Sport Shorts: Extraordinary Athlete was 1976 Olympian

He Had Endurance: Chris McCubbins was an extraordinary athlete. At the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, he competed in the 10,000 metres for Canada. Born in Enid, Oklahoma, McCubbins became a top cross-country runner, who won the NCAA steeplechase title in 1967. That year, at the Winnipeg Pan American Games, he won a gold medal (for Team USA) in steeplechase. In 1969 and 1970 he competed in modern pentathlon for the US Army. Following the army, he moved to Winnipeg in 1970. Quickly he became one of Canada’s preeminent long-distance runners, competing in many World Championships of cross-country. (He became a Canadian citizen in 1976.) Later, he began cross-country skiing and founded the Yellow Snow Athletic Club while developing ski trails around Winnipeg. McCubbins was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

On Aug. 21, 2009, at the age of 63, McCubbins passed away from leukemia. The Canadian Olympic Team extends its condolences to his family and friends.

Hockey Action: It has been a busy week for the Canadian men’s national hockey program. The national team orientation camp has been running in Calgary, under a bright media spotlight. The final roster will likely be culled from the 46 NHL players participating there. Hockey action continues next week, as the national women’s team warms up right in the Olympic venue of GM Place. The 2009 Hockey Canada Cup runs Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 and features Canada, the U.S., Sweden and Finland. On this ice next February, the Canadian women will seek their third straight Olympic gold medal.

Primed and Ready: Vancouver is ready for the Olympic Winter Games – so says the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Coordination Commission that was in town for its ninth and final visit August 25 and 26. Officials remarked on the great organization by VANOC, spectacular venues, beautiful setting and enthusiastic fans, predicting an “unparalleled success” for the Games next February. It is all starting to ramp up now, with the Torch Relay within two months from starting out across Canada.

Oval Up For Major Prize: The Richmond Oval, site of Olympic speed skating in 2010, has made the short list for the 2009 World Architecture Festival Awards. The Oval’s design is focused on environmental sustainability. For more:.

Judokas in Rotterdam: Canadians are in action at the World Judo Championships taking place now in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Unranked Sergio Pessoa (St-Leonard, Que.) made a huge splash in the first round, defeating the defending world champion Ruben Houkes, fighting in his home country. Pessoa then dropped his next bout in the 60 kg division. Montreal’s Michael Popiel also lost in the second round, a close match to his Azerbaijan opponent in the 66 kg. Also exiting in the second round on Thursday were Canada were Joliane Melançon (Blainville, Que.) and 2008 Olympian Nicholas Tritton (Perth, Ont.), who won a bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games. Four more Canadian judokas are still to come. For more:.

A Rowing Weekend: Keep tabs on Poland this weekend as Canadian rowers go for medals at the World Championships in Poznan. Canadian crews are training on Lake Malta for upcoming semifinals and finals over the weekend. Friday’s excitement includes Canadian lightweight boats racing in semifinals.

Spiking on the Beach: Volleyball Canada has launched its national team selection camp in Toronto. Running Aug. 27 to Sept. 1, the aim is to identify athletes with the potential to win medals at future Olympic Games.