Athletes worth cheering on

Mendalla

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Maggie MacNeil, a 19 year-old from London, Ontario, took gold and set a Canadian record in the 100m butterfly at the swimming worlds. It was her first world championship and she beat a three-time world champion and Olympic champion to do it. She's the kind of athlete I admire, gutsy and full of love for her sport rather than looking to her next paycheque. And she also took a bronze as part of the 4x100 freestyle relay team.


I would also salute the 4x100 team for sportsmanship as they used their moment on the podium to send a message of support to a Japanese swimmer who is battling leukemia.

Any successful athletes, perhaps ones who aren't big "stars", that you'd like to salute? For either their success or their sportsmanship?
 

Mendalla

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To update the story above, the women's swim team set a new record of 8 medals in the pool at the worlds.

Maggie Mac Neil - Gold in 100m butterfly
Kylie Masse - Gold in 100m backstroke, bronze in 200m backstroke
Sydney Pickrem - bronze in 200m individual medley and 200m breaststroke
4x200 freestyle relay team - bronze
4x100 medley relay team - bronze
4x100 freestyle relay team - bronze

Penny Oleksiak, the star of the Rio games for Canada in the pool, didn't take any individual medals but anchored all three relay teams.

This all leaves us looking good for the Tokyo Olympics next year, with Canada qualifying in 5 relay events for the Olympics.

Besides the pool successes, Eric Hedlin landed a bronze in the 5km Open Water event.
 

chansen

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I follow mountain bike (cross country or "XC") racing. We have three women who are very competitive, and one guy. Catherine Pendrel won bronze at the last Olympics, Emily Batty was 4th, and the emerging threat is Haley Hunter Smith who has outperformed them both on the world cup this year. On the men's side, Peter Disera is an emerging threat. What they are doing on bikes is amazing. You can catch their world cup races on Red Bull TV. I would not be surprised by any of those three women winning a medal. Peter had a personal best 6th recently, and he just keeps getting better since he graduated from U of G last year, an amazing achievement. If he keeps it up he'll be a dark horse at least.
 

Luce NDs

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I like the Reader's Cup ... the holy Grail of intelligence ... somewhat restrictive as few read into it ... creating dark horses!

Then there was the Red Headed Stranger ... an odd story ... unless adequately interpreted in depth ... use caution ... or in short, beware ...
 

Mendalla

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Okay, gotta bump this thread. Bianca Andreescu, a 19 year-old pro tennis player from Mississauga has been absolutely on fire recently. She became the first Canadian woman to win the Rogers Cup/Canadian Open in 50 years and now she's poised to play in her first Grand Slam final, facing tennis great Serena Williams in the US Open. They also met in the Rogers final but Williams bowed out early with an injury, giving Andreescu the victory. This time, Williams seems to be back on her game so there should actually be a match. Andreescu was seeded 14th going into the US and her performance, even if she loses the final, should raise that a few more points.

Incidentally, one of the people she beat on her way to the Rogers victory was Eugenie Bouchard, who was Canada's tennis wunderkind only a few years ago before injuries and other problems seemed to put the brakes on her. Hopefully, Andreescu avoids a fall like that.
 

Mendalla

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And today is the day. Bianca plays what may be the biggest match of her career to date. The hotshot up-and-comer versus the many-time champion. Looking for a stream. If not, there's some live blogs around following it.
 

Mendalla

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Bianca's up 4-2 in the first set so far. Wish I could find a stream.
 

Mendalla

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The interesting thing is that history gets made no matter who wins. Serena stands to tie the record for most Grand Slam wins by a woman (the appropriately named Margaret Court is the current record holder) while Bianca will be the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam if she pulls it off.
 

Mendalla

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4-1 in the second set. Dare I think Bianca might take this in straight sets?
 

Mendalla

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And Serena is now proving why she's a legend, bringing it back. Andreescu still up 5-4 but the veteran is back in the game.
 

Mendalla

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SHE DID IT!!! Bianca Andreescu wins the US Open 6-3, 7-5. First Canadian Grand Slam singles title!!

But damn, what a fight the great Serena Williams put up in the second. Bianca had to work for it.
 
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revjohn

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Any athlete, at any level, is worthy of cheers.

Athleticism is, at core, an artform in its own right.

Personal choices made by an athlete might incline us to cheer for or root against them. That includes private lives.

As a Canadiens fan I have always cheered for Carey Price. Seeing some of his interaction with young fans ups my willingness to cheer him on.

I am also a Cincinnati Reds fan and on that roster I am most appreciative of Canadian Joey Votto.

And then there are the countless little leaguers I've taken a moment to stop and watch. Who likely will never become celebrity athletes, who have questionable skill and technique but have hustle in abundance and play for the thrill.
 
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