretty awesome.” They breed ’em tough out in the Ottawa Valley. Frizell grew up near Perth and had never seen hammer throw before she picked up the ball-andchain herself at Perth and District Collegiate Institute. She says there’s no question who helped her most to reach the Olympics: “Mammabus.” “Car rides, back and forth to Ottawa, I couldn’t have done it without that woman,” notes Frizell, whose outgoing, uncensored personality has deep roots in her family. “Grandma is 93 and still can kick my ass. She tells me what she thinks every time I see her.” After making trips in to train with the Lions track-and-field club from Grade 10 until the end of high school, Frizell moved on to the University of Georgia and shot up the senior ranks. In 2007, “the Sultana of swing” moved to the national team’s throws centre in Kamloops, B.C.

Sultana Frizell’s Canadian record throw in March stands as the 11th best toss in the world this season.

COMPETITION SCHEDULE

WED., AUG. 8 – QUALIFICATION, 10 A.M. ET FRI., AUG. 10 – FINAL, 1:35 P.M. ET

and set four Canadian records the next season to earn a place at the 2008 Olympics. Frizell wasn’t pleased with her 33rd-place result, but did pick up some lessons from Beijing. “Don’t let other people dictate your time and what works for you,” says the 27-year-old, noting logistics can be a major challenge at the Games. “It feels really great to be going for Round 2. This time will be a little bit better placing.” Frizell continued to improve steadily – recording a top-10 finish at the 2009 world championships – until last season. It was a trying campaign where Frizell wasn’t throwing anywhere near her previous distances, and she wound up missing out on qualifying for the 2011 worlds – the biggest

photo: klaus andersen

event in her sport prior to London 2012. “I just knew I was going to have to fix some things technically and refocus and I knew I would make the Olympic team. There wasn’t really any question in my mind,” Frizell recalls. “I knew that I had way more in me, and for some reason, worlds was just not in my cards and I just had to let it be. That worlds year was just one of those blips in an athlete’s career that just go, ‘OK, how much do you want it?’” Frizell has come back strong this year, establishing a new Canadian benchmark with a 75.04-metre throw in March and surpassing the Olympic qualifying standards on several other occasions. “If I throw my best in London, I will definitely be in contention for the bronze medal,” states the 11th-ranked women’s hammer thrower on the planet. “I’m probably in my best shape of my career this year. I have all the faith in the world.”

Nomadic Ottawa sprinter’s next stop is London 4x100 m By Anne Duggan

A third-place finish in the 100 m at the Canadian Olympic trials cemented Seyi Smith’s place on the 4x100 m relay team. photo provided

A more disciplined approach to training, a fresh start in Calgary and a new coach were the ingredients to Seyi Smith’s rejuvenation, which has the Ottawa Lions sprinter poised for a spot on Canada’s 4x100-metre relay team for London 2012. “You have to be able to stand on the line – the one in the Olympic stadium – and say that you have done everything in the best possible way to prepare,” highlights Smith, who qualified to be a relay team member with a third-place performance in the men’s 100 m at the June 2730 Canadian trials in Calgary. His personal-best time of 10.22 seconds was only .07 out of first place. National medals and personal records are a far cry from a disappointing 2011 season. The 25-yearold says there was a collection of things that he needed to improve, including all aspects of training and recovery, ranging from submitting to regular ice baths, eating the best foods, and moving to Calgary.

“Being made an alternate (for the 2011 world championships relay team in September) mixed with wanting to work on my long jump convinced me to move,” explains Smith, who started repeating one phrase over and over once training resumed after worlds. “I started saying to myself, ‘This day is going to be my Olympic final.’” Smith feels the move to Calgary was a good one. Quin Sekulich is his new regular coach, taking over from the Lions’ Glenroy Gilbert, who still leads the national relay program. A former standout national sprinter and long jumper himself, Sekulich has 10 years of professional training experience in both disciplines. Moving and landing quickly on his feet is a familiar skill to Smith. Born in Nigeria, Smith spent his early childhood in Senegal before his family moved to Ottawa when he was 10. He attended Brookfield High School for Grade 9 and 10 and trained with the Lions at that time. The family’s next move was to Rome, Italy when his father got a

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job with the UN. Smith recalls that his parents managed to find him a track coach in Rome. “It worked out pretty good once I had learned some Italian and he figured out some English,” laughs the first-time Olympian. Now if he could just get rid of one bad habit picked up in Italy: an insatiable love of pasta and bread. “You know that phrase about man not living on bread alone? Well, I can. I just need a little olive oil, salt and pepper and I am happy. I mean it.” Before returning to Canadian soil, there were five years spent in yet another country, Britain, as he pursued a post-secondary education, along with track training. Smith now has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a masters in renewable energy technology but currently works at a Calgary gym since employers in his own industry aren’t interested in hiring part-time workers with heavy travel schedules. But the main goal Smith carries at the moment is to bring Canadians

SEYI SMITH

SPORT: ATHLETICS EVENT: 4x100 M AGE: 25 CLUB: OTTAWA LIONS PAST OLYMPICS: FIRST a renewed appreciation for sprinting. “If we run with the best and beat the best, we will bring back the respect and get Canada back on the sprinting map,” says Smith, who expects the Canadian relay team will make the finals in London. “And once you are in the finals anything can happen,” he adds.


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By Anne Duggan

For Orleans resident Carol Anne Chenard, referring soccer is a sport. With a background in multiple areas of expertise such as speed skating, basketball, volleyball and soccer, Chenard approaches the latest challenge in her wide-ranging athletic career as like she always has: with passion. Colonel By Secondary School’s senior athlete-of-the-year in her graduating year, Chenard will be the only Canadian soccer referee at the London Olympic Games. The 35-year-old feels confident in her preparation for the world’s largest sporting event that is now only weeks away. “I am physically ready, and trying

to stay healthy,” Chenard notes. The owner of six World Cup short-track speedskating medals and a one-time world record holder in the 3,000-metre relay, she has plenty of experience with physical preparation. The fitness level required of an international soccer referee is impressive. Her recent fitness test to qualify as an Olympic referee included six 40-metre sprints. Each leg had to be completed in less than 6.6 seconds. There were also 20 150-metre sprints to be run in under 35 seconds per leg. Along with the fitness aspect of her position comes training camps, technical training, classroom sessions and video analysis. “Referees are actually athletes,” she explains. “It takes focus, refocus-

Ottawa’s Carol Anne Chenard (third official from left) refereed the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup final and will now officiate in London.

file photo

ing and training. We are our own worst critics. Refereeing is exciting because we can always be better.”

STRINGENT FITNESS REQUIREMENTS Chenard’s path to the position of Olympic soccer referee began with a chance request by her Gloucester Hornets soccer coach to take an officiating course in order to develop a better understanding of the game. After completing that first course, Chenard began to referee local games as a high school student to raise money for university. After a night calling an oldtimers game, a letter was written to the Ontario Soccer Association, enthusing about Chenard’s talent. “Some people came out and watched me and the rest is history,” describes Chenard, making it sound easy. Following a 10-year period when Chenard attended the Canadian shorttrack national team’s training centre, as well as completed a PhD in microbiology and immunology at McGill University, Chenard returned to Ottawa. She now combines a career as head of Regional Compliance Program of Controlled Substances at Health Canada with coaching at her home Gloucester Concordes Speed Skating Club and soccer refereeing.

Mission team populated by Ottawans By Dan Plouffe

Of all the coaches, athletes and officials headed to the London Olympics from the nation’s capital, it’s safe to say no one has seen more Games than John Hawes. The Stittsvile resident began his Olympic career as a swimmer in 1972, switched to modern pentathlon for the 1976 Montreal Games and has since returned many times as a coach. The pentathlon national team coach fancies his job in London as part coach, part logistics coordinator and part therapist for his two London-bound pentathletes – Donna Vakalis and Ottawa’s Melanie McCann. The Ravens of Carleton swim club owner recites their day-to-day movement plans like it’s written on the back of his hand, although one detail that still needs to be ironed out is how and when his athletes will be able to get a fencing lesson. It’s an unusual luxury to have, but it’s possible because Paul ApSimon of Ottawa Fencing also happens to be Canadian fencing team leader. “They get two for the price of one,” ApSimon chuckles. “It’s a good deal. The schedule

Stittsville’s John Hawes will coach modern pentathletes Melanie McCann and Donna Vakalis in London.

works perfect.” ApSimon wants to enjoy the moment at his second Olympics. He was fencing team leader for the 2000 Sydney Games, but his first Olympic experience is all a blur in his mind. “I’m really looking forward to it,” notes the RA Centre-based coach. “It’s the Olympics. It’s the ultimate goal. That’s what we work towards as coaches and athletes. I’m very proud to be a part of the team.” Other top officials from Ottawa headed to London include track-and-field national team relay coach Glenroy Gilbert – the 1996 4x100-metre relay gold medalist in Atlanta – and Caroline Sharp, the manager of sport communications for the

photo: darryl dyck

/ coc

Canadian Olympic Committee. To get an idea of how massive a task it is to send a team of Olympians overseas, have a look at Ottawa city councillor Mathieu Fleury’s role. Fleury is one of 10 outfitters charged with dressing the Olympic team in official HBC gear. His team will pack 641 bags of clothing, with 21 items per bag – all size-specific for each participant. If a T-shirt doesn’t fit, they’ve got a seamstress ready and waiting to fix it. “My expertise in terms of clothing is zero, but my interest in the Olympics is 100,” notes Fleury, who will fill a volunteer position while taking three weeks vacation from his City job. “Anything to help our athletes.”

