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Canadian athletes stay healthy and find success at Tokyo Olympics – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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TOKYO — Sporting white pants, a blue jean jacket and black ballcap, decathlon champion Damian Warner proudly waved the Maple Leaf as he entered the Olympic Stadium as Canadian flag-bearer.

The image was a fitting one to wrap up a very successful Olympics for Canadian athletes, who made 24 trips to the podium while staying clear of COVID-19 complications.

Track cyclist Kelsey Mitchell sent the Canadians out on a high note, winning gold in the women’s sprint competition.

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That gave Canada seven gold, six silver and 11 bronze medals in Tokyo. Those numbers are significant.

The 24 total medals set a new standard for Canada in a non-boycotted Olympics, while the seven gold tied the nation’s output at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The only time Canada took home more hardware was in the 1984 Los Angeles Games when Canadian athletes won 10 gold and 44 total medals. Those games were boycotted by 14 Eastern Bloc countries, including the Soviet Union and East Germany.

Canada finished 11th both in the official medal standings and the overall medal count.

IN PHOTOS: Canada’s medals at Tokyo Olympics

The United States won three gold medals on the final day of competition to pass China for the top spot in the medal standings. The U.S. finished with 39 golds to China’s 38.

The overall medal race wasn’t even close. The Americans finished with 112, with China well in the distance at 88.

No doubt sweating up a storm in the muggy 32 C conditions, Warner — who entered 45th out of 206 countries — was sandwiched between Qatar and Gabon as flag-bearers formed a large circle on the infield.

Volunteers held flags for countries that did not have athletes present at the ceremony. Many athletes left Japan shortly after their respective competitions.

Warner was later joined by about 120 Canadian athletes, coaches and support staff who marched in the parade.

The ceremony, with its jazzy soundtrack, had a more celebratory feel than the muted and rather sombre opening ceremony over two weeks earlier.

Athletes danced, hugged and took pictures as festive music filled the 48,000-seat venue.

Earlier, Mitchell capped Canada’s Games in an emphatic fashion. The 27-year-old from Sherwood, Park., Alta., beat Ukraine’s Olena Starikova in two straight heats to capture the women’s sprint title.

She won the first race by 0.061 seconds and the second race by 0.064.

Not bad, for someone who only picked up the sport four years ago. Driving a truck as a municipal worker, the former varsity soccer player was looking for a way to get back into competitive sport.

“I hadn’t ridden a track bike before, I’d ridden a bike as a kid but nothing since,” Mitchell said.

“I had dreamt of going to the Olympics, and in the back of my mind you want to go and you want to win. So to have a gold medal, it’s pretty surreal.”

She is the second Canadian woman to win track cycling gold in an individual event following Lori-Ann Muenzer’s sprint gold in 2004.

Mitchell and Muenzer met four years ago, just after Cycling Canada had first approached Mitchell about joining their team. Mitchell’s aunt was in Muenzer’s spin class and suggested she take part to meet the former Olympian.

“I went up and introduced myself and I said, ‘I want to try track cycling and I want to go to the Olympics,’ and she was probably like, ‘Who the hell is this girl?”‘ said Mitchell. “But she was super nice and was like, ‘Oh, that’s awesome.’

“It was a long time ago. It feels like it was a really long time ago, but I guess it was only four years.”

Elsewhere at the velodrome, Calgary’s Allison Beveridge finished ninth in the women’s omnium.

The only other event featuring Canadians on the final day was the men’s marathon, where simply finishing the race was no mean feat. Thirty men in the field of 106 didn’t finish.

Ben Preisner was the top Canadian, finishing 46th in his Games debut. Calgary’s Trevor Hofbauer was 48th, while Cam Levins, of Black Creek, B.C., hung with the lead group through the first half of the race, but faded over the final 10 kilometres to finish 72nd in 2:28.43.

“I really wanted to finish out of respect for a guy like Tristan Woodfine (who qualified but wasn’t selected for the team),” Levins said. “I felt like it was only right to finish this race, and only three of us got to go. And so, yeah, I think that’s kind of what motivated me to stay in.

“It’s hard to call yourself an Olympic athlete if you can’t even finish the race … so, wanting to do my best to get through it no matter how slow or tough the second half was.”

Marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, the defending champion and world record-holder, pulled away over the final 10 kilometres to win gold.

