Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sledge Baby!

Definitely not your ordinary hockey game.

At UBC Thunderbird Arena, team Korea took on Team Sweeden, to cheering full crowd of spectators, families of, and other Paralympians. Probably the most popular sport of the Paralympics, the game was intense and kept the crowd hopping.

Prior to this I didn't quite understand the logistics of how the game worked. The guys have two sticks, and are sitting on a type of cart, as they use the sticks to push themselves around, lifting one to pass and shoot. What I found really interesting is that they have to switch the stick around just to shoot. To move, they hold onto the hitting part of the stick to push themselves, but quickly slide it down and hold it regularly to score. How much training and coordination! I wonder if Crosby would be able stay upright on the ice if he tried sledge...

They go amazingly fast on the ice. Team Korea, especially Cho, was exceptionally fast and I thought was Team Korea's best player. There is a lot of teamwork involved, just like in hockey, and a lot of grit. Maybe even more.

Team Korea took the night, with a 2-1 win over Sweeden.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Curling, sans le crier/Curling without the shouting

Today marked the 1st day of the sporting events for the 2010 Paralympics. What better way to start off with some sledge and wheelchair curling?

The rocks slid today at the Vancouver Paralympic Centre, in Vancouver's Hillcrest Park. This venue served as both the curling venues for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There were 3 sents of games going on, involving Italy vs Japan, Sweeden vs Korea, Norway vs UK, and Canada vs US. Most of the crowd was however focused on the Canada vs US game. Now, I don't know much about curling. But I know that it involves rocks, yelling, and sweeping. What I found out was there is quite a difference between Paralympic and Olympic curling.

The main thing is the athletes do not sweep, they merely use the stick to push it to get it near the centre on the far side of the ice. So one cannot yell the familiar "harder!" while playing wheelchair curling. But it was interesting. Watching them, they all possess the skill needed to do the sport. One holds the back of the wheelchair, the other pushes the rock, and there is a teammate at the end watching it. In the end Canada won over US, which provided lots of cheering and celebration from the audience. There was quite a big crowd of red and white, many of which waved Canadian flags. 2nd biggest supporters were Korea. Many waved the Korea flag. Im glad that wheelchair curling got so much support. They work hard and deserve to be recognized like any other athlete. Im so glad to see that we have come so far in accepting and treating others equal. Unfortunately, not all countries share the same support for their Paralympic athletes. But hopefully this will change in the future, as countries get more exposure and see other countries support all their athletes.

The support was great. We did the curling "wave" and many started chants and foot stomping. Lisa, Riley and I were able to get down to ice level for a bit wth Kate and her cousin. I also met my Encounters With Canada leader, Bonnie.

Thats all for today folks, and don't forget, set y'all clocks foward an hour tonight, we're losing an hour sleep.

Check out my new Rick Hansen video at

Un Esprit qui Inspire

Un esprit qui inspire, c'est la theme de la nuit pour la ceremonie d'ouverture des Jeux Parlalympiques 2010. C'est un nuit inoubliable! Les spectacles, la musique, les parleurs, c'etait l'experience de la vie. La spectacle a commence a 6 heures, et c'etait organise de Patrick Roberge Productions.

In the beginning there were introductions and dancers that graced the stage. BC does look quite a bit smaller than it does on TV. As I looked around, I was in awe at the amount of work and effort that goes into putting on a show at such a grand scale. It amazes me how different BC Place looks when I was last there for the Victory Ceremony. As I looked around I imagined how many people of notoriety had walked through the inflated dome of BC Place. I saw the entrance that Rick Hansen came from to bring in the flame for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. The platform party, the same as before, but bearing the Paralympic logo. I couldn't help but be a little start struck at being in the same room as the Right and Honourable Michaelle Jean. She is my greatest role model, and I will always aspire to be like her. Even though the platform party was far from where we were, I could of course pick out the Premier of BC, Mr Gordon Campbell, proudly waving his humongous Canadian flag.

J'etais un chanteur avec le choir de Vancouver 2010. Nous avons chante "We Rise Again" avec la vedette de Montreal au Quebec Nikki Yanofsky. Elle a une belle voix, et nous avons elle accompagne. Le chanson est formidable, avec l'espoir et courage. Nous avons porte les robes rouges, avec 1000 chanteurs.

There were 2 highlights of the night for me. The first, Rick Hansen's story and speech. Rick Hansen is another one of my heroes and I am so amazed with his accomplishments, and I hope one day to aspire to have his determination and courage. His speech was similar to the one he did at UBC Sports and Society (he was even wearing the same thing), but still inspiring all the same. The second highlight for me was seeing Betty Fox and her husband carry in the flame. What a perfect choice of people to bring in the flame. Terry Fox, who inspired Rick Hansen, is another one of my idols. Betty Fox and her husband still look amazing and I was so proud to see them walk into the stadium.

Nous avons attendu beaucoup de temps. Nous avons arrive a dejuener at nous avons attendu a a tent pres de BC Place. J'etais un attitude positive parce que j'etais hate a representer Vancouver et notre choir. Mes amis etait enneyeux, pas de moi.

Si tu a manque le ceremonies d'ouvertures, regardez a CTV a 2pm aujord'hui