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Jayna Hefford on leading the league
Jayna Hefford is the rare athlete whose work post-competition threatens to overshadow a brilliant career. There’s a reason why the best player in the league wins the Jayna Hefford trophy each year. But Hefford’s work now goes to the core of almost every issue facing professional women in sport in Canada. As the head of the PHWPA, Hefford leads a group of the 200 best players in the game. They are demanding a living wage, decent support staff and facilities, more coverage and more attendance. Everybody has an opinion about what needs to happen to build a league that reflects the quality of the women's game. The hockey legend takes us through the latest in the struggle.
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Jennifer Jones pleads the fifth
Jennifer Jones, The Manitoba Skip, was recently named the greatest female curler of all time.This year she negotiated the biggest trade in Curling, bringing Lisa Weagle onto team Jones as a Fifth. Fans of the sport will be quick to ask: How much fire power can a team possibly have if Lisa Weagle is fifth curler? J-Jones answers that neatly. The true value of the fifth is best revealed at the Olympics...so why wait til the last second to build the team that is going for gold on the biggest stage? Jones also addresses her famous intensity, and helps us understand how being competitive can be compartmentalized. She insists that her focus on winning melts away when she’s off the ice. Fierce and friendly seems like an oxymoron, but she’s living proof it can happen.
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Christine Sinclair shares the full 10%
She is the all-time leading scorer in International Soccer. She is also a proudly private person. We learn some home truths about Christine Sinclair today. For one thing, shy does not mean unfriendly. Sinclair tells Anastasia Bucsis that she allows the public to glimpse 10% of her life. Sinclair reveals surprising backstories behind the unwanted fame that followed on her playing with a badly broken nose during World Cup 2011. And the reasons behind Janine Beckie taking that penalty shot vs Sweden in last year's world cup...and she goes deep on the relentless attention that came as she neared the goal scoring record. Did she celebrate that moment?...Umm. not really. She was busy. And exactly how does an introvert wear a C? With pride of course!
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Anxious times with Athlete Representative Diana Matheson
Player's Own Voice podcast records a carefully- distanced check in with Canadian soccer star Diana Matheson, who is thinking about the big picture role of sports during the COVID-19 upheaval.
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Live with Kristina Groves
When the COC came knocking- asking Anastasia Bucsis about running a live podcast for an audience of Canadian Olympians heading to Tokyo, the first question was: what is it we want to help athletes understand? The answer was 'Flow'. That quicksilver, dialed-in state where an athlete enters a focused zone of excellence. Flow is relaxed and alert, fast and unhurried. Steady amid the chaos. Very zen. For Anastasia, it was obvious who to call to work through the idea. Kristina Groves has four Olympic medals and a million world championship titles tucked somewhere under her spandex speed suits. She is one of the most consistent athletes Canada has even known. If anyone, by virtue of practice and habit, can summon that flow state of mind, Long Track Speed Skating phenom Kristina Groves' the one to do it. This edition of the Player's Own Voice podcast was a bit of an experiment. We liked the live feedback. We may try it again if we come across another captive audience. Meanwhile, we are still recharging the batteries and lining up our ducks for season three. We'll be back in full swing in a couple of months.
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Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes on how to build a winning team
As the NHL undergoes the long process of helping coaches and players figure out how to communicate without intimidation or prejudice, the league could do a lot worse than to listen and learn from Canada's reigning world champion beach volleyball duo of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes. The two-woman team and their coaches have managed to dominate the world's best in large part by working long and purposefully at learning how to respect one another, how to communicate properly in the heat of competition, how to allow junior voices to be heard without fear of senior reprisal, and most of all, how to generate a team environment in which the will to win eclipses the fear of making mistakes. The Canadians share the secrets of their quiet confidence with host Anastasia Bucsis, who concludes season two of the Podcast series with this story of a team which has every prospect and possibility of reaching the top of the podium in Tokyo.
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Pulling no punches with Stu Grimson
Stu Grimson's new autobiography is aptly called The Grim Reaper, but the book's subtitle – The life and career of a reluctant warrior – rounds out the picture of the infamous NHL enforcer. Grimson was a serious handful, a heavyweight who knew exactly how to flatten a foe in as few punches as necessary. But he is conflicted about that role - and much more proud of his leadership in the locker room and on the bench. The fact that Grimson liked using his noggin more than his knuckles became obvious once he got his law degree and started negotiating in NHL labour disputes. Host Anastasia Bucsis gets the NHL veteran talking about the main preoccupations of a heavyweight during the height of the enforcer years.
