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Jeff Bourne: 2010 Sledge Hockey Preview

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For those of you who’ve been long-time blog readers, you know my brother Jeff is one of those people you’re blessed to get to know.

Us, with our fantasy camp's VT Cup. Familiar? --->

A number of months ago, Jeff was accepted to be one of Canada’s hosts for the Paralympic games – it took an interview process, and he was picked based on the pure fact that he’s so likable you want to punch him in the face (which I’ve often wanted to do for my own brotherly reasons).  Sadly, Jeff when through a tough time after visiting me here in Phoenix, and had an extended stay in the hospital.

Since “Jeff’s Ordeal” as the blog I wrote was titled, they found the root of the problem – a major surgery, endless staples to the head and chest, and a few weeks of recouping later, and the dude is good as new.  It’s not like he was a pretty canvas to disfigure anyway, if you get what I’m saying :)   {Kidding bro, kidding. …ish}

Anyways, what he is doing, is covering the Paralympic Sledge Hockey Tournament at his personal website.  If you’re remotely interested in sledge hockey (if you aren’t, you should be.  Check out the video I posted halfway down this blog for a convincer), Jeff will fill you in on everything you need to know as a tournament warm-up.

Jeff, post near-death, enjoying two of his fave things in the world. ...At once.

For those of you too lazy to click the link to his blog, grow up and CLICK THE LINK TO HIS BLOG.  Also, comment on it and contact the guy.  He’s just a fun person to get to know.  Learning Jeff-speak is like learning a whole inside-joke-laden language.  You won’t regret it.

Now, for those of you who were to lazy to click it, here’s what the Bourne’s newest blogger wrote.  ….But seriously, go read it on his site.  I don’t need any halfway committed sledge fans peeking in.  You’re in or you’re out:

Oh weird, Canada scored.... ;)

******

2010 Vancouver Paralympic Sledge Hockey Tournament Preview

-by Jeff Bourne

(Note – before you read this, check out HOCKEY MONKEY COUPONS.)

As the 2010 Oylmpic winter games come to a close, we now look ahead to the 2010 Paralympic games.

The Paralympics doesn’t have quite as of a rich history as the Oylmpic games, but still, it is a valid evolution of the acceptance of disabled people.

Here’s a Brief history of the Paralympic Games for those of you that aren’t as informed:

The games were started in Stoke, Mandeville, England in 1948, as a way to get soldiers returning from the 2nd World War up and moving again. The current winter paralympics did not start until 1980 in Geilo, Norway. There was only 3 events during the 1st winter Paralympics which where: Alpine Skiing, Ice sledge speed racing and cross country skiing.

Today the winter paralympics consists of five sports which include: Wheelchair curling, Cross country skiing, Alpine skiing, Biathlon and Ice sledge hockey.

I myself have been playing Sledge hockey for 7 years now, and have grown to love the sport.

Crazy. Intense. Sport.

For those of you that do not know what sledge hockey is, sledge hockey is pretty much exactly like regular hockey except it is played in “sledges”.  Sledges consist of a bucket seat with runners to hold your legs out straight and ice hockey blades on the bottom of the sledge.  Players use two smaller sticks with ice picks on the bottom to propel themselves around the ice.

During the 2010 paralympics there will be 8 National teams competing for the gold medal.  Pool A will consist of: The Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea and The USA.  Pool B consists of: Canada, Italy, Norway and Sweden.

In my pre-paralympic predictions. I am going to take the USA coming out of pool A on top followed by Japan in second place followed by South Korea and the Czech Republic. You may be wondering why I predict the Czech’s to finish in last place in pool A?  The Czech republic has only recently begun to play the game of sledge hockey, and South Korea’s world ranking before the paralympics was 5th.

Pool B is going to be a more exciting pool to watch, especially for Canadian fans. I am going to predict that Canada with it’s home ice advantage will come out of pool B on top followed very closely by Norway,with Sweden and Italy rounding out the pool.

