De Grasse leads Canada to men's 4×100-metre relay gold at world championships – CTV News
EUGENE, Ore. –
The Canadian men’s 4×100-metre relay team is golden at the world track and field championships.
Six-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse anchored a team of Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney to victory on Saturday in a time of 37.48 seconds, the fastest in the world this season.
The gold was Canada’s third medal of the world championships.
The Americans took silver in 37.55, while Great Britain finished third (37.83).
The victory was a terrific finish for De Grasse, who contracted COVID-19 a month ago, and didn’t qualify for the 100-metre finals. He also withdrew from the 200 metres.
It also comes after some near misses by Canada’s team. De Grasse led the Canadians to silver at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics and bronze in Rio in 2016, plus bronze at the 2015 worlds in Beijing. Canada didn’t make the final at the last worlds in 2019 in Doha.
Led by Donovan Bailey, Canada won 4×100 gold at the 1995 and 1997 world championships. That team included Glenroy Gilbert, who is now Athletics Canada’s head coach.
Fanatics to become NHL official on-ice uniform outfitter in 2024-25 – NHL.com
Fanatics will become the NHL’s official on-ice uniform outfitter in 2024-25, taking the next step as a performance brand and longtime NHL partner in a 10-year agreement announced Tuesday.
This will be the first time the Fanatics logo will appear on game uniforms in professional sports. But the company has made Major League Baseball game uniforms with the Nike logo since 2017, and it has made the NHL Authentic Pro line of official performance and training apparel and headwear worn by players, coaches and staff since 2018.
Fanatics’ partnership with the NHL has evolved over the past two decades to include NHL e-commerce and retail operations, fan apparel and headwear, replica jerseys, licensed memorabilia, performance and training products, on-ice Stanley Cup champions apparel and headwear, and now official on-ice uniforms for players and authentic jerseys for fans.
“This expansion of our partnership with Fanatics is a reflection of our shared commitment to innovation, performance and serving our players and fans,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “… Our players and fans should look forward to what Fanatics will bring to the best uniforms in all of sports.”
Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin called this a “seminal moment” in the company’s history and “a testament to the hands-on, collaborative relationship” it has built with the NHL over the years.
“I can’t wait to see our brand on official on-ice uniforms for the first time,” Rubin said.
Adidas has been the NHL’s official on-ice uniform outfitter since 2017-18 and will finish strong next season, said Brian Jennings, NHL senior executive vice president of marketing and chief branding officer.
Jennings has seen the jerseys for the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Oct. 29 and the 2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic between the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Jan. 1. He has been involved in the development of the jerseys for the 2024 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Feb. 3.
“We’re going to be doing some incredible stuff next year to delight and excite our fans,” Jennings said. “What we anticipate is a professional and seamless transition. We’ll have a pivot point and move on over to Fanatics for the ’24-25 season with that same thrust for our event designs and team designs being at the forefront.”
When Fanatics takes over, the company won’t make radical changes, said Doug Mack, CEO of Fanatics Commerce, the merchandise division. It will have a multiyear plan to make gradual, data-driven changes over time, the way it has with products in the past.
“We look for evolution, not revolution,” said Mack said. “We’re not going to change it up just to change it up.”
Feedback from fans has helped guide the design process of replica NHL jerseys, leading to innovations like a more tailored female jersey and foldable crests for easier storage. Mack said replica jerseys have received a 4.5-star rating on a 5-star scale, on par with authentic products.
Feedback from players and equipment managers has contributed to the design process of the NHL Authentic Pro line and the on-ice Stanley Cup champions apparel.
“They understand the nuances and the importance of servicing, listening and having a feedback loop from the players and staff, which is really critical and will continue to be ongoing in this relationship,” Jennings said.
Each NHL game jersey today is made in a factory in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, near Montreal. Fanatics will continue to use the same factory, the same specs for players and even some of the same fabrics, at least at first. The company has assembled a team of people with decades of experience working on NHL on-ice and performance products.
“We’re going to inject them into the equation so that we can bring Fanatics innovation with also the best of what’s been done in the past, and that’s why I think fans should be excited,” Mack said. “There’s a lot to like about what’s been done historically, but each time we’ve done something new with the NHL, we’ve actually taken that and taken it to the next level.”
What might the next level look like for official on-ice uniforms?
“I believe what you’ll see over time is an evolution in the chassis of the jersey, an evolution in design elements, and that’s going to be player-driven,” Mack said. “As you see the exciting stars of the game, we’re going to want to know what they feel will help them feel great about their performance. We’ll translate that into the product, and then the fan will be getting something that’s really player — and equipment manager — informed.”
