Donovan Bailey jumps off CN Tower; Steve Nash lights cauldron at Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony (video)

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Steve Nash was asked June 24 who he thought would light the cauldron at the Pan American Games Opening Ceremony.

The question clearly caught him unprepared. Nash stumbled and mumbled at first.

Wayne Gretzky,” he eventually said in a telephone interview for this Olympic Q&A, “but there are so many great candidates. Sometimes it’s not the most high-profile athletes.”

Nash was wrong, but maybe he knew all along. It wouldn’t be Gretzky lighting the cauldron in Toronto on Friday night. But it was very much a high-profile athlete.

Nash was the man tapped to light the Pan American Games cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, receiving the flame from the next great Canadian basketball star — NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins (who had received the flame from his mom, 1984 Olympic 400m runner Marita Payne-Wiggins).

It’s the second time Nash, a 2000 Olympian, has been part of a multisport event cauldron lighting in Canada.

In 2010, he helped light the Vancouver Winter Olympic cauldron, after a malfunction delay (Nash remembered that nervous delay in last month’s Q&A).

It capped a night that also started with a highlight. A video was shown of the 1996 Canadian Olympic champion 4x100m relay team running through Toronto with the flame, one torch bearer at a time passing to the next.

Eventually, Bruny Surin carried the flame briskly along the CN Tower EdgeWalk and handed to 1996 Olympic 100m champion Donovan Bailey, just as he did the baton at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Stadium on Aug. 3, 1996.

Bailey then base jumped off the 1,800-foot-high building (via stunt double) — and, in a nice bit of technology — dropped into Rogers Centre with the flame to set off the Opening Ceremony.

Other Canadian legends involved in the Opening Ceremony included Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Orr and Mark Messier, MLB Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, two-time Olympic triathlon champion Simon Whitfield, two-time Olympic 500m speed skating champion Catriona LeMay Doan and six-time Paralympic track and field medalist Rick Hansen.

Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

Aksel Lund Svindal
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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final