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With the recent passing of the greatest boxing icon Muhammad Ali, his being called “The Greatest” doesn’t only pertain to boxing but also to his humanitarian work.

His overall persona touches everyone and would leave an indelible mark in both their hearts and minds of The Greatest One.

His bigger than life personality,tenacity and fortitude to follow and work towards attaining his dreams and goals in life had been very inspiring for all.

His biggest and final opponent in life was his ongoing bout with Parkinson’s Disease, an aftermath from his pugilistic career. His bravery,fortitude and perseverance in fighting this through was very heartwarming.

In my opinion, he boxed through the entire 15 rounds of the rest of his mortal life versus Parkinson’s Disease,still standing and in fighting form, not knocked out as per boxing jargon.

He left  this world because of an apparent septic infection secondary to unknown natural causes,not due to Parkinson’s Disease.

The Supreme Being above had called him to come home to the heavens already and not go for a possible round 16 if there ever was one in the boxing ring at all. Time to hang up the boxing gloves.

Though he left all of us here in this world, he will never be forgotten and his legacy as a great human being which encompasses not only his history in boxing but also his history in helping mankind in everyday life’s struggles will be hard to match but emulated ,not only by us but also with future generations.

To the Greatest One, I could hear the signature songs of Rocky Balboa  as well as that other song “We Are The Champions” playing in my ears.

Rest in Peace, Champ!

Josie

 

 

 

 

For all the years that I had been living in Canada, I had been told that a typical Canuck is usually obsessed with Canada’s national sport which is hockey. Some say that it’s almost like a religion.Such a belief has been ingrained since childhood, I believe.

With the recent Sochi Olympics and the fantastic job of both Team Canada’s men and women’s hockey teams in bringing both gold medals home, it only reinforces Canada’s reputation as the mother country of hockey, the Holy Grail in a way.

The televised footages of die-hard hockey fans especially yesterday’s Canada’s  men’s hockey team’s gold medal finals with Sweden had been a revelation for me. Whether you’re watching them on TV or on Youtube,twitter,etc., it’s pretty amazing to see the lengths of how these fans will go the extra mile to watch a very important hockey final where national pride and reputation is at stake.

Since it was  a Sunday yesterday, church attendance was reportedly sparse during the hours of the highly anticipated  mens hockey gold medal game. Most of the pubs,bars and restaurants with big flat-screen TVs had been opened as early as 7 am(depending on your local time zone–which means that in the Pacific West Coast,it’s probably a few hours after midnight),offering liquor especially beer and a good meal…indeed, the Canadian way to enjoy  watching a good hockey game.

Most of the fans would either take a few hours of sleep or not sleep at all to adjust themselves in watching the game either at home or at the pub in the early hours of the morning,considering that Russian time is different from North American time.They strongly believe that watching the game is their way of supporting their hockey players. The  Canadian women’s hockey gold medal game with the US women’s hockey team  was held last Thursday but at least in the afternoon–Canadian time.

For these Canucks, winning an Olympic gold hockey medal is a mark of success and pride. Singing the national anthem O’Canada is like a cherry on top of the icing of a cake.

Go Canada Go!

Josie

The annual Super Bowl in US football will be held today, Feb. 3. It usually involves the 2 best football teams after going through a series of elimination games and would meet for a sudden death game to get the Vince Lombardi trophy.

FYI:  Vince Lombardi is a well-known American football Hall of Famer coach from Green Bay,Wisconsin. He led his team The Green Bay Packers to numerous wins including the 1st 2 Super Bowl titles. Because of his illustrious football achievements, the annual Super Bowl trophy was named in his honor.

Aside from watching a good football game, it also involves a halftime period wherein prime entertainment consisting of big-time singers for the viewers’ pleasure to behold.

