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Sochi 2014: At the Olympic Winter Games and ready for sport

Posted on by Callum Ng in Olympic, Uncategorized, Writing | 3 Comments

Sochi Olympics

Floating on a plane to Sochi, by way of Frankfurt and well, since it can’t be that easy, Moscow too. 23 hours of travel began with a delightfully unhelpful woman at check-in. And the soupy stew from the fancy iPad-lined bar near the gate was worse than my awful cooking. And it’s making my stomach turn as we bobble through the air on a decently uncomfortable flight.

And yet I live for this.

I’ve been grinning ever since I caught my breath in the cab to the airport. We left just on time, with sacs full of cameras and microphones, lights and computers. I brought some clothes too, but not many, I needed room for a GoPro.

I’ve been asked about my thoughts on covering an Olympic Winter Games, usually rhetorically. Frankly, I don’t have anything useful to respond with. Other than to mirror the positivity of the inquirer and be thankful for their support. Which I am…appreciative that people care about what I do, and thankful I have this opportunity.

But I won’t pretend the Olympic Games aren’t complicated. Sochi will cost more than all of Apple’s projected revenues this quarter. The host country has drawn the attention of international media, for plenty of non-sport reasons. The host city is always mispronounced.  It’s SO-CHEE. (I’m 99% sure). And people wonder: is the place safe?

I think some of these anxieties, whether mentioned above or not, are just part of the Olympic microscope. Every Games has its set. And we fret and fret. But plenty of folk want it to go smoothly. Of course there are different motivations for why.

And maybe a close look at some not so perfect places is a good thing. Perhaps we can be bold enough to think it will help. I just also hope that the reason we’re here shines brightest. To watch athletes perform. And although they have different flags on their backs, for a moment in time we can fixate on the performance. And forget everything else.

Who knows, maybe that idea gets lost in the spectacle. But its possible sport itself will win, and as long as it’s in the running I’ll spend countless hours researching, writing, tweeting, producing, shooting, hosting, editing, whatever -ing it takes to show just a little bit of what happens when sport does, and nothing else.

Follow my coverage at Olympic.ca including live coverage, stories and video.

Photo: CP Images

OLYMPIC.CA: #WeAreWinter films are a bold take on our most defining season

Posted on by Callum Ng in Olympic, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

We all know winter.

She spouts wisps of her essence through cracks in autumn’s resolve, before rising at once, to invade the damp decay.

When winter arrives, it’s here to stay. And we settle in, not just to survive but to thrive in spite. And I’d dare say we do. Some even relish the season. Who hasn’t taken a slicing blast of wind that hurts like a hard slap, licked your lips and through a half-smile thought, “Is that all you got?”

CONTINUED AT OLYMPIC.CA

 

Olympic.ca: Hamilton Ticat star chasing Grey Cup & Olympic glory

Posted on by Callum Ng in Olympic, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

samgiguere

When the 101st Grey Cup begins this Sunday in Regina, it’ll feature one man with very special extra experience.

Not long ago Hamilton Ticats wide receiver Sam Giguère was at a tough place in his football career. It was the end of 2011 and the New York Giants had just sent him home, officially ending his fourth attempt to make the NFL. Giguère was also injured, he tore his groin while with the Giants.

Continued at Olympic.ca

Olympic.ca: How to face ‘change’ like an Olympian

Posted on by Callum Ng in Olympic, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

By: Callum Ng, originally appeared at Olympic.ca

There isn’t one particular trait that leads someone to become an Olympian.

The athletic marvels at each Winter or Summer Olympic Games result from the collection of many human abilities, of the body and the mind. A lot of effort is put toward explaining what happens at an Olympic Games. But well before the Opening Ceremony, there is the slow forging of the spirit we see manifested at the Games.

Every athlete goes through a unique combination of experiences on the way to the biggest stage. What does it take? Who does it create? These are compelling questions to which Canada’s best athletes themselves might well have some answers found in their own distinct stories.

CONTINUED AT OLYMPIC.CA

Olympic.ca: How to be great in 365 days: Tennis anyone?

Posted on by Callum Ng in Olympic, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

 

In the world of elite sport, a year can change everything.

Athletes go from Olympic champions to World Cup disappointments. Teams routinely sink from trophy hoisters to playoff no-shows. The volume of practice, training and competition spanning 12 months in many sports yields undeniable collapses but sometimes, startling ascension.

