September 2010 Archives

Confessions of a chiroptophobic

As a girl who likes to get manicures, doesn't like to get dirty, and is extremely chiroptophobic (that means I'm afraid of bats - really, if there is a bat anywhere near me, I will hit the deck!) I feel like Delhi may be one of my biggest challenges yet. But if I'm able to handle any uncomfortable situations that I may experience next week, it will make me not only a better athlete, but also a better person.

So bring it on, Delhi. I'm ready for some character development!

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Bring on the pain

"Respect your pain, but don't let it govern you."

Those are the wise words of my dad, and I've learned to tell the difference between bad pain and good pain, and to push the limits of enduring the latter.

Every girl in the Commonwealth Games pool will be dealing with some kind of pain. Time to find out who can handle it the best.

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Just dive and bear it

Injuries to athletes are like the plague. No one wants to hear the news that they can't compete because of some injury. 

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So far, luck's been on my side

It's just over a week to go until the Commonwealth Games swim meet starts, and Delhi is still getting bad press.

In order to combat any negative thoughts that dare to sneak their way into my psyche, I am focusing on everything that, so far, has been going right for me.

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A smoking gun to my (non) Indian-ness

I loaded the rifle. It was smooth and cool to the touch, a combination of metal and carbon that felt solid in my hands.

I propped the butt of the gun in my armpit and focused on my target. Through the magnified viewfinder, the black dot ten meters away was still only a few millimeters wide. And with every heartbeat, my crosshairs did figure eights along the wall around it.

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The original Fight Club

MUMBAI, INDIA - My last posting was about extremes, and this posting about finding Kalaripayattu, one of the world's oldest martial arts, in one of Mumbai's newest and most exclusive neighbourhoods, follows suit.

The glistening towers of Hiranandani Gardens, made famous by the Slumdog Millionaire movie, are surrounded by neatly trimmed parks and lofty palm trees. It seems hardly the place to take a dip into India's ancient past.

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The show must go on ... I hope

Even though there has been so much discouraging news about the state of the impending Commonwealth Games there remains one fact. Too many athletes have worked too hard for far too long for these games.

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Delhi: To go, or not to go? That is the question

I have to admit I never thought it would come to this.  

In my first blog entry in this series I lamented how India has always eluded me. Now, she seems to be trying her best to do it again: engineering failures, incomplete residences, flooded streets and an outbreak of dengue fever to name a few of her tactics.  

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Don't judge India on Delhi debacle

I see India in extremes. The food here can rival the best in the world and also land you in a hospital bed. Rice paddies surround world-class business complexes, the highways are shared by both BMWs and donkey carts, and McDonalds restaurants pop up around the most revered old shrines.

The rich and the poor. The urban and the rural. The corrupt and the idealistic. You get modern and middle age within a kilometre, within a block, within a sentence. And fittingly, you either love India or you hate it.

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Deep in the heat of Texas

There's nothing like a trip to Texas to get prepared for the Delhi heat.

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Removing the obstacles

"Lalbaug Ganpati jana hai." I directed the taxi driver, a chubby and jovial man with thick eyebrows and a thicker mustache, towards Mumbai's celebrated Ganesh idol.

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Finding balance between my two passions

I mentioned in my last entry that I had created some promotional artwork for an upcoming race. Illustration is my other equal passion alongside athletics.

Free time is hard to come by, but when I get some I like to spend it creating art. I have equally high ambitions in that field.

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Why athletes date athletes

I'm engaged. It happened a few weeks ago while I was in Russia visiting my fiancee. She's also an elite athlete - she won a silver medal in diving at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

I get asked all the time why athletes date other athletes. In my opinion, it all comes down to support.

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Waiting for India

"Wait," the visa personnel at the Indian High Commission in Nairobi told me, shooing me away with his gold and ruby-encrusted fingers.

But frankly I had waited (semi-) patiently for two days in the dilapidated office surrounded by lopsided 1980s tourist photographs, and I wasn't sure how much more "wait" I had in me. Getting a journalist visa to cover the Commonwealth Games was proving harder than I imagined.

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Are the Delhi Games safe?

Security is always a concern at any major event. I know some critics of this year's Commonwealth Games have harped on the issue of security in their rants about Delhi.

But going to India to compete for Canada is an amazing opportunity. I don't want to miss out on that. We just need to be cautious and smart.

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Celebrate Sports Day in Canada with me

A new Canadian tradition will begin on Saturday. It's a chance for Canadians of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate together throught one of the world's favourite pastimes: sports!

Sports Day in Canada is the brainchild of three organizations that have come together to support all levels of sport, from the grassroots beginner all the way up to the Olympic medallist. The CBC, TrueSport and ParticipACTION have joined forces to help communities recognize the power of sport and how it supports healthy lifestyles, builds social bonds and strengthens our national spirit.

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At home in front of thousands of people

As a kid, I think I imagined competing in big events so many times that, when I'm actually there, it doesn't feel as strange as it should. Instead, I just feel a rush of adrenaline and a drive to succeed. I'm right at home in a stadium filled with thousands of people.

I've been training hard to make the Commonwealth Games successful, and I'm aiming for nothing less than the top. I'll be extremely disappointed with anything less than a podium finish in Delhi.

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Destinaton: Delhi

When I think about India, the land of my forefathers, images of coloured fabrics, roadside (overly spicy) foods, booming call centres and whimsical Bollywood movies come to mind.

I don't generally associate India with raging athletic prowess. Besides the country's cricket team, a handful of wrestlers and a couple of wealthy shooters (with their own private shooting ranges), India rarely makes an impact on the international scene.

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Will Delhi be ready?

We're now less than a month away from the opening ceremony for the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and the question of whether or not the city will be ready is again in the headlines.

While in Paris last week for the badminton world championships, I took the opportunity to ask two of my friends from the Indian team what they thought.

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From Edmonton to Idaho to India

Hello, everybody. I suppose an introduction is in order. My name is Angela Whyte. My game? Track and field. More specifically, I run the 100-metre hurdles.

I have the privilege to be on Canada's 2010 Commonwealth Games team. In case you don't know, the Commonwealth Games will be held in Delhi, India from Oct. 3 through Oct. 14. So I have less than a month to go.

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It all started with a mistake

I'm 25 years old and have been diving for 16 years. This past May I graduated from Texas A&M University as the winningest athlete in school history with 11 Big 12 conference titles. I'm about to represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games.

Funny thing is, it all started with a mistake.

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