Speed skaters at nationals

Speed Skating Canada, Oct. 6, 2021

Regina’s Kali Christ and Marsha Hudey, as well as Moose Jaw’s Graeme Fish are among the speed skaters who will be competing at the Canadian Long Track Championships Oct. 13-17 in Calgary.

Christ, a two-time Olympian, will be competing in the women’s 1,000-, 1,500- and 5,000-metre races and the Mass Start event. Hudey, who has also competed at two Olympic Games, will compete in the 500- and 1,000-m races.

Meanwhile, Fish will take part in the men’s 5,000- and 10,000-m races and the Mass Start event. Fish currently holds the world record in the 10,000-m event with a time of 12:33.86.

The results from this event will help finalize the members of the National Team and the NextGen Team for the 2021-22 season, serve as a selection event for those who will represent Canada on the World Cup circuit this fall and is an important step for those competing for a spot at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

A live stream of the event will be available on the Speed Skating Canada YouTube channel.

Learn more at speedskating.ca.

Curling Olympic Qualifiers

curling.ca, September 27, 2021

Regina’s Team Matt Dunstone went 5-1 at the Olympic Curling Trials Direct Entry Event in Ottawa to secure one of the men’s spots at the Canadian Olympic Curling Qualifier in November in Saskatoon.

Dunstone, who’s rink includes Braeden Moskowy, Kirk Muyres and Dustin Kidby, scored a deuce in an extra end against Glenn Howard to secure the spot. The Tim Horton’s Canadian Curling Trials is set for Nov. 20-28 in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon-based rink skipped by Colton Flasch was also competing in the direct entry event in Ottawa and went 1-4. The rink will still have a chance to qualify through the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials in late October in Liverpool, N.S.

Three Saskatchewan-based rinks were competing in a Pre-Trials in Ottawa to earn spots for the Liverpool, N.S. Pre-Trials event, the final chance to qualify for the Olympic Canadian trials. Saskatoon’s Ashely Howard, North Battleford’s Jessie Hunkin and Saskatoon’s Shaun Meachem all failed to advance from the triple-knockout event.

Team Flasch will be joined by Saskatoon’s Sherry Anderson and Moose Jaw’s Penny Barker at the Liverpool final chance pre-trials. Saskatchewan skip Pat Simmons will also be at the event with a Winnipeg-based rink.

Two-time Olympian from Regina Ben Hebert and his Alberta Kevin Koe rink has already qualified for the Canadian Olympic Trials.

Road to Beijing

Olympic.ca, September 20, 2021

While summer athletes were contending for Olympic and Paralympic medals in Tokyo, Canada’s top athletes in winter sports were preparing to qualify for the Games in Beijing in 2022.

The Olympics are set for February 4-20, while the Paralympics are March 4-13.

Get the full scoop on how Canadians qualify, who has qualified and when they can qualify at Olympic.ca

Olympic Hockey Schedules

Olympics.ca, September 24, 2021
Photo credit: Free photo Photo 54691244 © Dmitry Grushin | Dreamstime.com

Team Canada hockey fans can mark dates for games in February for the 2022 Beijing Olympics. 

The men’s and women’s schedules were released Thursday.  

Canada enters the tournament seeded No. 2 on the women’s side and will be in the top tier Group A with United States (No. 1) Finland (No. 3), Russian Olympic Committee (No. 4) and Switzerland (No. 5). The 2020 World Rankings determined the seeding for the women. 

On the men’s side, Canada is seeded No. 1. The 2019 IIHF World Rankings were used to determine the seedings. The men’s hockey team will play in Group A with United States (No. 6), Germany (No. 7) and China (No. 12).  Three more men’s teams can still qualify for the tournament and will be placed in Group B or C. 

All four of Canada’s preliminary round games will start at 10:10 p.m. in Saskatchewan for the women, while the men play at 7:10 a.m. twice and at 10:10 p.m. once.

For full schedule details, visit Olympic.ca

Curling Trials

Curling Canada, September 22, 2021

The competition has begun for curling teams to represent Canada at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Nine men’s and women’s teams will descend on Saskatoon Nov.20-28 for the Canadian Curling Trials, with four women’s teams and five men’s teams claiming spots so far.

Two of the remaining men’s spots and three of the women’s spots will be filled following a direct-entry event in Ottawa Sept. 22-26. Saskatoon’s Colton Flasch and Regina’s Matt Dunstone will be among the teams competing for the men’s spots at that event.

Teams that don’t qualify for the Trials at the direct-entry event will have a second chance to do so at the Canadian Pre-Trials scheduled for Oct.26-31 in Liverpool, N.S., where the final two spots for the Trials will be decided.

Also in Ottawa Sept.22-26, there will be a Pre-Trials direct-entry event where eight men and women’s teams will compete for two spots each at the Liverpool Pre-Trials. Saskatoon’s Ashley Howard and North Battleford’s Jessie Hunkin will be competing on the women’s side, while Saskatoon Shaun Meachem will compete on the men’s side.

Teams who don’t qualify for the Pre-Trials event are out of Olympic contention. Those who do qualify, will take on the teams who didn’t earn direct entry to the Canadian Curling Trials, as well as multiple teams who earned their spot at the Pre-Trials based on their World Curling Team Ranking. On the women’s side, those teams will include Saskatoon’s Sherry Anderson and Moose Jaw’s Penny Barker.

Learn more at curling.ca

Clark ready for world stage

September 20, 2021

Saskatoon’s Emily Clark is fresh off helping Canada to an IIHF Women’s World Championship after a 3-2 victory over rivals the United States.

The Canadian women’s team continues to train, prepare and get ready for the Beijing Olympic Games. It will be Clark’s second Olympics.

