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Player's Own Voice podcast: Nick Wammes and Sarah Orban are thoroughly social cyclists

Canadian cyclists Sarah Orban and Nick Wammes take social media to extraordinary lengths to give their followers unusual access to their sport.

Thoroughly Social Cyclists, Nick Wammes and Sarah Orban

In sports, as in High School, there’s the popular crowd and there’s everyone else, and crossing between those two worlds is not easy. Nick Wammes and Sarah Orban, track Cyclists on the Canadian National Team, are doing their best to rig the vote in that popularity contest. The pair of them, partners on and off the track, lean hard into social media, to draw attention to their discipline for those 206 weeks of every four year cycle when their sport is not enjoying Olympic audiences. It’s a blurry line- showing the world as much as they can from inside the velodrome, the gym, and their personal life, without actually giving away any tactical, strategic secrets from their Daily Training Environment. Talking with Anastasia, Nick and Sarah unpack the grueling ordeal that is Olympic qualifying in their sport. It’s an unusually long, 18 month process, with seven different mandatory race events. That’s two Continental Championships, one World Championship and four Nations Cups, for anyone scoring along at home. And while it is still not a certainty that either or both of them will be representing Canada in Paris next summer, fans and folllowers can at least be sure of inside access to their process.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Celebrating with hockey trailblazer Luke Prokop

Luke Prokop was only 19 years old when he made pro sports history. A year after the Nashville Predators picked him in the 2020 NHL draft, Prokop told his team, his sport, and the wider world that he was gay. He is the first player under NHL contract to do so.

Out and About with Luke Prokop

Luke Prokop was only 19 years old when he made pro sports history. A year after the Nashville Predators picked him in the 2020 NHL Draft, Prokop told his team, his sport, and the wider world that he was gay. He is the first player under NHL contract to do so. This season, he has also bumped up to playing plenty of AHL games, making him the first out gay player at that level, one step away from the top team. So- how’s it going, in a sport that has never been at the forefront of inclusion? So far: Excellent! No stupid chirps from opponents, nothing but support from within the organization, and a heart-warming flow of encouragement from big names and journeymen, on and off the ice. Prokop has reason to praise his organization. Tennessee is a conservative state, and there is a sizeable chunk of the fanbase who would rather not see pride nights for the Predators. But those nights happen in Nashville, because the team owners believe the game is supposed to be for everyone. Perhaps the only downside for the 6’6” defenseman is that, being the one and only known gay man in professional hockey, he is requested to speak on inclusion in sports, all the time. As Prokop summarizes for Anastasia, that can be a distraction. Once in a while, the lifelong hockey player is grateful to just shut up and skate! The thing is though, Prokop loves his sport so much, he’s willing to help in whatever ways are needed for the greater good of the game, even if it does perhaps get in the way of his own career. No one wants to be remembered as ‘the gay NHL guy’ and Prokop’s honest desire, is that with time and a little luck, he’ll be celebrated for nothing but his on ice heroics.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Laurence St-Germain's win for the ages

Slalom world champion Laurence St-Germain discusses her sport, her studies, her team, her community, and her international competition. The skier from St. Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., is on a roll.

Laurence St-Germain's win for the ages

In February of this year, Laurence St-Germain delivered a fantastic wake up call to the world’s best skiers. She won the slalom gold medal at the 2023 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel and Méribel, France. Established greats like Mikaela Shiffrin were both startled and delighted to see the friendly Canadian win her first podium on an international circuit. Other nations can be forgiven for not seeing this one coming: it has been 63 years since the last Canadian woman won the slalom world championship. Alpine history buffs take note, the previous Canadian champ was Anne Heggtveit in 1960. St-Germain settled in for a chat with Anastasia,, just as the new Alpine season was getting underway. The great news is that St-Germain has continued her hot streak. She has now finished in the top 10 in three of the last five World Cup slaloms dating back to last season. Along with ski jumper Alexandria Loutitt, St-Germain won the 2023 Prix commémoratif John Semmelink Memorial Award. That’s athlete of the year for snow sports, and also a recognition of excellent conduct and citizenship. St-Germain is justly proud of her off-snow work too- acting as an ambassador for several worthy health and wellness causes. This is her first season as a part time student- having previously raced while taking a full course load for her computer science degree. She’s following that up now with biomedical studies, with an eye to perhaps combining all that knowledge in the field of prosthesis design. When talk turns to many recent successes enjoyed by the Canadian Alpine team, St-Germain sees a pattern. All the strong performances lately have come from athletes who, like herself, have endured their ups and downs, but have been afforded the time and patience to develop. As she says, 15-year old phenoms like Mikaela Shiffrin will always be with us…but playing the long game for everyone else, the merely extremely talented skiers, has made all the difference in Canada's results.

Player's Own Voice podcast: American great Hilary Knight helps launch a league

Hilary Knight, world and Olympic champion, captain of Team USA, discusses the historic creation and looming debut of the Professional Women's Hockey League.

