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London Olympics 2012

Join the Tribe …

Courtesy: Wrestlingisbest

Well, it’s over. And Canada came in 13th place with 18 medals. 1 Gold, 5 Silver and 12 bronze. I guess you could say that the Olympic Theme this year was the 3rd Place Games. There were plenty of mistakes on many fronts. Disqualifications, losses, cheaters and a few fuck ups.

Canada does not excel at Summer Games. Our forte lies in our Winter capabilities. Own the Podium will have to work real hard for Sochi in 2014. We just could not get out of that 3rd place funk. We fell seriously short on Own the Podium. At least one athlete won Gold.

You learn a lot about other countries and how they groom their athletes. You also see how countries differ in their treatment of male and female athletes. It is quite shameful how some Middle Eastern Countries scorned their competing women. Just shameful.

Great Britain came in 4th place with 29 Gold, 17 Silver, and 19 Bronze for a total of 65 medals for the Host Country. As the host country, there were many flaws in the games when it came to refs, timers, rules and infractions. Some teams really got screwed over rules enforced and rules that were overlooked for others. Canada got screwed several times over. You live and you learn.

So that’s my take on the Olympics …

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It was an uneventful weekend. It rained here and there. They say that rain is in the forecast for the next few days so I packed an umbrella in my bag tonight before leaving the house for the meeting. It rained during the meeting and then the skies cleared for the walk home.

We continued reading from Experience, Strength and Hope and the story called “Join the Tribe” about an Indian who is lost in the thick of alcoholism and how he finds his way into the rooms. This story is written in simple lay man’s terms quite a departure from how we read English.

“Miracles happen all time in A.A. Two years later, my brother take Tall Man to first A.A. Meeting. Tall Man was blind, but soon he see. He stay sober. Start group on reservation and carry message, help start groups all over Maritimes and New England. He was old, but now he grow young with new life in A.A. and travel all the time.

When he speak from heart, big men cry. Words of truth and love are strong medicine. Tall man die five years ago, a sober, peaceful, happy man…

To find work, I have travel much. At every place, I find A.A. group first. I keep it simple; go to many meetings; carry message to those who listen. To me, program is spiritual. I feel Great Spirit at all meetings and when talk to A.A. friends. I know peace. “How?” they ask me

I say, “Just let it happen.” This sober Indian say to sick, red eyed alcoholic who want good medicine: “Put cork in bottle. No drunk hopeless if he want to follow guide along right trail. Go to A.A. meetings. Listen, not just hear noise. Get sponsor and phone numbers. Call friends in A.A. when bad thoughts come. Let group spirit of love and understanding protect you. Take my hand. Walk with me up Twelve Steps of A.A. to peace.

To Indians, I say: “Don’t be afraid to join A.A. I once hear people say only Indians crazy when drunk. If so, A.A. full of Indians. Join the tribe!”

I’ve been in this mode of just letting things happen. I don’t know, I just feel like I am supposed to be somewhere other than where I am at the moment, and I have asked some friends to weigh in on this dilemma that I find myself in.

But keep it simple stupid. Let it happen. And life will take its course as it always does.

More to come, stay tuned…

Canada Enjoys 3-Medal Performance on Day 8

The Canadian Press

LONDON – Rosie MacLennan sang along, trying to hold back tears, as “O Canada” was played for the first time at the London Olympics.

She had just been through a excruciating 10-minute wait to see if her dazzling women’s trampoline routine would hold up against two seasoned veterans from China. It wasn’t until defending champion He Wenna stumbled at the end of her routine that MacLennan knew she had clinched Canada’s first gold medal at these Games.

“It’s exciting and honestly it’s still a bit surreal,” MacLennan said.

And the excitement continued. With Ryan Cochrane ‘s silver in the men’s 1,500-metre freestyle and a bronze on the cycling track in women’s pursuit, it was clear Canada had its Olympic swagger back.

Canada remained solidly on track to finish top 12 in total medals in London. Through eight days Canada has 10 medals — one gold, three silver and six bronze — and sits 11th in the overall standings.

Saturday’s medal hat trick came at a pivotal time as the Games reached its halfway point. Canada had performed well, but the coveted gold medal remained elusive heading into Day 8 in London. And the optimistic mood from a string of early successes was in danger of turning sour after a disappointing Day 7 saw three medal hopefuls come up short.

It looked like it might be another rough day when Edmonton’s Paula Findlay placed last among finishers in women’s triathlon. A heartbroken Findlay was in tears as she crossed the finish line, repeatedly saying “I’m sorry.”

But as MacLennan’s soaring routine earned her a personal-best score of 57.305, the country’s Olympic future looked brighter.

“I was shocked. It’s the biggest score that I’ve ever gotten,” MacLennan said. “I knew it would be a tough one to catch. But you never want to get ahead of yourself. You want to wait until all the competitors are done.”

