Sport Shorts: Crazy Canuck Joins Own the Podium

Crazy Canuck Joins Own the Podium: One of Canada’s most accomplished alpine skiers is now director of winter sport at Own the Podium. The two-time Olympian had a top mark of fifth in downhill at the 1976 Games in Innsbruck. Ken Read won an amazing 14 World Cup medals, including five wins, and in 1975 became the first North American man to win a World Cup downhill gold medal. His nephew, Stefan, is a two-time Olympian in ski jumping.

After retiring from ski racing, Read spent three decades in sport leadership positions, including the role of president and chief executive officer at Alpine Canada from 2002 to 2008. Now he brings his passion to Own the Podium, working with technical specialists and sport advisors to ensure Canada’s winter athletes have their best chance to succeed at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Own the Podium is a program conceptualized by the Canadian Olympic Committee, which then partnered with the federal government and VANOC to implement.

Russia Exacts Revenge: The men’s national hockey team fell to Russia 5-2 in the quarter-final of the World Championships on Thursday. Just about three months ago, Canada beat their Russia rivals 7-3 in the Olympic quarter-final in Vancouver. Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks) is the only Canadian to play in both tournaments.

Cyclist Wins Pan American Championship: First, Calgary’s Travis Smith set the fastest qualifying time and then beat all other cyclists in becoming Pan American Sprint Champion last weekend in Aguascalientes, Mexico. This comes three years after Smith broke his pelvis in a major crash at the World Championships, requiring a year of recovery. “The rest did me pretty well, I came back stronger and faster and more motivated,” Smith said. In 2012 Canadian cyclists will be racing for the first medal since 2004, when Lori-Ann Muenzer won gold in sprint (the country’s first-ever Olympic cycling victory).

Water Polo Team 3-0: The women’s national water polo team is rolling along in the World League preliminary tournament, beating Puerto Rico 15-5 on Wednesday. Ranked No. 2 in the world, Canada is now 3-0 at the tournament and has outscored the opposition 42-16. Against Puerto Rico, Marina Radu (Pointe-Claire, Que.) paced the Canadian attack with four goals.

Felicien in 3-D: Perdita Felicien (Pickering, Ont.) finished third in 100-metre hurdles at a major track meet in Seoul. The event, broadcast live in 3-D and played on huge screens in city plazas, included Jamaican star Usain Bolt, who ran the 100 metres in 9.86 seconds. Elsewhere, Sultana Frizell (Perth, Ont.) finished fifth in hammer throw in a toss of 71.23 metres.