The Pointer Sisters vs. The Dufour-Lapointe Sisters

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The Pointer Sisters (June, Bonnie & Anita) are an American R&B Group from Oakland California, who put their stamp on the 80s with their high energy songs, wild hair and not-so-subtle makeup. Quebec’s Dufour-Lapointe Sisters (Maxime, Justine & Chloe) are a triple threat in moguls to win medals in Sochi with their high-precision turns, high amplitude jumps, and playful press poses. Since it’s only natural to get these famous sisters mixed up, we thought we’d offer you a breakdown.

THE POINTER SISTERS           VS.         THE DUFOUR-LAPOINTE SISTERS     Image

Vonn Crutch

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With the news that Lindsey Vonn crashed in training in Colorado on Tuesday, re-injuring her right knee, the ski world was turned upside-down.

Just a year ago, superstar skier Lindsey Vonn was petitioning the FIS to let her ski in the Men’s Downhill at Lake Louise. Y’know, just to give herself a bit of a challenge, after repeatedly winning the women’s race by margins usually measured in chairlift rides. They didn’t let her, because the FIS is unflinchingly Austrian, and she probably would’ve placed, like, 7th, emasculating around 65 male skiers in the process.

Now, only 9 months removed from her horrible crash in Austria, and remarkably back on snow ahead of schedule, she has yardsaled her way back out of the Olympic picture.

This situation is pretty bleak for some:

First, Lindsey, obvs.

Second, NBC. They’ve lost their blonde Olympic show pony, already shaping many of their promo ads around her miraculous comeback. But don’t worry, there’s always that redhead chick Sean White.

And poor Tiger Woods has gained a smothering girlfriend once again. Anyone who saw her squirrel antics at the President’s Cup could sense that Tiger was about to have that, “Baby I need my space” talk.  You just know when she took off for training in Colorado, he probably did one of those Tiger fist pumps as the Red Bull chopper flew away. But now she’ll be back rehabbing and gossiping about Julia Mancuso and talking in his backswing as he practices and other typical girlfriend stuff.

But while there are many losers in this story of arrested ACL recovery, the other girls on the World Cup circuit are the big winners. They no longer have to say that they’re shooting for silver. Although Lindsey on one leg with ski crutches is still a 5 to 1 favourite in my books.

UPDATE (NOV 25th): Lindsey plans on skiing in Lake Louise in under two weeks. Perhaps under the one leg circumstances noted above, or maybe Tiger told her to shake off your boo-boo and go do your winter stuff for a while.

(Headline props to Jeff Funnekotter)

Shut ‘er down

The tents are being taken down, the red mitts are being tossed in homeless donation bins, the ticket scalpers are crawling back into the dark alleys, and the puddles of puke and urine are being washed down the gutter by the reliable Vancouver rains.

These amazing, disgusting, enthralling, and emotional Games are over.

I only wish the Olympics could’ve slowed to the pace of the Snow Leopard (43 seconds behind the leader on his slalom runs), but instead it ripped past us all like Alex Bilodeau.

Thank you all for following along on this blog, and for all the contributors who helped add some content along the way while I was out banging cowbells instead of keyboards (and witnessing 4 gold medals). You were like that proverbial ass push in a short track relay, helping me get through this.

It felt like going into this, I had to hard sell a lot of Vancouverites on how great these Games would be. Now all the sideliners seem to have better Olympic stories than I do. This city really surprised me and dropped its indifference the moment the cauldron was clumsily lit.

I’m going to miss the alternating panning and praising of the Own the Podium Program, I’m going to miss Vicki Chan’s obsession with Johnny Weir, the Snow Leopard’s ubercelebrity status, Norway’s amazing curling pants, Stephen Brunt’s tearjerking montages, Jay Onrait’s morning show, and my girlfriend’s inability to let seven combined illnesses stop her from partying.

Jenny Taylor, still cheering through a Bronchial infection

I’m NOT going to miss the ridiculous venue lineups, the Yoplait Source commercial, the hideous Russian Sochi jackets, the way too revealing speed skating suits (mooseknuckles and cameltoes), the 18% automatic restaurant surcharge, the long lineups for beer tents, the outdated soulpatch of Apolo Anton Ohno, the off-pitch spontaneous anthem singing, those stupid Lululemon hockey helmet toques, the way too aggressive high fiving, and most of all, the CTV “I Believe” song.