Some of the players to watch for in pool B are Norway’s Eskil Hagen as well as fellow Norwegians, Helge Bjornstad, Rolf Einer Pedersen, Tommy Rovelstad, and Norway’s goaltender Roger Johansen. As for the Canadian national team, be on the look out for players such as Billy Bridges who has been dubbed the Sidney Crosby of sledge hockey. Also, Bradley Bowden is a player who I would compare to Crosby’s teammate Evgeni Malkin. In goal for Canada is Paul Rosen, who is one of the top two goalies in the world today.

In Pool A, watch out for the USA’S Steve Cash and Taylor chance, who have a really good chance of being in the top five in scoring when the tournament is all over. For the Japanese team, be on the look out for Takayuki Endo and goalie Shinobu Fukushima.

My final predictions for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal would have to be Canada winning gold — I’m not trying to be bias here, I just think that because it is in Canada I will give them the edge. As for the silver medal I would think Norway has a great chance as finishing 2nd with the USA rounding out the top three.

Well paralympic fans, i hope you enjoy the next 10 days of paralympic competition, I know I will!!

We're my "glue-of-the-family" lovely mother away from a really great pic here. The day after I re-met Bri, and the same day I vowed to never be photographed in Fonzie's old jacket again.

******

Justin again …Fine, here’s the video:

 

Comments

6 Responses to “Jeff Bourne: 2010 Sledge Hockey Preview”
  1. Madeleine says:

    shit man, sledge hockey looks brutal!
    I think the Paralympics deserver more attention than they get.

    PS-nice jacket ;)

  2. Sledge hockey is growing here in the UK. The British national team’s goalie has been really trying to push it and has started to spark up much more interest

    More chance of seeing the sledge hockey boys lift gold in the near future than any other Brit hockey team!

  3. Neil says:

    It’s unbelievable how fast they get going just from using their arms, that must be some serious shoulder muscle. From what I’ve heard, a lot of the games in Vancouver are sold out?

  4. Stania says:

    I took my four year old girl to the Czech vs. Japan Paralympic Hockey game last night in Vancouver, BC. It was the first sledge hockey game and the first Paralympic competitive event I’ve ever experienced (live or otherwise).
    Words cannot describe how I feel this morning. I keep experiencing waves of emotion running through me as I remember the moments and the excitement of the game. It was hands down the single most exciting and inspiring competition I have ever witnessed live and I am a competitive athlete myself (and the product of competitive athletes).
    I am moved and honored to have had the privilege to be in the presence of such dedicated and powerful athletes. I can’t talk today I am so hoarse from cheering – I couldn’t cheer loud enough! My little girl, like a sponge, absorbed all of my enthusiasm and was equally excited – she was literally physically vibrating as the athletes skated onto the ice.
    This morning I feel pride as well as hope. The support and open enthusiasm of the fans gives me immense hope that these games in Vancouver will raise the profile of the Paralympic sport movement as it so deserves. I am proud of my fellow Canadians for once again embracing visiting athletes from around the world and welcoming them so openly.
    I am proud of the Japanese men for their accomplished, skilled win but admittedly I am bursting with pride for the Czech men – their dogged determination, their skilled athleticism and their professionalism at the end of the game (despite their obvious disappointment) makes me want to hug them all! The power and the mental strength it must have taken for all of those athletes to get through that game! What a tough sport!
    The Japanese were a joy to watch but the Czech men’s team have won my heart. I sincerely hope that they felt welcomed, supported and appreciated for their outstanding efforts last night and that they heard that message loud and proud through all the cheering and waving of flags – for certainly, I tried my hardest to let them know!

    A proud new lifelong fan.

  5. ted logan says:

    just wanted to share this video. glad to see usa’s mainstream media following the upcoming tourney!

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/35834327#35834327

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  1. [...] may remember Jeff from earlier blogs.  Like his coverage of the paralympics, or that time he stopped breathing a few months ago and almost died, or where I explained that [...]



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