Chenard believes her lifelong devotion to sport has helped plenty in her work career as well. “Sport has brought me confidence, experiences and different languages,” explains the English, French and Spanish speaker. “Sport gives me the confidence to do public speaking and to speak to supervisors at work. It is basically who I am. My positive attributes have been built by sport.” Moving her way up the ranks in the soccer refereeing world, Chenard first became a FIFA referee in 2006, operating on a national level. In 2008, she began officiating international matches, including the U20 Women’s

photo: dan plouffe

World Cup tournament in Chile. And then the pinnacle came last year when she refereed the Women’s World Cup final in Germany. It’s a daunting thought – potentially stepping onto an Olympic soccer pitch for the first time at one of the Games’ six football venues, with as many as 3.5 billion people watching globally – but Chenard is looking forward to the challenges and highs that Olympic sport will bring to her summer. “If you are a soccer fan, the biggest event to watch is the World Cup, but if you are a sports person, it is the Olympics,” Chenard highlights. “So, it is a real honour.”

OTTAWA AT THE OLYMPICS SPECIAL

Sport defines all aspects of life for London ref


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OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

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Ottawa athletes fall short of Olympics By Dan Plouffe She should’ve been out there. Teetering on the balance beam, sprinting toward the vault, reaching for the uneven bars, that’s where she expected to be. Instead, Talia Chiarelli watched from the sidelines, reduced to the role of a cheerleader. Only a week before the Olympic gymnastics trials were scheduled to begin in Gatineau, Chiarelli – who played a key role in qualifying the Canadian women’s artistic team for the London Games – was forced to withdraw due to a back injury. She described it as a stress reaction in her L5 vertebrae, which had been a recurring problem of late and forced her to miss the national championships a month earlier. “I really wanted to compete here but it was at the point where I couldn’t really do any of my routines so it wasn’t worth it,” Chiarelli said after the first of two days of competition. The timing was cruel, but Chiarelli showed no obvious signs of disappointment. She shouted out encouragement after one gymnast nearly fell off the balance beam, and was quick to offer a high-five and a smile to those who ventured by on their way to floor exercise.

This spirit of camaraderie came from what seems to be genuine friendship between almost all of the competitors. “Personally I just look at them as my teammates because in the end you just want everyone to do well,” explained the former Nepean-Corona athlete who moved to Boston when her father became the Boston Bruins’ GM. For Chiarelli, her Olympic dream has been put on hold for at least four years. Yet the 16-year-old expects to be back in the gym once she’s been medically cleared, intent on giving it another shot.

STRONG BETS FOR BERTHS MISS There were a handful of other Ottawa athletes who narrowly missed out on earning a trip to the Olympics. Team Canada soccer coach John Herdman said the hardest cut he had to make was Ottawa Fury youth academy graduate Christina Julien, who’d played a front-and-centre role all through the Olympic qualifying process. The 24-year-old striker remains with the national team and will be in London as an alternate.

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West Ottawa Soccer Scoop

WOS appoints Kristina Kiss as club’s new Acting Technical Director

A back injury kept Talia Chiarelli out of her Olympic qualifier.

file photo

Ottawa River Runner Cameron Smedley was preparing like he was going to London, but the whitewater canoe athlete was not granted the quota position he expected to receive via other countries who didn’t need it. Rhys Hill of the Rideau Canoe Club found himself in the final races to determine Canada’s flatwater canoe representative in London, but did not qualify through the race in Montreal. Esther Akinsulie was primed to compete for the Canadian women’s 4x400-metre relay team after a respectable 13th-place showing at last year’s IAAF world championships, but Canada slipped one spot out of the world rankings’ top-16 – the number of teams that earned a place on the start line in London. Disappointing results in her individual races at the Canadian team trials left the 28-year-old Ottawa Lions sprinter on the outside looking in.

There’s been lots to celebrate lately for Kristina Kiss. First, there was the birth of her first child, Paul, who is now six months old. And then shortly after returning from maternity leave, there was a new role with West Ottawa Soccer Club as new Acting Technical Director. Leading the second largest soccer club in Ontario while being a new mom is admittedly a big challenge for Kiss, but it’s one that the 31-year-old former Canadian senior women’s team member is attacking with the same enthusiasm that made her a star in her playing days. “It’s busy,” smiles Kiss, who assumed her new position in mid-June after serving as a WOSC club lead coach since January 2011. “I work when he sleeps, and I try to play with him when he’s awake, and then every evening, I try to get out to the soccer fields.” It helps having a supportive family that can watch her son while she’s at work, not to mention the fact that Paul has slept through the night since he was two weeks old. “I lucked out on this one,” Kiss laughs. “He’s doing just great.” Thrilled to be working with the next generation in the same end of town she grew up in, Kiss has two priorities in her new job – coaching education and player development. “It’s about giving coaches the best opportunity to learn and to impart their skill and knowledge and enthusiasm to the kids,” says the owner of a national B coaching licence, noting she is looking to implement weekly courses for all levels. “They can then take that and hopefully apply it to the team they’re working with.” The other focus is on developing a proper program for kids to be able to go all the way in soccer if they choose to do so while ensuring they are having fun at the same time. There’s no shortage of fun judging by her nightly trips to the fields to work with players, Kiss says. “That’s my favourite part of the job,” she highlights. “They’re just enthusiastic and they’re all great kids in West Ottawa. You can

have fun with the eightyearolds, and you can have just as much fun with the under-21 team. T h e r e ’s always something new and challenging about it.”

THUNDERBIRD DOME RISES Destroyed by a fire in February 2011, the rebuild of the Thunderbird facilities is progressing well and will be ready to reopen better than ever come the fall in time for WOSC’s winter programming. For Kiss, the excitement grows everyday as she drives by Thunderbird en route to the club’s temporary digs on Stittsville Main. “It’ll bring a home base where we can train multiple teams at once and develop a sense of community,” Kiss notes. “Also, for kids to have access to that type of facility is amazing. I didn’t train in domes growing up, I trained on a gym surface, so we’re really fortunate to have two domes in our area. “It’s going to be pretty exciting. And I’m pretty excited because I live five minutes away down the road.”

BMO TEAM OF THE WEEK CONTEST Recognized for their standout community spirit, the WOS GU10 Golden Warriors have entered the BMO Team of the Week Contest. “This year the girls started a new tradition which involves making a bridge at the end of games where each team passes under the other team’s arms while they cheer,” reads part of the team’s nomination. “I don’t know of one losing team that has passed under this bridge without smiles on their faces. This tradition has shown us that the girls are already learning about the true spirit of soccer.” To help them be chosen for the final round, comments of support can be made at: http:// community.bmo.com/soccer/soccer-team/ golden-warriors

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COMMUNITY CLUBS Special needs soccer night takes off For many families, summer hours spent participating in organized games on the soccer pitch is a normal part of life, and in no way remarkable. However, parents and siblings of children with various physical and mental exceptionalities know that large challenges can hinder or even disallow them from taking part. Shannon Bagg is one local parent who found herself in such a situation with her daughter, Eve, who lives with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and developmental challenges. “Eve has special needs, and for the last couple years she’s come to the field with us to watch her siblings play,” says Bagg. “She didn’t really understand the rules of the game and a lot of kids didn’t understand what she’s saying or getting at, but it was obvious that she wanted to be a part of the activities.” Bagg explained that after a few unsuccessful attempts to allow Eve to enjoy soccer like her siblings do, she and her husband realized that

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

By Keeton Wilcock

10

happened.” Together, Bagg, Nepean City Soccer League general manager Sandra Bracatelli and others worked to get sponsors, volunteers, and equipment for the new program. Bagg’s vision came to fruition on June 7 this year, with the launch of Nepean City’s “Just for Kicks” program. Open to all children age 5-12 with any type of developmental photo: dan plouffe challenge, “Just for Eve would be best off in a league Kicks” offers weekly one-on-one tailored to children with unique coaching and games led by volunneeds. With no similar league avail- teers for $30 per season. able in her community, Bagg starWith 27 children currently ted her own. participating in the program and “The general manager of registration requests still pouring Nepean City Soccer League hap- in, Bagg fully expects the program pens to live on my street, and once to be back for future seasons, and I got to know her a little bit better even expanded to accommodate I approached her and said, ‘I have more children. this idea of a special needs soccer “I think this is what it’s all team, what do you think?’” recalls about,” Bagg highlights, “giving Bagg. “I assured her that there were kids a fun time in a safe envirso many more families with spe- onment and giving their familcial needs than my own that could ies opportunities to see their kids benefit from it and would jump experience a fun summer all over it, and that’s exactly what pastime.”

