Friday, February 26, 2010

Words from Whistler

O Canada,

The women continue to bring the house down. Canada won gold in women’s hockey. The game vs the USA was electric to the end and the cheers were thunderous as the Canadian women reclaimed their Olympic title.

While the Canadian anthem was playing in Vancouver tonight, it was also reverberating off the mountain walls in Whistler for the double medal ceremony for women’s bobsleigh where yesterday we won gold with the team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse and silver with Helen Upperton and brakeman Shelley-Ann Brown. It’s hard to describe the feelings you experience when you see your flag raised high above the others and hear the anthem echoing off the mountains. Surrounded by thousands of spectators from around the world you hear this soft rumble begin as the familiar lyrics to O Canada become audible. And then, ever so quickly, all the voices become a unified chorus as they sing out our national anthem loud and strong and you can’t help but feel overwhelmed as the singing and cheering reach their crescendo at the finale. Sport is such a wonderful vehicle to allow us to show our national pride, to unite us from coast to coast as we celebrate who we are and what we can achieve.

The Olympic Games brings the world together as we celebrate both athletic triumphs and the strength of human spirit. Tonight the world cheered as Joannie Rochette skated with determination and beauty as she completed her long freeskate. She demonstrated not only exceptional athletic ability in completing a technically and artistically challenging program but also the incredible strength of her inner will power to skate after experiencing personal tragedy earlier in the week. We are all part of a global sport community and regardless of the nationality; everyone wanted to see Joannie skate well. Congratulations Joannie, not only did you skate very well, you won the Olympic bronze medal!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The 12 Minute Sport Lawyer – Toronto Edition

February 23rd marked the first SIRC/CSL Knowledge Management Series session for the Toronto Regional office. The event was fast paced, informative and well received by all who attended. Many provincial sport organizations were in attendance including basketball, softball, squash, badminton, boxing, waterpolo and triathlon, all finding the information relevant to their particular sport and organizational structure.

So what did they learn?

Thanks to Rachel Corbett, Steve Indig, Jarrod Grossman and Kevin Lawrie from the Centre for Sport and Law for providing a fun and interactive session of learning. Be sure to tune in next month when SIRC and CSL present:

Words from Whistler

Canadian Athletes Rule on February 24

What an outstanding day for our Canadian athletes. Our women won both gold and silver in Bobsleigh, the women’s short track speed skating team won silver, Clara Hughes won bronze and the men’s hockey team soundly beat Russia in the quarter finals. Coincidentally, February 24 is also the day the men’s hockey team won gold at the Salt Lake City, Olympics.

Everyone in Whistler was still celebrating Ashleigh McIvor’s gold in ski cross, and today they went crazy over the performances of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse as they won gold and Helen Upperton and brakeman Shelley-Ann Brown who won the silver. The victory celebration through Whistler was all encompassing. What made it even more amazing was the inclusion of everyone on the team, including the coaches, the support staff and the bobsleigh track team, forerunners and operations staff. The athletes and coaches are adamant that they could not have succeeded without the help of everyone around them and their desire to include them and recognize them in their celebrations this evening epitomized the ‘team’ in team sports.

The silver and bronze speed skating medals by the women's short track speed skating team in the 3,000-metre relay and Clara Hughes has everyone believing Canadian momentum is certainly on a high. Even the showdown between Canada and Russia has fans once again believing we can bring home the gold in men’s hockey.

And so, with Canada winning four medals, the men dominating their hockey game, the king and queen of Norway visiting Whistler Canada Olympic House and a wild medal celebration party, I would say February 24 was a good birthday.

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as Debra Gassewitz, President & CEO, SIRC, continues her stay at Whistler. You can find Debra at Whistler Canada Olympic House.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Words from Whistler

Whistler Proud of Ashleigh McIvor, Ski Cross Olympic Champion

Ashleigh McIvor, from Whistler B.C., sent her fans and family into an instant frenzy as she became the first Olympic champion of Women’s Ski Cross. She showed complete focus and control and never seemed to waver as she skied the race she wanted to run and captured the gold medal. While the race through the difficult white out conditions was amazing to watch, what stood out was the tremendous support she has from her family and the people of Whistler, Pemberton, Squamish etc. who have watched their Ashleigh grow up and train for these Olympic Games.

