Sport Shorts: Meet Your 2009-10 Ski Cross Team

Meet Your Ski Crossers: The final World Cup season before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is, clearly, a big one. For ski cross, which includes 2009 world champion Ashleigh McIvor, it marks the final few months before the sport makes its Olympic debut in Vancouver. On Sept. 16, the 2009-10 national ski team was announced. The women: Aleisha Cline, Ashleigh McIvor, Julia Murray, Kelsey Serwa, and Danielle Poleschuk. The men: Davey Barr, Brian Bennett, Stanley Hayer, Chris Del Bosco, Cam Culbert, Dave Duncan, Brady Leman, and Nick Zorcic. Other than McIvor, who earned an Olympic nomination last season, all athletes will be gunning for a spot on the 2010 Olympic Team. After sweeping the men’s podium and winning the women’s gold and silver last February in a World Cup at Cypress Mountain (the Olympic venue), the team is set for a big debut next February.

Olympic Cauldron Unveiled: The cauldron that will be lit across Canada during the Olympic Torch Relay was unveiled Sept. 17. The cauldron will be part of community celebrations, which will take place in 200 cities and towns across the country. The cauldron, designed to complement the Olympic Torch, will be lit by a torchbearer selected from each community. At 45,000 km, the 2010 Torch Relay will be the longest ever held inside the host nation.

Gushue et al Rock Norway: Brad Gushue and his fellow Newfoundland teammates – Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and Jamie Korab – beat out the Norwegian team led by Thomas Ulsrud to win the Baden Masters bonspiel on Sept. 13 in Baden, Switzerland. The Canadians managed to gain a 4-2 lead in the fifth end when they scored a deuce. The victory was secured with a steal of one in the eighth. The Baden Masters marked the start of a busy 2009-2010 season, which will feature the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Short Track Skaters Underway: Charles Hamelin and fellow Canadian short track speed skaters are setting out on the final World Cup season before the Olympic Winter Games. The first event is Sept. 17 to the 20 in Beijing. Hamelin’s teammates comprise an impressive roster, with François-Louis Tremblay, Olivier Jean, François Hamelin, Guillaume Bastille, Kalyna Roberge, Jessica Gregg, Marianne St-Gelais, Tania Vicent, and Valérie Maltais. In Beijing, the Canadian team will compete against more than 200 skaters from 29 other countries. It features all eight Olympic events including the 500, 1,000, and 1500-metre relay races for both women and men.

Always Training: Practice makes perfect, as they say, and with the Olympic Winter Games just five months away, Canadian athletes are in the midst of intensive training. Some of the action going on include the freestyle skiing aerials team training in Lac Beauport, Que. from Sept. 7 to 25, and the bobsleigh and skeleton athletes training in Calgary from Sept. 14 to 19.