In addition, there’ll be new high-priced ,entertaining and unique commercials for TV viewers to look into. Many say that they watch the Super Bowl just for these commercials. However last year, they started presenting these commercials on Youtube videos way before the actual Super Bowl game. Talk about product memory retention!It can even lead to a cult following and hopefully, a distinctive honor as one of those unforgettable Super Bowl commercials of all time. It’s unfortunate that Canadian TV viewers can’t watch those commercials due to live wire feed restrictions from Canadian cable companies. They usually have to resort to Youtube to watch those commercial ad replays.

Other die-hard football fans do a lot of tailgating outside the football stadium,setting up barbecues,potluck and all kinds of good grub to eat. Same also for those hosting Super Bowl parties whether at home or even at hotels, bars,pubs and restaurants. The kind of food served is usually easy to prepare and easy to pick up with as less utensils as possible. Whether it’s ribs,chicken wings, pizza,subs,chips,etc., it’s definitely not the time to diet. Usually it’s the male fans who partake of such grub but lately, a lot of women also follow football too and partake of such a feast. Unless one is a certified vegetarian, it’s usually a lot of meat served during this time.

Super Bowl time is actually a celebration of love for the sport called football , enjoying the camaraderie of friends and savoring great food.

Here in Canada, we also have a similar football event called Grey Cup which usually occurs during the fall season.

Well, folks, it’s time to prepare for kick-off!

Josie

We all want the best for ourselves. We all feel at times that we are better than the rest. We are all taught to aspire for what we want to get in life through hard work and steadfast determination.

Now in terms of getting to our goals, sometimes, the quest for personal achievement and perceived personal perfection can sometimes get us askewed from the path of righteousness. It can get really screwy when one might want to win at all costs even through dishonest means.

Case in point is Lance Armstrong previously known as a 7 time Tour de France cycling champion. I say “previously’ since after extensive evidence of doping found through the years , he was stripped of all his cycling titles and was imposed a lifetime ban on participating in cycling competitions.

After several years of steadfast denials and even slandering his detractors, he now comes clean.

My question: WHY NOW?

I find his soon-to-be released interview this Thursday with Oprah all timed to his convenience and on his terms after consulting with his publicists and lawyers. Probably the statute of limitations had already expired for him and he perceives himself as safe to ‘fess up now without any penalties. Criminal charges perhaps, he’ll get away from but I don’t know about civil charges especially the slandering of his detractors.

My take on this is that Mr. Armstrong wants to ‘fess up now is because he wants to regain back his reputation, have the lifetime ban lifted,get back into a sporting career. and possibly,receive  all those endorsement deals.($$$$$$) again.

However, he’s going to have to try very hard because he had made a lot of people upset and disillusioned with him for his gross dishonesty in terms of lying and cheating.
He’s going to learn the hard way that for people to change their perception of him will have to come on their own terms and time and NOT HIS.

He should know that people don’t want to be treated as if they’re stupid which is really insulting.
However, if his orchestrated confession is his way of thinking that people are still stupid and gullible in believing him, he really needs to get both his   head and  ego checked.

Shame on him for thinking that he must win at all costs.

Being a sports icon involves a degree of responsibility since one also serves as a model for kids who aspire to compete to make themselves a better person and to learn the lessons of fair play and good sportsmanship.

I pity his kids who’ll have to deal with his personal albatross as they grow up.

He has done a great deal of good to his Livestrong Foundation for cancer survivors being one himself but it may suffer by guilt of association with him when the foundation starts experiencing fundraising problems.Perhaps, his confession now is one way to help stem that possible upset.

Honesty may be the best policy but in this case, it was quite too late for him to come clean ‘coz again, he did it on his own time and terms to save his own skin.

As I see it, he wasn’t saying he’s sorry that he doped and cheated in his sport. He was sorry that he got caught.

For Mr. Armstrong, he really needs a big dose of reality.

We have a saying which I think he needs to remember always,albeit quite late now:

It takes years to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy it.

May God help him!

Josie

On 9/19/12, I wrote a blog about my views on this just concluded NHL lockout which spanned  a total 113 days,basically after the last Stanley Cup win in June 2012.