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Manny Osborne-Paradis' remarkable recovery
Manny Osborne-Paradis has been a mainstay of Canada's Downhill and Super G teams since way back in 2005. For an Alpine skier, that's an eternity. So it's kind of amazing to see how hungry Manny still is, 14 years later. Having a no-compromise drive to win at 35 years old is even more rare when we also consider that Manny is also a full year into recovery from an injury that almost cost him his left leg. A blunt assessment would be: he's old and he's banged up. But you still won't find anyone betting against a podium for the irrepressible Osborne-Paradis on any given day. There's a silver lining in all that rehab too, which is that instead of a year in competition, with all the nagging bumps, scrapes, tweaks and wear & tear on a skier's body, Osborne-Paradis has actually had twelve long months of rest and recovery. Athletes hate to admit it, but there's nothing quite like rest on the road to hitting new performance highs.
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Grey Cup thinking with Damon Allen
In the great Canadian conversation about sports and culture, hockey always elbows its way to the microphone. But if we want fresh insights about how this nation is wired…Player's Own Voice podcast thinks that the CFL has lots to teach us about ourselves. No better time to think about it than around Grey Cup week. And no one better to help us mull it over than one of the greatest players in the history of professional ball, Damon Allen. The American born prodigy left San Diego of all comfy home towns, for Edmonton…in March 1985 no less, and stayed with the CFL for 23 record shattering years. Host Anastasia Bucsis and the legendary quarterback kick around some ideas: Canada has cooked up a beautiful game with its CFL rules. Canadian football has deep history, hometown teams and athletes who locals can actually get to know and care about. Heck, if you are willing to pay the person who comes along to make sure you don't damage the thing, you can bring the actual Grey Cup to your next house party. But our game has long suffered in financial and media comparison to the NFL. Why should a Toronto football fan look to Buffalo? There's a million ways to try to understand the Canadian-American mindset. Or you could just settle in for one smart CFL – NFL conversation with the remarkable Mr. Allen.
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Brady Leman's mental game
Reigning Olympic Ski Cross Champion and multiple X-game and world cup medallist, Brady Leman is not one to cut corners in the gym. The man is a conditioned brick of muscle. But for such a physical specimen - Leman is a surprisingly devoted student of the mental game. Against the mayhem and injury of competition, Leman works at mindfulness, visualization, and meditation, and he is more convinced all the time that psychological training is what's driving his world-beating results. The literal calm amid the storm is what it's all about. Host Anastasia Bucsis gives Leman the conversational room to expand on his thinking about best mental practises for competitors. After that, she reminisces with her fellow Calgarian, about all the ways their home city supported developing winter athletes.
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Keely Shaw's torturous route to Tokyo
When she was fifteen years old, Keely Shaw had it all figured out. Hockey would be the through line on a life plan consisting of high performance competition, scouting, scholarships, Olympics…sky's the limit. So when the grade nine girl was thrown from her beloved horse while she was out on the prairies, sustaining brain injuries and partial paralysis, Shaw's first reaction was furious resentment at the sport that was suddenly denied to her. It took a few years, a tonne of discipline, and working through significant psychological setbacks, but Shaw has found high performance sport again. Shaw is a world class road and track paralympian cyclist now. And when she isn't pounding the pedals, she's also chasing her Ph.D. Believe it or not, Shaw is studying the performance benefits of dark chocolate at high altitude! The plan always was to be competing at Tokyo 2020, but Shaw just never imagined this particular path would be the one to take her there. Host Anastasia Bucsis meets the Canadian paralympian as she sets her sights on the next world championship races in Milton, Ont.
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Pierce LePage: 'Decathlon is easy — Video games are hard.'
Pierce LePage does not waste a lot of time second-guessing himself. Fresh off a strong debut at the IAAF World Championships in Decathlon in Doha, the young track and field star figures his fifth finish is a pretty good place to be at this stage in a career and Olympic cycle. The way he sees it, with some work on his throwing, he's got a path to a podium in Tokyo 2020. It's not the ambition that surprises with this phenomenal athlete. It's the chill attitude. So when LePage says his javelin and shotput are sub par, he says it with a chuckle, and he figures that with his height and wingspan…he's got the levers to be a throwing great eventually. It'll come when it comes. In the meantime, he's laying down 10.3 second 100 m dashes. At 6'7" that blazing speed looks surprisingly unhurried. Unhurried and unworried isn't such a bad way to go through a career, and with a long season of competition drawing to a close, LePage tells host Ansastasia Bucsis that it's time to take on a serious challenge anyway: The decathlete is a former pro video gamer... and he's fixing to spend the off season thumbs deep in League of Legends.
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Kirsten Moore-Towers on the leading edge
The 2019 Skate Canada grand prix underscores the new normal on the national figure skating scene. Today's skaters are younger, and to the casual fan, less familiar than the stars of recent vintage. With one exception: Kirsten Moore-Towers. The reigning Canadian Pairs champion is keenly aware that she alone has yet to retire from her star-studded generation. Does that make her wistful? Not at all. For 'KMT', it's all about being grateful to still be at the apex of her sport, still loving competition. She joins host Anastasia Bucsis to talk about the maturing athlete's changing relationships with coaches and partners. Kirsten is a fierce competitor on the ice, and a constantly thinking athlete the rest of the time. She has a growing desire to help shape the sometimes unhealthy body image (and eating disorder-prone) culture of her sport. Moore believes we can avoid the messaging that all too often accompanies rewarding female figure skaters for being lithe and lean and preformative in skimpy outfits. At the ripe old age of 27, the veteran has a plan to leave her sport better than when she found it.
