Andrew Bucholtz

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Andrew Bucholtz is a Canadian football blogger for Yahoo! Sports.

  • Greg Mohns, seen in 2000 with B.C., was a key CFL figure who will be missed.A remarkable element of the CFL is how many American coaches dedicate decades of their life to this league in one position or another. That's the case with Greg Mohns, the famed CFL coach and executive who passed away from throat cancer Wednesday and was remembered fondly by people around the league. Mohns worked with the early-90s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the U.S.-expansion era Memphis Mad Dogs, the Doug Flutie-led Toronto Argonauts, the Damon Allen-led B.C. Lions, the Allen-led Argonauts and more recent Toronto squads, and both colleagues and old rivals had great things to say about him in the wake of his death all too soon at 62. Mohns gave much of his life to the CFL, and he made a substantial impact in this league. That should be remembered.

    Mohns' football career started long before he crossed the border into Canada, of course. He played offensive line at smaller schools like Bradley University and Baker University in the late 1960s and early 1970s, then served as first a graduate assistant and then a full-time assistant coach with the Oklahoma State Cowboys from 1972-1979. He then worked as an assistant at Arizona State before taking over the head job at Ventura College, where he went 15-3-2 in two seasons of community college competition before joining the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs as a scout. He'd spend most of the 1980s with Kansas City, but then headed north of the border in 1991,  and it may be his CFL tenure for which he's most famous.

    Read More »from Greg Mohns, former Argos’ executive and Lions’ head coach, remembered fondly across CFL
  • Canadian competitors, fans find touches of hoserism in London at athletes’ village, pub

    The Canadian athletes are already using their road hockey nets in the athletes' village.The London Olympics may be a foreign environment for Canadian athletes and fans, but there are still some touches of home in evidence. For fans, there's the famed Maple Leaf pub, a slice of Canadiana complete with Sleeman (on draught), Moosehead (in bottles) and poutine. For the athletes, their portion of the Olympic village has already been decked out with everything from the giant red plastic moose last seen in Whistler in the Winter Olympics to barbecues and ball hockey nets (which you can see in the above photo, tweeted by Canadian gymnast Dominique Pegg). This isn't the home turf of the 2010 Games, but touches like this could help make London a better experience for both fans and athletes.

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  • Winning Summer Games gold is an incredible moment, but an end as well as a beginning

    Carolyn Waldo (L) and Michelle Cameron won gold in 1988, but soon had to contemplate the future.For a Canadian athlete, claiming a gold medal at the Summer Olympics puts you in a very exclusive club. Canada has earned only three gold medals in each of the last four Summer Games, so those moments do tend to stick in the memory for Olympic fans as joyous, celebratory occasions. As Paul Hunter points out in an excellent Toronto Star feature that has him talking to plenty of former gold medalists about their experiences, those podium-topping moments are awfully memorable for the athletes involved as well, but not always from a completely positive standpoint. For example, Carolyn Waldo, who competed in synchronized swimming with partner Michelle Cameron in 1988, told Hunter that the taxi ride she and Cameron took to the broadcast centre for an interview following their gold-medal performance was anything but ebullient:

    "You'd think we would have been laughing and talking, just euphoric. If anything, I think people would have been shocked by our demeanor in the back of the vehicle because we didn't know what to say. It was like, 'Now what do we do with our lives?'" Waldo recalls.

    "You really come down. At least that was my experience. It was like being hit with a ton of bricks after that elation of being so high. Then you get really low. It was also bittersweet because we knew it was the end of our career."

    Gymnast Kyle Shewfelt, who won gold in 2004 in the men's floor exercises, shared some of those same feelings and said his gold made him question what to do next:

    Read More »from Winning Summer Games gold is an incredible moment, but an end as well as a beginning
  • Swimmers Federica Pellegrini, Stephanie Rice raise questions about athletes as sex symbols

    Federica Pellegrini has posed nude on the cover of Italy's Vanity Fair, including for this Aug. 2010 issue.Unsurprisingly, many Olympic athletes are known for their looks as well as their performance. That's the case with female swimmers Federica Pellegrini of Italy and Stephanie Rice of Australia, who are making headlines for posing nude and in a bikini respectively.  Pellegrini in particular has become a major star in her home country thanks to naked photo shoots for Vogue and the Italian version of Vanity Fair, plus her willingness to discuss her sex life with boyfriend and fellow Italian Olympian swimmer Filippo Magnini. Both Pellegrini and Rice have taken some heat from critics for flaunting their looks, but that may not be the biggest issue with the idea of athletes as sex symbols. Instead, perhaps an even more pivotal question is how that portrayal affects public treatment of the athletes who aren't seen as sex symbols.

