Saturday, September 10, 2011
You have to wonder if there has ever been a time like this in Kamloops’ sporting history. . . . Shot putter Dylan Armstrong won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, last week. He is the first Canadian in history — in history! — to win a throws medal at Worlds. . . . As well, Armstrong is almost certain to win the Diamond League title and finish the year ranked No. 1 in the world. . . . Catharine Pendrel, who moved here from New Brunswick in 2006 because of the premium training conditions, is the No. 1 women’s mountain biker in the world. She won the world championship in Champery, Switzerland, on Saturday. (If you aren’t already, follow her at cpendrel.blogspot.com). . . .
And we’ve got Kelly Olynyk, the 6-foot-11 product of South Kam, playing as well as he ever has and making an impact with the Canadian men’s basketball team. He is going into his junior season with the Spokane-based Gonzaga Bulldogs and it is going to be interesting to watch his progress. . . . By the way, when Armstrong qualified for the shot put final in Daegu last week, the Vancouver Sun used this headline: B.C. shot putter hurls into final. . . . Must have been something he ate. . . .
“Glad to see that Danica Patrick is joining NASCAR,” writes Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, “the only sports league in the world where the two most popular athletes — Danica and Dale Earnhardt Jr. — will sell all the merchandise but win none of the events.” . . . Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “After nearly a decade at the top, Vancouver, B.C., has been summarily dropped to third on a global ‘most livable cities’ list. Baffled city residents, pointing to Vancouver’s stunning views, progressive government and general civic serenity, are demanding a recount, and if they don’t get one, plan to don their Canucks jerseys and set fire to the downtown core.” . . .
Greg Cote, in the Miami Herald: “Rory McIlroy has won golf’s U.S. Open but never been ranked No. 1. His tennis-star girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, is ranked No. 1 but has never won a major. They make such an imperfect couple.” . . . You have to think that Tulsa wide receiver Damaris Johnson is in a spot of trouble after his girlfriend, who clerks at a Macy’s store, allegedly sold him merchandise worth US$1,238.75 for, uhh, 34 cents in one transaction and $1,596.09 worth of goods for $12.91 in another. As Brad Rock of Salt Lake City’s Deseret News noted: “Rumor has it Johnson is now looking to find a girlfriend who works at a car dealership.” . . .
If you have never been in Regina during the Labour Day weekend, with the Saskatchewan Roughriders about to meet the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press pretty much summed it up: “Grown men will be wearing watermelons on their heads in Regina. Old ladies will be hurling vile epithets at Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce . . . There will be lots and lots of urinating, some of it even in the restrooms.” . . . Prior to that game, Brandon Underwood, who was dealt by the Kamloops Blazers to the Regina Pats over the summer, tweeted: “Well I guess there’s a football game today, I think I’m the only person not wearing green.” . . . It won’t be long before he’s one of the watermelon heads. . . .
A tweet from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun: “Winnipeg Jets jersey looks great. Too bad it’s got that curling ring crest on the front of it.” . . . Jones also notes that we can look forward to a curling announcement next week with Edmonton getting the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier. . . . Dean Clark, who played, managed and coached with the Kamloops Blazers, received quite a thrill Monday when his name was added to the Skating Wall of Fame in the Performance Arena in St. Albert, Alta. “It’s a real honour,” Clark, now the head coach of the Prince George Cougars, told Jeff Hansen of the St. Albert Gazette. “I’m speechless almost. There are some great players on that wall and I guess I don’t think of myself like that.” Clark won AJHL titles as a player and coach with the St. Albert Saints. Also in the inaugural class of inductees was former Blazers sniper Rob Brown. . . .
In the world of Italian soccer, Palermo team president Maurizio Zamparini fired coach Stefano Pioli before the season got started. Zamparini now has fired 36 coaches in 24 years. . . . As Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post wrote: “Who knew that ‘Zamparini’ is Italian for ‘Steinbrenner’?” . . . Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova of Belarus came within a few hairs of winning the women’s long jump at the World Athletics Championships last weekend. She may have had the winning jump, except that her long pony tail touched well behind her feet, costing her about six inches on her final distance. She ended up fourth and lost somewhere around US$60,000. . . . Gotta think a haircut would have cost her less than that. . . . A social note from NBC-TV’s Jimmy Fallon: “Beyonce and Jay-Z are expecting a baby. Man, that kid is gonna have everything, except a last name.”
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