Sport Short: No Let-Up for Christine Nesbitt
Speed Skating: The speed skating World Cup season kicked off in Heerenveen, NED and one Olympic champion was in fine form. Christine Nesbitt (London, Ont.) won gold at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in the 1,000 metres – and won the race again on Friday in Heerenveen. She wasn’t done yet, as on Sunday she won gold in 1,500 metres, with a blistering time of 1:56.00 that was a second-and-a-half faster than the silver medallist.
Canada’s other two medals came in the women’s 3,000-metre event. Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen captured silver, the first individual medal she has won since December 2007, as she has worked back from double knee surgery. Ottawa’s Kristina Groves earned bronze in the 3,000 metres, yet another World Cup medal on an amazing resume.
Trampoline: The 2010 world champion in the double mini trampoline is Canadian. Corissa Boychuk (Airdrie, Alta.) “felt goosebumps” when she looked up at the scoreboard and saw herself in gold medal position. In the women’s trampoline, Toronto’s Rosannagh MacLennan roared back to win bronze after narrowly qualifying for the final. Olympic silver medallists Karen Cockburn and Jason Burnett did not compete.
Figure Skating: Ice dance pair Vanessa Crone (Aurora, Ont.) and Paul Poirier (Unionville, Ont.) followed up their gold medal at Skate Canada two weeks ago with a silver medal at Skate America in Portland, Ore. on Sunday. The 2010 Olympians are on the rise and likely headed for the Grand Prix Final. Joining them there may be Kirsten Moor-Towers (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Dylan Moscovitch (Toronto), who won silver in the pair event at Skate America. There are two Grand Prix events remaining before the final.
Swimming: Olympian Jillian Tyler (Calgary) won two gold medals at a U.S. college Grand Prix meet over the weekend, in 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. The latter was the fastest time of the year in U.S. college swimming.
Alpine: Julien Cousineau (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.) posted Canada’s best time at the first slalom World Cup of the season. He raced to 8th place in Levi, Finland.
Awards: The Aquatic Federation of Canada doled out its annual awards late last week. Diver Alex Despatie and synchro swimmer Marie Pier Boudreau Gagnon were male and female athletes of the year. The team of the year was Canada’s synchro team and their leader, Julie Sauvé, was named coach of the year.