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Act two for Dylan Moscovitch
Dylan Moscovitch enjoyed a long and storied career as a pairs figure skater, but he's in his early thirties now, and even though he's still a young man, he knew two years ago that he was done with competition. So Dylan did some reflecting: he had spent half a lifetime learning how to be an elite athlete. What could he do with those hard-won skills in act two of his life? Physical performance? Check. Ability to memorize, rehearse and sell gestures and moods? Check. He was comfortable in front of audiences and clusters of judges. He figured it out pretty quickly- he had nailed most of the core skills for professional acting. But as he says to host Anastasia Bucsis, there was an unexpected wrinkle. Athletes are trained to perform with confidence, while actors need to perform with vulnerability. How do you learn that? Reinventing yourself is what it's all about on this week's podcast.
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Donovan Bailey's props for parents
It is hard to think of a more famous 9.84 seconds in Canadian sports. It took a lifetime of confident concentration to bring sprinter Donovan Bailey to the line for the race that made him king of the world. This week, host Anastasia Bucsis explores self-assurance with Bailey. Without that confidence, track history could very well have been different. Bucsis and Bailey zero in on one race to talk it through, because the thing we may forget, looking back at his triumphant 100 metres in the 1996 Olympics, was just how agonising the race was for competitors. It took an eternity to get underway. False start followed false start. The disqualified Linford Christie even refused to clear the blocks for a while. But through it all, Bailey kept his composure and his certainty of victory. He gives full credit for that confidence to his parents. Which is not to say they were stroking his ego. On the contrary, when Bailey was breaking world records, his folks often didn't even choose to attend, and both loving parents maintained a cool attitude about their son's growing fame and accomplishments.
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Marnie McBean on a Mission
No Canadian has seen greater Olympic glory than Marnie McBean. But the rowing legend says one of her most memorable moments came at the Sydney games, where she was injured out of competition. The support she got from her fellow athletes and from Team Canada, changed her outlook dramatically, and made the Olympic movement the enduring focus of Marnie McBean's life. Canada's Chef du Mission for the Tokyo Olympics comes into studio to share her understanding of Olympic sport culture with host Anastasia Bucsis. Beyond the individual insights she has picked up from years of mentoring, McBean has invested serious thought in the areas where the Olympics struggle. How do host cities justify the cost of building so much infrastructure? What is the work that still needs to be done to keep athletes safely away from steroid use? Are we any nearer clarity in the shifting sands of gender and competition? The chat raises more questions than answers, but the questions matter if sustainable Olympic games are the goal.
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Rosie MacLennan on the rebound
Rosie Maclennan is the only person to have won back to back Olympic gold medals in Trampoline. The way she sees it, that's history. You can't change history, can't take it away, no matter what you do in the future. So when it comes to Maclennan's approach to Tokyo 2020, call it a threepeat if you want, but that won't change her plan of attack: to be the best she has ever been on trampoline. Which is not to say that Rosie makes light of her legacy. Maclennan is proud of the fact that a whole generation of young athletes joined the sport because of the example she set. She tells host Anastasia Bucsis about her work with Right to Play, The Gist, and other female sport initiatives. The involvement goes well beyond lending her name to good causes. Maclennan recently earned a masters degree, focusing on Athlete's rights and responsibilities, and she ploughs into the work with serious purpose. Maclennan is also extremely persuasive on the matter of physical literacy in Canada's schools. She's at the peak of her game, in every sense… The concussion-like injury of several years ago is no longer a problem and a recent foot fracture is healing nicely. Rosie has written about her recovery from injury for CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series.
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Sheldon Kennedy skating with a purpose
When Battle of the Blades contestants throw it down on the rink, they are not chasing personal riches. They are in it for their favourite charitable cause, which sounds like a perfect summary of Sheldon Kennedy's life work. The former NHL player, who is strapping on toe picks for the first time for BOTB, is quick to say his life and career was permanently scarred by the sexual abuse he suffered as a youth. Before Sheldon, nobody talked about coaches as predators. And, in fact, the silence surrounding the issue nearly killed him. But Sheldon Kennedy has changed the world, and his own life story, by advocating for victims and training more than one and a half million sport volunteers and workers to end the abuse. How's he doing now? Well, he's a new farmer and a new father and he's having fun on the new skates. Host Anastasia Bucsis checks in with that rare hockey legend whose greatest work is happening off the ice.