What does support mean? During this Olympic week, Ashleigh’s parents appeared happy to be taking in various events. They were with Ashleigh as she watched her boyfriend Chris Del Bosco compete in the men’s ski cross, however they refused to ask her questions about her own event or about the Games. They said that if she wanted to talk about it, she would call them. The feeling was quite simply that they believed in her and wanted to support her, would love her regardless of her skiing results, but did not want to interfere or to add any undue pressure. Her family support was very evident as she had a large family contingent sitting in the stands cheering her on at Cypress Mountain.

The McIvor family is from Whistler and there is no doubt the people from the area feel they know Ashleigh and the family. The community in which you live is an extension of your family and listening to the locals cheer her on, there is an added powerful emotion that gives the feeling they have a special bond with the family. People are protective of Ashleigh, similar to a family bond, and when she succeeded they spoke of a pride and relief she had achieved her goals. Relief because they did not want to see her hurt, pride because they felt one of their own had succeeded. No one said they needed her to be number one, they simply wanted her to be happy and achieve her dream.

Watching the medal ceremony , surrounded by people who genuinely care, you couldn’t help but feel the loving warmth as the crowd sang loud and clear the Canadian anthem as the flag was raised. Congratulations Ashleigh McIvor – we’re proud of you!

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as Debra Gassewitz, President & CEO, SIRC, continues her stay at Whistler. You can find Debra at Whistler Canada Olympic House.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What are coaches reading?

According to a recent issue of Olympic Coach, a lot! And you would be surprised at some of the titles. Oh there are the usual suspects – Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training, Athletic Development: The Art and Science of Functional Sports Training , and Running – Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology Applied in Practice

But then there are some unusual titles. Books such as Mindset by Carol Dweck, with chapters on everything from “self-insight” to “what is success”; The Tao of Leadership: Lau Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age which teaches its readers how to be the very best kind of leader: be faithful, trust the process, pay attention, and inspire others to become their own leaders; and, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software a book about the mystery of why the whole is sometimes smarter than the sum of its parts. Team dynamics and leadership qualities in a coach are areas where this book may prove helpful.

So what are you reading? Here are a few of the popular titles at the SIRC Toronto Regional Library:

Five for the Road, Olympic Coach. Spring 2009. 21(2). P. 6-7.

Words from Whistler

Dancing their Way to Gold

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir made history yesterday at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics when they became the youngest and first North Americans to win the Olympic gold medal in Ice Dancing. Their performance was breath taking, their chemistry was undeniable and the result was what they and every Canadian had dreamed it could be. Olympic Gold for Canada!

Ice Dancing is a sport that requires two people to skate as one. The pair must cover the entire ice surface with speed and grace, and invoke within the viewer an emotion that pulls you into the story being told through music and choreography. The intricacy of the footwork, lifts and spins is all the more powerful when it feels as if the couple is floating across the ice. You should not be distracted from the emotional flow of the program by thinking “that move looked difficult.” Virtue and Moir told a beautiful story to Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony and judging from the tears streaming down the cheeks of the people watching their program here in Whistler, I would say everyone felt the passion and certainly shared their joy.

This is a story with a fairy tale ending. They believed in themselves, they believed they could win and Canada believes in Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Congratulations!

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as Debra Gassewitz, President & CEO, SIRC, continues her stay at Whistler. You can find Debra at Whistler Canada Olympic House.

Words from Whistler

Mascot Mania

It was another gorgeous day in Whistler, the sun was shining and everyone seemed happy to sit back and soak up some rays of sunshine. Even the hundreds of shoppers lined up at 9am outside the Olympic store waiting for a chance to buy Olympic souvenirs appeared in great spirits today.

What made today particularly cheerful was the prevalence of the Olympic mascots, Quatchi, Sumi and Miga and their appeal to both children and adults. Quatchi is a young sasquatch who comes from the forests of Canada and dreams of becoming a famous hockey goalie. Miga is a young sea bear who lives in the ocean off Vancouver Island and enjoys surfing, snowboarding and anything fun and exciting. Sumi is an animal spirit who lives in the mountains of British Columbia and loves to play numerous sports. The mascots were in the Village as well as at Cypress Mountain, and there seemed to be line ups of children and adults wanting to sit and have their photos taken with them. At Canada Olympic House water based tattoos with the mascots were the hot take-away as children pondered which character they wanted to wear. Teens and young adults were applying the tattoos on their necks and faces, and even asking for assistance to ensure the images were applied vibrantly. The mascots have succeeded in bringing out the child in all of us.