    Pellegrini, Rice and other Olympians famed for their bodies draw a huge amount of media and popular attention, and from one standpoint, that's not all bad. Being an Olympic athlete is usually a tough path from a financial perspective, especially in women's sports, and many women's sports don't get a huge amount of attention even at the Olympics. If Pellegrini and Rice can use their looks to help attract corporate sponsors and fans, there are some positives there. The problem comes from the flip side, though; while Pellegrini and Rice are pulling all that attention, they're far from the only athletes competing at the Games, and what happens to those who aren't considered to be as beautiful by conventional standards?

    Read More »from Swimmers Federica Pellegrini, Stephanie Rice raise questions about athletes as sex symbols
  • Lauren Sesselmann’s goal-line save could prove crucial for Canadian women’s soccer

    Lauren Sesselmann saved a sure-looking goal Wednesday, which might be vital for Canada.The Canadian women's soccer team's quest for an Olympic medal got off to somewhat of a rocky start Wednesday with a 2-1 loss to reigning Women's World Cup champions Japan, but it's a goal that wasn't scored that could prove crucial down the line. With Canada already down 2-0, the Japanese looked sure to add a third in the 51st minute when Yuki Ogimi outmanoeuvred Canadian keeper Erin McLeod in the penalty area and sent a shot towards the open net, but defender Lauren Sesselmann lunged and cleared the ball off the line. As Timothy Burke's screencap at right shows, the play was very close (and who knows what goal-line technology would have shown here), but Sesselmann did enough to keep officials from signalling a goal. That kept the Canadians in the game and was soon followed by a 55th minute Melissa Tancredi goal that cut the deficit to one. Although Canada couldn't come all the way back, goal differential could prove crucial in the group standings and the subsequent matchups, so Sesselmann's effort here may play an important part in how far the Canadians ultimately go.

    [Related: Canadian women fall in Olympic opener]

    Read More »from Lauren Sesselmann’s goal-line save could prove crucial for Canadian women’s soccer
  • Olympic authorities crack down on bagels, T-shirts, but can’t stop fake Egyptian uniforms

    Egyptian Olympic Committee president Mahmoud Ahmed Ali apparently can't recognize fake uniforms.It wouldn't be the Olympics without local organizers cracking down on anything that might vaguely be associated with the Games; the British Olympic Deliverance Authority and the London Organizing Committee may not be able to find enough security guards, but they have over 280 brand enforcers going around and threatening everyone who makes reference to the Games in some form without paying through the nose. Thus far, there have been threats of legal action against fans who post photos of the Olympics on Facebook; other targets have included a shop with the temerity to display five bagels in the window, a butcher who made rings out of sausage links and an 81-year-old grandmother who tried to sell ring-clad dolls through her knitting circle. Lord Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the London Organizing Committee, even went as far as to declare on BBC4 that spectators who wore shirts of brands competing with Games sponsors would be ejected, although that hasn't happened thus far. Funnily enough, though, the Olympic organizing bodies haven't been able to stop brand corruption that's coming from inside the house; it turns out the Egyptian Olympic Committee may have supplied its 117 athletes with fake Nike uniforms.

    Read More »from Olympic authorities crack down on bagels, T-shirts, but can’t stop fake Egyptian uniforms
  • This year’s modern pentathlon involves laser guns, combines running and shooting

    Donna Vakalis will be using a new laser pistol in this year's modern pentathlon.The modern pentathlon will get a bit futuristic at this year's Olympics. London 2012 will be the first Games to replace the traditional air pistols with the laser guns brought into worldwide modern pentathlon events in 2011, and it will also be the first Olympics where the five-sport event is held under new rules implemented in 2009 that combine the running and shooting portions. Canadian competitor Donna Vakalis told The Toronto Star's Josh Tapper that amalgamating the running and shooting events in particular poses some new challenges for the athletes:

    "It's very much a mental game, but it's also a physical game now," said Vakalis, who will be joined in London by Melanie McCann.