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Messing with Keegan
Keegan Messing is serious about having fun. His goal is Olympic gold in figure skating, but that doesn't stop him from dreaming up a new Olympic contest. His idea is three kinds of skaters — speed, hockey, and figures — all duking it out in tests of overall skating supremacy. Unlikely, but fun idea, right? He is no stranger to unlikely plans. Born in rural Alaska, in a home with no running water, a young Keegan watched a DVD of Canadian figure skating great Elvis Stojko and knew that a men's singles Olympic gold medal was exactly what he wanted. He quickly figured out that Team Canada was going to be his best way to get there and having a Canadian mother opened the eligibility door. Like many Alaskans, the 27-year-old is at home in the outdoors. He can fix his own cars and dirt bikes with the best of them. His career makes him a jet-setter, but his heart sings when he's way off the grid. What sets Messing apart is the power he brings to performance on the ice. Coming up in the Patrick Chan years, Keegan's intense strength and jumping ability almost feels like a throwback to a previous era. He is in the driver's seat now as Canada's top male skater. Working hard and having fun every step of the way.
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Why the Peloton smells so nice, or how to make peace with pain. Michael Woods on POV podcast
There are contradictions in most athlete's careers, but Canadian professional bike racer Michael Woods embodies a doozy. In the last year, he has posted career highlight results in the world's biggest races, even as he was battling injury and personal tragedy at home. Grand Tour racing is famously a sport whose athletes embrace suffering, but even so, Woods has found a way to harness setbacks and managed to train and race even harder through them. He gained the respect of thousands of racing fans, along with a lot of sympathetic winces with his performance at this year's Tour de France. He tells host, Anastasia Bucsis, that he picked up some of his mental techniques from Wayne Gretzky. He describes literal out of body experiences that he has had while winning some of the most gruelling mountain races in the world. Certainly a lot of years of punishing practice in the saddle and on the running track went into the mix as well. Those early years as a super elite track runner set Woods apart in other ways. For most of the peloton- winning a Tour de France is the dream …but as an early career runner- it's Olympic glory that fuels the fire for Michael Woods. Barring disaster- he has already marked a big X on his calendar for Tokyo in 2020. Oh- and about that nice smelling Peloton? Cologne. Plenty of it splashed around, especially on the Giro D'Italia. Who knew?
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Sam Edney slides into the future
Four time Olympian Sam Edney is Canada's best-ever male luger. He recently peeled off his speed suit for the last time, and is about to begin a new sporting career, as high performance manager for the national team. This week, even before doping concerns swirled around Canada's canoeing hopes, host Anastasia Bucsis and Sam Edney sat down to talk about how Russian doping had such a dismaying effect on Edney's peak competing years. His doping rollercoaster began with a disappointing fourth place team finish in Sochi. Three years later, temporary redemption came with the announcement that due to positive results on the Russian team, Canada would become bronze winners after all. The sucker punch was delivered mere days before the Pyeongchang winter Olympics, when that decision was reversed. The Canadian luge team strongly felt that they had been cheated of the same medal twice! But whatever else the eve-of-competition setback did to the team mindset, Edney and his teammates regrouped and raced to a Silver medal at the 2018 Olympics. Now, the new High Performance manager can look ahead. His focus is on development, of the new luge track in Calgary, and the new crop of Canadian hopefuls.
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A league on the line with Rebecca Johnston
Rebecca Johnston is eyeing a fourth trip to the Olympics. She has already helped deliver two golds and a silver medal. She has lived the experience from within as the pro game patiently built over the last ten years — but she has never seen a setback quite like the collapse of the CWHL. Host Anastasia Bucsis takes time with the all-star forward to talk about establishing one permanent, professional, equitable league. Having high quality refs, skate sharpeners on site, and some kind of broadcast schedule would be a nice bonus. As one of the premier players in hockey, Sudbury's Johnston has no shortage of ideas about the game's needs. As she sees it, away from the Olympics, and the Clarkson Cup, the women's game is played out in media silence. It is too easy to ignore what we cannot see or hear.
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Freestyling with Erica Wiebe
Erica Wiebe, Canadian Olympic wrestling champion, discusses the oddly isolating experience of stepping atop the podium, her newfound role as mentor to a generation of young women in the world's oldest sport, and her surprising reasons for avoiding a WWE career, despite the paycheque, her obvious fitness for the work, and an outsized personality that would seem to be tailor made for the theatrical ring.
