What’s up with Canada, eh?


It’s been quite a week in Olympics news for Canada, the most polite country on the planet. Here are three major news stories regarding our neighbors up north.

Spracklen fired as coach of Rowing Canada
Mike Spracklen, 75, an English native, was fired Monday by Rowing Canada after coming home with only two medals – both silver – from the London Games. The firing has caused a fracture in the community as significant members of the team have come out on different sides of the firing: Beijing silver medalist Scott Frandsen said he told the CBC that he had problems with the coach, while three-time medalist Silken Laumann said she was disappointed in the firing after Spracklen “once again demonstrated his excellence in producing Olympic champions.”

Christine Sinclair faces FIFA disciplinary hearing
Sinclair, captain of the national women’s soccer team, will go in front of a FIFA disciplinary committee Friday regarding comments she made to referee in her teams exciting 4-3 loss to the U.S. in the semifinal match in London this summer. She’s being charged with “unsporting behavior” after saying she felt cheated when the referee awarded a penalty kick to the U.S. after Canadian goalie Erin McLeod held the ball too long. Team USA’s Abby Wambach tied the game on the penalty kick and later won in extra time. Sinclair scored all three Canadian goals in that match.

2010 Vancouver CEO John Furlong accused of abuse by newspaper
Laura Robinson of the Georgia Straight, a Vancouver weekly, alleges that Furlong arrived in Canada from Ireland in 1969, instead of 1974 like his biography says. She also claims to have spoken with eight former students of his who claim they were abused by the now executive chair of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Furlong vehemently denies the allegations, telling the Star Phoenix they are “humiliating and demeaning beyond anything my family and I have ever experienced.” He’s threatening to sue the Robinson and the paper.

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028

Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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