The most encouraging thing I’ve heard in the aftermath is that amateur sports will now have a dedicated sports channel so that Canadians can follow our athletes on TV in between the Olympics, instead of the back pages of the sports section.

And though much has been made of this new brand of brash patriotism, I must admit, I lean toward the quieter, more modest Canada. I think we should all look to Sidney Crosby as a role model of class and dignity we need to maintain. We shouldn’t be in any rush to out America the Americans.

As for this blog, it’ll probably be back in 4 years. It’s been encouraging seeing 600 people a day check in on the stories, which rocketed to 5000 thanks to google searches for Ashleigh McIvor after her gold medal. Lesson learned–sex sells. Still, my favourite thing about this blog is that I knew it would have an expiration date of March 1st. Like my Olympic gear, it’s dying to be put away for a while.

Thanks for following the Circus.

The author and Athlete to Watch for Shallow Reasons, Kimi Zakreski

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Doubles Lugers are People Too

Chris Moffat, 88 sweater, and Mike Moffat

I hereby propose a moratorium on making fun of the sport of doubles luge. While no sport has opened itself up to more ridicule since ski ballet, we have to remember these lugers are, in fact, high performance athletes.

I was lucky enough to meet the Moffat brothers, who compete for Canada in doubles luge. They were admiring my 1988 Olympic Sweater at a party, and that started a conversation. Turns out Mike Moffat is a big fly fisherman, and recently caught his first Steelhead on the Squamish during the Games. That’s no easy task.

Mike and I even discussed hitting up the Bow River the next time I’m in Calgary. In a Jerry Seinfeld/Keith Hernandez moment, he gave me his card, and we parted ways. But don’t be surprised if we’re floating the Bow one day, possibly in the same boat.

Not a word out of you, Ian Day.

Put me on TV!

Like anyone, I go to Olympic events to a) Get on TV, b) eat overpriced hot dogs, and c) maybe watch some sports. So I was pretty excited about thinking up this particular sign for the Norway vs. Canada curling match. Team Martin (Canada) are famous for their flashy shots while Team Jensrud (Norway) are famous for their flashy pants. Pants that have over half a million fans on a Facebook fan page.

In case you don't get it, it's Canada (Team Martin) vs. Norway (Team Clown Pants)

Just as the sign was about to pass through the security checkpoint, an eagle-eyed VANOC volunteer woman flagged it for “illegal advertising”. Technically, the “martinizing” logo wasn’t part of the Olympic family, making it as illegal as Human Growth Hormone. I tried to reason with them, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. I had a better chance at smuggling in a bomb at that point.

Here’s me, right before I had to throw it out:

I cursed VANOC under my breath, and over my breath, for the next 3 hours. Fortunately, team Canada lessened the hurt with a decisive win. In the end, the pants didn’t stand a chance.

Fast forward to later that evening, when I happened to be at a party where Kevin Martin showed up. I happened to have a picture of the sign on my camera and showed it to him. Without hyperbole, he LOVED it. He even LOL’d for a good 5-7 seconds. “How can I reward you for your gold medal worthy wordplay?” he asked. “Maybe just a picture,” I said.

Take that, VANOC.

(Thanks to Chris Moore for the Art Direction)

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Who Likes Photos?

Nice nipple rings!

VANOC's overregulation at its finest.

Little known fact: Shaun White also skips for the Swiss women's team

Never hold a press conference during a Canadian hockey game

Alexander the great! Conquerer of Dale MoneyBags-Smith

Quatchi make boo boo go bye bye.

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The Irish Bobsled Team, and the Art of Aerodynamics

Claire Bergin and 6ft 4inch Aoife Hoey training for the Games

Many who watched the Irish Bobsleigh team in their first two heats yesterday might have wondered how two girls can be more than 3 seconds back of the lead time. The answer might lie with driver and vowel-abuser Aoife Hoey, who stands at 6ft 4, making her the tallest girl at the Games.