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as Debra Gassewitz, President & CEO, SIRC, continues her stay at Whistler. You can find Debra at Whistler Canada Olympic House

Monday, February 22, 2010

Words from Whistler

Ski Cross was Wild

Today was the Olympic debut for Ski Cross and it was wild. Ski cross seems to be described as a cross between motorcross, roller derby and skiing. While the Canadian skiers had tremendous support as the hometown boys, it was great to see so many different countries participating and clearly demonstrating the sport has a global appeal. Errol Kerr, the friendly giant wearing green and yellow from Jamaica was a crowd favorite. Not only did he have his family in attendance to support him but two of the original Jamaican Bobsled members, who had participated in the Calgary Olympics of 1988, were on hand to cheer him on.

What made the event more entertaining were the descriptions of the skiers, or should I say cast of characters. Some of the skiers were described as having other hobbies such as BMX, football, anger management and bowling. Couple the hobbies with physical attributes that ranged up to 6’4” and 230 lbs and you have men who are going to fight for their space on the track. The blood shed and colossal collisions were reminiscent of warriors fighting for a space on the podium. The battle continued right into the final where Canada’s Chris Del Bosco looked like he would capture bronze until on the final jump, with the crowd cheering wildly, he flew like an eagle but turned sideways and landed in a faceplant. While the crowd was disappointed Canada did not bring home a medal, the entertainment value was 5/5. I look forward to watching the Women’s Ski Cross on Tuesday.

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as Debra Gassewitz, President & CEO, SIRC, continues her stay at Whistler. You can find Debra at Whistler Canada Olympic House.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Words from Whistler

Canada House Rocks
Whistler Canada Olympic House was rocking today as it was open to the public in the morning for a pancake breakfast and in the evening everyone was celebrating the Gold medal ceremony for Jon Montgomery.

The pancake breakfast with maple syrup may have been an initial draw to check out the beautiful Canada House (also known as the Whistler Public Library centrally located right in Village), but the jam packed venue full with entertainment for the kids and a chance to mingle with the athletes was brimming with excitement. Naturally the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were present in the scarlet red surge and the majestic horses from the musical ride welcomed visitors to the home. Whistler Canada Olympic House has be designed to provide a meeting place for Canadian athletes, their families, guests and dignitaries. It showcases the beauty of both BC and Whistler with its unique and truly Canadian architecture.

Speaking about truly Canadian, the entire Village as well as COH rocked in the evening with the medal ceremony for Jon Montgomery, Canada's gold medalist in skeleton. As Jon jumped up on the top of the podium the cheers were heard in every corner of the town. And when the Canadian flag was raised high into the air, the chorus of O Canada was heard loud and clear both outside and inside COH. After the ceremony everyone returned to COH, including Jon's very proud parents and exuberant friends and family. Volunteers waved an enormous flag to greet our Olympian and Steve Podborski shared his heart felt words of wisdom. What I will remember is his smile, the sparkle in the eyes and the love for life shown by both Jon and his parents. To quote Jon's father "we taught Jon that when he starts something he should finish it. Today he definitely finished it".

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as Debra Gassewitz, President & CEO, SIRC, continues her stay at Whistler. You can find Debra at Whistler Canada Olympic House.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Words from Whistler

Canada Wins Gold in Skeleton

The atmosphere is electric at Whistler as Jon Montgomery wins gold today in skeleton. Canadians are celebrating throughout the village, flags are waving and the mood is one of pride and excitement.

In fact, all day family, friends and visitors exude a positive energy as they embrace the Olympic spirit. People everywhere are wearing their Canadian apparel and talking about the Olympics. Families boarding the plane in Ottawa wear their Canadian sweaters, passengers from Calgary are pumped about attending the Canada hockey games and amateur photographers on the bus traveling to Whistler are scrambling to take photos of the venues and magnificent west coast scenery. National pride is shining brightly.

Walking through town you feel a common bond with strangers just because they are wearing Canada proudly on their sleeves. Earlier this week, while skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, I felt the same kindred spirit with fellow skaters sporting the easily recognized "red mitts". The Olympics have given Canadians something to talk about, to unite around and to celebrate together. So let's enjoy the moment, appreciate the national passion stirring within us and keep cheering "Go Canada Go".

