sports 20 results

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 ...
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Borg vs. McEnroe: Resistance is Futile

Movie Review: Borg vs. McEnroe “The greatest tennis match of all time” serves as the final destination for Janus Metz’s crafty biopic about polar opposites Björn Borg and John McEnroe, but getting there is half the fun thanks to a sweaty workout from Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason.

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 ...

20 Canadian athletes to watch at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang Veterans, comeback kids and the big question marks in mixed doubles curling: A snapshot look at some of Canada's top medal prospects at the Winter Games in South Korea By Bev Wake 1. TED-JAN BLOEMEN, Speed Skating Hometown: Leiderdorp, Netherlands Born: Aug. 16, 1986 Why you should watch: He holds the world record over 5,000 metres and is ranked No. 1 in the world at both 5,000 and 10,000 metres. While he had disappointing results at the 2017 world single distance championships — finishing fifth in the 5,000 and fourth in the 10,000 — he has not finished off the podium at either distance in World Cup competition this season. In PyeongChang, he'll also compete in team pursuit, giving him a legitimate shot at three medals. 2. IVANIE BLONDIN, Speed Skating Hometown: Ottawa Born: April 2, 1990 Why you should watch: Her results on the World Cup circuit this season show she’s capable of reaching the podium in any of her four ...
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I, Tonya Has a Triple Axel to Grind

Movie review: I, Tonya Margot Robbie goes for the gold as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in Craig Gillespie's dazzling ode to dysfunction that captures the early daze of reality-based entertainment

After the Boys of Summer Have Gone, the Iceman Cometh

Sports: Baseball Looking back at the year of ball that was, Rod Mickleburgh finds the big league diamonds were rough, but the minor games at the likes of Nat Bailey Stadium were small gem experiences in a priceless setting. By Rod Mickleburgh And so baseball winter has begun, made even harsher by the tragic death of Roy Halladay. The hopeful breezes of spring, the lazy hazy crazy days of summer and the beautifully slanted light of fall have all departed from the diamond, leaving us to bundle up and shiver through the bleak wintry months of no baseball. In that sweet, far-off time when I was a kid, the Series was always over by the second week of October, in time for the players to do their fall hunting. Now, with so many wildcard and playoff games piled on, the Series stretches into November, as ridiculous a month as ever was for the summer game. In November, you don’t think baseball, you think winter. There was hardly a “wow” ending. The highly-anticipated seventh game ...

Jay Baruchel on Goons, loons and Canadians’ saloon-speak

Interview: Jay Baruchel The veteran actor and star of How to Train Your Dragon makes his directorial debut with Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers, but the closet poet says his movie is about more than small-town hockey, it's about the very heart and expletive-laden soul of the Canadian identity By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER, BC — Jay Baruchel emerges from the elegantly muted, sand coloured hallway with the urgency and focus of a grey squirrel gathering mid-winter nuts. He’s on a mission and if it means tipping over a garbage can or two, traversing a frozen road from an overhead transmission wire or even fluffing up his tale for a confrontation with the unsuspecting public — he’s ready. The Canadian actor known for playing Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon, as well as earning a place alongside Tom Cruise as one of the bawdy pranksters in Tropic Thunder, recently directed his first feature, Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers. He says it was the achievement of a life-long ...

Muhammad Ali: The Greatest, in All Ways, Always

Tribute: Muhammad Ali No one can quantify the extent of outrage and villification that spewed down on Ali when he turned his back on everything American. Yet, with everything to lose, Ali stood up for his rights as a black man, loudly and unabashedly. By Rod Mickleburgh A tough week for us sports fans of another generation. Losing two great heroes of our youth: Muhammad Ali, and now, Gordie Howe (he never changed his name to Gordon..). This is about the champ. It’s been said many, many times, but it remains true. Never again will we see the likes of Muhammad Ali. “For all you kids out there”, it’s difficult to convey just how dominant a figure he was during those first 20 years he reigned as by far the most beloved and admired athlete in the world. Evidence of his unsurpassed skill and courage in the rink are easily found on YouTube. And most accounts written after Ali’s death relate in great detail his bold, in-your-face defiance of white America. He stuck it to ...