Spring gym

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With the biggest provincial and national level competitive gymnastics events now in the books for the 2011-2012 season, the focus has been primarily on the next generation of upand-comers. Most city clubs hosted invitationals or in-house competitions in recent months. At the Tumblers Spirit of the Games Boys Invitational event in mid-June, older national-level gymnasts took on the role of judges, but instead of awarding scores, they’d offer positive feedback and pointers. “It’s really just for fun,” notes Tumblers coach Nick Grimard. “It’s just an opportunity for them to go and show off and experience a competition without the pressure of getting ranked at the end of it.” Nevertheless, the meets are “huge” for the athletes who put in between 6-12 hours for gymnastics per week, Grimard highlights, since many will move up to the competitive ranks next season. The Ottawa Gymnastics Centre’s Tulip Classic was another large event held recently that attracted gymnasts from around the region.

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est. 1960

613-722-8698 or visit www.ottawagymnasticscentre.ca


COMMUNITY CLUBS

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

9

Sportspage ‘Be a Reporter’ at Mini World Cup By Cheryl Walker

In partnership with the Mini World Cup 2012 Euro Edition organizers from FC Capital United, the Ottawa Sportspage ran a “Be a Reporter”

event where young participants interviewed players taking part in the tournament, gathered their key biographical information and then learned how to use a professional zoom camera to take their photo.

With a whistling wind that blew tent structures across fields, writing notes on sheets of loose paper was no easy feat, but the new reporters persevered to bring you what you see below. See SportsOttawa.com for more.

By Deanna Fracasso

By Xavier Gervais

Athlete’s name: Connor Craig Mini World Cup team: Holland Club team: West Ottawa Soccer Club Favourite position: Centre What do you enjoy most about soccer?: Everything is awesome.

Athlete’s name: Paulo Spadaccini Mini World Cup team: Czech Republic Club team: Cumberland Cobras Favourite position: Striker What do you enjoy most about soccer?: Playing the game, and doing tournaments.

By Julian

Athlete’s name: Noah Gittens Mini World Cup team: Portugal Club team: Parmar Futuro Soccer Academy Favourite position: Striker/Wing What do you enjoy most about soccer?: Noah enjoys the game’s intensity and that it’s fast. “When you shoot a ball, it just feels so good,” he says.

By Justin Carter

Athlete’s name: Marc-Antoine Mini World Cup team: Ireland Club team: Rockland United Knights Favourite position: Centre forward What do you enjoy most about soccer?: Tournaments – because you always play against different teams. And I like playing soccer with my friends. My favourite tournament is Mini World Cup ’cause you represent a different country.

By Simon Leal-Suarez Athlete’s name: Stuart Bowden Mini World Cup team: Poland Club team: Capital United Favourite position: Goalkeeper What do you enjoy most about soccer?: You never know who’s gonna win or lose, and scoring goals.

OSU Force Academy Zone

OSU Hires Long-Time Everton FC Academy Coach Paul Harris It was a significant moment in the region’s soccer history last month as Ottawa South United made a big splash in officially unveiling its new Head Coach - Player and Coach Development, Paul Harris from Everton FC. A UEFA A licensed coach, Harris joined OSU after spending the last 10 years as International Football Development Officer and Coach with the Premier League’s well-respected Everton FC Academy. “With Paul on board, OSU will have one of Canada’s most experienced player-development coaches to guide and lead our soccer program,” says Bill Michalopulos, President of OSU. “And through Paul’s experience, the rest of our coaches are going to be upgraded as well.” On top of guiding the club’s coaches, player development will be the other key part of Harris’ role. Working at Everton FC’s Youth Academy with players and teams from U6 to U19 throughout his carris, Harris has developed a keen understanding and insight of the needs of players of all ages. “He’s seen some of the best players in the world go through there, like Rooney for example,” Michalopulos notes. “He’s witnessed it first-hand, and now he’ll bring that experience to our young aspiring athletes.” Harris will be instrumental in advancing all components of the club’s programs and creating a standard methodology that applies the Ontario Soccer Association’s Long-Term Player Development Plan. He’ll also oversee the newly-created “OSU Force – Centre of Soccer Excellence” within the OSU Force Academy, which will launch in fall 2012. Harris actively participated in the development of the OSU Force Academy, as well as other top soccer academies in the USA. “He’s taught the Everton way to clubs all around the world – he’s seen them all,” Michalopulos highlights. “He was impressed by what we do and the ambitions we have, and he wanted to be a part of it.” Harris’ hiring is most certainly great news for the #1-ranked development club in Ontario, but it also carries a broader significance.

“It’s a positive thing for OSU, but it’s an important thing, I think, for soccer as a whole in Ottawa and in Ontario,” Michalopulos adds. “It shows that for a person of his caliber to come here, we’re doing something right.”

MANCHESTER UNITED ACADEMY COACH NEIL RYAN TO VISIT OSU From July 1214, Ottawa South United coaches and players will benefit from the incredible opportunity to learn from Neil Ryan, one of the top coaches in Manchester United’s Academy. During his visit, Ryan will hold training sessions for players, while OSU’s Paul Harris will give a seminar to coaches. OSU players and coaches will benefit greatly from this unique opportunity to learn from the philosophy and player development program of one of the top clubs in the world. “Manchester United is globally renowned over the years for producing “in-house” soccer talent (Beckham, Goggs, Scholes, Welbank, etc) who move on to play with the famed Manchester United FC team,” notes Michalopulos. “This is a unique opportunity for the OSU coaches to learn directly from the people that operate this Academy. We are also pleased to hear that other nonOSU coaches from other soccer clubs in Ottawa will be participating in this exclusive seminar with Neil Ryan.” Neil Ryan played professionally in England and the United States, before joining the Manchester United Academy as a coach. Ryan’s visit is one of the benefits of OSU’s unique affiliation with Dallas Texans and Nike.

Ottawa teams earn 21 titles at 3 local tourneys June was a busy month for weekend tournaments as local soccer teams got into the full swing of their seasons with a trio of events hosted by Ottawa clubs. The Nepean Hotspurs Friendship Tournament took place June 9-10, FC Capital United hosted the Mini World Cup 2012 Euro Edition June 16-17 and the Cumberland Cobras welcomed teams for their Snakebite Tournament June 23-24 and promptly held onto a bunch of their own hardware with six division victories out of 15 categories. In all, Ottawa teams won 21 titles over the course of the three events. The list of local champions includes:

NEPEAN HOTSPURS FRIENDSHIP TOURNAMENT

U9 Boys: Nepean Hotspurs Gators U10 Boys Premier (T1): Ottawa Royals Blue U10 Boys Division 1 (T2): Nepean Hotspurs U11 Boys Division 1 (T2): Nepean Hotspurs Falcons U12 Boys Division 1 (T2): OSU Rage 2000 U12 Boys Division 1 (T3): Ottawa Internationals East U13 Boys Premier L5: Ottawa Fury Prospects U12 Girls Division 1 (T2): Cumberland Cobras

CAPITAL UNITED MINI WORLD CUP 2012 EURO EDITION

U11 Division 1: Netherlands (West Ottawa)

CUMBERLAND COBRAS SNAKEBITE TOURNAMENT

GU9 Tier 2: Nepean Hotspurs Rockets GU10 Tier 2: Cumberland Cobras-Blue GU10 Tier 1: Cumberland Cobras (Andre) GU11 Tier 1: Nepean Hotspurs Devils GU14 Tier 1: Cumberland Cobras L5 (Davies) - U14 BU9 Tier 2: Cumberland Cobras Blue (Butler) BU10 Tier 2: Cumberland Cobras Blue (Ducharme) BU10 Tier 1: Gloucester Hornets Impact BU11 Tier 2: Nepean Hotspurs Falcons BU11 Tier 1: St. Anthonys U11 Boys BU12 Group B: Nepean City Storm BU13 Tier 1: Cumberland Cobras (Andre) - U12


