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The Youth Olympic Games



The 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games begin this week in Switzerland. Not familiar with the event? Here’s what you should know about it:

What are the Youth Olympic Games?

They’re a multi-sport event for athletes between the ages of 15 to 18, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Just like the regular Olympics, there are both summer and winter versions — each held every four years, but in a reverse seasonal cycle (these Games are winter events, ahead of Tokyo’s Summer Games.) The first summer Youth Olympics were held in 2010 and the first winter edition in 2012.

When does this one take place?

The opening ceremony is Thursday at 2 p.m. ET in Lausanne. Competition begins the next day and runs until the closing ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 22. There are 13 days of competition.

How big is it?

Around 1,900 athletes from more than 80 countries will be in Switzerland. They’ll compete in 81 medal events in 16 disciplines across eight main sports.


Are the events the same as in the regular Olympics?

Yes and no. You’ll recognize Winter Olympic staples like figure skating, speed skating (long and short track), skiing (alpine, cross-country and freestyle), sliding (bobsleigh, luge and skeleton), snowboarding, curling, ski jumping and biathlon.

There are also two versions of hockey. For the standard game, there’s a men’s and a women’s tournament. Each country can enter only one of them, and Canada is once again in the men’s. The team is made up of 15-year-olds, and it’ll try to win Canada’s first gold medal after bronze and silver showings the previous two times.

There’s also a very quirky 3-on-3 (plus goalies) version of hockey. It’s cross-ice, meaning games are played on half the rink, with the nets placed at the side boards and two games going on at once, separated by a temporary wall. If you have kids in minor hockey, you may be familiar with this. If not, here’s how it looks:

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And there’s another twist: each team is made up of players of different nationalities. Organizers say the idea is to promote “integration and understanding between cultures.” There’s both a men’s and a women’s 3-on-3 tournament.

The weirdest sport you’ll see is ski mountaineering — “skimo” for short. It’s basically a blend of cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and winter hiking. Athletes have to go both downhill and uphill. Sometimes they’re on their skis, other times they’re climbing a hill by foot with their skis strapped to their back. It actually looks pretty awesome.

Is there anything else that makes the Youth Olympics unique?

For one, there’s a different spirit. Athletes still compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, but the emphasis is on inclusiveness, friendship and respect (for each other and for the environment) as much as competition.

In keeping with the vibe, athletes will take public transportation to their events. And long track speed skating is being held outdoors on a “sustainable” frozen lake at St. Moritz. The scene is pretty breathtaking:



Also, these Games are being billed as “completely gender equal,” with the same number of male and female athletes. For the first time at any version of the Olympics, women will compete in the Nordic combined event. Several events are mixed gender, including both curling competitions — mixed doubles and the traditional version of the game, which here will feature two men and two women per team. That’s a trend the regular Olympics are embracing too. Mixed doubles curling made its Olympic debut in 2018, and mixed-gender swimming and track relay races will join the program at this year’s Summer Games in Tokyo.

The Youth Olympic Games, though, are taking the concept of mixed events to another level by putting athletes from different countries on the same team in some events. We already mentioned 3-on-3 hockey. There are also mixed-nationality team competitions in curling (the mixed doubles event), figure skating, ski mountaineering, and short and long track speed skating.

The Youth Games are also ahead of the curve when it comes to bobsleigh. The only event being held is the single-rider monobob, which will be added to the regular Olympic program in 2022.

Keep your eye on these athletes at Lausanne 2020. 1:24

Has anyone famous competed in the Winter Youth Olympic Games?

American snowboard sensation Chloe Kim won two gold medals in 2016 in Norway before becoming one of the biggest stars of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Suzanne Schulting went medal-less at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, but six years later she became the first Dutch athlete to win Olympic gold in short track speed skating and has also won four world titles.

A few NHL players have competed in the Youth Games, including Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen. He actually scored the gold medal-winning shootout goal for Finland in 2012.

What about Team Canada?

This year’s squad is bigger than ever — 78 athletes. Canada’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony is Lauren Rajala, a 17-year-old curler from Sudbury, Ont. She played lead on a rink that won gold at both the Canadian U18 curling championships and the Canada Winter Games last year. She’ll be with a different squad at the Youth Olympics, where curling is a mixed sport and the Canadian team was selected with athletes from different parts of the country.

Canada is hoping to improve on its eighth-place finish in the medal standings at the last Winter Youth Olympics, where it won three gold medals and six total. In 2012 Canada won nine medals, but only two were gold so the team placed 15th in the standings.

Is Russia allowed in this?

Yes. Russia, you may remember, is banned from sending an official team to this year’s regular Olympics because of its repeated (and egregious) doping violations. But that’s not the case for the Youth Olympics. Russia will be treated like any other country. It can use its official name, flag and anthem.

How can you watch and/or follow the Games? is streaming events live all day, every day, starting with the opening ceremony Thursday at 2 p.m. ET. Watch all the live streams here. The CBC TV network will also have coverage on Saturday, Jan. 25 from noon-2 p.m. ET. For more details, here’s the link to CBC Sports’ full streaming and TV schedule.

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Blue Jays pound out 14 hits in win over Brewers – TSN



TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays were quick to set the tone in their three-game series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, scoring early and often in a 7-2 victory at Rogers Centre.

Alejandro Kirk and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had three hits apiece and Whit Merrifield drove in a pair of runs for the Blue Jays, who scored four times in the first inning for a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“Today was a perfect example of doing things that we’re good at,” said Blue Jays manager John Schneider. “It was good starting pitching, it was clean defence and really good at-bats.”