Read more about Clark’s journey through the COVID-19 pandemic with Team Canada, what the team hoped heading into the World Championship and a future outlook on the Olympic Games on sasksport.ca

2022 Mascots

Paralympic.org and Olympic.ca, September 17, 2021
Photo credit: International Paralympic Committee

Meet Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games launched the names of the mascots.

Bing Dwen Dwen is the Olympics mascot. Bing means ice and symbolizes purity and strength, while Dwen Dwen represents the children. The mascot embodies the strength and willpower of athletes and the Olympic spirit.

Shuey Rhon Rhon, the Paralympics mascot, is a Chinese lantern child who is looking forward to welcoming friends from around the globe at the Games. The glow from its heart symbolizes the inspiring warmth, friendship, courage and perseverance of Para athletes.

Learn more about Bing Dwen Dwen on Olympic.ca and learn more about Shuey Rhon Rhon on Paralympic.org.

Mixed Doubles Curling

Curling Canada, September 10, 2021

Saskatoon’s Nancy Martin and partner Tyrel Griffith (Kelowna, B.C.) have secured one of 16 spots in the 2022 Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials in Portage la Prairie, Man.

The duo earned a spot after results from events as of May 20, 2020.

Up to four mixed doubles team will receive direct-entry berths during three events throughout the 2021-22 curling season. The final six berths will be awarded based on points in mid-December.

The Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials will decide Canada’s entry into the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Learn more on curling.ca.

NHL to Olympics

Olympics.ca, September 3, 2021
Photo credit: Free photo 83064902 © creativecommonsstockphotosDreamstime.com

After missing the Olympic Games in 2018, NHL players will return to their country’s rosters for Beijing in 2022.

An agreement between the NHL, NHLPA and the IIHF signed in September will allow for a break in the regular season NHL schedule for the Olympics. The agreement includes the 2026 Winter Games.

NHL players first attended the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano and had participation in five straight Olympics. Canada enters as the top seed in 2022 after being No. 1 in the 2020 IIHF World Rankings. Canada won a bronze in 2018 with non-current NHL athletes.

Read more about the agreement and Team Canada’s men’s hockey history on Olympic.ca

Paralympics Total Recap

With Day 12 of competition and the Closing Ceremony taking place on the same day, the Tokyo Paralympics have officially come to an end with Canada capturing 21 medals overall, including five gold, 10 silver and six bronze.

Four of those silvers belonged to wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos, who was named Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.

No Saskatchewan athletes competed on the final day of the Games, but here’s a recap of how they did.

Making her Paralympic debut, Midale’s Keely Shaw captured Canada’s first medal of the Games on Day 1 of competition with the para cyclist winning bronze on the track in the women’s C4 3,000-metre individual pursuit. She completed the race with a time of three minutes and 48.34 seconds.

Shaw also finished fourth in the road cycling time trial (42:11.09) and 13th in the road race (time not available).

In the pool, Saskatchewan was represented by a pair of Paralympic first timers: Saskatoon’s Shelby Newkirk and Meadow Lake’s Nikita Ens. The members of the Saskatoon Lasers Swimming Club were joined at the Games by their coach Eric Kramer.

Newkirk set a Canadian record of 1:22.83 seconds to finish fourth in the women’s S6 100-m backstroke, set another Canadian record in the S6 50-m freestyle to finish ninth in her heat with a time of 35.50 seconds —just out of qualifying for the final— and also competed in the S7 100-m freestyle where she finished her heat with a time of 1:19.06, but did not advance to the final.

Although Ens wasn’t able to advance to the final in any of her events, she did set a Canadian record in the women’s SM4 150-m individual medley with a time of 4:34.01. She also competed in the S3 50-m backstroke (1:10.82) and the S3 100-m freestyle (2:32.56).

Melfort’s Julie Kozun and the Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team came close to capturing bronze at the Games, but were denied by Brazil, losing 3-1 in the bronze medal final. Canada finished the round robin with a 2-1 —defeating Italy and Japan, but falling to Brazil— which earned them a place in the semifinals where they lost to China 3-0.

Kozun, who at 21 was the youngest member of the Canadian squad, made her Paralympic debut in Tokyo.

On the basketball court, 2016 Paralympian Nik Goncin and first-time Paralympian Garrett Ostepchuk, both of Regina, helped Canada to an eighth-place finish, bettering their 11th finish in Rio.

While Canada finished their round robin by winning their final two games, they had a tough time at the start, losing three straight —including an overtime defeat to Turkey— to finish 2-3. Fortunately, their record was good enough to advance them to quarter-finals. Unfortunately, they lost that game 66-52 to Great Britain and then the ensuing 7th/8th place game to Germany 68-56.

In wheelchair racing, Regina resident Jessica Frotten made her Paralympic debut competing in four events. In the women’s T53 400-m race, she finished in eighth place among all the heats, which advanced her to the final where she finished eighth with a time of 59.98 seconds.

Frotten didn’t advance to the finals in any of her other three events, which included the women’s T53 800-m (1:56.79), T54 1,500-m (3:52.23) and the universal 4×100-m relay (49.38).

Rounding out the Saskatchewan athletes who competed at Tokyo was wheelchair fencer Ryan Rousell of Asquith, who made his Paralympic debut. Rousell competed in both the men’s Class A Sabre and Epee events. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to advance out of pool play in either of the events.

On the coaching front, Regina’s Frank Gaudet accompanied the lone member of the Canadian Para badminton team, Olivia Meier, who finished fifth; Broadview’s Carla Nicholls was part of the Para athletics team, which claimed multiple medals, and Regina’s John Wetzstein assisted the seven-athlete Para rowing team.

Find all the Saskatchewan results and highlights here.