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as our very own Debra Gassewitz, President and CEO, spends the next week at Whistler. You can find Debra at Canada House, Whistler.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Science of Superstitions

Have you ever noticed that your teammate beside you always puts their left skate on before their right and always wears different colour stockings? Have you ever wondered why your teammate ties each of their cleats three times or must shoot at the net exactly 7 times during warm up? The answer to the whys of these questions is a matter of superstition. You’ll notice that most everyone has routines that they go through before competition and whether these are comfort behaviours, rituals or superstitions, it all stems from personal research you have been conducting your whole life. Each one of us has unconsciously performed studies of cause and effect that have been stored in our brains for reference as to what “works” and what doesn’t when it comes to success on the athletic field. Our brains have millions of these cause and effect relationships that we use on a daily basis to guide our behaviour. Our brains work through all these scenarios in order to predict what the next best course of action is. However, sometimes we get what we may consider a short-wire and the brain connects two things that may have no actual relationship to each other … and come up with what many term a superstition. Does wearing the same shirt at each race really make us play better? Does being the last player out of the dressing room really mean we’ll win? It can’t be proven, but if it gives us confidence to perform better that’s an advantage. Just don’t get so caught up in rituals and superstitions that they create nerves and pressure, put the emphasis on using them in a positive way to improve your performance.

For more information on the relationship between rituals, superstitions and your brain contact SIRC.

Reference:Silverstor, Trevor (2009) Superstition. Ultra-FIT 19(7), October 2009, p.30-32.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Off to a Great Start!

With the Winter Olympic Games well underway in Vancouver many of us are learning more about sports that we aren’t as familiar with, and learning new facts about our old favourites. Everyone now knows the answer to the question of who was the first Canadian to win gold at a home Games, Alex Bilodeau scored big to win gold in the men’s moguls competition. So how’s your knowledge of the other medaling sports?

Did you know:

  • Since results in long track speed skating are given at one one hundredth of a second, radio transponders are used to accurately record time. Antennas are laid in the ice. Each athlete then has a transponder attached to the lace of their boot. Each transponder has a unique ID, so when the athlete goes over the antenna, the transponder is read and the ID is transferred to the results system. Five cameras are also employed to supply photos at the finish line.
  • Snowboard cross has been described as the Olympics' version of NASCAR, 80 seconds of pushing, shoving and hurtling down a hill at breakneck speeds. Winning comes through equal parts skill and daring with a dash of luck thrown in.
  • If you plan to hit the moguls course, Jen Heil says that having a strong core is the key to being able to react really quickly to the moguls and to allow the body to act as a shock absorber.

SIRC congratulates Canadian medal winners of the past weekend and all Canadian athletes with their Olympic efforts. If you’d like to find out more about the sports profiled at the Olympic Games check out the SIRC resources.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

Check out the latest SIRC Newsletter -2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics!

With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games starting this week in Vancouver, Olympic fever is upon us. It is hard to walk down the street without seeing someone wearing the famous red mittens or open the paper and not see stories about the Vancouver Olympics. These Games are sure to be an action packed two weeks but what will make the Vancouver Olympic Games stick out? Not only have they created what they claim to be the fastest speed skating and luge tracks … ever, they have also created the most sophisticated and comprehensive anti-doping programs yet. It does not end there! VANOC is hoping to pull off the “greenest” Games so far by including initiatives such as planting two trees for every tree that was cut down during the preparation for the Games. So put on your Canadian colours, cheer on our athletes and make these the best Games ever.

SIRC would like to wish all athletes good luck at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics!

The 12 Minute Sport Lawyer – Ottawa Edition

The first installment of the SIRC/CSL Knowledge Management Series was a success! The 12 Minute Lawyer took place yesterday afternoon in Ottawa. If you missed attending you have another chance. Register now for the session held in Toronto on February 23 at SIRC@Sport4Ontario.

