Sport Shorts: On Canoe-Kayak, 2010 News and Al Purvis

Canoe-Kayak Alive in Dartmouth: Before an exuberant home crowd, Canada’s top canoe-kayak athletes paddled away with three World Championship medals over the weekend. First, triple Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden (Oakville, Ont.) won bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres despite suffering a broken ankle just two months ago.

Andrew Willows (Gananoque, Ont.) and Richard Dober Jr. (Trois Rivières, Que.) also won bronze in the K-2 200 metres. The duo placed a strong sixth at last year’s Olympic Games in the K-2 500 metres. Canada’s third bronze came courtesy of the women’s K-1 4×200-metre relay team, which comprised Kia Byers (Regina), Emilie Fournel (Dorval, Que.), Genevieve Orton (Lake Echo, N.S.) and Karen Furneaux (Waverley, N.S.). In exhibition races, Canadian paddlers took home four 1st-place finishes. That included two thrilling wins by the hometown pair of Jenna Marks and Maria Halavrezos in the women’s C-2 500- and 200- metre races.

On the Short Track to Vancouver: Six short track speed skaters have been officially nominated to the 2010 Canadian Olympic Team at the Bell Short Track Team Selection. First was Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, Que.) and Kalyna Roberge (St-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Que.) in the 1,000-metre event. Roberge won a relay silver medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, and finished fourth in the 500 metres. For Jean, a multiple World Championship medallist, it will be his first Olympic experience.

And yesterday four more claimed nominal Olympic berths. Joining the team are Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, QC) in the 1,500 metres, Jessica Gregg (Edmonton) and Marianne St-Gelais (St-Félicien, Que.) in the 500 metres and Tania Vicent (Laval Que.) Charles Hamelin (St-Julie, Que.) had previously been nominated to the team. The entire Olympic short track team will be nominated later this month.

Whistler Olympic Village Almost Ready: On Thursday, the media is being invited to Olympic and Paralympic Village Whistler to tour the nearly completed grounds. The Village will be home to about 3,850 athletes, coaches and officials next February. New apartments, town homes and duplexes have been assembled in Whistler’s Cheakamus Valley. It also includes the Whistler Athletes’ Centre, in which sits the High Performance Centre for training.

IOC’s Best of Us: A new animated commercial called “All Together Now” is the latest piece of the International Olympic Committee’s “Best of Us” campaign. This promotional series is designed to enliven youth around the world with Olympic values. Its power rests with a simple notion that sport can bring out the best in people. The new colourful piece depicts gigantic Olympic athletes literally pulling countries together. Broadcast around the globe, it can be viewed online at.

Captured Olympic Gold in 1952: The COC extends its condolences to the family of Al Purvis, a 1952 Olympic gold medal hockey player. Purvis, originally of Trochu, Alt., served as defenceman and assistant captain for the Edmonton Mercurys, the team that represented Canada at the 1952 Olympic Winter Games in Oslo. The team, comprised mainly of firefighters, industrial workers and automobile salesmen, had also won the World Championship two years earlier. Purvis passed away on August 13 of a heart illness in his home on Vancouver Island. He will be missed by the Canadian Olympic Team.