Ice Chips and Canoe Quips – May 12-21

Joseph Maxwell of Evansville won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) South East Conference Indoor shotput championship, last weekend.

Maxwell smart to think critically of Olympic bid

Anyone who has a strong goal to train for competition at any level  knows how absolutely frustrating injuries can be. You know on one hand that you need to train to meet your potential and yet that training may, just as likely, increase your recovery time! These are the decisions that athletes are bombarded with constantly when they are hurt. For competitors at the elite level, these choices are that much more critical.

As mentioned last week, Evansville’s Joseph Maxwell told CBC Radio in Sudbury just how difficult it is to weigh all of his options and possibly put his life-long dream to go to the Olympics on hold. He not only has injuries to contend with but a commitment to his university team, Covid-19 and future goals to add to the difficulty.

This week, his story was picked up on the national CBC Sports feed. On his story reached a much wider audience who can empathize with his situation. Hang in there, Joseph.

Expat repeats as league champion!

Mathew Bondi grew up in Mindemoya and now lives in East Lansing, Michigan and of course has a large family here on Manitoulin. Mathew was always an active kid here back home, playing any sport he could but especially hockey, even becoming a very active referee. Since going state-side the guy is still a model of activity, big into cycling, skiing and his first love, hockey.

His team, the Pefleafs, has been together for over 10-plus years and has won two tournaments and the league championship (Suburban Ice East Lansing Adult Hockey League) three times in the 35 and over league. This past weekend, the Pefleafs made it two league titles in as many years.

Matt credits being able to play hockey with keeping him young at heart. A couple years ago, his friend Jon Gilbert who plays on the team entered some of the team into a father/son tourney and he got to be able to play with his boys, Nathan and Jacob (both play club hockey for Michigan Tech).  Matthew says, “we won that tournament which was quite special for us old guys! The hockey for us is not so much about the wins/losses as it is about the family that it has created.  The most memorable moment for me besides the tournament with my boys was scoring the tying goal with seconds left in the game for us to tie the game and win in OT two years ago.  It has been amazing as I become more seasoned, that the younger players still enjoy having us as part of the team.” Stay with it, Matt! 

Motherhood made Olympian stronger!

Melissa Bishop-Nriagu recently qualified for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics in the 800m with an astounding one minute, 59.04 seconds to win the 800 metres at a Chula Vista high performance meet in California, dipping below the automatic Olympic qualifying time of 1:59.50!

The 2015 world silver medalist from Eganville, on her comeback after giving birth to daughter Corinne was quoted as saying, “I think being a mom, I have a little more strength now. I don’t know what it is but when you — and I’m speaking to the moms here — when you have a baby, you’re just extra strong and I’m really excited to see what else we can do leading up to Tokyo.”

New Canadian (potential) Olympians!

Toronto’s Justyn Knight ran under the Olympic standard and finished second in the men’s 1,500 metres Sunday at the USATF Golden Games in California over the weekend. He beat the Tokyo qualifying mark of three minutes 35 seconds with a personal-best time of 3:33.41 to post the second fastest Canadian time ever.

Later the same day, Julie-Anne Staehli and Natalia Hawthorn lined up in the 5,000m and they both charged to Olympic-qualifying times, finishing in first and third. Julia-Anne posted an incredible time of 15:02.34, smashing her previous best by a whopping 22 seconds to finish well under standard! Just a few seconds later, Natalia crossed the line to round out the podium at 15:05.91.

A good sport is good for sports.