Overall, Team Canada has plenty of reasons to be thrilled with its performance in Tokyo. Warner in the decathlon, the women’s soccer team, Andre De Grasse in the men’s 200 metres and women’s eight rowing crew captured Olympic titles in high-profile events.

Mitchell, swimmer Maggie Mac Neil and weightlifter Maude Charron also topped the podium as Canada’s women Olympians once again made up the vast majority of the medals.

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak won three medals in Tokyo to become Canada’s most decorated Olympian with seven career medals, while De Grasse won three to give him six overall, the most all-time among Canadian men.

But where there is Olympic ecstasy, Olympic agony is rarely far behind. Canada also had its share of close calls and disappointments.

Cyclist Michael Woods finished just off the podium in the men’s road race on the first day medals were awarded at the Games. Two-time Olympic champion trampoline gymnast Rosie MacLennan, the women’s 4×400 relay team, weightlifter Boady Santavy, divers Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay, artistic gymnast Ellie Black and even Oleksiak — in two separate races — were among those with fourth-place finishes.

Meanwhile, Canada came up empty in golf and tennis, two sports in which the nation is becoming a power.

“No point or second was ever easily taken from Team Canada,” chef de mission Marnie McBean said.

“We saw there is a knife-edge difference between brilliance and breakdown. It takes bravery to believe in one when you know when you are risking the other.”

Canada’s successes were made more remarkable, however, considering they came with Tokyo in a state of emergency due to a rise on COVID-19 cases. Athletes also had to battle oppressive heat and humidity throughout the Games.

The Canadian Olympic Committee said none of its delegation had tested positive for the virus as of Sunday.

“One of our key goals was to come to Tokyo and to return to Canada COVID-free,” COC chief executive officer David Shoemaker said.

“We’ve approached this as critical for our protection, critical for our performance goals and critical for the protection of our hosts here in Japan.

“We’ve come this far with zero COVID cases among the 840 athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers in the Team Canada delegation.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2021.

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A Look At Today’s Best Live Dealer Online Casino Games

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Online Casino Games

Some of the most popular games you can play at fully licensed online casinos today are live dealer games, such as Live Dealer Roulette, Live Dealer Blackjack, TV Game Show-themed live dealer games, and Live Dealer Slots. Here is a closer look at some of the best live dealer games from three leading software providers – Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, and OnAir Entertainment.

All of these state-of-the-art live dealer games are now available to play in the real money mode at a fully licensed online casino called Lucky Spins Canada, which is free to sign up to and is currently offering all new Canadian players up to 500 FREE SPINS for Play’n GO’s iconic Book of Dead online slot, plus a 100% matching deposit bonus worth up to C$500.

Top 10 Live Dealer Games in the Spotlight

Here are ten of the best live dealer casino games that you must check out. These games have wide betting ranges that cater to low rollers and high rollers alike (and pretty much all other betting ranges in between low rollers and high rollers), and you can often play one round/hand/spin from as little as C$0.10 to C$0.50 up to C$1,000.00 or more.

The top ten live dealer games from Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, OnAir Entertainment, Betgames.tv, Ezugi, and eBET that you must check out include the following mixture of live table & card games, live slots, and television game show live dealer games:

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  • Live PowerUp Roulette from Pragmatic Play
  • Live Andar Bahar from Ezugi
  • Live Teen Patti from Ezugi
  • Live XXXtreme Lightning Roulette from Evolution Gaming
  • Live Crazy Coin Flip from Evolution Gaming
  • MONOPOLY Live from Evolution Gaming
  • Live Wheel of Fortune from Betgames.tv
  • Live Airwave Roulette from OnAir Entertainment
  • Live Black Sports Arena from OnAir Entertainment
  • Bet On Poker Live from Betgames.tv

How old do I have to be to play live casino games?

To play live dealer games at online casinos, such as Lucky Spins, you generally need to be at least 18 years old. However, always check because, in some regions where online gambling is legal, it could be 21 or 20 years old.

What devices can I play live dealer games from?

You can play live dealer games from all of the providers mentioned above using either a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Just make sure that it has decent Wi-Fi or internet connectivity. Most games can be launched instantly in your web browser, plus you also generally have the option to download and install a free casino app directly onto your smartphone or tablet and then play from within the secure app.

What to remember when playing for real money

When playing for real money, don’t forget to set deposit limits where possible. Don’t ever chase your losses because it may result in you losing even more money, and don’t gamble just for the sake of it. Try and have fun, and always remember to gamble responsibly. Gambling is meant to be fun, so if you aren’t having fun anymore, it might be a good idea to take a break from gambling for a while.