Jennings said Fanatics will keep the NHL on the cutting edge.
“The vision projecting out two or three years is to really start to look at what innovations we can make in the uniform business,” Jennings said. “One of the things that we talk a lot about is making sure nobody leapfrogs us as far as having our sweater and our uniform being at the forefront of any of the leagues as far as world-class design and performance for the athlete.
“And then ultimately for a fan who wants an authentic jersey, they can get that, and Fanatics already makes a replica jersey that is certainly very fan friendly.”
Fanatics will apply the innovative vertical commerce model it uses for other products to the authentic NHL jerseys, allowing fans to purchase them in real time when, for example, a team acquires a player.
“We think we’ll be uniquely positioned to capitalize and grow the business,” Jennings said.
NBC’s Tara Slone on speaking her mind about James Reimer: ‘We have to talk about this’ – The Athletic
On Saturday night, Canadian broadcaster Tara Slone was on the air in California, covering a breaking story as part of her new job with the San Jose Sharks and NBC Sports. Goaltender James Reimer was refusing to wear a Pride-themed jersey during warm-ups, citing his religious beliefs.
“I think it is an active thing that he is doing by sitting out and not wearing the Pride jersey,” she said during the broadcast. “I think a lot of us are very disappointed. We were hoping that the whole team would show this act of solidarity and inclusion and acceptance.
“What’s hard to watch happen, I think, right now, is this sort of ripple effect.”
Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov boycotted his team’s scheduled Pride night in January. Days later, the Rangers elected not to wear Pride-themed jerseys as scheduled. Earlier this month, the Wild declined to wear Pride jerseys during a pregame warm-up.
The rest of the Sharks wore the Pride jersey.
“I woke up today just really sad,” Slone said in an interview with The Athletic on Monday. “It’s less about James Reimer himself, and more about what’s happening in the world, which I find so painful.”
Slone relocated to California last fall, months after Sportsnet announced the cancellation of “Rogers Hometown Hockey,” which she had co-hosted with Ron MacLean. Her partner, former defenseman Dan Boyle, had settled in San Jose in retirement.
In November, Slone began working as host/contributor for the Sharks and NBC Sports Bay Area. As reaction continued to roll in from the weekend, she fielded questions from The Athletic.
(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
When did you hear about the stance James Reimer was going to take?
I think a lot of us were anticipating there would be a holdout or two. Coach (David) Quinn was asked about it a few days before the Pride game. And with his answer, it just didn’t seem like the whole team would be wearing them. So we were prepared for somebody to hold out.
I got a text from my producer, Sean Maddison, shortly after it was announced. It was Saturday morning.
How did you decide what you would say on the air?
Obviously, for me, it’s a balancing act, right? I work for the team. I also work for the broadcaster that works for the team. I knew I had to be careful. Honestly? My first feeling was I was so heartbroken for the organization itself, because I knew how much work had gone into all of the events leading up to the Pride game itself.
And I know how much work they do internally. That’s one of the things about being employed by the team: I know that this is an organization that puts their money where their mouths are in terms of internal education. It’s not just a one-night thing.
What really sucked is seeing that their efforts were being overshadowed by James Reimer’s decision. I knew that I had the faith of NBC. They brought me in for a reason. They knew exactly what they were getting when they decided they wanted me to be part of the team.
And I think part of it is to address issues like this, to have real conversations about hockey culture. If they were looking for another hockey talking head, I’m not it. I am not an analyst.
.@TaraSlone and @BrodieNBCS discuss James Reimer not wearing a Pride jersey during warm-ups pic.twitter.com/uqxz3wRn2A
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) March 19, 2023
Had you scripted what you were going to say?
I didn’t script anything, no. And I haven’t watched it back, actually, so I don’t really remember what I said. What made it easy for me is that I felt so aligned with what Brian Burke had sent me.
Did you interview him?
He texted it to me. I had spoken to him. He came through with the Penguins. I’d spoken to him after Ivan Provorov refused to wear his Pride jersey. I wanted to get Burkie’s thoughts. I knew that, in this case, he would have something to say. Reimer played under him. Reimer played for him at a time when Brendan Burke was out, and when Brendan died. (Reimer was with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and Brian Burke was the Maple Leafs’ GM, when Brendan Burke died in February 2010.)
