Newsroom 124 results

Politics, Journalism, Opinion, and Sports from veteran journalists Rod Mickleburgh, Charley Gordon, Carla McClain, Shelley Page, Katherine Monk, and others.

A Great Big Yes to James Paxton’s No-No in Toronto

Sports: Baseball Ladner B.C.’s James Paxton is the first Canadian to throw a no-hitter on home turf, but the man they call Big Maple refuses to chuck his Canuck identity. By Rod Mickleburgh When James Paxton came out for the bottom of the ninth against the hometown Toronto Blue Jays, he was pumped. Three outs away from an historic no-hitter, the steely hurler from Ladner, BC was not going to lose it by nibbling around the edges of the plate with sliders and curve balls. He came right at the Blue Jay hitters with fast balls. Despite having already thrown 92 pitches and never having pitched a complete game in his six-year, injury-plagued career, they were his fastest of the night. One broke the 100 mph barrier (160 kilometres per hour in Ladner). All seven were strikes. Anthony Alford fouled out on the first pitch. Hot-hitting Teoscar Hernandez went down swinging on three blazing fastballs. And dangerous Josh Donaldson lashed the ball hard, but straight at the Seattle Mariners’ ...

What Made the Sedins Magic? Sixth Puck Sense

Sports: Daniel and Henrik Sedin Say Goodbye Once called the “Sedin Sisters” by cynical media types who saw the Swedish twins as soft, Daniel and Henrik Sedin proved their taunters wrong with an iron forged commitment to the game, and pure finesse with the puck. By Rod Mickleburgh VANCOUVER - The outpouring of admiration and affection for the incomparable Daniel and Henrik Sedin, as they played their final three games for the lowly Canucks, was like nothing I’ve witnessed in my more than half a century of following sports. Fans, scribes, commentators, competitors, all the way down to the referees and well, just about everyone, joined in the celebration and heartfelt farewells in a way that went beyond the usual tributes to the end of a great player’s career. They seemed to be an acknowledgment that, in the 100-year history of the National Hockey League, the Sedins were something special. They were not the equal of Howe, Gretzky, Lemieux, the Rocket, or some of the ...

Bidding Adieu to Dave Barrett

Tribute: Dave Barrett Funerals for public figures can often be stuffy affairs with formal speechmaking and half-hearted appeals to emotion, but the recent ceremonies for B.C.’s former premier were rife with real affection. By Rod Mickleburgh So, farewell then, Dave Barrett. A month after the remarkable NDP leader passed away, it was time for the public to bid adieu, formally and informally. The official state memorial in Victoria came first, followed the next day by what was more a gathering of the clans at Vancouver’s Croatian Cultural Centre, not that far from where Dave Barrett grew up on the city’s rough-and-tumble east side. Both events were packed, befitting the immeasurable contribution he made to the province of British Columbia during his short 39 months as its first socialist premier. (Unlike today’s New Democrats, he never shied from using the term “socialist.”) Beyond his political legacy, there was an outpouring of real affection for someone who had ...

Neither Waffles nor Pancakes, Dave Barrett’s Proof was in Pudding

Tribute: Dave Barrett Back in the summer of 1972, Dave Barrett hit the campaign trail and started changing the mindset of British Columbians about socialism. After his historic win, he went further still, and literally transformed the provincial  landscape by introducing the Agricultural Land Reserve. The act was is designed to increase food security, but like many other initiatives, it was at risk from the very start. By Rod Mickleburgh In the best of summers, Dave Barrett ran the best of campaigns. Up against the seemingly unbeatable W.A.C. Bennett, the NDP leader was as unruffled as the weather, relaxed and purposefully out of the media spotlight. Forty people at a small gathering in Houston, a brief visit to the distant mining town of Stewart, a mid-morning tea in mighty Yahk, mainstreeting in Revelstoke. It was all the same to Barrett, part of his strategy to defuse once and for all Bennett’s tried-and-true election fear mongering about the “socialist hordes.” Of ...

Sweetest Olympic Hangover I Don’t Want to Get Over

Entertainment: The Olympic Hangover Begins The 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang get a five-star review from a career movie critic who laughed, cried and finally fell asleep on the couch as the Olympic flame shone a light on our nobler selves. By Katherine Monk So it begins. The Olympic hangover. A sad headache prompted by a cocktail of adrenaline, fatigue and extinguished propane fumes. For eighteen days, we couch potatoes put our bodies through the rigours of extended television viewing and all-night streaming. Now sleep-deprived, about three kilos heavier and feeling emotionally bereft without a need to channel hop across the grid, it's time to look back on the games that were -- and what made the PyeongChang Winter Olympics such fantastic entertainment. Obviously, the athletes and their individual feats were the highlight -- and the reason why the drama is so sincere, but sorting through the sporting achievements is for experts such as Bev Wake and Rod Mickleburgh. I see the ...

