XXII Winter Olympic Games

By Curtis J Phillips

Chapter I. Article 6 of the 2007 Olympic Charter classifies Winter Olympic Games sports as “Sports which are practiced on snow or ice.”

With that in mind, why then are the XXII Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi, Russia from February 7-23, 2014 only hosting 15 different sports competitions?

The list may grow to 16 with the addition of Bandy for Pyoenchang in 2018 but here are my suggestions for the inclusion of these following Winter sports.

Synchronized skating. Basically figure skating with up to 20 competitors on a team joined together like a chorus line moving across the ice. Wipe outs would be fun to watch.

Skibobbing. Have seen this at Vista Ridge. Basically riding a bicycle downhill that has skis attached instead of wheels. Jet skiing on snow with speeds up to 190 kilometres per hour.

Broomball and ringette are naturals as are snowshoeing and sled dog racing.

Realize that there are certain parameters for a sport to qualify but think one or two of the above five would be great to see.

Just around the corner is the annual Winterplay with various local sporting activities including the always popular Shoot Out on the Snye with four-on-four hockey competition for five different youth age groups and the over 18 years-of-age division.

Its three days of fun – Feb. 21-23, 2014 – with no slap shots allowed but plenty of high fives and Tim Horton’s coffee to go around.

Also taking place Feb 23 starting at 11:00 a.m. is Ptarmigan Nordic Ski Club Family Fun Day up at Doug Barnes Cabin. Open to the entire family, there will be instruction and equipment available if you wish to test out the 35 kilometres of groomed trails on the Birchwood Trail system.

Who knows, maybe we will find another future Graeme Killick in the making.

For those of you who didn’t hear the news…Killick…who started with the club as a five year old finds himself 19 years later representing Canada in cross country skiing at the upcoming XXII Winter Olympic Games.

Also scheduled for the weekend is a winterCURL Doubles Bonspiel down at Mac Island and a Slo-Pitch Tournament at Syncrude Timberlea Athletic Park.

Old-timers in town will remember when the Snye came alive with our local winter festival. There would be a bevy of activities including: broomball, ice cricket, King and Queen of the North, motorcycle racing, sled dog racing, snowmobile racing, snowshoe racing and the always popular stock cars on ice.

Congrats to Jordon Hebert of the Keyano Huskies men’s hockey team becomes the first Huskies athlete to graduate from the Keyano FINNtech program.

A partnership between Finning Canada and Keyano College, this 20-month program is designed to provide technical training necessary to become a ticketed Heavy Equipment Technician.

A native of Ile Des Chenes, Manitoba, Hebert has been a key player for the Huskies men’s hockey team since their acceptance into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men’s hockey program in 2012-2013.

“He has been a top performer for us the last two years,” said Strand of the 6-fdoot forward who nine goals and six assists for 15 points last season while appearing In 26 regular season games. “To do so well on the ice and with the Keyano FINNtech program, says a lot about Jordan. He had been a rock for us.”

Herbert said the FINNtech program was a challenge.

“Too be honest, to be a student/athlete, study and do co-op work, was tough but the faculty, teachers and everyone involved in the program were awesome and very flexible when it came to maintaining studies and sports.

“It was a great opportunity to be a student/athlete while seeing a great job opportunity and career down the road.”

Catch you on the rebound.