Watching her climb in the sled is like watching Andre the Giant climb into a mini. Watching her go down the track with her head sticking out so high makes me want to play Whac-a-mole. Still, they’re ahead of the Russians, and close behind the Australians, who tried to have them punted from the event before the Olympics. Despite my criticisms, they’re my favourite non-contending team of these Games. I hope they smoke those boxing Kangaroos. Still, I can’t help but feel like I’m watching a submarine slowly meander down the track with a fully extended periscope.

(Thanks to Colin Hart for the photoshop magic)

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Now and Sven (by Jeff Funnekotter)

A look at Sven Kramer’s ill-advised lane change by Jeff Funnekotter, our Dutch insider… or is it outsider?… no, insider

Sven Kramer, DQ'd Dutch skater and Michael Cera lookalike

There are two ways to look at the Sven Kramer 10,000 meter debacle.  (Incidentally, in terms of descriptors, ‘debacle’ is reserved for the  Olympics.  Gaffes are for the Commonwealth Games, and faux pas for the Canada Games). For the uninitiated,  Kramer was disqualified for an illegal lane change even though he had the gold medal sewn up.

The reaction to Kramer’s ill-fated lane change here in the Netherlands has been predictably strong.  As anyone visiting Holland Heineken House in Vancouver or watching the Games on TV has noticed, the Dutch  are as crazy about speed skating as Canadians are about hockey, or the British are for hyperbolic slagging of another nation.  It’s not a national day of mourning here though – the pragmatic people from the Pays-bas have a tough ‘het is gewoon zo’ (it’s just the way it is) approach to many things.

But the autopsy is extensive. The replays, shown in excruciatingly slow motion on every channel, show Kramer’s coach advising him to go in instead of out, zig instead of zag, tally instead of ho.  Then we see the coach’s own ‘oh, snap’ look (in slo-mo, “oooooohhhh snaaaaaapppppp”) as he radios to some unseen co-coach to try to blame someone else for at least a minute or so.  To his enormous credit, he absolutely owned his mistake in every interview after the race, and I suspect nobody in the entire country feels as badly as he does today. Even though Kramer could have ignored his advice (equally tough to do though when you’re in the zone and trained to listen to your coaches).  One suspects that Vancouver’s immigration office received an orange-tinted request for political asylum today.

But where do we place our sympathies here?  On the one hand, we can’t comprehend how Kramer must feel after YEARS of training to get to this point, only to have victory vanquished by a technicality.  On the other hand, for those who have seen this clip, you may not mind that he was served a healthy heap of humble pie yesterday.

What’s more stupid, after all – a reporter asking a foreign athlete a standard question (albeit somewhat rudely) for video identification  for what is surely just a tool to help her editors figure out who’s who on the tape reel, or a coach and skater missing a simple lane  switch that they’ve practiced thousands of times?  Do you feel bad for the smiling and talented young kid who trains day in and day out, or do you are you pleased that the arrogant rude punk received some harsh comeuppance? Inside lane or outside lane?

By Jeff Funnekotter

Parallel skis, parallel universes (by Marcus McLaughlin)


Apart from sharing the same name (compare them out loud, really, go on, it’s fun), these two fine gentlemen have much in common. Both have a fetish for well-cut grey pants. Both are yet to live up to their earlier promise. Both are partial to sharing shellfish with older women. Ashton / Anton, on behalf of all Global Villagers, I salute you for enriching our lives.

Learn more about Ashton’s private life here. http://twitter.com/

Learn more about Anton’s private life here. http://www.noc.by//

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The Irish Bobsleigh Team (by Anna Ryan)

Another story from our Irish correspondent, Anna Ryan, giving us a glimpse into the psyche of the Irish Women’s Bobsleigh Team the night before the big race.

I attach some rare professional video footage of the lesser known Irish women’s bobsleigh team to mark their inaugral participation in this fine event on Tuesday and Wednesday night. For your added viewing pleasure, try counting the number of times lady bosleigher on the left says “you know” during the interview.

Additional fun fact; Ireland’s Aoife Hoey, of the aforementioned “you know” fame, is also the tallest female athlete in the Winter Games at an impressive 6”4, which is roughly the same height as the Inukshuk on English Bay. Extended thanks go out to the nations of Australia and Brazil for their valiant, but ultimately failed efforts to get the Irish ladies booted out of the bobsleigh event. I hope Aoife stands on you accidentally.