Michael J. Fox and the Olympics

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Michael J. Fox has attended at least two Olympics, making appearances at the Winter Games in his native Canada — Calgary 1988 and Vancouver 2010.

Fox was 26 years old in 1988, three years after he starred in “Back to the Future” and one year before “Back to the Future Part II” came out.

He reportedly flew to the Calgary 1988 Winter Games by private jet to watch skiing and a Canada-Sweden preliminary round hockey game.

He left the Canada-Sweden hockey game, tied 2-2, with 31 seconds left “because his bodyguards feared if he left when the game ended he would be mobbed by admirers,” according to United Press International, citing the Calgary Sun.

”It’s driving me crazy to leave here with only 31 seconds to go,” Fox said, according to the report. ”The game was simply incredible, and I hate to leave.”

The game ended in a tie. Canada went on to finish fourth in the hockey tournament in Calgary.

Fox returned for a more publicized visit to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. He was featured in and narrated a Canadian TV intro for Olympic hockey (video here).

He was seen at the U.S.-Canada men’s and women’s hockey gold-medal games in the final week of competition.

During a break in the action late in the women’s final, the Rogers Arena [then called Canada Hockey Place] speakers began blaring Huey Lewis and the News‘ “Power of Love.” Several seconds into the song, the arena’s large video screens cut to a shot of Fox in the crowd.

A roar ensued. Watch the video here at 1 hour, 40 minutes, 57 seconds, and listen closely for the crescendo, though the broadcast feed did not show Fox on the screen.

“It was really strange to see Canadians waving flags,” Fox said of Vancouver 2010 while at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. “They don’t do it very often.”

Fox returned for the men’s gold-medal game on the final day of competition in Vancouver, a game also won by the Canadians. Here’s video evidence of his appearance at the 1:14:10 mark.

Fox then migrated to BC Place for the Closing Ceremony, where he followed fellow Canadian actors William Shatner and Catherine O’Hara in a skit.

He rose from underneath the arena floor stage, surrounded by an electronic display of the Canadian flag on the floor, and introduced himself, “My name is Mike,” eliciting a standing ovation.

Here’s his speech:

Not only was I born in Canada, I was raised in British Columbia.

It’s true I’ve lived in the States for almost 30 years now, but I know I’ll always think of Team Canada as my home team.

I mean, hey, if I have a bad hair day, I wear a toque. If I’m extra hungry, I put some back bacon in my poutine. And if I’m watching the U.S. and Canada play hockey, I’m sorry, I’m wearing a maple leaf on my sweater.

But it doesn’t really matter where you live or where you’re born, Canada is a big tent, and if you’re good at something, we will claim you.

Even you, the Olympic athletes, curlers and cross-countrys, bobsledders and biathletes, skiers and skaters, you’ve come to Vancouver, you spent time among us, you’ve competed on the world stage here in Canada, and that makes you Canadians, too.

Canada is my home, and now it’s your home, too.

MORE VANCOUVER 2010: Stephen Colbert at the Vancouver Olympics

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
AP
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
Getty Images
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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