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Cassie Campbell-Pascall reflects on her storied career
Cassie Campbell-Pascall has earned many milestones in Canadian sport. As Captain of Team Canada, she helped deliver some of the sweetest wins in national hockey history. She went on to make broadcast history as the first woman to do colour commentary for Hockey Night in Canada. Her career in the broadcast booth, like her time on the ice, is a story of big wins earned through hard work- and the occasional flash of lumber in the corners as required. Cassie sits down with host Anastasia Bucsis for a sweeping talk about the good ole hockey game, of course, but also about the challenges all women’s team sports face today. In Hockey, as in Soccer and Rugby, Canadian women are competing at the highest levels in the world- and so what are the steps that need to be taken to get their fan base, their money, their infrastructure, their leagues, fully on par with the men? The conversation goes deep into the one topic that is seemingly unavoidable in women’s team sports- which is that legendary, ornery, take-no-prisoners rivalry that fuels Canadian-American tilts. Campbell has a deeply funny but nuanced take on the grudge. It defined her time in the sport, and she admits it still bugs her badly when Americans win, but 13 years out of the game, she can socialise with her former foes now, but still. Ultimately, in a conversation that all athletes can relate to, Campbell-Pascall shares insights about the delicate business of retiring from sport and finding your way in the long second act of working life.
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Patrick Anderson is back in business
When he started playing wheelchair basketball, they called Patrick Anderson the Michael Jordan of his game. Mid career, that label changed to the Lebron of the wheelchair sport. He's back with the team at the Pan Am games, trying to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics this July… so do we call him the Kawhi Leonard of his sport now? Host Anastasia Bucsis asks Anderson about the burden of being an inspiration. How to respond to being recognized as the greatest of all time in his sport? As you might expect from a true champion- he deflects that with a great deal of finesse. For one thing- Anderson is not convinced that inspiration isn't a dirty word. With the injuries some paralympians have overcome- he is acutely aware that he risks being applauded just for getting out of bed. The trick for Patrick Anderson is in trying to play the sport like it's an art form. Devising and demonstrating a perfect play, competing at the highest possible level…that's where the athletic and the aesthetic can meet. Getting there is still what keeps Anderson motivated, gold medal after gold medal later. All paralympians have interesting back stories. Patrick Anderson fascinates for a dozen reasons. He's 39 now, playing for the record books again after five years away. His thoughts on returning to the game at its highest level? The challenge is not that he's getting older, it's that the entire sport has become much more competitive, harder, stronger and faster than it was even five years ago. As Anderson sees it, that is an excellent problem to have.
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Brooke Henderson's Family Business
Brooke Henderson is the most successful golfer in Canadian history. She's just 21 years old, but she has already won more majors than any other Canadian- an incredible nine tour victories to her credit since 2016. And despite the overwhelming attention that is always showered on star athletes, she is a remarkably poised and level-headed young woman. Anastasia Bucsis' guest on Player's Own Voice podcast this week attributes her composure to being surrounded by family to an unusual degree. Her dad is her coach, and her sister Brittany (a pro golfer in her own right) has been alongside her as caddy for all her biggest wins.
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Kaillie Humphries kicking butt and taking numbers
It's probably not an exaggeration to say that Canada has never had another athlete like Kaillie Humphries. The three time Olympian Bobsledder isn’t just a game-changing competitor, and ground breaking female pilot, she’s also a magnetic presence for fan fascination. Almost every aspect of her career and personal life attracts notice. Kaillie joins Host Anastasia Bucsis to talk about all the things that keep her at the top of sliding sports fans attention. First of all, there’s her relationship with brakeman Heather Moyse. They were not racing together at Pyeong Chang in 2018, but the partnership obviously still occupies a great deal of her introspection time. Kaillie calls brakeman-pilot relations ‘arranged marriages’ a description which works on many levels. Sled mates may be very different types, and love is not essential, but they are yoked together, and bonded in a common purpose. All has not been cool runnings for Humphries post 2018 Olympics, either. She slipped into a significant depression during the off season, which she is really only recently clawing her way out of. Humphries links the down turn to a harassment claim that she has launched against her sport federation. Humphries is always thoughtful about the matter of representation — as a fierce female in a traditionally all masculine sport. Sometimes she lets her tats do the talking, and when all else fails, there’s always, as she says, good old kicking ass and taking numbers on the track.
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The life unbalanced with Ghislaine Landry
Some early adversity is clearly a good thing, at least when it comes to Rugby. Ghislaine Landry, who is now the leading point scorer in world series history, was told time and again that she would never play international rugby. 'Too small', the experts told her. So much for the experts. Union and Sevens, Landry is one of the world's most dominant forces on the rugby pitch, compact stature and all. In this week's episode, Ghislaine joins host Anastasia Bucsis to celebrate the rugby player's victories and explores the idea that in sport, nothing comes for free. Beyond the constant demands of training and practise and international competition, how is a member of a centralised team even supposed to see family, let along achieve that mythical life balance? For Landry, it's about finding room for two loves: love of sport and love of family. And the silver lining? Time off is that much sweeter when there is so little of it in a regular season.