Hilary Knight

Season seven of Anastasia’s long-running passion project kicks off with Hilary Knight, captain of the US national hockey team, world and olympic champion, the face of the American women’s game, and from a Canadian perspective, public frenemy number one. Knight dekes around all the old Can-Am rivalries talk and focusses instead on the game-changing debut of the Professional Women’s Hockey League. She was instrumental in the process that finally landed a truly professional environment for the best of the best in women’s hockey. The on-ice action deserves all the attention, but behind the scenes, Knight has plenty to say about the many elements that have been pulled together for the good of the game. Wages, health insurance (which is especially critical for the American players), proper facilities, home and away accommodations, training, fitness and medical staffing, it is a long and heartening list of wins for the PWHL player’s association. Excited as Knight is for the inaugural season, and confident as she is that her Boston team will be heading to the championship, it is the second year that she’s really looking forward to. The coming intake of new, young, top talent into the established league? That’s what it’s all about for the veteran leader. And just in case those subjects seem too wholesome to be entertaining, Anastasia also questions Knight on her well-earned reputation for pulling pranks. We’re not going to spoil the punchline, but most of her teammates have learned never to follow Knight into a bidet-equipped washroom. As the PHWPL inches closer to that historic first puck drop, there’s no better way to get a feel for the personalities who are driving the women’s game to greatness on this continent.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Boston Celtics great Robert Parish in quiet control

CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice podcast chats with the record smashing NBA centre. The big man was as famous for his stoic silence as he was for his enduring efficiency.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Para swimmer Tammy Cunnington shares life lessons

Tammy Cunnington, with a multi-sport career as a Para athlete, ended up best known for her late-blooming swimming career in the Paralympics.

POV podcast transcript: Tammy Cunnington

Canadian para swimmer and public speakerTammy Cunnington chats with Anastasia Bucsis about her multi sport upbringing...her eventual settling on paralympic swimming...and her practical strategies for dealing with life's vicissitudes.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Justina Di Stasio in a class of her own

Justina Di Stasio whose Olympic dreams have so far been thwarted by the sole Canadian roster spot going to teammate Erica Wiebe- continues to excel at international tournaments- and continues to believe her Olympic moment awaits

POV podcast transcript: Justina Di Stasio

Canadian wrestling phenom Justina Di Stasio chats with Anastasia Bucsis about having to outwrestle her olympic gold medallist teammate Erica Wiebe- her teaching career on the side- and her steady determination to represent her Italian-Cree heritage as authentically as possible

Player's Own Voice podcast: One of world's top wheelchair rugby players also champions accessibility

Wheelchair rugby national team veteran Zak Madell blends competitive nature, creativity, architectural technology study, and deep passion for accessibility. Madell's formula wins hearts and minds on and off the field of play.

POV podcast transcript: Zak Madell

One of world's best Wheelchair rugby players chats with Anastasia Bucsis about his drive to build better accessibility for all. The competitor on the rugby court is an architectural technology buff off the court- passionate about designing smarter buildings and spaces for everyone.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Wheelchair basketball team leader Tara Llanes on safe sport then and now

Wheelchair basketball national team co-captain Tara Llanes talks about inclusion, opportunity, and figuring out how to practice safe sport on a team of teenagers and veteran athletes alike.

POV podcast transcript: Tara Llanes

The Co Captain of the Canadian women's national wheelchair basketball team chats with Anastasia Buscis about a lifelong passion for multiple sports and the challenges of negotiating safe sport as it is understood by veteran and rookie athletes.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Chuck Swirsky's Raptors revisited

CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice podcast chats with Chuck Swirsky, who called the first 10 years of the Toronto Raptors' history, and has kept a close eye on the team ever since.

POV podcast transcript: Chuck Swirsky

The Toronto Raptors' original play by play voice chats with Anastasia Buscis about a career devoted to the understanding and description of professional sports in general and the NBA game in particular.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Former CFL pro Konrad Wasiela tackles esports career

CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice podcast chats with Konrad Wasiela, CFL cornerback who has transitioned to running esports business.

POV podcast transcript: Konrad Wasiela

The CFL player turned Esports entrepreneur talks about the many ways that electronic games are reshaping the sports world in real life.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Waneek Horn-Miller, Canada's ultimate coach

CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice podcast chats with Waneek Horn-Miller, activist, athlete, advocate for Indigenous sport, and now a coach on the CBC program, Canada's Ultimate Challenge.

POV podcast transcript: Waneek Horn-Miller

The Olympian, activist, coach, and champion for Truth and reconciliation talks about progress in sport and her new role in reality television.

Player's Own Voice podcast: Hammer thrower Camryn Rogers no stranger to breaking records

CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice podcast chats with the record-smashing hammer thrower Camryn Rogers about her game plan for the next 11 years.

POV podcast transcript: Camryn Rogers

The phenomenally talented young Canadian Hammer Thrower talks about her mom, her coach, and several other positive influences in her skyrocketing athletic career.