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Sports Briefs: Sochi less than 100 days away

Podborski carries flame at North Pole as part of olympic torch relay



There are now fewer than 100 days left until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as the countdown clock moved down to double digits this week.

Tuesday, Oct. 29 marked 100 days to the Games, with most Olympic sports yet to open their World Cup schedules for the winter season. Though a handful of Canadian athletes have already solidified their spot in Sochi, many more will spend the next three-and-a-half months working to qualify for the Games.

Meanwhile, the torch relay is ongoing in Russia. Last week, the flame reached the North Pole with the help of Canadian chef de mission and alpine legend Steve Podborski, who took a turn carrying the torch in the Arctic.

The opening ceremonies will take place on Feb. 7, but competition in figure skating, snowboard slopestyle and women's moguls will open on Feb. 6.

Whistler CrossFitters help Special Olympics Canada

Several current and past Whistler residents participated in some CrossFit for a cause last weekend, raising thousands of dollars for Special Olympics Canada during a 24-hour partner workout marathon.

Rob Wilkins, co-owner of CrossFit Burnaby and a former instructor in Whistler, said his gym was one of several across the country that took part in the event known as CF24. The athletes involved did 10-minute workouts in teams of three on the hour, every hour from 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 until 9 a.m. the following day.

Wilkins's location raised more than $4,200 towards the initiative, while the nationwide goal of $50,000 was smashed, with the participants bringing in more than $100,000 altogether.

Whistler CrossFitters Don Schwarz, Steph Ball, Candice Masson and Travis McMaster also travelled down to the Burnaby gym to do the marathon event.

"We're right down on Hastings Street, so we got a lot of looks through all hours of the night with the lights being on and we're jumping around," laughed Wilkins. "It was an interesting experience."

Wilkins said he's hopeful that users of the Burnaby and Whistler CrossFit locations could continue to team up for similar initiatives in the future.

Awards for Whistler Gymnastics

Whistler Gymnastics took home three honours from the annual Gymnastics B.C. awards banquet held Oct. 26 in Burnaby, including one prestigious accolade for a current board member and former general manager of the local club.

Sheila Mozes was named a life member of the provincial association for her work at Whistler Gymnastics over the years. In particular, Mozes was honoured for her work to create and implement a national coaching program for preschool-aged gymnastics while also supporting the sport in B.C. for many years.

Tami Mitchell was selected as the Volunteer of the Year for Gymnastics B.C. in recognition of her dedicated service to the local club and for her work on the B.C. Gymnaestrada.

Meanwhile, the club itself got a nod as the PLAY Gymnastics Club of the Year on the strength of its innovative and inclusive programming targeting all ages and types of gymnasts.

Good start for Gagnon

Marie-Michèle Gagnon gave Canada a top-10 finish to open the World Cup alpine campaign, placing 10th in the season-opening giant slalom held Saturday, Oct. 26 at Soelden, Austria.

Gagnon sat in a three-way tie for 13th after the opening run but posted the fifth-fastest second run on Saturday to move up into the top 10. Swiss skier Lara Gut picked up the victory.

In the men's event the following day Canadians Phil Brown, Erik Read, Dustin Cook and David Donaldson all participated but did not qualify for a second run. American GS star Ted Ligety kicked off his season with a win.


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