JUNIOR LEAGUES

8

By Dan Plouffe

OSU’s Marco Natoli was the OYSL U17 league leading scorer last year. photos: dan plouffe

Youth soccer teams often don’t stay intact once they’ve progressed past the U17 level, but that’s not the case for the Ottawa South United U21 men’s team, a group that has continued doing what they know best – winning. “We’ve been together a real long time,” notes Force star Marco Natoli, who led the U17 Ontario Youth Soccer League in goal scoring last season. “I tried out when I was 13, and we just stuck together since then.” Only 16 himself, Natoli could have played for a different youth squad, but the talented striker wanted to continue playing with his long-time teammates. “I love them. They’re family,”

explains the St. Pius X Catholic High School student. “We’ve been together and traveled together for so long.” Coach Dave Wilson says the squad that came within one game of winning the region’s first OYSL division title last season is perhaps the best Ottawa team he’s ever seen in terms of technical ability. East Region Soccer League U21 games have been a bit of a cakewalk for the most part, with Mekonen Lovemore-

Hotspurs want OYSL challenge to pay off The goose egg in the win column is a nasty, unfamiliar sight for a Nepean Hotspurs group accustomed to victories coming their way easily in regional play, but that’s the reality this year for the U17 group competing in the Ontario Youth Soccer League U18 girls’ division. It’s been a struggle all around for the Hotspurs, who were hit by injuries early and often. “If you look at the team, I don’t know if there’s a player without an ankle brace,” laments coach Louis Maneiro. Already playing “above our heads” in an older age group in perhaps the strongest league in Canada, the team’s had trouble getting in sync from one game to the next as they juggle players in and out. Nepean has just one point to show for 12 games.

“If they had played at their own level, I think they would have done well,” adds Maneiro, whose squad was the only Ottawa side that could battle toeto-toe last year with a powerful OSU team that is now 5-2-2 in U17 girls’ OYSL play. “They’re a talented group of girls.” Finalists at the Disney showcase tournament, most players have university or college soccer on their radar. That objective was the reason the team elected to fill an open space in the U18 OYSL after narrowly missing out on a U17 berth. “For us to stay in the region wasn’t going to be an interesting season,” notes Maneiro, whose top scorer is Kristina Dinardo. “Was it worth it? I think for the most part, anyone with any intellectual foresight would say, ‘Ya.

White and Alexandre De Couvreur topping the goal scoring charts. But Wilson has the team focused on the Ontario Cup as their primary objective for the campaign. A thoroughly dominant opening victory over Barrie served as evidence that Wilson has his players’ ear. “We’re getting it to be sort of

their final kick at the can for someone to take a look and say, ‘You know what? I might have missed this particular player,’” explains Wilson, whose team contains a majority of college or university-bound players – many of whom also coach for the club. “The further we progress here, the more they’ll get seen.”

FOR

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

‘Family’ sticks together into U21 ranks, resume winning

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This is going to help my game because it’s pushing me.’ “If you play the regional league where no one is going to give you that challenge, you’re not going to be a better player. “Those are the struggles, but in the end, it’s helping them.”

Fury U15 boys gunning for division crown The Ottawa Fury U15 boys are off and running in their USL Super-Y League season with a 3-0-1 start, but the team’s main concern is keeping that stride all the way through to the North American finals tournament. The group appeared in last year’s championship tournament and “did OK” in the view of coach Mike Gagliano, winning their first game and then losing the next two. “Our goal is to get back to where we left off this past year,” explains Gagliano, who believes his squad has taken the next required step thanks

to solid training. “We want to win the league, make it back to nationals, and do some damage.” Third-place finishers in their division last season, the Fury’s usual practice schedule runs nightly from Tuesday through Thursday, Friday is a travel day when they have road contests, and games are on the weekend. “The commitment is massive,” highlights Gagliano, whose team carries a lot of pace and moves the ball well. “They obviously love coming and training and having fun, and the results show so far.”

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COMMUNITY CLUBS

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

7

Francophone Games opened doors for Somé By Dan Plouffe

The young players’ heads are hanging low. They only steal a glimpse up at their coach when absolutely necessary. They’re getting a bit of a lecture from Urbain Somé, who calls himself a “very, very tough” coach. It’s the first practice for the 2011 East Region Cup-winning team since they got knocked out of this year’s ER Cup by an opponent that plays a level lower. Somé remembers one time when his first-place club lost to the last-place team. But his punishment wasn’t a thorough tongue wagging. It was two days in jail. When Somé came to Ottawa for the 2001 Francophone Games, he intended to return to his native Burkina Faso. But when his squad failed to make it out of group play, it made him think twice. “In Africa, when they send you to play soccer, they want a result,” explains Somé. “If you don’t have a good result, be ready. You can be put in jail. It can happen easily.” So at age 23, Somé and a teammate decided they wouldn’t go back home, electing to stay in a country that struck him from the moment he arrived. “The first thing that impressed me was that when I walked in the streets and I met the police officers,

West Ottawa Soccer coach Urbain Somé played for Burkina Faso at the 2001 Jeux de la Francophonie in Ottawa. photo: dan plouffe

no one asked me for my ID – I was so shocked,” Somé recalls. “In Europe, there’s no way. You could see how people here live free.” With no money, Somé spent his first few days in Ottawa at the Salvation Army downtown, but soonafter he applied to be a refugee and found work pretty quickly too with the former Ottawa Wizards Canadian Soccer League franchise. The day Somé at last got his citizenship seven years later coincided with the end of his playing career. He’d just had surgery to fix a spinal cord nerve problem, which made for an even more memorable swearing-in ceremony.

“It was a very nice day,” Somé laughs. “I was there with a neck brace, but I was so happy.” Although he’d previously got his certification, Somé didn’t immediately jump into coaching. But after a stint as a church custodian, he changed course. “I figured why am I wasting my time when there’s players that need help?” recounts Somé, who now sends money back home so three family members can go to school. “I thought, ‘You have a lot of experience, you can help the children. Why stop doing something you love?’” His first gig was not with kids, however, it was a “moms team.” He

New course record at Emilie’s Run By Keeton Wilcock Mary Davies has come a long way to become the stellar track athlete that she is now, both figuratively and literally. Few would have guessed that she would transition from a young hockey player in her native New Zealand to a record-setting Ottawa runner, but that’s just the transition she made. “I was about 21 when my hockey coach, she thought that I was a good runner I guess, put me in contact with a local running coach,” recalls Davies. “From there I really found I liked running and I seemed to be OK at it. I switched from hockey and I haven’t really looked back.” Davies has made steady progress since making that switch. Under the tutelage of New Zealand coach Ian Babe, she scored an athletic scholarship to run track at Oklahoma State University in 2004, then moved to Ottawa with her husband and continued competing. Davies’ efforts culminated on June 23, when she clocked a blazing 16:08 5 km time to win Emilie’s Run in Ottawa. That time broke the previous record of

moved on to coach the Université du Québec en Outaouais squad, and now prowls the sidelines for West Ottawa Soccer Club. His U16 boys’ Level 3 team did receive a shock to the system in Cup play, but their regular season in the East Region Soccer League is going much better as they carry an undefeated 4-0-3 mark. Somé believes a division title is definitely within his team’s reach. “They love soccer,” highlights Somé, who also has plenty of fun with his squad aside from the serious moments. “They’re starting to understand my philosophy. It takes time, but they’re coming through.”

FURY: Gear up for finals continued from p. 1

Oliveri believes his first-place team is “on the right path” this year, but the end goal is to win just two games – the semi-finals and the final. He doesn’t doubt that he’s got the horses. The Fury have a steady back line that features Ottawa product Gillian Baggott. They’ve got some jazz in the midfield with Katrina Gorry (who returned home mid-season to play for her Australian national team) and Norwegian Lisa-Marie Woods, the team’s top source of offence. There’s also Shufelt up front alongside last year’s league-leading scorer Mallory Outerbridge. And then in goal there’s Jasmine Phillips, who established a new club record for career shutouts earlier this season. The Ottawa native couldn’t be much more thrilled to have the opportunity to win a W-League title in her hometown. “It’s really exciting,” smiles Phillips, a coach in the club’s youth system who is headed to teacher’s college at the University of Ottawa in the fall. “Who wouldn’t want to be here for a championship? We always have a really amazing, supportive crowd, so it should be a really great tournament.” The Fury players naturally have a desire to win for themselves, but they also want to do it for the club, and the man who started it. “We all want to win it for John,” Shufelt emphasizes. “He’s put so much into the program. I don’t think there’s words to describe what he’s done. The money he puts into it, the time he puts into it – the support is endless. “We’ve got to come out with it this year.”

