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BOB'S BLOG 2 days till Sochi! Olympic trivia, A to Z

By Bob Wood
Blogs Slideshow
February 05, 2014 - 75 comments

Albertville was the site of the 1992 Olympics where Kerrin Lee Gartner took the downhill skiing event. While Lee-Gartner was a consistent performer, with 46 top-10 finishes in her career, she won only one other international race in her career.

Bandy, an 11-player-a-side sport played on ice on a Canadian-football-sized field, is a demonstration sport in Sochi.

Clara Hughes, Canadian skater and cyclist, won four winter and two summer medals in her career.

Dineen, Kevin, played hockey for Canada in the ‘84 Olympics, is now the women’s team coach.

Eisler, Lloyd, a four-time Olympian skater, twice won bronze with partner Isabelle Brasseur.

Fifty-two gold medals have been won by Canadian athletes since the first Winter Olympics held in Chamonix, France in 1924.

Greene, Senator Nancy, took gold in the giant slalom in Grenoble games in 1968.

Hurd, Alexander, captured silver and bronze medals in Lake Placid in 1932, our only individual medal in those Olympics.

Ice Hockey is the official name of the sport we like to call our own. In his book Memories of a Man Who Couldn’t Play (Doubleday, 1996), author David Adams Richards says “hockey is greater than ice hockey – the latter being a European invention.”

Jeremy Wotherspoon was second in the 500-metre speed skating event in Nagano in 1998. Now 37, Wotherspoon failed to make the team in a comeback attempt this season.

Klassen, Cindy, won a record five speed-skating medals at Turin, Italy in 2006.

Lascelles Brown, Canadian bobsledder and medallist in 2006, competed for Jamaica in Salt Lake City, is back in the fold after pushing Monaco’s two-man sled for a time.

Military Patrol was a sport in the ’24 Games. It evolved into the sport of Biathlon. Marian Bedard’s Lillehammer medals in this sport in 1994 are fondly remembered.

Nordic Combined puts ski jumping and cross-country together. It has been an event in every Winter Olympics.

Oslo hosted the ‘52 games where Canada won only hockey.

Podivinsky, Ed’s downhill bronze in Lillehammer was a relief after the lean years in alpine skiing that followed funding cuts after the Calgary Olympics.

Quinn, Pat, coached Team Canada 2002 to their first Olympic gold medal since 1952.

Rover. Seven-a-side hockey featured the rover position in 1920 when the Falcons, a Winnipeg team made up of payers of Icelandic heritage, won the first Ice hockey gold in the Summer Olympics. 

Skeleton was included in the 1924 Olympics but disappeared from the games until 1948, then disappeared again until ‘02. In Turin (‘06) Duff Gibson of Vaughan, Ont. became at 39 years Canada’s oldest gold medallist ever.

Toller Cranston, artist and skater, took a bronze in the second Innsbruck Olympics (‘76).

Underdog Ross Rebagliati, who briefly had his Nagano (’98) snowboard gold taken away for testing positive for marijuana use, announced plans to open up a medical marijuana franchise last year.

Vancouver Olympics were expensive at $7-billion. Would you believe Sochi ‘14 will cost $51-billion according to the latest estimates?

Vogt, Kathy, speed skated in Lake Placid in 1980 as now husband Randy Gregg skated on defence for Team Canada. Their kids, Jamie in long-track and Jessica in short-track skating, both donned Canadian colours in 2010. Jamie is back this year.

Winter Pentathlon, consisting of cross-country and downhill skiing, shooting, fencing and horse riding, was contested in 1948 for the first and last time.

XIII or 13th Winter Olympics were hosted by Lake Placid, NY. Skater Gaetan Boucher burst onto the scene here with a second-place finish in the men’s 1,000 metres.

Yurkiw, Larisa, downhill skier, qualified on Jan. 11 and has been raising her own funds.  Read her blog at

Zero medals. Canada’s output in luge, ski jumping and Nordic combined.

Bob Wood is a housing and poverty advocate and former two-term Burlington City Councillor who has built a bed-and-breakfast with his wife on Lake Erie. 


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