Teammate Karen Cockburn turned to MacLennan and told her that her score was a winner.

MacLennan wasn’t so sure.

“I didn’t want to get too ahead of myself,” the native of King City, Ont., said.

But Chinese favourites Huang Shanshan and He couldn’t reach the impressive bar set by MacLennan, and Canada topped the podium for the first time in London. Huang and He won silver and bronze respectively.

Cockburn, from Stouffville, Ont., just missed adding to her trophy case with a fourth-place finish. She had won medals in the last three Olympics.

Instead it was MacLennan’s time in the spotlight as she vastly improved on her seventh-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games.

“Rosie was really strong, her score was huge,” Cockburn said. “The other gymnasts could feel the heat after her score. I wasn’t really surprised that she won. We pushed each other hard in training, I’m really happy for her.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated MacLennan in a statement.

“Through her hard work, dedication and sportsmanship, Rosie has proudly represented Canada on the world stage,” he said.

Canada’s best day so far in London continued when Cochrane took silver in the gruelling men’s 1,500 freestyle, giving Canada at least two swimming medals for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Cochrane, who won bronze in the event two years ago, held off defending Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia and finished in a personal-best time of 14 minutes 39.63 seconds.

“It was a tough fight the last 100 metres,” Cochrane said. “I was going to fight, probably to the death, to make sure he didn’t get his hand on the wall first.”

Cochrane was certainly happy to win a medal, but he said he had his sights set higher.

“It’s a double-edge sword because I wanted to be vying for that world record,” he said. “I wanted to be five seconds faster. I think I did underestimate how hard the mental side of this meet would be.”

China’s Sun Yang beat his own world record to claim gold in 14:31.02.

On the cycling track, Tara Whitten of Edmonton, Gillian Carleton of Victoria and Jasmin Glaesser of Coquitlam, B.C., finished the team pursuit bronze-medal race in three minutes 17.915 seconds. Australia was timed in 3:18.096.

“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Glaesser said. “We know they start off fast but we knew it was going to come down to the last lap. It was a challenge but we were 100 per cent committed to do our best.”

Britain won gold in a world-record time of 3.14.051. The United States took silver.

In other Canadian results:

— Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., finished sixth overall in women’s heptathlon. Brianne Theisen of Humboldt, Sask., finished 10th.

— Cameron Levins of Campbell River, B.C., finished 11th in the men’s 10,000 metres. Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., finished 18th.

— Toronto natives Alex Bruce and Michelle Li fell 21-9, 21-10 to Russia to finish fourth in women’s doubles badminton.

— Canada’s men’s table tennis team fell to Japan 3-0 in a first-round match.

— Zach Bell of North Vancouver, B.C., was ninth overall after the first day of the men’s track cycling omnium.

— Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., advanced to the men’s 100 semifinals with a third-place finish in his heat. His personal-best time of 10.09 seconds matched world record holder Usain Bolt — although Bolt easily won his heat.

— Melanie Blouin of Quebec City finished tied for ninth place with a result of 4.25 metres in her women’s pole vault group to miss out on Monday’s final.

— Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., and Emilie Heymans of St-Lambert, Que., both advanced to the women’s three-metre springboard diving final. Abel was fourth in qualifying with 353.25 points while Heymans followed in eighth with 331.35.

— Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., had a clean run through the first qualifier to match 31 other riders at equestrian’s individual jumping competition. Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., knocked down one gate for four points. Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ont., also knocked down a gate and had a time penalty point for five, while Tiffany Foster, also of Schomberg, knocked down two gates for eight points.

Tom Daley … more more more …

You know we just can’t get enough of Tom. The hopes of all Britain are on your shoulders young man. No pressure at all …

Olympian … Tom Daley …

Courtesy: The Ministry of Pleasure

I ran across this post on a blog that I read from London. It is an important post on many levels. That bullying comes on all sides and that no one is immune, even an Olympic Athlete. Tom is a great young man who is deserving of respect and hopefully those kids who wanted to do him harm will stand up and recognize that greatness was within their midst.

The Olympics have begun now going on day three on Monday. We wish Tom well and all the Olympians that are competing. So enjoy …

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So the final countdown has started, just under 24 hours left before the XXX Olympiad, let me present you Thomas Robert “Tom” Daley, the boy wonder of British diving.