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Gambling in Ireland vs. Canada

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Regulation of Online Gambling in Ontario: The Fight Against Black-Market Operators Continues

Gambling has traditionally played a significant role in Irish society. Naturally, the advancement of technology has changed how Irish gamblers conduct their business. Because of cell phones, placing bets is now simpler than ever (You could check here for a few trustworthy ones). However, Irish individuals must be cognizant of the country’s licensing laws.

Irish gamers can wager on bingo, lotteries, casino games, poker, sports, and more about the regulated and licensed gambling websites, making internet gambling in Ireland a multi-million-dollar business. This is not so dissimilar from the humongous gambling industry in Canada. For the past couple of years, gambling practices have been on the rise in Canada. So in today’s article, we’ll be looking at how gambling has fared in Ireland vs. Canada.

 

Ireland

According to the most recent statistics from Ireland from 2022, approximately half of the Irish population (49%) partakes in gambling, while its estimated prevalence for gambling addiction is 0.3%, meaning there are 12,000 problem gamblers in Ireland. Since only a small percentage of those with an issue with betting seek treatment, there is a need to try and understand Irish gambling behavior and treatment adoption.

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According to industry statistics, Irish gamblers ended up losing over €1.36 billion the year before last, or around €300 on average for every person, ranking them as the fourth-largest gamblers throughout the EU. According to industry researchers H2 Gambling Capital, Ireland places 14th internationally for the biggest median gambling losses, comfortably ahead of the UK but behind Sweden (€325 per adult), Malta (€334), and Finland (€342).

Revenue rose €51.9 million in conventional betting duty revenues and €40.6 million in online betting receipts in 2019, almost twice as much as the corresponding amounts from the preceding year ($28.9 million & €21.7 million, respectively). Sports betting is the most well-liked online form of gambling, comprising over 41% of the industry and bringing in €10 billion in 2019, claims the European Gaming and Betting Association.

Instead of using desktop computers, over 44% of all internet wagers are placed from a phone or tablet. By 2025, it is anticipated that approximately 6 out of 10 online wagers will be placed using mobile devices. Despite representing just 1.1% of the total population, Ireland generates 2.6% of Europe’s online gambling market in terms of revenue, according to the H2 data.

 

 

Canada

Like many other nations, Canada has a large gambling industry. The majority of gamblers don’t suffer any consequences, but a small percentage will. The number of gambling options in Canada has grown over the years, and new gambling innovations like online poker & sports betting have increased the significance of more thorough and ongoing oversight.

A study used information from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) to assess gambling and gambling-related issues among adults aged 15 and over. Those who may be at risk of developing a problem with gambling are identified using a Problem Gambling Index. This evaluates problem gambling behavior and the effects of that behavior on the individual or others.

Of the 18.9 million Canadians aged 15 and over, nearly two-thirds (64.5%) reported betting in the previous year, & 1.6% of those gamblers were exposed to a substantial risk of gambling-related issues. Men were more prone than women to file gambling in the previous year across all age categories. Additionally, men were more likely to have a relatively high risk of developing gambling-related issues.

Though they were more prone to developing gambling problems, people in lower social households were less inclined to wager than those of relatively high-earning households.

 

For instance,

 

  • 1% of Canadians at significantly higher risk for gambling issues were among the 71.5% of those living in higher-earning households who reported betting in the last year.
  • 8% of people from low-income families gambled in the preceding year, and 2.7% of them were at moderate to high risk for developing gambling addictions.

 

The likelihood of gambling-related issues rose with the quantity of casino games played.

In the multivariate analyses, the majority of factors, such as engaging in various gambling activities, living single (or separated or divorced), being unmarried, and possessing poor or fair mental well-being, remained independently related to gambling problems.

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Canada Soccer has hit the big time with coach John Herdman

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John Herdman, Head Coach of Canada, reacts during a press conference at the Main Media Center on Nov. 30, during the World Cup in Doha, Qatar.Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

In every team’s final news conference at a World Cup, it’s tradition to ask the head coach if he plans to stick around.

Someone threw it up at Canadian national men’s coach John Herdman following this country’s measured success in Qatar.

Herdman gave a meandering answer of 1 minute 15 seconds that ended this way: “[Belgian assistant coach] Thierry Henry told me this team played [Belgium] off the park. I’ll take that. Because if that’s our foundation? We’ve got a great four years ahead, and I can’t wait to get after it.”