Rachel and Steve from the Canadian Centre for Sport and Law led a discussion about some of the hot, legal issues in the sporting community. Time flew by as we talked about social media, music rights, hands-free devices, police checks, human rights and LTAD. Interesting questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are you paying SOCAN for music rights during practices? Should you?
  • Can you get fired for what you say on Facebook?
  • Should you have to play employee fines if they are talking on their phone in the car for business and get caught?
  • Do waivers for minors really work?
  • How are the changes to police check policies effecting your organization?
  • Should you align LTAD with the Athlete Assistance Program?
  • Are your employees and volunteers aware and educated on human rights violations?

We are looking forward to Managing Your Intellectual Property, the next KMS in Ottawa. Speakers will discuss the ambush marketing that happened before and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Make sure you register early!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What would you do with $750,000? Facts and Numbers of the Games

With four days until the Opening Ceremony the world is turning its attention to British Columbia. You have probably heard lots about the athletes, the venues, the torch run and maybe some things about how much things are going to cost.

Have you ever considered how much it would cost for a prime-time ad slot during the Olympics? On NBC the going rate for a 30-second prime time slot is $750,000. Although they were predicting taking a $200-million revenue hit during the Games sales have picked up and NBC have sold $820-million in sales. For NBC this is a good thing since shows such as American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy will be competing for ratings on other networks.

Revenue in other areas of the Games is looking good as well. Ticket sales are on track to reach the $251-million target and Canadians have bought over half a million hoodies, toques and scarves and don’t forget the red mittens! They have become the hot item to have for the Games at $10 a pair and are constantly sold out at retail locations.

We have been hearing about the cost of the Games in Vancouver over the past few months and there is a good chance we will be hearing about it for months to come. Some articles that can be found in the SIRC Collection surrounding the cost of the Games include:

Cohen, Andrew (2009). Oh, Canada. Athletic Business, 33(1), 20-22.

Mickle, T. (2010). A Mountain to Climb. Street & Smith's Sportsbusiness Journal, 12(37), 1-16.

Mickle, T., & Ourand, J. (2010). NBC readjusts Games sales goals. Street & Smith's Sportsbusiness Journal, 12(37), 1-27.

Wilner, Barry (2009). VANOC to Glow in the Dark. SportBusiness International, (142), 9.

Although the Games are taking place during a time of recession things are looking brighter the closer we get. Tune into the Opening Ceremonies this Friday to cheer on Canada that’s what we will be doing at SIRC.

Monday, February 8, 2010

SIRC on the Road in Charlotte, NC

Nancy Rebel, one of SIRC’s sport librarians, attended the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine & Science (JCSMS) Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend. The purpose of the Joint Commission is to provide a platform through which the leaders of sports medicine and exercise science organizations from the United States and Canada can convene to promote cooperation and collaboration on various issues facing sports medicine and science. The annual meeting brings together these leaders once a year for educational sessions and collaborative opportunities providing a concrete space for leaders to meet on a personal basis and network on these issues. SIRC is pleased to have been a member of this organization for many years and we look forward to attending these meetings to keep abreast on leading concerns and issues in the areas of sports medicine and exercise science and to provide support and networking opportunities.

The main topics of discussion of this year revolved around the following themes:

Sport trauma and overuse injury prevention in youth sport
Focus: STOP program (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention);
Risk factors: “too much … too fast … too soon”;
Safety first

Medical, science and health fitness of NASCAR athletes
Focus: physical and mental demands on drivers and pit crews

Opportunities for Influencing Governmental policy in the United States
Focus: Childhood obesity and promoting youth physical activity (legislation);
President Obama’s focus on health care reform;
First Lady Michelle Obama to announce on Tuesday Feb 9, 2010 her platform initiative on healthy lifestyles (including highlighting physical activity and nutrition programs for children);
CDC’s role in informing and advising associations in their policy advocacy efforts

New National Physical Activity Plan for the United States to be launched May 3, 2010
Vision: For all Americans to be physically active and live, work and play in environments that facilitate regular physical activity.
The target of the plan is policy makers in the United States

Nutrition recommendations for pre-, during, and post-exercise/sport
Focus: A position statement released in March 2009 by the American Dietetic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine on Nutrition and Athletic Performance

Miscellaneous hot topics of discussion:

  • Young athletes and hypertension
  • Heat injuries in youth
  • Energy drinks and youth
  • Concussions
  • Osteoarthritis
  • US to look into developing a certification program for coaches
  • “Exercise is Medicine”; physical activity as a treatment for chronic disease
  • Importance of evidence-based practices (applying research to practice)
  • Mouthguards: relation to concussions;
  • Relation to performance enhancement – do mouthguards decrease lactate buildup in athletes
  • Doping and drug testing; in particular the prescription of performance enabling drugs (such as medications for ADHD) and the implications on drug testing in sport (therapeutic use exemption implications)

For more information on the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine & Science or any of the information detailed above please feel free to contact SIRC (

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Durham College Students learn the value of research!