To me, other than just being disappointing — and disappointing on behalf of the team itself — it is just such a dangerous time for that community. I felt so heartbroken that this was something that was going to be used as a further launch point for all the people who have demonized the LGBTQ+ community.
That was, and remains, the biggest heartbreaker of this whole thing.
What has been the reaction?
Really divided. A lot of people applauding NBC for allowing that to happen. Applauding the Sharks. Applauding me, I guess. But there’s just so much vitriol out there. People standing by Reimer’s freedom of religious expression. And just complete, horrible, weaponization. Using it as a platform to energize all these false narratives.
Honestly? I feel kind of sick to my stomach. It’s really not about what I’ve taken personally. It’s about what I’m seeing out there, and what is an indication of where the greater world sits. We’re a long way from equality and understanding, that’s for sure.
You’ve been on NBC for less than a year …
Yeah. I only got my work visa in December.
Were you concerned about what kind of editorial freedom you might have, given your brief tenure?
It wasn’t a matter of that. Like I said, they knew who I was coming into this. Both the Sharks and NBC really created a situation for me because of who I am, because of what I bring. And my outspokenness is part of what I bring. I’ve said this many times at this point: It’s really refreshing for me to be in a place where I am celebrated and not just tolerated — where my viewpoints are actually encouraged.
At the same time, it is a balancing act, and I have to be careful. I want to make sure that I’m honest, but also fair to the team. I spoke to Scott Emmert, who’s the (vice president) of communications. He knew that we were going to say something. I assured him. I said: “Scott, I’m going to be fair, but we have to talk about this.”
Nobody told me to watch myself. Nobody gave me anything to say or not to say.
How are people reacting around San Jose?
I don’t know. I’ve only been hanging out with my 13-year-old daughter. (Smiles) But certainly, in the hockey world and in the Sharks fan community, it’s the biggest topic of conversation.
What happens next?
I think it has opened some important discourse. I really wonder, though, moving forward, how the fans are going to react to Reimer. But as I’ve seen in hockey — over and over again — stuff, unfortunately, tends to be forgotten pretty quickly. I think what happens next is life goes on. It’s been a hard enough season for the team. It’s almost over. I think everybody would love the chance to just regroup.
How have you adjusted to working in California?
Working as a team is really different. You come across the challenge of finding stories about that one team, for however many broadcasts a year. And just making sure you are representing the organization properly.
The fanbase is different here. I think it is a much more diverse fanbase. A rabid fanbase. They’ve had a lot of years of success. With the team, it’s not the happiest place right now. But I think people have a lot faith.
Do you have a sense of how long you’ll stay in California?
(Laughs) Well, the man I love is here. If I left, that would mean leaving him, and I have no intention of doing that. He’s not leaving. He’s built his dream home. And job-wise, I’m really excited about the future with both the Sharks and with NBC.
I think we’ll re-assess what everything is going to look like in the offseason. But I certainly hope this is just the beginning for me.
(Photo of Reimer: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)
Canadian momentum build continues at women's curling worlds with wins over Italy, Scotland – CBC.ca
Canada’s Kerri Einarson improved to 4-1 in round-robin play with a sweep of her matches Monday at the world women’s curling championship.
“We’ve had a few really tight battles and a few where we’re very grateful to win,” Birchard said. “It feels similar to last year when I know we dropped one or two early but then powered through the rest of the week.
“We need to keep the momentum going. We’re feeling strong and feeling good out there on the ice. All we can do is keep getting better.”
The Canadians meet the Swiss in Tuesday’s afternoon draw at the Goransson Arena before taking on New Zealand in the evening.
WATCH | Canadians defeat Scotland for 3rd straight victory:
Einarson scored four in the first end against Morrison, but the Scots replied with four in the second.
The Canadians started slowly building a lead, and went up 9-5 after steals of one in the seventh and eighth ends.
Morrison got two back in the ninth, and made it close with a steal of one in the 10th.
WATCH | Canada’s Einarson beats Italy’s Constantini at women’s curling worlds:
“We talked about it after the second end and it was essentially like we blanked the first two ends and it was just going to be an eight-end game from there on. We really parked it,” Birchard said. “We were firing after that and there were no real missteps. I feel like we put together a pretty good game.”
In the earlier match, Italy faced a triple-raise double-takeout to score in the ninth end but gave up a steal of two to end the game.
The top six teams in the 13-team field qualify for the playoff round. The final is scheduled for Sunday.
Einarson won bronze at last year’s world championship in Prince George, B.C.
WATCH | Einarson talks worlds on CBC Sports’ ‘That Curling Show’:
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