Tom, 18, is an amazing teen from Plymouth who is skilled at high board diving, he’s also the second youngest British Olympian of all time. He was ranked 7th in the Men’s individual 10m platform in the Beijing 2008 Olympics and he is (one of) Team GB’s best hope for medal(s) in this year’s Olympics.
He graces the cover of magazines shirtless, makes playful music videos and commercials, has 254,000 Twitter followers and has girls screaming every place he appears. He was also mercilessly bullied as a younger teen, so bad that he had to change schools.
Tom did a big spread for the British magazine Fabulous, dressed in a torn wet, open shirt that exposed his tight diver’s body. He talks about the good (having female groupies), the bad (the death of his beloved father from cancer two years ago) and the ugly (the bullying at his former school). Said Tom about the bullying,

“It started off gradually and got worse. It got to the point where if they are taking my legs out in a rugby tackle. Well, that’s not very funny.”
“It does knock your confidence, and that’s why it’s so important to have someone to talk to. For me that was my parents. I know lots of kids go through it and I hope they have someone to speak to. Don’t be afraid to tell someone.”
Amazingly, he was bullied in 2008, months after competing in the Beijing Olympics. Being a star athlete did not make him immune to the taunts, with one bully saying to him, “How much are those legs worth? We’re going to break your legs.”

In a scenario that plays out a depressing way too many times, Tom says school administrators did nothing to stop the bullying. Things only got better when his parents moved him to another school.
“One of the things my dad taught me was not to worry about what anyone thinks. And as long as I’ve got my friends and family right behind me, then that’s all I need.”
“The friends who helped me are still my best friends today. It helped me realize who my true friends were. It made me stronger. I look back and think, ‘I came through that,’ and I think I’m a better person.”
Given the fame and attention he is receiving, Tom must feel like the bullying happened eons ago, but I doubt he will ever truly forget. He is getting the last laugh and those bullies must be green with envy when they see him rising above their taunts and thriving. Tom has a ton of pressure diving in his home country, but he will be among athletes I will be rooting for big time! GO TOM, you are sexy and you know it!

Lochte Wins Gold, Phelps 4th in 400m IM


American  Ryan Lochte won the first gold swimming medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games on Saturday evening, posting a stunning time of 4:05.18 in the men’s 400m individual medley.

“For four years I’ve been training hard. This is just my first event so I’m really happy,” Lochte said.

“I’m ready to rock this Olympics.”

But the real surprise of night came from teammate Michael Phelps. The two-time reigning Olympic title holder in the event finished fourth.

“I’m a bit frustrated, I’m not feeling that great. I just want to put this race behind me and move on,” Phelps said after posting 4:09.28. Where Lochte finished nearly two seconds faster than his time at the U.S. Olympic trials in June, Phelps finished more than a second and a half slower.

Lochte said he felt for his teammate.

“He gave it all he got. I’m going to go and talk to him in the dressing room,” Lochte said.

Phelps swam in lane eight but said his position was not the reason he did not reach the podium.

“I was lucky (to get into the final.) The lane draw had nothing to do with me coming in fourth place, it was just a crappy race,” Phelps said.

Saturday marked the first time in 12 years that Phelps failed to earn a medal in an Olympic final. A 14-time Olympic champion and 16-time Olympic medalist, the last time Phelps finished off the podium was at Sydney 2000. He was 15 at the time.

Already the record-holder for most gold medals won at a single Games (eight at Beijing 2008), Phelps is aiming to become the all-time most decorated Olympian in London. Scheduled to swim in a total of seven events, he needs just two medals to tie the current record of 16.

Questions of Phelps’s work ethic arose earlier this week when teammate Tyler Clary was quoted in a California newspaper saying he saw “a lack of preparation (in Phelps).” Clary has since apologized to Phelps about the comment.

“I honestly don’t think it was a fitness issue. I thought he was in a good place mentally,” Bob Bowman said.

Lochte grabbed a stranglehold on the lead within the first 100-metres of Saturday’s final. For much of the race it looked looked as if he might catch Phelps’s world record, set at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Brazil’s Thiago Pereira finished a distant second in 4:08.86 while Kosuke Hagino, of Japan, was third in 4:08.94.

Hagino, 17, beat his own Asian and Japanese record of 4:10.26.

“Inspire a Generation” London 2012 …

As you can see, I’ve done a bit of remodeling for the Olympics in London 2012. It is time to cheer for the home team and await that first gold medal where we will hear our National Anthem played for the Gold Medal Winner.

It always makes me cry when I hear it played at an Olympic Competition.

We will be going to full time Live Blogging as much Olympic coverage as I can keep up with over the span of the games. So if you aren’t sporty – you will learn to love sport as I love sport. And there is no greater pride than for ones country.

Since I hold dual citizenship, I cheer on both the Americans and the Canadians. But my heart is firmly ensconced in Canada and always will be. But in any case we will cheer on ALL the athletes just the same for the sheer fact that they worked so hard to get here and they deserve all of our pride and love.

The Opening Ceremonies begin here in Canada at 4 p.m. EST in Montreal. We will have full pictorial coverage of the ceremony courtesy of CTV the national network bringing the games home to Canada.

So stay tuned. It will be exciting.