Amanda Street-Bishop (Toronto’s Regional Information Specialist) received an invitation from Durham College’s Professor Kate Houze, to speak to their first year students enrolled in the Sport Administration and Sport Management programs. Students partook in a hands-on workshop which allowed them to learn about SIRC and how they can use us to help them in their second semester Sport Research Course. The purpose of this course is to present each student with a knowledge base and the relevant skills in order to better understand and function in the evolving sport management industry. The students study research and its application to the sport industry. Students examine research in detail – what it is, its purpose, its importance to industry, how to use, when to use it and then apply this knowledge to several research projects. Many sport management positions require one to research, to articulate an idea or concept and to present this information effectively to a board of directors, a client, a sponsor or other management groups making research an essential part of the Sport business environment.

The session was conducted in the school’s state of the art computer lab allowing each student to independently explore the SIRC site and the SportDiscus™ Database. The students were interested in scholarly, peer reviewed articles on a variety of topics including: steroid use in professional baseball, violence in amateur hockey and the promotion of mixed martial arts.

Here’s some of what they found:

  • Financial Incentives and League Policy: The Example of Major League Baseball's Steroid Policy. Tainsky, Scott; Winfree, Jason A., European Sport Management Quarterly Mar2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p67
  • Honor, ritual and violence in ice hockey. Colburn Jr., K., Canadian Journal of Sociology 1985: Vol. 10 Issue 2. p. 153-170
  • Injury trends in sanctioned mixed martial arts competition: a 5-year from 2002 to 2007. Available Ngai, K. M.; Levy, F.; Hsu, E. B., British Journal of Sports Medicine Aug2008, Vol. 42 Issue 8, p686
  • Mixed Martial Arts: The Book of Knowledge. Bolelli, Daniele, Journal of Asian Martial Arts 2007, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p86
  • Public Perceptions of Steroid Use in Sport: Contextualizing Communication Efforts. Becker, Amy B.; Scheufele, Dietram A., International Journal of Sport Communication Dec2008, Vol. 1 Issue 4, p444
  • The Relationship Between Spectator Motivations and Media and Merchandise Consumption at a Professional Mixed Martial Arts Event. Sport Marketing Quarterly 2009, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p199
  • Sports MDs seek CMA support in bid to make hockey safer. Sullivan, P., Canadian Medical Association Journal Jan 15, 1990: Vol. 142 Issue 2. p. 157-159

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Heavy Lifters!!

Weightlifting, not a sport you usually think about doing in your retirement. Golf, bowling, curling – these are the more common pursuits of the retired generation. But these sports are not for everyone, especially if you are a Canadian Masters Weightlifting record holder and gold medalist. Bernie Eckler, a regular visitor to SIRC’s Toronto Regional library, is just that. Even though he is fast approaching 70 years old, Bernie still works out regularly with the Apollo Barbell Club, and works part-time for Athletics Ontario. Currently, he is planning a trip to the Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships this June in Montreal.

The Apollo Barbell Club has quite a reputation in the Canadian Weightlifting world. In 2008 all 9 members of the club who competed in the Canadian Masters Championships won gold medals and in 2009 they won eight gold and one silver.

Weightlifting has been an Olympic Sport since 1920, and was first debuted in the 1896 Athens Summer Olympics. There are two areas of competition, the snatch and the clean and jerk. In the snatch, the bar is pulled in one explosive motion from the floor to full arm's length overhead. In the clean and jerk (C&J), the bar is also lifted to full arm's length overhead. However, although it is considered one event, the C&J is really two lifts that must be completed one immediately after the other. In the clean, the bar is raised (pulled) in an explosive motion from the floor to a point of rest approximately at the level of the shoulders. The second part of the C&J, the jerk, consists of bending the legs and then extending both the arms and the legs to bring the bar to full arm's length over the head in one explosive motion.

Here are just a few of the articles found in the SportDiscus™ Database on Masters Weightlifting…