Lions claim 10 Paralympic track berths By Dan Plouffe

photo provided

16:15, and Davies took home $2,000 for her efforts, funds provided by Ottawa’s Sports 4 athletic store. “At the turnaround point I sort of thought I had a shot at getting the course record as long as I didn’t die too badly,” Davies says. “Then coming through the last 500 metres I sort of knew I had the record which was a good feeling to have.” Davies notes that it was a good feeling to do so well in an event that honours the life of Émilie Mondor, the former Canadian Olympic runner who died in a car accident at 25 years old. Davies is now training to qualify for the 2013 IAAF world track-andfield championships in Moscow, and is looking to represent her home country of New Zealand at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

It was a banner moment for the Ottawa Lions track-and-field club as they walked away from the June 27-30 Canadian team trials in Calgary with a remarkable 10 nominees – seven para-athletes and three guide runners – for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. “Running is an individual sport, or at least it seemed that way,” says three-time Paralympic medalist Jason Dunkerley, who is guided by Josh Karanja. “When I’m running, I’m running with someone, and if you’ve got others around, that’s just even better. “It’s all about support, and we’ve had that with the Lions. We’ve seen that going back to 2003 or even earlier. It really represents that support and the culture within the club to include people. “I’m really exJason Dunkerley. file photo cited and

Josh Cassidy will be a medal threat in many London 2012 wheelchair races.

honoured to be a part of it.” Boston Marathon wheelchair record holder Josh Cassidy is the other main star attraction of the London-bound group, while Rachael Burrows, Jonathan Dunkerley (guided by Sean Young), Leah Robinson, Brandon King (and guide Andrew Heffernan) and Curtis Thom also booked their trips to London. Long-time Lions coach Hugh Conlin now works as Athletics Canada’s para-athletics national event group coach. Dunkerley was thrilled to see so many athletes with connections to the

file photo

capital earn their Paralympic places, although his own performance in the 1,500 and 5,000 metres wasn’t superb since it was his first races coming off a hamstring and glute injury. “Nobody likes to run slow, especially at nationals with people seeing you,” says Dunkerley, who posted times of 4:28.80 and 16:42.50 in his two events. “I knew not to expect too much from it, and we didn’t get much of a time, but it was a race and got my feet wet, I guess.” Pick up next month’s Ottawa Sportspage for an “Ottawa at the Paralympics” special section.


SPORTSPAGE SNAPSHOTS

6 OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

SHOWCASE OF CHAMPIONS TOURNEY COMING ON AUGUST LONG WEEKEND

By early July, 85 teams from 45 clubs had signed up for the first-ever Showcase of Champions tournament, set for Aug. 3-6 in Ottawa. With 36 college and university scouts registered as well, the inaugural event run by Ottawa South United Soccer Club along with the Dallas Texans and Nike has the makings of a new destination tournament in the nation’s capital. “It’s exceeded our expectations for the first year,” says OSU president Bill Michalopulos, who will welcome teams from as far as Edmonton and Dallas. “We want to build it into the best showcase in Canada.” See collegesoccershowcase.ca for more information.

SWIM STARS SUSTAIN SHINE

After coming close to earning Olympic berths at the Canadian team trials in the spring, Ottawa teenage swimming sensations Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson and Karyn Jewell have continued their impressive performances in the summer. Seltenreich-Hodgson, the 17-year-old NepeanKanata Barracuda, won her first international gold medal on Europe’s Mare Nostrum circuit, clocking a 2:14.74 time in the 200 m medley. Jewell, 19, placed second in the 1,500 m free at the July 5-8 Canada Cup event in Montreal, registering a time of 17:18.49.

RIDEAU CAPTURES CANADA DAY CANOE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Over 250 high-performance paddlers – from Canada, USA, Puerto Rico and Australia – competed at the Rideau Canoe Club’s Canada Day regatta on July 1. Kate Braddon of the host club won gold in the under-16 women’s 500 m kayak event, while Madeline Schmidt and Ben Tardioli were gold medalists in Team Canada boats in the U18 women’s K2 200 m and U18/ Open men’s C4 200 m respectively. Other Ottawa athletes winning silver medals included Alexandra Joy, Zach Porter, Rowan Hardy-Kavanagh, Katie Acelvari and Allison Keller.

SHAYOK LEADS CANADA TO 5TH PLACE FINISH AT FIBA U17 WORLDS

Just as he does for his St. Patrick Irish in high school basketball, Marial Shayok was front and centre leading Team Canada at the June 29July 8 FIBA U17 world championships in Lithuania. Shayok was second on the team in minutes played and points scored with an average of 25 and 12 per game. John McCrae Secondary School’s Chris McComber also played a significant role for the team that went 5-3 overall to finish in fifth place. Former University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s basketball head coach Dave DeAveiro directed the team from the bench.

VANIER BALL HOCKEY STARS SET TO TAKE ON NATIONALS

The Ottawa Vanier Women’s Ball Hockey League is gearing up for another run at a Canadian championship as they prepare for the Aug. 1418 nationals in Edmonton. In recent years, numerous players from the area have gone on to represent Canada at the world championships, including seven who went to Slovakia in 2011. Likely the strongest such league in Canada, the OVWBHL features many elite university and semi-pro ice hockey players. They are currently seeking sponsorship – from small to large amounts – to fund their trip to nationals. Contact Vanier United coach Shelley Callaghan for more information at purpledog@sympatico.ca or 613-798-8029.

GOLDEN GALLEY GIRLS ROCK DRAGONBOAT FESTIVAL

The Ottawa Galley Girls won three silver medals in the top women’s division at the 2012 Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, held June 22-24 at Mooney’s Bay Park. The Rideau Canoe Club-based team came closest to gold in the 100 m event, coming within .18 seconds of the Montreal Women Elite, who also edged the Galley Girls to the line in the 200 m and 500 m.

NEW SLEDGE ICE PAD

The final phase of the City of Ottawa’s $8.7 million multi-year expansion and renovation of the Goulbourn Recreation Complex was completed last month as Arena B – an NHL-sized ice surface built specifically to accommodate sledge hockey – officially opened. “I visited the facility and was very impressed,” Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario president Serge Lavoie said in an e-mail to the Ottawa Sportspage. “It is awesome. It has windows into the boards in the corners of the rink to permit people in wheelchairs to view the ice surface; the change rooms are roomy and accessible.” A few other features include widened team benches to accommodate sledges and synthetic ice that can be installed to link the ice surface with dressing rooms. The expansion project also included six new change rooms, an expanded referee room and a tournament reception lobby. See SportsOttawa.com for more.

Colts capture OFSAA silver

BLACKBURN TKD SHINES AT PAN AM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Blackburn TKD athletes were all over the podium at the ITF Pan-American Taekwon-do Championships June 15-17 in Trois-Rivières, Que. Steven LeGrow and Kayla Maduk were unbeatable in each of their events, earning gold across the board in patterns, individual sparring and team sparring. Fritz Deck-Lalonde was also a gold medalist from the club, while Wayne Thompson, Pierce Rodgers, Adam Khaddaj and Alexander Patterson all brought home medals as well.

photo: dan plouffe

The Ashbury Colts made a valiant secondhalf comeback attempt, but it wasn’t quite enough to knock off Oakville Trafalgar in the final of June’s OFSAA ‘AAA/AAAA’ girls’ rugby championships at Twin Elm Rugby Park in Richmond. On the strength of kicker Nicola Froislie’s foot, Ashbury pulled out clutch victories in the quarter-finals and semi-finals to reach the championship match and earn its provincial silver medal.


EDITORIAL

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

5

The Ottawa Sportspage will be down its #1 newspaper delivery man for the next few months. My dad, Paul Plouffe, is headed in for heart surgery probably as this paper is being printed. It’s as routine as it gets for an operation dealing with the central organ, but it’s provided me with the incentive to pay a long overdue tribute to a man who’s got more heart than anyone I know – even when it’s not pumping at full steam. Yes, I absolutely could not tell you about the countless ways he’s helped out the Ottawa Sportspage in practice. Every time I call asking for help, there’s no need to even hear the answer. He’s been there every step of the way – from building signs for newspaper racks, to purchasing and

Thanks Dad.

constructing plastic stand covers, and of course driving around the city to deliver the paper each month (I swear that gas money is coming soon, by the way.) But what I’m even more thankful for is the lessons he’s taught me throughout life that have helped me along in this new endeavour. My dad has provided inspiration from so many angles. First, he’s moulded my life passions, most notably for sports, of course. I had a ball for just about every sport growing up, and somehow he didn’t kick me out even though I put just about every one of them through a wall or window during Ultimate Sports Tournaments in our living room and dining room.