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Watching the World Cup with Diana Matheson
A history-creating guest. Midfielder Diana Matheson's stoppage time goal against France at the London Olympics in 2012 gave Canada a bronze medal. She backed that up with a second Olympic bronze at Rio. Matheson has more than 200 Caps with the Canadian National team. Four World Cups. Three Olympics. Team Canada since 2003. She plays professionally for the Utah Royals...and along the way she also picked up an economics degree from Princeton. There's a good news - bad news story in Diana Matheson's 2019 FIFA campaign. The bad news is, a foot injury has sidelined her for the duration of the tournament. The positive spin on that is she's freed up to provide expert colour commentary on the tournament, and help give viewers insights on Team Canada's mindset, throughout the World Cup.
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Tessa Virtue's ever-changing career
She’s half of Canada’s greatest Ice Dancing duo — the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history — but just because Tessa Virtue is gliding into a dazzling professional career, doesn't mean she has forgotten the highs and lows of Olympic competition. Nowadays, when she and skating partner Scott Moir and the cream of figure skating aren’t performing to packed houses, Tessa has advocacy work and endorsements and campaign partnerships; almost too many to name. Listen as Tessa and host Anastasia Bucsis discuss her greatest Olympic memories, her relationship with Moir, and the future of her ever-changing career.
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Brian Burke's Perseverance
Very few people can touch Brian Burke’s resume. The Hockey Night analyst was president of Hockey for the Calgary Flames, ran the Leafs, was GM for the Ducks, the Canucks, and Hartford Whalers. He led the U-S men’s team that took home a silver medal from the 2010 Olympics. Brian Burke is also a kind and charitable man with a hellacious temper. On this week’s POV podcast, Brian joins host Anastasia Bucsis to talk about the highs and lows of his career, the importance of advocacy, and his unwavering perseverance.
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Joannie Rochette on skating her way to med school
Figure skating can open a lot of career doors - but becoming a doctor? Olympic figure skater, Joannie Rochette, soon to be Doctor Rochette, says it's an easy fit. All those long, lonely hours of focus and practise set her up perfectly for the long lonely hours of studying in med school. On this week's POV, host Anastasia Bucsis and Joannie look back on the skater's glorious career - 2010 Olympic bronze, World silver medalist, Four Continents silver, Grand Prix Final bronze, six-time Canadian champion, and the moment that had Canadians holding their breath - when Joannie skated in Vancouver 2010, only a couple of days after her mother's fatal heart attack.
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Alexandre Despatie and youthful confidence
At only 15 years old, Alexandre Despatie took his first Olympic dive at the 2000 Games in Sydney. He placed fourth against some of the world's best, but when his excitement was met with media disappointment over a 'missed podium', Alexandre discovered that measuring up to his own standards was the most important thing. The lesson stuck with Alexandre as he went on to win two Olympic silver medals, become a nine time Commonwealth Game champion, and a 37 time Canadian National champion. Listen as he and POV host Anastasia Bucsis discuss avoiding the pitfalls of early success, overcoming disappointment, and knowing when to hang up the towel.
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John Fennell's CAN-AM perspective
John Fennell has made some tough choices during his career. The Luge athlete is a citizen of both Canada and the United States, and he has competed and trained for both nations. John has unique perspective on the differences between Canadian and American sport culture. He opens up to POV host Anastasia Bucsis about owning his life decisions, and the importance of not letting singular moments of success or failure define a career.
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Benoit Huot Retires
For some athletes, the decision to retire comes fairly quickly - but this was not the case for Benoit Huot. In fact, the famed Paralympic swimmer has been thinking about hanging up his towel for ten years. On this week's Player's Own Voice, Benoit opens up about his long and decorated career in which he won 20 Paralympic medals, was named a Member of the Order of Canada, as well as made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. Listen as he and POV host, Anastasia Bucsis discuss retirement, how Benoit stayed motivated throughout his storied career, and the continuing growth of the Paralympic movement.
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Mark Tewksbury on progress and problems in Olympic movement
It's been 25 years since Mark Tewksbury won gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, but the Calgary born swimmer remains at the heart of the Canadian Olympic movement today. His work as a public speaker and writer have inspired countless athletes, and Mark's voice has been a powerful addition to several athletes' causes, including Olympic reform and advocating for the rights of LGBTQ athletes. Listen as he and POV host Anastasia Bucsis discuss advocacy, LGBTQ visibility in sport, and the future of the Olympic movement.
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Caroline Ouellette on the future of women's hockey
Caroline Ouellette's hockey career is beyond impressive. The Montreal athlete is one of the very few in history to bring home gold medals from four consecutive Olympic games. Caroline's love of the sport extends far beyond her playing years - she coaches and mentors, and runs a network of hockey camps with fellow player Marie-Philip Poulin. Caroline shares her vision for the future of women's hockey with POV host Anastasia Bucsis, and she also describes how it felt to watch her teammates face off against the USA in Pyeong Chang, while sharing a couch with her partner - former team USA player, Julie Chu.
