BARRIE SHEPLEY'S LONDON OLYMPIC NEWSLETTER DAY 10 - WHITFIELD RACES EARLY TOMORROW
HISTORY MADE AT WIMBELDON YESTERDAY
BARRIE SHEPLEY'S LONDON OLYMPIC NEWSLETTER DAY 9 - FINALLY CANADA IS GOLDEN
HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR COACH? ASK GOLD MEDALIST ROSIE MACLENNAN: In yesterday's newsletter, I introduced you to Dave Ross the legendary trampoline coach. Late yesterday, after 8 days of Olympic competition, Canadian trampoline star Rosie Maclennan won Canada's first gold medal here in London. Coach Ross is solely responsible for the success of Canadian trampoline, and MacLennan's win is a credit to her hard work, and his knowledge and passion. Rosie started her trampoline as a young girl in Dave's Richmond Hill Trampoline gymnasium where she looked up to her idol Karen Cockburn. Yesterday she made history by winning the first women's gold medal ever in the sport.
BARRIE SHEPLEY'S LONDON OLYMPIC NEWSLETTER DAY 8 - TIME FOR THE WOMEN'S TRIATHLON
HOPE YOUR GETTING UP EARLY TOMORROW MORNING OR STAYING UP LATE TONIGHT (depending on which part of the country you live in): Its past midnight here in London and I have to get up in a few hours to prepare for the women’s triathlon show. To make my life easier in the morning, I am sending tomorrow’s newsletter out now. Remember the women’s show live is 4am EST on CTV’s main network. If you missed the show it will be replayed between 7-11pm Sat night on TSN’s PRIME TIME channel. As I write this, I can only imagine the wild energy that three special women will be feeling, as they achieve a life-long ambition of getting an Olympic medal for themselves, their parents, their coaches and their sponsors. Writing this newsletter before the race actually has occurred, I selfishly hope that Paula and Kathy can hit the finishing line knowing that there was nothing more they could have done on the day and are satisfied with their performances (whether that’s gold or 20th place). I know how many meters in the pool, how many bike kilometers on the road, how many weight workouts, long runs, track runs, physio appointments and airports they have been to over the last four years to have made it to day’s race.
BARRIE SHEPLEY'S LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES NEWSLETTER DAY 7 - TOMORROW IS THE WOMEN'S TRIATHLON
WHO WILL BE CANADA’S FIRST GOLDEN ATHLETE OF THE LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES? As noted in our first newsletters a week ago, Canada only regularly gets 3 GOLD medals per Summer Olympics. Getting a gold is not easy and everything needs to be nearly perfect. When you are going up against major world powers (USA, RUSSIA, CHINA) who have huge populations they dominate most of the events. Then there are specialty countries (African nations running, Asian Nations in gymnastics and table tennis, Europeans in bike racing, etc). Finding your area of specialty is not easy. Then most countries are either Winter (Norway, Sweden, Austria) or Summer (Kenya, Australia, Great Britain) and very few try to do both (like Russia, USA, China, Germany and Canada). Per capita, when you factor summer and winter, Canada does very well, but right now everyone is waiting to see who is going to bring home one of those sacred Gold Medals.
BARRIE SHEPLEY'S LONDON OLYMPIC NEWSLETTER DAY 5 - CANADIAN WOMEN ROCK
GIRLPOWER DAY FOR CANADA: The women’s gymnastic team beat Japan and other world powers to finish an astonishing 5th place overall (with their captain sitting on the sidelines with an ACL injury). Canada has never been in the top 8 EVER, so this is a huge result. Then bronze medals yesterday by our women’s 10M Synchro Dive Team and our female weight lifters helps bring Canada’s total medal count to four (3 women’s medals & one male medal) . Add in Canada’s female soccer team qualifying into the next round and you have a major GIRL POWER DAY. Fortunately, a few of the boys came through as well with Brent Hayden making it into the 100m freestyle finals (later today) and Canada’s 4th Olympic bronze medal coming from Antoine Valois-Fortier. The 22-year-old from Quebec City athlete defeated American Travis Stevens 1-0 in the men’s 81-kilogram judo event. It’s Canada’s first judo medal since Nicholas Gill won silver in 2000 (the picture below of the 23 year old bronze medalist). In 2008, it was 8 days before Canada won its first medal of any colour. The next big Canadian question is “which athlete/team will be the first to win GOLD for Canada at these London Games”. The day was not without some setbacks however as all our tennis players (men’s singles, men’s double & women’s singles all lost and are out of the tournament).