    "Your heart is racing. You kind of want to heave and breathe and take in as much oxygen as you can. You can't allow yourself to do that. You just have to keep your breath on a steady rhythm and hold your breath with each shot."

    Modern pentathlon hasn't always been the biggest draw for Olympic viewers, but the changes might help improve its popularity. Sure, laser guns are cool, but it's the combination of running and shooting that might make this event particularly fun to watch. Rather than holding those competitions separately, athletes will now shoot five targets, then run 1,000 metres, then shoot another five targets, then run another 1,000 metres, then shoot a final five targets, then run 1,000 metres further. It's not about hitting targets dead centre, but about hitting five in quick succession so you can start your run; however, despite the new, pricey laser guns (Vakalis' cost $2,725), the sport still requires the detailed reloading procedure used with the old air pistols, so it's not just blasting away.

    Read More »from This year’s modern pentathlon involves laser guns, combines running and shooting
  • Sisters Dorothy Ludwig (L) and Lynda Kiejko have carried on their father's shooting legacy.For Dorothy Ludwig, shooting is all in the family. Her father, United Church of Canada reverend Bill Hare, was known as "The Pistol-Packing Preacher" for his target-shooting exploits, which saw him compete in the Olympics in 1964, 1968 and 1972. Hare built a shooting range in his basement, and daughters Ludwig and Lynda Kiejko both became top shots. The two teamed up to win bronze in the 10-metre air pistol pairs at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (they're pictured with their medals from that event at right), and the Renfrew, Ontario-born Ludwig had to defeat her sister in the Canadian trials to qualify for the London Games, but Kiejko will be in attendance at the Olympics to support her. Ludwig, who now trains in Langley, B.C., also won the gold medal in the 10-metre air pistol event at the 2011 Pan-Am Games, and she could potentially be a medal threat in that event in London. She told the National Post's Sean Fitz-Gerald that although her father died seven years ago in a car accident, she sees shooting as a way to carry on his legacy:

    "It's really exciting," Ludwig said. "It's a real honour to carry on this little piece that my dad started, and to know that I get to share in an experience that he had. It's like being able to hold onto a little piece of him."

    Shooting is far from the most famous Olympic sport out there, but it's been contested at every modern Olympics except the 1904 and 1928 editions. It's also grown from two events in 1932 to 15 events in these Games, with both men and women competing in pistol, rifle and shotgun events. (Oddly enough, the pistols used are banned in the United Kingdom, so it took a special goverment dispensation to let Ludwig's event go ahead.)

    Read More »from ‘Pistol Packing Preacher’s’ daughters Dorothy Ludwig and Lynda Kiejko carry on a shooting legacy
  • Christine Sinclair, seen against Cuba in Jan., is the key to Canadian medal hopes in London.

    The London Olympics' opening ceremonies may not be until Friday, but the Canadian women's soccer team will already be in competition before then. Soccer's the only sport that starts Wednesday, and the seventh-ranked Canadians will begin with their toughest test of the preliminary round, facing a Japanese squad that's ranked third in the world and won the 2011 Women's World Cup. The match, scheduled for noon Eastern, will be broadcast live on TSN, Sportsnet and RDS and also streamed live on the web. While the Canadians are underdogs here, Wednesday's match is about more than just the final result, as how they perform against a tough team like Japan may show if their medal hopes are realistic.

    Read More »from Canada’s women’s soccer team starts medal quest Wednesday, well before Opening Ceremonies
  • On Dylan Wykes and three other late Canadian qualifiers for the London Olympics

    Marathoner Dylan Wykes is just one of Canada's late Olympic qualifiers.For some athletes and teams, an Olympic spot can be locked up long before the Games begin. For others like marathoner Dylan Wykes, it comes right down to the wire. Wykes, a native of Kingston, Ontario who trains in Vancouver, planned to go for the Canadian qualifying standard in a March marathon in Japan, but was forced out of the race thanks to stomach issues, making it look like his Olympic dream might be dead. Wykes quietly kept training, though, found another last-chance race and ran the second-fastest marathon time ever recorded by a Canadian in the Netherlands in April, qualifying for the Olympics in the process. He's far from the only Canadian athlete to pick up their London berth late in the game, though. Here are three other notable qualifiers who made it in on some of their final chances.

    Read More »from On Dylan Wykes and three other late Canadian qualifiers for the London Olympics

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