Over the past 365 days Tennis Canada‘s athletes have risen to a new place in the world. Highlighted by the Davis Cup, an event that has had a serious impact.

CONTINUED AT OLYMPIC.CA

Callum Ng covers 2013 Women’s Hockey Championship

Posted on by Callum Ng in Hockey, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment
For immediate release from CiTR 

CIS Women’s Ice Hockey Championship 2012-2013 Season Finale on CiTR 101.9 FM Sports

March 7, 2013

Vancouver, British Columbia — CiTR 101.9 FM Vancouver proudly announces live play-by-play broadcast coverage of the Canadian Interuniversity (CIS) Women’s Ice Hockey Championship March 7-10. Canada West conference champion University of British Columbia Thunderbirds will contend for the national title — for the first time in the program history — in the finale of their ‘Cinderella’ turnaround season in Toronto.

The tournament has its six contending teams split into two pools. Pool ‘A’ sees UBC battle Quebec (RSEQ) conference champion Université de Montréal Carabins, and host team University of Toronto Varsity Blues in round-robin play leading up to championship Sunday. Pool ‘B’ showcases defending CIS champion University of Calgary Dinos, Ontario (OUA) conference champion Queen’s University Gaels, and Atlantic (AUS) conference champion St. Francis Xavier University X-Women.

The Pool ‘A’ match-up of UBC versus University of Toronto on Friday starting at 4:30 PM PST will be broadcast online at www.citr.ca. The final Pool ‘A’ game with UBC facing Université de Montréal on Saturday (starting at 4:30 PM PST), and UBC’s tournament ending game on Sunday (match-up and start time to be determined) will be broadcast on the air in Vancouver at 101.9 FM.

In post-season play, the Thunderbirds have won six of eight games, including key victories in elimination away games at the University of Regina, as well as the University of Calgary, the defending national champion. Already having accomplished the deepest playoff drive in program history, UBC fifth-year forward and co-captain Kaitlin Imai says her team is focused and ready for the next challenge:

“I’m so proud of our group — just how far we’ve come — it seems every game we play, we reach a new milestone. We are hungry for nationals where this program has never been before. Most of all, just to be able to skate together as a team for one more week, it’s amazing.”

Head coach Graham Thomas earned the 2012-2013 CIS Coach of the Year Award for leading UBC to a historic breakthrough season, his first at the helm of the Thunderbirds. Milestones this season for UBC women’s hockey have included a first ever playoff home series, playoff victory, and Canada West Conference championship title; as well as a debut berth to the CIS championship.

The hockey commentary tandem in the CiTR Sports broadcast booth is UBC varsity swimming alumnus and Executive Director of BC Athlete Voice Callum Ng (@CallumNg) on play-by-play, alongside Thunderbirds hockey alumnaHaleigh Callison (@HockeyHaleigh) as hockey analyst.

Entering the ultimate stage of Canadian varsity playoffs, Ng notes the significance of this opportunity for UBC:
“After an incredible turnaround season, the UBC Thunderbirds are on fire. Honestly, after knocking off the defending champion University of Calgary Dinos in the conference final, I’m pretty sure anything is possible. With great anticipation, I look forward to calling the action this weekend.”

CIS Championship — Broadcast Schedule
(FRI) MAR 8: UBC vs. U. of Toronto — Pool ‘A’ Game 2: 4:30 PM PT on CiTR.ca
(SAT) MAR 9: UBC vs. U. de Montréal — Pool ‘A’ Game 3: 4:30 PM PT on 101.9 FM
(SUN) MAR 10: Tournament final Game: Time TBD on 101.9 FM

Callum Ng covers Canada West playoffs for CiTR 101.9 FM Sports

Posted on by Callum Ng in Hockey, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment
For immediate release

Canada West Women’s Ice Hockey Playoffs Continue on CiTR 101.9 FM Sports

February 21, 2013

Vancouver, British Columbia — CiTR 101.9 FM Vancouver proudly announces live play-by-play broadcast coverage of women’s varsity ice hockey as the Canada West Conference playoffs continue on Friday, February 22. The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds will travel to Saskatchewan to battle the University of Regina Cougars in a best-of-three semi-final series.

Regina and UBC face off in Game 1 at 5:00 PM PST on Friday, broadcast on the air at 101.9 FM. Game 2 on Saturday starting at 5:00 PM PST is available streaming online at CiTR.ca; while Game 3 on Sunday (if necessary) starting at 1:00 PM PST, will be broadcast on the air at 101.9 FM.