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Paige Lawrence on her rodeo roots
Even though figure skater Paige Lawrence competed at the Olympic level, she has never forgotten the lessons she learned growing up in a rodeo family in rural Saskatchewan. Among these lessons are her formidable work ethic, her resourcefulness, and her motto- 'safety third'. Listen as she joins host Anastasia Bucsis to discuss her difficult decision to retire, the importance of giving back to her small town community, and the artistry of figure skating.
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The best of Player's Own Voice
Player's Own Voice began with a simple goal- to interview world class athletes as human first, and athlete second. With the help of our growing base of listeners, this goal has been a resounding success. And as a thank you, we've compiled some of our favourite moments from the show so far, and included a few clips of what's to come in 2019!
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Cindy Klassen on her Record Breaking Career
She is undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes to come out of Canada. She's also notoriously shy around the media. Join Players Own Voice host, Anastasia Bucsis, and the Queen of Speed, Cindy Klassen, as they candidly hash-out an extraordinary career, through giggles, and an intimacy that is only found when old teammates reunite... over a piece of chocolate cake.
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Desiree 'The Destroyer' Scott opens up as the 2019 World Cup approaches
Desiree Scott is a two time Olympic bronze medalist, Zumba instructor, self-proclaimed "hopeless romantic", and yet, her nickname is "the destroyer". Desiree is undeniably one of the most physical players in the world of soccer, which helped her bring two Olympic bronze medals back to her hometown of Winnipeg. Although Desiree is fierce, she swears she leaves it on the field, and has a laugh when discussing her contrasting dispositions. There are layers to this Canadian midfielder, and Player's Own Voice host, Anastasia Bucsis, peels them back in this light and refreshing conversation.
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Curling up with Kaitlyn Lawes
Kaitlyn Lawes - Canada's first ever back to back Olympic curling champion - has become a world leading athlete in the sport. The two-time Olympic gold medallist won in Sochi 2014 with teammate Jennifer Jones, and won again in the sport's Mixed-Doubles debut in PyeongChang 2018 alongside John Morris. Listen as Kaitlyn and POV host, Anastasia Bucsis chat about The Olympics, their shared love of the ice, and some of the best players in the sport of curling.
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Jesse Lumsden on meaning and legacy
Jesse Lumsden's career has spanned the NFL, CFL, and three Olympic Bobsled campaigns. When people talk about being a pure athlete - he's what they mean. So it is kind of amazing to learn that one of Canada's most respected sportsmen, has been denied Super bowls, Grey cups, Vanier cups, and Olympic hardware. Does missing those big ticket team wins haunt him? Absolutely. But Lumsden points out - the absence of a victory does not mean the presence of a failure. As an athlete, his conscience is clean as can be. He has given himself every possible preparation and opportunity to succeed. If that sounds like he's saying the medals are not as important as the process of getting there... well, he probably is.
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Silken Laumann on the importance of mental health in sport
Despite having retired from competition over 20 years ago, Olympic rower Silken Laumann remains a major voice in the world of sport. Since retiring, Silken has advocated for a greater focus on mental health amongst athletes. Listen as Silken and POV host Anastasia Bucsis have a frank and honest conversation about their own struggles, and discuss why it's so hard for athletes to talk about mental health.
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Kaitlyn Weaver on turning setbacks into successes
Kaitlyn Weaver is one of Canada's most celebrated figure skaters. But the three time world champion, two time Canadian champion, and two time Olympian's road to success hasn't always been a smooth ride. Kaitlyn and her partner, Andrew Poje, missed being on the Canadian Figure Skating Team Event that won gold at PyeongChang - but turned the disappointment around almost immediately with killer performances at the worlds. Listen as Kaitlyn opens up about the highs and lows of her career, how she finds motivation in the setbacks, and what Canada has come to mean for the American born skater.
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Jillian Saulnier makes history
Jillian Saulnier - alongside her teammate Blayre Turnbull - became the first two women from Nova Scotia to play Olympic hockey, bringing home a silver medal at the 2018 winter games in PyeongChang. In this week's episode of POV, Jillian opens up about the humbling nature of her Olympic journey, what her medal means to her, and how a mix of "adrenaline and tape" allowed her to remain on the ice despite a torn MCL.
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Georgia Simmerling triple threat
Alpine skiing, skicross, and track cycling - Vancouver's own Georgia Simmerling has mastered them all. She is the first Canadian to compete in three different Olympic sports at three separate Olympic Games. But Georgia's story goes deeper than just being a multi-sport talent. She has bounced back from medieval injuries, including broken legs, a broken back, and a bit-off tongue! Listen as Georgia opens up about her seemingly never ending recovery, and what keeps her returning to sport and competition.
