Sport Shorts: Looking Ahead

Torch Revealed: With just over a year remaining before the opening ceremony, the torch for the London 2012 Olympic Games was unveiled last week. The gold aluminum tube features a triangular shape, representing the three occasions the city has played host to the Olympic Games, as well as 8,000 holes to signify the number of torchbearers and the total miles in the relay next summer.

Rebranding: The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) has a new brand identity. The new Team mark – a red maple leaf situated above the Olympic Rings and encircled by a red oval – is a return to a classic look worn by Canadian athletes at previous Games. The COC also updated its own logo and unveiled new graphics for the Youth Olympic and Pan American Teams, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame as well as a unique mosaic. To top it off, the COC also announced the hiring of Derek Kent as its new Executive Director, Corporate and Brand Communications. Among his duties, Kent will be a key corporate spokesperson and be responsible for managing the brand’s message. Kent was previously the US Media Relations Director for NIKE, Inc.

Ready for the World: The Canadian team heading to the FINA World Aquatic Championship was revealed in Montreal last week. The squad is a large one, comprised of four separate groups: Canada’s swimming, synchronised swimming, diving and water polo teams. The athletes will be looking for strong performances ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in London. The competition takes place in Shanghai, China, July 16-31.

History Down South: Three of Canada’s female track and field athletes made their marks south of the border over the weekend. Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ont.), a junior at Villanova, became the first woman to win both the 1,500 and 5,000 metres at the NCAA track and field championships. She completed the 1500 in four minutes and 14.57 seconds. Kate Van Buskirk (Brampton, Ont.), a senior at Duke, followed closely with a time of 4:15.37 to claim the bronze. In addition, Julie Labonte, (Ste-Justine, Que.), a sophomore at Arizona, won the shot put event on the strength of a Canadian record-breaking throw of 18.31 metres.

The First Step: The road to the Olympic Games starts this week for Canada’s volleyball team. Gatineau, Que. will play host to the Pan Am Cup, a 10-country tournament that kicks off the 2011 season. Canada is in group B along with Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The round robin will be played until Wednesday, while the playoff round goes Thursday through Saturday.