He coached my minor hockey team every year. He took me to Riders, Lynx, Renegades, 67’s and Sens games. I don’t think there’s anything I enjoy more than sharing the moment together when we’re jumping arm in arm after a big playoff goal. Simply put, my dad built the drive that makes the Sportspage chug along. But I think even more inspirational to me is the spirit my dad shows in life. Maybe the #1 thing he’s imparted on me is that if you’re not pleased about something, it’s your job to change it. I’ve seen him demonstrate this countless times by producing the willpower to make significant life-changing decisions that others would shy away from. Like quitting smoking when I was young, tak-

Ottawa at Olympics Ottawa at Olympics Ottawa at the thethe Olympics

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Across Across Across 22 Modern pentathlon coach 2 Modern pentathlon Modern pentathlon coachcoach 55 Ottawa city councillor && 5 Ottawa city councillor & Ottawa city councillor mission team mission team volunteer mission teamvolunteer volunteer 77 Colonel By grad 7 Colonel SS&grad & Colonel BySS SSBy grad & Men's 4x100 m runner 4x100 m runner Men'sMen's 4x100 m runner 88 Team Canada women's 8 Team Canada women's Team Canada women's soccer striker alternate soccer striker alternate soccer striker alternate 12 4x100 mmrelay 12 Men's 4x100 m relay 12 Men's Men's 4x100 relay runner runner runner 13 Canada women's 13 Team Canada women's 13 Team Team Canada women's basketball guard basketball basketball guardguard 14 men's relay 14 Athletics men's 14 Athletics Athletics men's relayrelay coach coachcoach 16 team 16 Men's team table tennis 16 Men's Men's teamtable tabletennis tennis player player player 18 football referee 18 Women's football referee 18 Women's Women's football referee 19 Women's 800 m runner 19 Women's 800 m runner 19 Women's 800 m runner

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Dan Plouffe Editor 613-261-5838 Editor@SportsOttawa.com Larry Ring Director of Business Development 613-293-1730 Larry@SportsOttawa.com The Ottawa Sportspage is printed the first Tuesday of every month by Ottawa Sports Media, the locally-owned and operated publishers of the Ottawa Sportspage and SportsOttawa.com.

SPORTSOTTAWA.COM JUNE STARS OF THE WEEK

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902 Pinecrest Rd. Ottawa, K2B 6B3

Name: Emma Galbraith Sport: Track-and-field Club: Ottawa Lions School: ESC Franco-Ouest Grade: 12 About: Emma Galbraith capped her high school career with a double-gold medal victory at the OFSAA track-andfield championships in Brockville. The Grade 12 Franco-Ouest student won the senior girls’ 800 m and 1,500 m.

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ing early retirement, and living a healthier lifestyle in recent years. These are all moments that I’ve felt so proud of my father. And there’s also his personality traits. Staying calm and maintaining a positive outlook at all times are two main ones. That’s how he’s approaching his surgery – no big deal, let’s get it done and move on with life. I guess it’s not so tough when he’s got that carrot dangling of being able to lace up his skates again once they fix up his tinker better than ever. This isn’t a farewell, old man, not at all. It’s just time to catch up on a couple messages I don’t repeat nearly often enough: Thank you. And I love you.

Name: Megan Kawai Sport: Rhythmic Gymnastics Club: A.Y. Jackson SS School: Franco-Ouest Grade: 10 About: Previously a winner of three consecutive provincial titles in the duo event, Megan Kawai won her first individual Ontario rhythmic gymnastics all-around gold medal in the highest provincial category while earning the highest score on ribbon, clubs and rope.

Down DownDown KAWAI: Big 11 Canoe slalom men's 1 Canoe slalom men's Canoe slalom men's whitewater kayaker whitewater kayaker whitewater kayaker continued from p. 3 33 Canadian Olympic 3 Canadian Olympic Canadian Olympic Kawai felt “really, Committee manager sport Committee manager Committee manager sportsportreally happy” when communications communications communications they called her name as provincial champion, 44 Women's epee 4 Women's epee fencer Women's epeefencer fencer 55 Women's hammer thrower 5 Women's hammer throwerbut seeing her sister afWomen's hammer thrower was an equally 66 Men's singles table 6 Men's singles table tennis terwards Men's singles tabletennis tennis special moment. player player player “She was really 88 Men's lightweight double 8 Men's lightweight double proud of me,” recounts Men's lightweight double sculls scullssculls Kawai, who finished close to 3.5 points ahead 99 Women's eight+ rower 9 Women's eight+ Women's eight+ rowerrower of second place com10 table 10 Women's table tennis 10 Women's Women's tabletennis tennis petitor Chantal Mason player player player of the Ottawa Rhythmic 11 epee 11 Women's 11 Women's Women's epeeepee Gymnastics Club with coach/fencing team coach/fencing team leadera three-event combined coach/fencing teamleader leader 15 -73 judoka 15 Men's -73 kg judoka 15 Men's Men's -73kg kg judoka total of 54.916. “She said that my ribbon 17 modern 17 Women's modern 17 Women's Women's modern routine was definitely pentathlete pentathlete pentathlete

Name: Lauren Hughes Sport: Soccer Club: Ottawa Fury School: St. Peter CHS Grade: 12 About: Still St. Peter CHS student council president, Rice University-bound Lauren Hughes is also playing against some of the best female soccer players in North America as a member of the Ottawa Fury’s W-League team.

medal haul for local athletes the best. She said that what made me standout from my competition was that my expression looked like I was really enjoying myself.” Kawai’s performance launched the Kanata team towards a large medal haul throughout the June 8-10 weekend. Earning individual all-around medals were Danica Goodchild (silver in Level 6B, Age 16+), Erica Lin (silver in Level 3B, Age 9-10) and Haley Miller (bronze in Level 2B, Age 8-9), while Cleo

Page (silver in Level 5A, Age 13-15) and Anica Praught (bronze in Level 6B, Age 16+) won all-around medals for Ottawa. Athletes from the nation’s capital not only occupied many places on the podium in individual and group events, they also owned a sizeable portion of the qualifying positions for the provincial championships in a sport where the majority of the competitions take place around Toronto. See SportsOttawa. com for more details.


Local orienteers find way to Europe By Ian Ewing

Two orienteering families have reason to be proud this month. The Ottawa Orienteering Club is the home of three of Canada’s seven athletes selected for the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland July 14-21. Locals Jeff Teutsch, Eric Kemp, and Robbie Anderson were each selected. The Kemp family, meanwhile, has extra reason to cheer, as Eric’s younger sisters Emily and Molly were selected to the Junior National Team competing in Slovakia for the Junior World Orienteering Championship (JWOC). OOC’s Alex Bergstrom will also join the Kemp girls at JWOC. Exceptionally popular in Scandanavia, the sport is starting to grow in Canada, with the Ottawa club at the forefront. Orienteering is an outdoor sport in which competitors race through the wilderness on unfamiliar terrain, running from one checkpoint or “control” to the next using only a detailed topographical map and a compass to guide them. For Teutsch, his first world championships represents the achievement of a longstanding goal. After applying and being accepted to the Canadian Orienteering Federation’s High Performance Program this year, Teutsch earned his spot on the national team based on his results at a priority race in Canmore, AB at the end of May. “It’s been a big goal of mine to work towards being on the team for the world championships,” Teutsch highlights. “I’m very excited.” Eric Kemp attended worlds as a junior in 2009, but will be making his first appearance as a senior, running the middle distance. The 22-year-old talks excitedly about returning to the atmosphere of a world competition. “You’re surrounded by all these different people from different parts of the world, and all of them have been bent on this one week for the last year at least, probably more,” he de-

file photo

scribes. “You’re all together sharing the experience. It’s just wonderful.”