It was Toronto’s fourth win in seven games.

Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi (6-2) gave up a two-run homer to William Contreras in the opening frame but settled in after that, allowing just three hits over five innings.

The left-hander issued five walks and had four strikeouts, including the 500th of his career.

“Obviously it wasn’t my A-game today,” Kikuchi said via an interpreter. “But I just battled out there and gave it my all.”

Cavan Biggio and Merrifield each had a pair of hits for the Blue Jays, who outhit Milwaukee 14-4.

Brewers starter Adrian Houser (1-1) lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing six earned runs, 11 hits and three walks. He had three strikeouts.

With the roof open on a glorious spring evening, the Blue Jays gave the Rogers Centre crowd of 32,930 something to cheer about in the early going.

Guerrero and Matt Chapman delivered RBI singles in the first inning and Merrifield sent a roller down the third-base line to bring home two more runs.

“Any four-run inning in a nine-inning game is going to be tough to come back from,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

The Blue Jays loaded the bases with nobody out in the second. Kirk scored on a fielder’s choice and Brandon Belt added an RBI single.

Toronto right-hander Nate Pearson had four strikeouts over two shutout innings. Adam Cimber, Tim Mayza and Yimi Garcia also made relief appearances.

The game kicked off a seven-game road trip for the Brewers (28-26), who lead the National League Central Division standings.

The Blue Jays (29-26) have a better record but started the day in last place in the powerhouse American League East.

Baseball’s hits leader, Bo Bichette, had his eight-game hitting streak come to an end. He was the only Toronto starter without a hit.

Milwaukee shortstop Andruw Monasterio singled in the second inning for his first big-league hit.

The game took two hours 31 minutes to play.


Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier was not in the starting lineup as he continues to deal with lower back discomfort.

Schneider said Kiermaier has made progress over the last few days. Kiermaier hasn’t played since he was removed from a game Saturday at Minnesota.


It was the first game at Rogers Centre for Brewers slugger Rowdy Tellez since he was traded from Toronto to Milwaukee two years ago.

Tellez spent parts of four seasons with the Blue Jays, who drafted him with the 895th overall pick in 2013.


Right-handers were set to square off on Wednesday night with Julio Teheran (0-1, 1.80 earned-run average) to start for the Brewers against Alek Manoah (1-5, 5.53).

Toronto’s Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.03) was tabbed for the series finale on Thursday against fellow righty Freddy Peralta (5-4, 4.64).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2023.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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Pride Toronto director says Blue Jays have opportunity after Anthony Bass apology – CP24



Pride Toronto executive director Sherwin Modeste feels the Toronto Blue Jays have an opportunity to turn a player’s negative action into a positive.

Blue Jays reliever Anthony Bass apologized Tuesday for expressing support on social media for anti-2SLGBTQ+ boycotts of Target and Bud Light. A day earlier, he shared an Instagram post urging others to spurn the companies over the support they showed for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

“I think (the team can) just continue to do what is right and continue to respect diversity and continue to spread love, continue to show their support for the 2SLGBTQ community,” Modeste said.


“But at the same time, they also have a responsibility to hold all of their staff, all of their players, everyone that’s associated with the Jays, they need to hold them accountable and that I would leave for them to manage.”

Bass spoke outside the home dugout at Rogers Centre before the Blue Jays’ series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

He prefaced his remarks by saying “I’ll make this quick,” before delivering a statement that lasted 33 seconds.

Bass said he was “truly sorry” for the post and that he’d use team resources to better educate himself, adding “the ballpark is for everybody.”

The 35-year-old native of Dearborn, Mich., who has more than 33,000 followers on Instagram, did not take questions.

Modeste said the amplification of a hateful social media post can have a significant impact.

“Let’s also think about the young person that might be a prospect or might potentially be the next baseball player,” he told The Canadian Press. “And seeing this can deter them. So we need to find opportunities to strengthen our community, not to bring our community down.”

General manager Ross Atkins and team president Mark Shapiro were not made available to speak with reporters.

The annual Blue Jays Pride weekend is set for June 9-10. A rainbow flag jersey giveaway was planned and other details were to be released next week.

“Pride Toronto has a very good relationship with the Jays,” Modeste said. “I personally have worked very closely with the Jays Care Foundation and I know what they stand for because we have been part of this journey together. I don’t believe that one individual is going to change what the Jays are going to do and what the Jays have been doing for the community.

“But ultimately they’re going to have to make a decision on who do they want on the team and how do they want to be seen and reflected in the community.”

Bass apologized to Atkins and Blue Jays manager John Schneider earlier Tuesday. He also apologized to his teammates as a group at the skipper’s prompting.

Since Bass did not speak publicly beyond his brief statement, Schneider was left to handle a series of media questions during a pre-game availability in his office.

“I think the message to the fan base is that we have and will continue to be a huge part of the Pride community,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the ninth and 10th of June. (This situation) doesn’t represent our overall feelings as an organization. We love our fans and we love all the support that we get.

“It was unfortunate that (this) happened. If they take anything, it’s that the accountability was there and the awareness of how it made people feel was there.”

Bass has played for six other teams over his 12-year big-league career.

“As a man, you stand up and you apologize for what you did,” Schneider said. “I think that’s a really good first step.”

Earlier this year, Bass sparked criticism when he tweeted to complain that a flight attendant had asked his pregnant wife to clean up popcorn their toddler dropped on the floor during a flight.

The right-hander also played for Toronto in the 2020 season.

With files from The Associated Press

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Why a Brad Treliving hiring by the Maple Leafs makes the most sense –



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