Sports

Curlers model for charity

Edmonton’s Jessica Mair appears in the new 2013 Women of Curling Calendar - OKSANA STEINBORN / BYOKSANA.CA
Edmonton’s Jessica Mair appears in the new 2013 Women of Curling Calendar
— image credit: OKSANA STEINBORN / BYOKSANA.CA

If you haven’t bought a calendar yet, female curlers are again supporting charity while getting glammed up in the 2013 Women of Curling Calendar.

A dozen athletes-turned-models from seven countries have developed and produced their own images for the calendar, which promotes the positive image of curling’s female athletes while raising proceeds for the Canadian Spinal Research Organization’s “Shoot For A Cure” campaign.

Vernon golf sensation Dan Gaudet strolled into our office last year and sold several calendars. His wife Sonja, a two-time Paralympic gold medallist (2006 and 2010) graced April with some stunning photos, one with her dog Maya out in the countryside, a mug shot and an action pic.

The calendars are on sale at www.womenofcurlingcalendar.com for $29.95. My brother Glenn generously bought me one last Christmas.

Edmonton’s Jessica Mair, who won bronze for Canada in 2012 with Team Heather Nedohin, told George Karrys of The Curling News she was “pumped” to participate in the 2013 Women of Curling Calendar.

“I thought it would be a really fun experience to get all dolled up and have my picture taken,” said the 27-year-old Canadian champion, who was here for the Vernon Cashspiel a few months ago. “I am not camera-shy.”

After planning her photo session, Mair recruited a friend, Oksana Steinborn, to shoot the outdoor images.

“It was a fun afternoon,” said Mair. “She did really great work and the results are awesome. Her boyfriend acted as her assistant, and she even wrangled my boyfriend into helping out.”

The other Canadian athlete models are two-time national university champion Sara Wilkes of Edmonton, 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador champion Jennifer Cunningham, two-time New Brunswick club champion Shannon Tatlock of Moncton, 2011 Ontario champion Lisa Weagle of Ottawa, recreational curler Priya Shah of Toronto and 2011 Canadian champion and world silver medallist Kim Schneider of Kronau, Sask.

The international athlete models include Russian national team skip Anna Sidorova, who was also here for the Prestige Curling Classic.

Shoot For A Cure, which is also supported by the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), is the official sport-focussed fundraising and awareness campaign of CSRO. The charity is committed to finding a cure for spinal paralysis, and also seeks to increase awareness of the Paralympic sport of Wheelchair Curling.

World Junior hockey on the horizon

It’s not only the first Sunday of December, but it’s Day 78 of the NHL lockout.

The very funny Andrew Chong, editor of Hockey Now, pointed out in his weekly video that he read about a psychologist saying it takes 66 days to form a habit.

Chong used to have a habit, like many men, of watching Sports Centre each night (once or twice), but with no hockey highlights, has stopped.

He is, however, pumped about the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships in Russia. Team Canada’s first-line centre will of course be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Oilers.

During the 2004-05 work stoppage, Canada uncovered gold with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Dion Phaneuf and Jeff Carter.

This year’s team will be just as stacked with elite talent. Primetime games will be shown live at 1:30 a.m. Pacific so start planning your hockey parties and pre-game naps now.

Oh, and for the record, NHL commish Gary Bettman earns $8 million, slightly less than Crosby and a little more than Shea Weber.

Bettman has increased revenues but fans wanna know what he’s done lately. As in get a deal done already.

Said Chong: “He may be lacking in the warmth and love department, but in many ways, he does his job quite well.”

Winterhawks hit hard after audit

The Portland Winterhawks lost their coach/GM Mike Johnson, several future draft picks and $200,000 for rules infractions, uncovered after they were audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Geez. Just seems like yesterday teams in the 1983 Memorial Cup in Portland were complaining about the Hawks being allowed to use Calgary Wranglers’ goalie Mike Vernon because Bruno Campese (21-9 record) came down with an injury.

This just six months before the Hawks, in a lopsided 3-for-1 trade okayed by WHL commish Ed Chynoweth, secured Alfie Turcotte in a trade with the Nanaimo Islanders. Alfie’s dad, Real, was the Isles’ GM.

I watched the Hawks win the Memorial Cup and Alfie hoist the MVP trophy. The Portland players reportedly headed to the Bahamas on vacation to celebrate.

Junior hockey players have been given money, jobs with cushy hours and little work, and fringe benefits forever. Most teams break rules, whether written or not.

If audits are done throughout Junior hockey, and if the taxman ever begins checking income tax receipts, then the Winterhawks will have plenty of company.

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