EURO TRAVEL REQUIRED FOR ELITE The men each left for Europe weeks ahead of WOC. After time acclimatizing and training, they are attending the World University Orienteering Championships in Spain as a tune-up before Switzerland. Kemp joined Anderson in Sweden, the acknowledged home and heart of the sport. Anderson has been living and training there while completing his Master’s degree. He’ll be racing the sprint and long distances. Teutsch, meanwhile, chose to train first in Austria, where he has family. The Carleton engineering graduate is expected to run the middle and long distances at WOC. Kemp, a computer science student at Carleton, has been a member of the High Performance Program since its inception in 2009. He recalls the day, two years before that, when he started to get serious about orienteering. Despite being an active and outdoorsy family, he says, the Kemps were never partic-

Winning smile

photo: dan plouffe

ularly athletic. One day, however, Emily emerged from her room and announced to the family that she was going for a run. “The concept was completely foreign to us,” Eric laughs. Soon that training began to pay off, and Emily, “two years younger and a foot shorter,” began beating her older brother. Consistently. “After a while, I said to myself, ‘This can’t continue!’” he recalls. And now, he says, it seems odd if he doesn’t go for a run every day. Emily is now living and training in France with the French national team. Already the holder of Canadian records for best results at JWOC with two 13th-place finishes, she’s looking to cap her final year as a junior in style. At the French national championship this year, she won the middle distance by 10 minutes in a typically 40-minute race. The Kemps are hoping for a similar result at JWOC. Sibling rivalry what it is, though, Eric claims he’s still faster. “I haven’t raced directly against her in a while, but I hope I am,” he smiles. Glebe Collegiate Institute’s Yves Sikubwabo overcame a very large cap near the end of the senior boys’ 1,500 m to claim a gold medal at June’s OFSAA trackand-field championships in Brockville. Franco-Ouest’s Emma Galbraith was a double winner in the senior girls’ 1,500 & 3,000 m, while John McCrae’s Hannah Kelsey Smith won the midget girls’ long jump & triple jump, and St. Paul’s Shermar Paul also made an impressive OFSAA debut by winning midget boys’ 100 m gold & 200 m silver. National capital athletes won a total of 23 medals at OFSAA. See SportsOttawa.com for more.

Doc Hockey Corner

Year-round hockey training, or different summertime sports?

4 OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

ELITE

--By Dr. Shayne Baylis, Doc Hockey www.primordialstrengthsystems.com When should my child start to focus on one similarly had experienced extraordinary ressport all year- ults in swimming and other events. They’d looked at the development of round? I can hear my sport-specific training versus generalized ears ringing as sports training for the elite athlete and creI return down ated a superior training methodology. The memory lane to the time of playing hockey Russians worked on the multi-sport theory all year-round in my youth. I can recall Don with general physical preparation, and later Cherry reciting, “If you make your kids play in life, they increased to sport-specific physhockey all year-round, they will get burned ical preparation training. At the early ages of out and will not have the hunger or drive to 6.5 to 9 years old, a child would be exposed to multiple fitness skills of a basic level such play the following season.” For me, this was never the case because as running, jumping, climbing, tumbling, I never had the same passion for any other swimming and throwing, and only 5-10% of sport like I did for hockey, even though I training volume is specialized skills. In North had played all-star soccer and baseball. I America, the tendency is to specialize early. The Russians and Germans provided was one of those kids who would go to the well-recognized hockey camps all summer these findings over a 14-year study: Some early studies compared Early Specialization vs. Multi-Sports Program such as Roger Neilson’s, and Hockey EARLY SPECIALIZATION MULTILATERAL PROGRAM Tech, and PASS hockey camp with Performance improvements were Performance improvements were immediate continuous Cam Brother’s, in Toronto. Excelled at 15-16 because of Excelled over 18 yrs old due to early adaptation physical and mental maturation On several occasions, I would return Performance inconsistencies at Performance was consistent from hockey camp and go straight to competitions 18, many athletes quit or After 18, many athletes were play my Friday night summer hockey By burned out starting to “come into their own” game – it was always go, go, go and Pressured adaptation stimulated a Gradual adaptation accounted for high rate of injuries a low rate of injuries no time for rest. As a chiropractor and strength trainer, I believe it is important to focus As a chiropractor and strength trainer, I be-off-season training to the areas in their body that are weak and vulnerable (muscle imbalance) due to KICKING SKATES ASIDE IN SUMMER lieve it is important to focus off-season trainneglect during the season. Clinically I have observed that it is the posterior/backside of our bodies that are weak. Often we get so involved in repetitive sport-specific movements I have known other competitive hockey ing to the areas in their body that are weak that we overlook the potential damage as a result of overworked muscles. These repetitive exercises can lead to muscle fatigueimbalance) and injury. players who would play alternative summer and vulnerable (muscle due to We must be ‘fit to train’ before training for a sport. The current research findings are sports like soccer and lacrosse. They seldom theexercise season. Often wejumping, get sosprints) will suggestingneglect the conceptduring of general (squats, dead lifts, best outcomes performancesport-specific improvements. By moveimplementing repetitive would be on the ice during the summer produce and theinvolved in forrepetitive explosiveness and the Variable method (light to heavy), training is utilizing a specific yet they would return to hockey tryouts, function and that ments that we overlook the potential damageThis type of can transfer immediately to expedite sports performance. training improves neurological function of motor skills without overtraining the specific it would take them minimal time before they as a result of overworked muscles. muscles used for a particular sport and making the body more stable and powerful from the ground up.We must be ‘fit to train’ before training for would be the top performers. ‘desire’ and ‘determination’ for a sport will determine their ability to pursue My opinion is that a child’s character The andathlete’s a sport. research findings suggest specialization. Dry-landCurrent training should key on muscle imbalances and training the muscles to be fast-twitch fibers usingexercise lower weights rather than slow-twitch, passion for the game plays a huge role in the theexplosive concept of general (squats, endurance-based training. way a child will react to year round training in Doc Hockey dead lifts, jumping, willand produce the– all sports inquires Visit Training Centre forsprints) a consultation information www.dochockey.ca. one sport. I believe they should be givenare thewelcome. best performance improvements. This type Reference:of The Development of the Russian Conjugate Sequence System. By Tom option to pursue what they enjoy. If they need training improves neurological motor skills Myslinski. www.elitefitness.com the gentle push, then give them the nudge, function without overtraining muscles used for but do not overpower their choice. a particular sport and making the body more Sport Researchers from Haubenstricker stable and powerful from the ground up. and Seefeldt from Germany said, “ReadThe athlete’s ‘desire’ and ‘determination’ iness to learn is unique to each individual,” for a sport will determine their ability to purand “the challenge is to match an individual’s sue specialization. Visit Doc Hockey Training readiness with appropriate learning tasks.” Centre for a consultation and information – all There is no country that took development sports inquiries are welcome. of athletes more seriously than the Russians Visit dochockey.ca for more information. and they exemplified this at the 1984 Friend@doc_hockey ship Games in Moscow. Comparing their results to the Los Angeles Olympic Games they doc hockey boycotted, the Russians would have won 28 of the 41 gold medals in track and field and PREVENTION - PERFORMANCE - RECOVERY

Doc Hockey/Rayvens Summer Camp Aug. 20-24, 8:30-4:30, Orléans Rec Centre

OAMA fighter wins BJJ world title By Ian Ewing

Brandon “Jacaré” McGourty has risen quickly in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The 25-year-old won gold in his division at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) world championships last month in Long Beach, CA. The Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts product who had no previous martial arts experience has only been doing BJJ for three years. A long-time fan of the UFC and mixed martial arts, he decided he wanted to pursue the sport and followed his older brother into BJJ. In fact, McGourty laughs, “I started doing jiu-jitsu, fell in love with it, and MMA went out the window.”

Despite injuring his back only two weeks before the world championship tournament, Jacaré (who earned his nickname because of a resemblance to another BJJ practitioner, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza) was able to fight his five matches, including the championship bout. He defeated Michael Colfax of Phoenixbased Megaton BJJ Academy in the final to win the Men’s White Belt Middleweight division. McGourty hopes to continue his BJJ career by repeating as world champion in every belt. It’s a goal that requires total dedication. “I work at OAMA, I train, and I compete. Outside of jiu-jitsu, I sleep,” Jacaré avows. “There’s no time to go out and party and drink. It’s just holding me back from my goals.”


COMMUNITY CLUBS

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

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Gymnast follows sister/mentor’s footsteps By Dan Plouffe

With a 12-year background in the sport and 17 hours of training per week, Megan Kawai’s recent provincial rhythmic gymnastics title has been a long time in the making. But the Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club athlete believes the most important ingredient to her success in a sport that requires a mastery of a vast set of diverse skills is her older sister.

