Sport Shorts: Trailblazing Loo Hangs Up Her Board

Loo Retires: Two-time Olympic snowboarder Alexa Loo is gliding into retirement from competition. The native of Richmond, B.C. spent 11 years racing for Canada in the parallel giant slalom event. At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, she finished a career-high 12th, Canada’s best result by a woman, dropping her quarter-final race by the slimmest of margins, 0.01 seconds.

Loo is a seven-time national champion and a three-time World Cup medallist over her career. She has competed at five World Championships, her top result 8th in her final race. The 37-year-old’s veteran leadership will be missed as younger snowboarders take the reins. Loo is a trailblazer in the sport, and she leaves behind a strong legacy for Canada.

Moncton Party Wraps Up: The 2010 World Junior Track and Field Championships will be remembered for the large, boisterous, pro-Canada crowds witnessed in Moncton, N.B. Canada won two bronze medals at the event, courtesy of Taylor Stewart in long jump and Aaron Brown in 200 metres. In all, Canada had 10 top-eight results, the most ever. Kenya finished atop the medal standings with 15, seven of them gold.

Ryder 7th: Ryder Hesjedal finished 7th overall at the Tour de France, Canada’s second-best ever result. Full story to come on

Mountain Bike Action: At a mountain bike World Cup in Champery, SUI, Marie-Helene Premont (Chateau Richer, Que.) was top Canadian in 13th spot. Overall leader Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops, B.C.) had some mechanical issues and finished back in 16th spot. She now sits 3rd overall in the standings, and still has a shot to be overall World Cup champion. On the men’s side, Geoff Kabush (Courtenay, B.C.) was again top Canadian, in 21st spot.

On the Open Water: Two Canadian swimmers cracked the top-10 at the FINA Open Water Swimming World Championships last Thursday. Simon Tobin (Quebec City) and Joanie Guillemette-Simard (Roberval, Que.) finished 6th and 8th in their respective 25 km races. The event took place on Lac-St-Jean in Roberval, where Guillemette-Simard is a local legend and the first woman to swim the 34 km crossing of the lake (back in 2006).

Rowers Nab Medals: Canada’s next top rowers were in Brest, Belarus over the weekend for the World Under-23 Rowing Championships. In the men’s pair, Conlin McCabe (Brockville, Ont.) and Anthony Jacob (Vancouver) won silver, a shade off the gold medal pace. Watch for these rising stars in the near future. Canada’s other medal was in the women’s eight, who snatched bronze despite needing a last-minute substitution due to illness. Congratulations to all rowers!