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The once and future Patrick Chan
Patrick Chan- the figure skater whose athleticism and artistry defined a generation, talks about how his mindset made all the difference in his performances. 'Sports makes you live in the moment' is just one of the lessons Patrick says that his career has drummed into him. Bonus content: He and Anastasia also share a laugh about the time he did an axel wearing Anastasia's mum's dull old hockey skates.
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The Greggs- How success runs in the family
Dr Randy Gregg, Captain of Hockey's Team Canada, met olympian speed skater Kathy Vogt at the Lake Placid games. Together they have raised three more incredible athletes, and coached countless others to Olympian heights. So what are the secrets to nurturing a genetic gift...and raising kids to be the best- and best adjusted- athletes they can be? This family has done everything right. Nobody's preaching here, but there's wisdom that any parent could use.
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Julie Chu's Can-Am hockey household
The former captain of Team USA, Julie Chu has an unbelievable four olympic campaigns under her belt. Despite the ferocious rivalry between Canada and USA - Chu and Montreal's Caroline Oullette have a daughter together, and an agreement to compartmentalize that one international grudge. Chu shares wise perspective on the women's game, and its winning fight for fair treatment and compensation.
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Stephanie Labbe lays it on the line
One of Canada's greatest net keepers won't let penalties or politics pass her without a fight. Labbe had the chops for the premiere development league but got barred by a men-only ruling. So the Canadian national player moved to the top Swedish pro league, where she's thriving, thanks. Want to know her secret strategy for world cup 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics? It's right her.
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Richmond Champion's wildest ride
In a sport where money is literally the measure of success, this rodeo star's life changed the instant he won a cool million bucks in a single day's competition. The young bareback rider suddenly had to cope with expectations and pressures to perform like never before. Meantime- Rodeo itself is in transition. Sorta like golf, it has suddenly become the arena of very fit athletes, and more and more sponsor dollars are sloshing around. But if wild horses can't throw Richmond off...neither should physical trainers and accountants. He and Anastasia talk about the rodeo life, career cowboys and the slippery allure of a Texas accent.
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Gilmore Junio, Speedskater, on making big bold choices... and living with them.
His speed on the Oval ought to be enough for everyone, but Gilmore Junio's big choices are what sets him apart for Canadian fans. He seemed to embody everything good about the Olympian ideal in 2014, when Junio elected to give up his own qualifying spot to teammate Denny Morrison, in order that his friend could race for a medal. More recently, Junio's decision to take his training to Norway after years of working in the Canadian system raised eyebrows too. Gil's fine with that. The question now is what bold choices does the future hold?
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Eric Radford, Figure skater, breaking ice for the next generation
The Gold medal winner had no idea he was the first openly gay man to take top honours at a Winter Olympics. Eric takes Anastasia back to his early teen years in Northern Ontario, and his puzzlement: why was he being bullied at the rink? He just wanted to excel at his sport! Quiet determination was his method then, and it still serves him well today.
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Ben Hebert on small team chemistry
Olympian lead curler Ben Hebert takes a back seat to none when it comes to speaking his mind. Sure, that chirpy tendency will get him kicked out of beer league hockey games, but it also makes him a hilariously honest friend. Ben and Anastasia have a meeting of the minds on the subject of competing at the highest level, and being driven athletes who also need to find a place off the ice in regular society.
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Tessa Bonhomme with an inside take on the greatest rivalry in modern hockey.
Tessa Bonhomme has killed at every sport she ever played, but hockey is where she shone brightest. A pro in the CWHL and a national team defense player, Bonhomme helped Canada win Gold over the USA. Her on-ice arsenal includes a knack for chirping, and that wit serves her well talking and reporting hockey at TSN. Tessa and Anastasia huddle to talk about life inside the crazy intense competition of Canada-USA women's hockey. There are layers within layers of rivalry between those two teams, and we peel back a few of them today.
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Chris Mosier, groundbreaking American Trans athlete
The first openly Transgender athlete on a U.S. national team- Chris Mosier is a duathlete, triathlete and role model for a generation of LGBTQ2S competitors. He and Anastasia explore questions of gender equality, and steroid use- issues that are testing sport governing bodies come to the fore in Chris' career. And his perspective on male privelege should give everyone pause for thought.
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Scott Moir on romantic and performance partnerships
As Scott puts it, being in a relationship with an Olympian is not so peachy. The winningest figure skater in Canadian History manages yet another delicate dance in this conversation... Scott recounts, among other things, how he negotiated relationships in his personal life at the same time that he was being judged for the performance of a relationship on the ice with Tessa Virtue. He's genuinely funny in the way he describes things, but Scott's situation makes you think.
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Anastasia Bucsis, host of Player's Own Voice podcast, tees up a quick selection of excerpts from her chats with figure skater Scott Moir, Hockey player and broadcaster Tessa Bonhomme, and curling lead Ben Hebert.
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