#TorontoMapleLeafs; #GeorgeArmstrongDead; #IndigenousDescent
Canada/Canadian: The Toronto Maple Leafs mourns today the death of its former captain, George Armstrong at the age of 90.
George Armstrong. Image credit: nhl.com
Armstrong was one of the first players of Indigenous descent to play professional hockey.
Armstrong's death was confirmed by the Maple Leafs on Twitter on Sunday.
Named one of the One Hundred Greatest Maple Leafs of all-time, an Honoured Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame having been inducted in it in 1975, and 41 years later George was voted No. 12 on the franchise's list of 100 greatest Maple Leafs in its centennial season.
As a member of the Maple Leafs family for 75 years, having first signed the organization in 1946, George had been a distinguished player, captain, coach, assistant general manager, scout, community ambassador, and alumnus.
With Skating for his entire 21-year NHL career with the Maple Leafs, with 12 as their captain. George helped Toronto capture four Stanley Cups.
"George is part of the very fabric of the Toronto Maple Leaf organization and will be deeply missed," said Toronto Maple Leafs President & Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan in a statement. "A proud yet humble man, he loved being a Maple Leaf but never sought the spotlight even though no player played more games for Toronto or captained the team longer. Always one to celebrate his teammates rather than himself, George couldn't even bring himself to deliver his speech the day he was immortalized on Legends Row."
A statement was released by the Leafs on Sunday with the words from Armstrong's unread speech that night.
"Hockey is a great game and I love it. I am part of a fading generation that you will never have again. Every one of us is one of a kind, that will never be repeated. To all of my friends and acquaintances, thank you for your advice and direction, that helped make me who I am today ... a very, very happy person."
Deepest condolences by the Toronto Maple Leafs are extended to the entire Armstrong family including his wife Betty, their children, and grandchildren.
#TokyoOlympics; #IOC; #SurgeOFCovid19; #COC; #TelevisionEvent
Canada/Canadian-Media: Both the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local organizers refute reports of cancelation of already postponed Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for Aug. 24.
Tokyo Olympics. Image credit: Facebook Page
Reports of cancellation of Tokyo Olympics began to spread after Tokyo and other district administrative divisions were placed under a state of emergency by the Japanese government to counter a surge of rising COVID-19 cases.
Following initial reports, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) CEO David Shoemaker said the organization was unaware of any decisions made by the Japanese government and tweeted that the committee "has confidence that the Games can be staged safely and successfully given what has been learned in the sport over the last several months and the emphasis the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee have placed on COVID-19 countermeasures,"
Second postponement or cancellation of Tokyo Olympics was also favored by Japan's public opinion with 80 percent in several polls largely due to the failure of Tokyo, a metropolitan area of 35 million, to contain the surge of COVId-19 pandemic cases.
Thomas Bach, IOC president said that proper measures against the virus will focus on testing, quarantines, social distancing, and keeping athletes largely isolated.
In a statement on Friday, the local organizing committee said that with the support of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Olympics were going forward.
"All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and the IPC [International Paralympic Committee] are fully focused on hosting the games this summer," the statement said.
"We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for safe and secure games."
Earlier in the week Senior of IOC. Richard Pound suggested that the Olympics may be held as a mostly television event without fans.
Radical changes may be needed to pull off the Tokyo Olympics, involving 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of coaches, officials, judges, VIPS, media, and broadcasters, said Bach and added that organizers were in a better position to hold the Olympics now than they were 10 months ago when the games were postponed.
#InternationalBasketballFederation; #CanadaBasketball; #FIBAAmeriCupqualifier; #Fined; #Covid19; #CanadianOlympicCommittee
Canada/Canadian-Media: International Basketball Federation (FIBA) sanctions Canada Basketball President and CEO Glen Grunwald as well as levies a fine up to $227,138 for the sport and threatened to dock Canada's national team a point for having chosen not to attend a FIBA AmeriCup qualifier in November on the advice of medical experts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Basketball Federation. Image credit: Facebook page
In a release on Wednesday, Canada Basketball said that not only would its participation have directly contradicted the mandates of the federal government "but also the directive of our chief medical officer and other medical professionals throughout Canada's sport system, including those with Canada Basketball, Sport Canada, Own The Podium, the Return to Sports Task Force, and the Canadian Olympic Committee."
"I didn't expect this, actually," Grunwald said. "So then for this to come out of the blue when I had been advised earlier that if we were not participating because of medical reasons, it would not be any penalties. So, again, very disappointed and a bit disillusioned with the approach," CBC News reports said.
Canada would only be fined half the amount and would not lose a point if it chooses to attend the February tournament, said FIBA in a statement on Wednesday. If not, those sanctions would remain in place.
FIBA said that failing to qualify for the AmeriCup would end Canada's Paris 2024 Olympic bid, but the games have no bearing on qualification for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
"It is kind of a threat. We're working really hard and our medical staff has been awesome," Grunwald said. "One of the great things about the Canadian sport community is we're all working together in this very difficult time."
Grunwald said Canada Basketball is hopeful to participate in the third and final stage of AmeriCup qualifying, scheduled to be held Feb. 18-22, with Canada's group, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, playing in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
David Shoemaker, CEO, and secretary-general of Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) said the organization is extremely disappointed with this ruling and added the COC continues to stand by Canada Basketball's decision not to travel to the November qualifier in the midst of a pandemic.
#Canada; #Sports; #WorldJuniorHockeyChampionship; #TeamCanada; #Russia; #US
Canada/Canadian-Media: After beating Russia 5-0 in semifinal action on Monday night in Edmonton, Canada, playing for gold at the world junior hockey championship, will look to defend its title on Tuesday.
World junior hockey championship. Image credit: hockeycanada.ca
"The picture of [playing for gold] has been probably our driving force since we got here," Devon Levi said on a video call after Monday's win. "We've put in a lot to this. It's a great feeling that we're here and that we got here. But the job's not done yet."
Canadian coach Andre Tourigny said that he has been preparing the mindset of the players for adversity since coming together for selection camp in mid-November, which helped them prepare for the challenge of fighting for gold.
"Team Canada played a good, solid game. They were solid defensively and very efficient offensively, too," said Russia's coach Igor Larionov.
Team Canada will play the United States tonight at the world junior hockey championship, with the gold medal on the line.
"The way the leaders and the player deal with adversity every time there's adversity, that's what's made the difference to me," Tourigny said.
"It's a really tough tournament, there's still a lot of hockey to be played here. Tomorrow will be a hell of a game."