Canada’s record-breaking Winter Olympics, medal by medal

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang From double gold medallists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who carried the flag in the opening ceremonies, to triple-medallist Kim Boutin, who carried the flag in the closing ceremonies, here's a snapshot look at the athletes who made the podium By Bev Wake So it turns out the absence of NHL stars from the 2018 Winter Olympics may not have been a bad thing, after all. It allowed so many other athletes — from so many sports — to step into the spotlight and shine. For the first time since 2002, it wasn't the men's gold-medal hockey game that brought Canada to a standstill: it was a pair of ice dancers from southern Ontario. When Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won their second gold medal of the Olympics — in ice dance, to go along with the team title won earlier in the Games — social media exploded. Sure, a lot of the chatter had to do with their relationships status, but there was an obvious appreciation for what they were doing ...

Canada on track for a record-breaking medal total at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang From the history-making luge team to comeback kid Mark McMorris, Canada has had a Games to remember — and it could get even better during the last week of competition By Bev Wake There have been moments, during these 2018 Winter Olympics, that should stay with us for a while. There was Sam Edney, unable to control his tears after winning a silver medal in the luge team relay. Those were more than tears of happiness after the heartbreak of Sochi, where the team had three fourth-place finishes. They were tears of validation, of discovering good guys sometimes win after all and hard work can pay off. It had only been a couple of weeks since Edney, Alex Gough, Justin Snith and Tristan Walker learned that their fourth-place relay finish in Sochi — which late last year had been upgraded to bronze due to Russian doping — would stay a fourth after all, thanks to a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. And now they had their ...

How do you spell Canada? C.O.U.R.A.G.E.

Sports: 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang The Great White North is currently enjoying one of its best Winter Games ever, but the winning ingredient may not be money, fame, celebrity or even patriotic support. It's guts. By Rod Mickleburgh This year, I thought, my lifelong love of the Olympics, was, if not at an end, under serious challenge. PyeongChang? The site of the Games conjured up no vision at all. Nor, with newspapers and other media so reduced, was there any real build-up to these Winter Olympics to whet the appetite. Once Gary Kingston, the Vancouver Sun’s consummate chronicler of BC’s winter athletes, departed, coverage dropped to virtually zero. As for the Globe and Mail, my former paper has regularly sent a healthy contingent to the Olympics, including, on occasion, me. This year, the Globe opted for a small force of three. The late, dispiriting, get-out-of-jail-free card delivered to Russia’s organized dopers didn’t help. Given that, the lack of buzz ...

Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 Olympic Games

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang When do they start? What will the time difference mean to viewers? What about Russia?: A snapshot look at the Winter Games in South Korea By Bev Wake 1. THE IMPORTANT STUFF These are the second Olympics in South Korea, following the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. They officially begin on Friday, Feb. 9 and end 17 days later on Sunday, Feb. 25. By the time they are done, 2,925 athletes representing 92 countries will have competed in 15 sports. Some athletes will begin their quest for gold prior to the opening ceremonies: mixed doubles curling starts Thursday — Wednesday night back in Canada — as does ski jumping. On Friday — again, Thursday evening back in Canada — moguls skiers will compete in qualifying heats, while the team figure skating competition opens with the men’s and pairs short programs. 2. ABOUT THAT TIME DIFFERENCE ... There is a 14-hour time difference between South Korea and Toronto and a 17-hour time difference ...

Olympic predictions: Canada will win a record 32 medals in PyeongChang

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang Medal hauls in speed skating, a double by Mark McMorris, and a curling sweep (almost): A sport-by-sport look at who'll win what at the Winter Games in South Korea By Bev Wake It’s the biggest Canadian team in Winter Olympic history — and arguably the deepest — with 225 athletes set to compete in PyeongChang this month. There are medal prospects in almost every sport, and multiple prospects in several events, which has led most experts to predict Canada will surpass its totals from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Canada won 26 medals that year: an Olympic-record 14 gold, seven silver and five bronze. While it’s unlikely Canada will come anywhere near 14 gold in South Korea, this team has enough talent to surpass the 30-medal mark for the first time. A look at the most likely medallists, by sport, follows below. Predictions are based on past performances, plus some gut instinct, with recent results and medals at major championships ...