I’m quite glad that the lockout is now over but I’m quite sad and disgusted that all the collateral businesses tied to the NHL(National Hockey League) had been impacted economically from all this impasse. We’re talking hockey memorabilia stores,restaurants,hotels, sports bars,even the employees of all the arenas where all these hockey games are held. Spin-off economies are important for these places especially during the winter months when things slow down a bit after the Yuletide season.

As to how the coming days will go, it will depend on how the disinfranchised fans will feel if they’re still up to watching the NHL games again.

I strongly believe that the die-hard fans will go back to watching the games. Here in Canada, hockey is considered as a national sport and the Canucks will definitely watch again. As to the American hockey fans, I’m pretty sure that a certain percentage will support the league again but it still remains to be seen as to the actual percentage that will come out since in the U.S., there are a lot of alternative sports events to watch and hockey isn’t their national sport.

Whichever, better late than never and as the old adage goes,”Let the games begin!”

Now let us drop the puck!

Josie

The recent news coverage regarding an apparent speedskating sabotage at the World Team Championship in Warsaw in March 2011 was just surreal to me. Allegedly,the Korean-American short track speedskater named Simon Cho had bent the skate blades of Canadian speedskater Olivier Jean, a recent Winter Olympics bronze medalist, upon orders from his Korean-American skating coach named Jae Su Chun. Simon Cho claimed that he couldn’t refuse his coach out of Korean culture where one respects and obeys one’s elders.His coach strongly denied this serious allegation and with his lawyers is going to pit this in court as a matter of “he said,he said”.

Simon Cho made a public apology for which Olivier Jean accepted.

The skate blade bending( happened after the US Team was already eliminated from that Warsaw competition  ) was out of retaliation perceived by this coach for being upset with Team USA’s recent loss in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. This coach reportedly believed that Team Canada had something to do with it as part of an imagined conspiracy theory. Olivier Jean wasn’t the prime target but since he was with Team Canada and was competing with Simon Cho in this Warsaw competition , that he naturally became a convenient victim.

As a result of this skate blade bending,the Canadian team were unable to compete for gold,finishing instead to bronze medal position.

This unfortunate incident only came to light  at a recent inquiry into the actions of that same  coach Jae-Su Chun that he allegedly physically abused his own skaters.

The Skating Federation vowed a quick suspension and subsequent penalties to follow.

Winning anything can really open doors for anyone  whether financiallyor socially but if it’s done through cheating and manipulation, one’s reputation  and credibility will be permanently destroyed thus reducing or halting  any future lucrative opportunities as well as being a sign of poor sportsmanship.

Please take note! It’s not worth it. It’s not the be all and end all of success.

Success can be achieved in many ways .

Josie

Living here in Canada, one would get exposed to elements of hockey whether on TV,billboards, games,tournaments, the NHL(National Hockey League),etc. Hockey undeniably is considered as Canada’s national sport. When news broke out that the NHL lockout has started this past weekend, I was thinking—again? The last one was in 2004-2005. Apparently the bone of contention was in the partition of $3 billion in  profits of the NHL management folks to have a 47% take and the rest with the NHL players union.

Unless I’m wrong, my understanding was that the players union said no-go thus, the eventual lockout, considering that the NHL season will be at least delayed for the next 2-3 months starting this month.

Even though I enjoyed watching the game of hockey, just the thought that the involved parties couldn’t agree on dividing the money among themselves can hardly draw me to sympathize with them.

They should remember that the hockey fans’ patronage of the games and their teams, souvenirs,etc. are what made the NHL league what they are now. Without the fans, the league doesn’t exist.

They owe it to the fans to approach these negotiations constructively so that we can move on to the next game.

If this gets  prolonged, some fans might become disillusioned and become disinfranchised, leaving only the die-hard fans who’ll still be around.

Gentlemen! PLease return to the bargaining table or your own sports future might become in jeopardy too!

Josie