Canada Athletes pivot from sting of Tokyo honouring Canada's frontline workers with art
Bach: Don't want an Olympia “behind closed doors”
© Jean-Christophe Bott / KEYSTONE / dpa Can't imagine Olympia without a spectator: IOC boss Thomas Bach. The International Olympic Committee absolutely wants to avoid summer games without spectators in Tokyo in 2021. "Olympic Games behind closed doors is something we don't want," said IOC President Thomas Bach after an executive meeting in Lausanne.
Confusion turned to smiles when Vancouver emergency room nurse Steff McLean opened a package from rower Maxwell Lattimer.
Inside the box was a painting of a gold Maple Leaf on a red background.
A letter enclosed from Canadian Athletes Now informed McLean the painting was his in recognition of his work on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic at Vancouver General Hospital.
"I just kept smiling and felt very appreciated," McLean said.
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Found unconscious at his home in Tokyo, the Japanese comedian, only 30, is said to have ended his life, according to police. © 2015 FUNimation Found unconscious at his home in Tokyo, the Japanese actor, only 30 years old, is said to have died by the police. Only thirty years, fifty films and series to his credit and a career as a solo singer which had just begun. Haruma Miura was promised a bright future. But the Japanese actor’s life came to an abrupt end on Saturday.
"It felt like a grand gesture to be receiving something and for someone to be appreciative of the hard work we do."
Lattimer, who rowed for Canada in the 2016 Olympic Games, nominated his brother's boyfriend to receive it because of their conversations about McLean's work experiences during the pandemic.
"It really speaks to what it means to be a frontline worker because you put others before yourself throughout an entire day," Lattimer explained. "Patient care is the thing he's most passionate about."
Lattimer would have been on the Canadian team walking into Friday's opening ceremonies of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics now postponed to 2021 because of the virus.
Redirecting a painting he might have received himself to McLean gives Lattimer perspective on that disappointment.
Internal 2019 report alleges racial discrimination within Iowa athletics
An internal report from 2019 on Iowa's athletic programs outlined several allegations of racial discrimination against Black student-athletes, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. The allegations include "inequitable discipline policies, verbal harassment and an expectation to conform to white culture," Rittenberg writes. The full report, authored by Iowa's athletics diversity task force, was published Monday by Hawkeye Nation. The task force interviewed 24 current and former Iowa athletes (15 Black athletes, nine white athletes), along with coaches, staff members, and administrators.
"I think it will help me look at 2020 without any sort of regrets or bad memories," Lattimer said. "I'll think about living through an experience the whole world had to deal with."
Fifty frontline workers nominated by athletes have received the paintings so far. The artist hopes many more get them.
Jane Roos is the fundraising juggernaut behind Canadian Athletes Now, or Canfund, which has raised $40 million in private-sector donations since 2003 for athletes.
Her Maple Leaf paintings are one of the organization's fundraisers.
Donors buy the art for themselves or to give to an athlete.
Many Olympians and Paralympians have Maple Leaf paintings hanging on their walls.
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games postponed, Roos told athletes to choose a person on the frontlines of the pandemic to receive a painting.
"We still want to fundraise for athletes," Roos said. "Because we have this large inventory, I felt there was nobody else I'd rather give them to right now than frontline workers."
Olympic rowing champ McBean reminds athletes that they're writing their story
TORONTO — Marnie McBean has a message for Canada's Olympic athletes: however they navigate these turbulent times will be part of a story they'll tell for the rest of their lives. Friday marks one year out from the opening ceremonies of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, and the three-time Olympic gold medallist in rowing and Canada's chef de mission for Tokyo, wrote a letter to the Canadian team. "I can't help but wonder: What is today? Is it a recognition of a missed year? Or a celebration of one year out? Either way, it's part of your story," McBean wrote.
On the eve of her departure for Victoria to join the women's rugby sevens team, Britt Benn presented sister-in-law Emily Benn with a painting at a family barbecue in Napanee, Ont.
Emily Benn is a social worker at Lennox and Addington County General Hospital.
"I told her the history behind it and how Jane makes them herself, how there are donors who purchase the paintings to support athletes in Canada," Britt said.
"She's not only my sister-in-law, but she's my best friend too. I know she's putting herself at risk every day for people's needs and demands."
Said Emily: "There's always a lot of pride I have when I'm talking about her. It's been inspiring to watch her chase this dream.
"It was a nice moment in time to have that pivot for me, for her to say 'you know what? It's pretty cool what you're doing too.'"
Canadian softball player Erika Polidori of Brantford, Ont., is a nurse who returned to work during the pandemic at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ont.
She nominated younger sister Andrea, an oncology nurse at Toronto's The Hospital for Sick Children, who received the unexpected package in the mail.
"I was just so taken aback in the best possible way to be recognized by her like that," Andrea said. "She's a nurse so she gets that aspect as well."
Erika hoped to make her Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer, but says public health and safety comes first.
"Plans change, but the goal is still the same," Erika said. "It's really important just to keep things in perspective for sure.
"These paintings might not find a home with the athletes in the next coming weeks, but to be able to give them a good home and I think a very deserving home was a really wonderful spin to the original idea."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2020.
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Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
Olympic organizers are considering a “limited number of viewers” .
Cologne. The Organizing Committee of the Tokyo Olympics is considering staging in front of a limited audience due to the corona pandemic. The organization manager Toshiro Muto explained in the BBC interview. © --- The inscription “Tokyo 2020 + 1” lights up on the Skytree broadcasting tower. When asked about a complete exclusion of viewers, he said that IOC President Thomas Bach "was not looking for this scenario".