Though that reply didn’t contain the crucial word, people took it for a “yes.” Because what else would it be?

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Few coaches in the world have a gig this sweet. Herdman is such a big fish in Canada’s soccer pond that he essentially runs the program. He’s got a guaranteed spotlight in the next World Cup, which Canada will be in by virtue of being a co-host. He’s still young (47), says he loves living here and is signed for the long term.

Maybe he’d like to coach at a sexier program in Europe. Wouldn’t anyone in his position?

But with that caveat, from the outside looking in, Canada is a great job. It wasn’t always, but Herdman (with a major assist from Alphonso Davies’s parents) turned it into one.

Which makes it curious that reports out of New Zealand on Wednesday claimed that Herdman was about to be appointed the coach of that country’s men’s national team.

In a report from the NewsHub network, Herdman was described as “the clear top pick” for the job. To hear this story tell it, it was just a matter of fussing with details.

Canada is the 53rd-ranked team in the world and on the rise. New Zealand is 105th and just barely treading water. New Zealand is Canada 10 years ago, and not in a fun, preinflation sort of way.

A complicating factor – Herdman’s son, Jay, plays for New Zealand’s under-19 national team. An even more complicated one – money. Some people love their job, but everyone loves money.

That said, judged from the perspective of social capital, the New Zealand job is not a promotion. It’s not even a lateral move. It’s trading the big leagues for the bush leagues.

So what’s going on? Does Herdman want out of Canada? And if so, why? Does he want more money? Is he a secret Lord of the Rings superfan?

This is what happens when a story like this is loosed into the world and not recaptured immediately – people begin to wonder all sorts of fantastical things.

As usual, whenever a story about it is breaking, Canada Soccer was caught in a blank stare on Wednesday morning. It wasn’t until early afternoon that an official denial was put together.

Three people commented in that statement – Herdman, Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane and Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis.

Bontis affirmed the “full confidence” of the board in Herdman, which is weird. He just took Canada to its first World Cup in 40 years. Why wouldn’t the board have confidence in him?

Cochrane noted first and foremost that Herdman is under contract until after the 2026 World Cup, which is also weird. That’s not news.

Herdman was unequivocal: “I’m not going anywhere.” But he also felt the need to mention that he’s got “several offers” recently, including one from New Zealand, which is super weird. If you’re happy where you are, why do so many people think you aren’t? And why do you feel the need to share that information?

Another oddity – no one mentioned anything about the story out of New Zealand being wrong. Actually, none of them mentioned the story at all.

If there were no truth to any of this, all that was required was a straight denial. That should have taken 15 minutes to put together.

Instead, it took hours to wrangle all the top decision-makers at Canada Soccer to patch up a complex, interwoven, multiperson denial. That has the whiff of an organization protesting o’ermuch.

So no fire, but plenty of smoke and lots of time left to sit around doing a paranoid arson investigation.

Nothing has come of this little fizzle, but something’s coming. That’s how this works. Not always, but often enough to make it a rule. It’s just a matter of figuring when, where, who and how it can hurt the most.

Can the Canadian men’s program survive without Herdman? Of course it can. Every graveyard is full of indispensable men, but none are as chock-a-block as the crypts of sports. Herdman’s done the hard work of stitching the Canadian team into a unit. All the next person has to do is hold that group together until 2026.

A better question is can the men’s team thrive if we’re going to spend the next three years trying to figure out when John Herdman is leaving, and where he’s going, and who’s to blame for that, and what does Alphonso Davies think about that, and why is Canada Soccer always like this, and exactly how long is a regulation pitchfork?

Those questions are a lot more interesting, and the people who care about them – it’s a small group, but it’s growing – will spill barrels of virtual ink interrogating them.

Uncertainty is an enemy of successful sports organizations, and intrigue is its accelerant. From player strikes to spats over pay to people rubbishing the organization after they’ve left, Canada Soccer has always had these twin weaknesses much worse than most. The difference is that now people have started paying attention.

At the very least, making the World Cup in Qatar was supposed to graduate Canada out of this high school state of affairs. Canada was a big-timer now, with a big-time coach with big-time plans. Well, I hope Canada Soccer is happy. Because now it has a big-time HR headache, and shouting at people that you feel fine, fine, totally fine is not going to make them believe you.

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