“What inspired me most to continue in gymnastics would be my sister, Emily,” explains Kawai, noting Emily was a former individual provincial champion herself in her final year of competing. Kawai had two older sisters that led the way into rhythmic gymnastics, which she picked up at age 4. The A.Y. Jackson Secondary School student who just finished Grade 10 had competed in seven previous Ontario championships before this season, and won gold medals in the duo event three years running. But she’d never before stood at the top of the podium as an individual champion, but this season offered the best opportunity, even though she was competing in the highest provincial category, Level 6C. “I don’t normally get that nervous, but a week before provincials, I was freaking out,” Kawai recalls. “Since I had won the qualifiers, I knew I had a really, really good chance, so that’s what made me the most

New triathletes take off

nervous.” T h e 16-yearold also faced an a d d e d challenge – instead of competing on separate days was the case in past years, her group event was scheduled just before her individual events on the Friday of the Megan Kawai won the ribbon, clubs and three-day rope events en route to all-around gold. photo: dan plouffe championships. choice (rope) events en route to “It wasn’t that bad actually,” says the overall title. “Everyone was Kawai, who took bronze with her feeling my energy.” KRSG club teammates after an “OK” And of course there was group routine. “I thought I was going the extra motivation of having to be a lot more tired than I was, but all her sister in the stands. It was the adrenaline I think kept me awake.” an easy trip from downtown She also received a boost since the Toronto up to Etobicoke for first event was her favourite, ribbon. Emily, a 21-year-old Ontario “It’s really, really upbeat and College of Art and Design stububbly, so my per- dent who used to coach Megan sonality shows the a little under the guidance of best through that long-time KRSG coach and routine,” highlights club founder Dasa Lelli. Kawai, who also KAWAI continued on p. 5 won the clubs and

Kanata Rhythmic GYMNASTICS

CLUB

Over 50 young athletes swam, biked and ran their way through a beautiful Baxter Conservation Area course in Kars for the Baxter Beach All Terrain Kids Triathlon on June 16. Category winners included Colin Fisher (boys’ U9), Elise Dale (girls’ U9), Chloe Shepherd (girls’ U11), Aiden Hyndman (boys’ U11), Calum MacDonald (boys’ U5), Charlotte Hill (girls’ U5), Meanne Larochelle (girls’ U7), Justin Robinson (boys’ U7), Joey Stephenson (boys’ U15), Jordan Robinson (boys’ U13) and Rachel Cameron (girls’ U13). photos: dan plouffe

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS Commonwealth race to bowl out AIDS CLASSES IN WEST OTTAWA MacPherson adds. By Anne Duggan An Olympic sport for girls, rhythmic gymnastics develops fitness, flexibility and coordination in an active atmosphere, using gymnastics, balls, ropes, ribbons, hoops and dance. In KRSG’s programs, girls will develop their skills, play games, and work towards earning rhythmic gymnastics badges and a performance showing their skills! Girls age four and up: Enjoy the fun sport of rhythmic gymnastics now! • Recreational classes from age 4 and up • Pre-competitive program from age 5 and up • Competitive programs age 7 and up Celebrating our 38th wonderful season!

REGISTER AT WWW.KRSG.ORG

This July 1 saw a unique opportunity for more than 750 local runners to reach out to young Caribbean cricket players. The Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) Game of Life fun run and 1 km kids’ race raised $25,000 while helping Canadians to kick off their Canada Day celebrations with a route through some of Ottawa’s most spectacular settings. CGC Chief Executive Officer Brian MacPherson notes that a big part of his organization’s focus is using sports for development. “CGC is a unique sports organization,” he highlights. “We run programs for Canadian athletes and also programs in developing countries. Canada is considered a leader in the Commonwealth. We do our part.” While the CGC has many such programs, like the Herd Boy Program in sub-Sahara

3rd-place finisher Heather Hillsburg (left) and Kerri Labrecque (2nd) hoist women’s 5k race winner Leah Larocque on July 1. photo:commonwealth games canada

Africa, the July 1 event was raising money for the Bowling Out AIDS program. It’s a cricket-based developmentthrough-sport program in the Caribbean for 9- to 19-year-old youth, designed to both increase cricket skills and reduce the incidence and transmission of HIV infections through awareness and education. “What hockey is to Canada, cricket is to the Caribbean,”

The $25,000 will go a long way to fund clinics for local Caribbean coaches where they will be taught drills along with ways to educate youth about HIV. There were an estimated 240,000 people living with HIV in the Caribbean in 2009, which MacPherson defines as an epidemic. “We are trying to get to the younger generation in order to make an HIV-free Caribbean,” he explains. This year’s Game of Life fun run was such a success that CGC along with the NCC and race sponsors are now planning for a similar event next year. Garrett de Jong of Carlsbad Springs won the men’s 5 km with a time of 15:52 followed by Tony Benjamin of Orleans and Bradley Conley of Ottawa. Leah Larocque of Ottawa won the women’s event in 17:31 with Kerri Labrecque and Heather Hillsburg – both from Ottawa – in second and third place.


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OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – JULY EDITION

JULY 27- 29


The Heartbeat of Ottawa Sports

SportsOttawa.com

Vol. 10

July 2012

Paid food, lodging & work for players all key to Fury club’s renowned professional approach to amateur soccer

LONDON PLANS CONFIRMED

By Dan Plouffe

P. 7

Seven para-athletes and three guides from the Ottawa Lions officially booked their trips to the London Paralympic Games.

FRANCOPHONE GAMES LEGACY

P. 7

Originally from Burkina Faso, local soccer coach Urbain Somé first arrived in Ottawa at the 2001 Francophone Games.

OLYMPIC HOPEFULS MISS CUT

P. 11

From boardroom and coach decisions to injuries, several strong local candidates were not selected to the Canadian team.

Yes, they don’t yet have that elusive championship trophy. They’ve been runner-up three times. But with their record of nine consecutive division crowns, an all-time winning percentage above .800 and a home-field unbeaten streak extending into the 30s, there’s no question the Ottawa Fury are doing something right. The missing crown of course is a USL W-League championship. But the club will have a chance to provide the storybook end to that quest when they host the league final four July 27-29 at Algonquin College. There’s no doubt the pieces are in place to make it happen. The single squad that brought the Ottawa Fury Soccer Club to life 13 years ago has created a formula for success that few of their competitors are able to match. “It is a pro team in all but one thing – we don’t pay the players to play,” says Fury owner and CEO John Pugh, who is the instrumental first ingredient to the club’s success. “We try to act as professionally as we can both on and off the field. “We look after the players well.

After an undefeated regular season and conference playoffs last season, the Ottawa Fury were forced to settle for the club’s third USL W-League silver medal when they lost in the championship game. The team will have the chance to win that elusive crown when they host the W-League’s final four July 27-29 on their Algonquin College home field.

Eyeing the Top

photos: dan plouffe

We make sure that their health, their physio and all these things are taken care of – food, accommodations, good facilities, and good coaching.”

HOUSING PROVIDED FOR PLAYERS

Each year the team brings in around 15 players from out of town. Most are NCAA college players or recent graduates, while a handful hail from other points on the globe, including this year’s contingent from New Zealand, Australia and Norway. As head coach Dom Oliveri recruits players to join his squad, all the extras the club provides is a major selling point. “Right off the bat, it’s very important to tell them about the accommodations and the setup of the club,” Oliveri notes. “That’s one of the reasons they come here, Fury midfielder it’s the professional setup, Katrina Gorry which is something they’re became the 17th player in franchise not used to where they’re history to play for a national team when coming from. It makes us she dressed for her really attractive.” native Australia mid-season. The Fury rent eight

houses near the Byward Market for its W-League and men’s Professional Development League players. During the day early in the season, the players lead the club’s highly successful Soccer in Schools program, where they provide instruction and an introduction to soccer for over 5,000 participants each year. “It’s cool. You get to meet a lot of different kids and they’re excited,” explains Rochester, NY native Jessica Shufelt, a key offensive weapon for the Fury. “They kind of make you feel like a superstar.” Once school is out, the Fury players help run summer camps for younger athletes. It provides an opportunity for players to earn some money without compromising their NCAA eligibility status as amateur athletes. The work gets split evenly between the out-of-towners. Local Fury players generally already have their own jobs and places to live, but they often spend time at the players’ houses since it’s such a great atmosphere. “It’s so much fun. There’s never a dull moment. If one person’s down,

NACRA RUGBY WORLD CUP 7s 2013 QUALIFIER AUGUST 25-26, 2012 * TWIN ELM RUGBY PARK * OTTAWA http://events.rugbycanada.ca

another one’s going to bring them up,” describes Shufelt, who was sporting a black eye earlier this season when the fun and games ended for a quick moment anyhow. “We were just messing around, wrestling, and I got elbowed in the face. I woke up in the morning and I had a black eye. I’d like to say it was from a game, but I can’t.” Elbow drops notwithstanding, there’s no doubt the teammates establish close connections as they live in close quarters. “They’re like sisters,” Shufelt adds. “I came back this year and knew a couple of the girls and it felt like we never left. Same thing with the new girls, it feels like I’ve known them forever.” Ask any Fury player what they like most about the team and chances are they’ll say it’s the camaraderie. Oliveri believes that’s another key ingredient. “For a women’s team, I think it’s essential,” he says. “They get along on the pitch and off the pitch, and part of that (comes from) staying together. They’re always doing stuff together.” FURY continued on p.7