Already having accomplished the deepest playoff drive in program history, UBC head coach Graham Thomas has his team entering the conference semi-finals on a nine-game winning streak and eager to face off against a Cougars squad that defeated the Thunderbirds three out of four games in the season series:
“We’re all relishing the fact to play this team that has had our number. We’re really excited and up for the challenge. It’s great to come in with some momentum; our team is just playing so confident right now.”

In the quarter-final round last week, the Thunderbirds swept the University of Manitoba Bisons. On the strength of steady goaltending by Team Canada alumna Danielle Dubé  – who earned Canada West Conference Athlete of the Week honours with a 1.50 goals against average and 94.7% save percentage in the best-of-three series — UBC claimed victories of 7-2 and 4-1 on home ice at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. The Cougars, meanwhile, rested last week holding a bye on the merits of their second place finish in conference standings.

The commentary voice in the broadcast booth for CiTR Sports is UBC varsity swimming alumnus and Executive Director of BC Athlete Voice Callum Ng (@CallumNg). Entering the second round of Canada West Conference playoffs, Ng notes the significance of this opportunity for UBC:

“I’m personally very excited to continue our coverage of what is already an overwhelmingly historic season for the UBC Women’s Hockey program. It’ll be interesting to see what one of the hottest teams in the CIS can do on the road against a tough conference opponent.”
Canada West Conference Semi-final (Best-of-three Series)
  • Game 1 Fri. Feb. 21: UBC vs. Regina — 5:00 PM on 101.9 FM
  • Game 2 Sat. Feb 22: UBC vs. Regina — 5:00 PM on CiTR.ca
  • Game 3 (if necessary) Sun. Feb 23: UBC vs. Regina — 1:00 PM on 101.9 FM

Behind the Scenes at Olympic Trials

Posted on by Callum Ng in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

From the ready room, to the march out, to standing in front of thousands of fans plus a live television audience.

Here’s a behind the scenes look from Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials:

 

As Bad As You Wanna’ Breathe

Posted on by Callum Ng in Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

I have a few swimmer friends preparing for Olympic Trials, and with just over one month to go, people are looking for that final edge, push, or motivation.

Getting ready for one day, more or less a few minutes of your life that makes the difference between legends and lost souls can be daunting.

Different people deal with that kind of pressure differently. Some ignore it, others fight it, a select few manage to embrace it.

Either way, to be successful, when you’re battling for a big goal you’re going to have to want it. Bad.

One of those swimmer friends shared this video with me that’s been going around the internet and really stuck with me.

“When you wanna’ be successful, as bad as you wanna’ breathe, then you’ll be successful.”

IF YOU DON”T WATCH THIS VIDEO AND THINK THE WHOLE TIME ABOUT SOMETHING YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE, well…work that out.

Western Conference Playoff Predictions

Posted on by Callum Ng in Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

Over the past few NHL seasons, the Western Conference has been perennially tight when it comes to those final few playoff spots. Last season it was Chicago, fighting off Dallas and coming within a Patty Kane right hook of ending up in 9th place. Of course, the Blackhawks went on to come within a similarly slim margin of knocking off the President’s Trophy winners, but a Burrows one-timer wrote the ending to that story in favour of the hometown Canucks.

This season, just after the All Star break, the schedule resumes with no less than five, (ok sure, maybe six), teams in the hunt for the evermore elusive 8th and final.

Starting from the Top

LA Kings

Darryl Sutter might as well have rode an Alberta-bred stallion into town, because that’s the effect he has had on the previously disorganized Kings. Since taking over from Terry Murray before Christmas, a refreshed Sutter squad as gone 9-2-6 and currently sits in 7th place in the West. Sutter teams don’t typically falter down the stretch, and I don’t see that happening here, which is why the Kings are loosely included in this conversation.
End of season projection: 7th or better

Colorado Avalanche

Collective sigh on behalf of the Avs when it comes to goaltending. I mean, Varlamov is young and no doubt adjusting to the starting role, but there’s no leniency in the Wild West. With a sub 900 save percentage and a GAA that usually sits around a big ugly trois, the nets has to be the biggest focus here. What I do think is that this core group of younger players has been to this party before, and knows what they’ll need to do to avoid missing the post-season. The only question that’s left is can they. I like the Colorado group and if anyone emerges late season, it’s going to be the Avalanche.
End of season projection: 8th

Calgary Flames

Welcoming The Squid to town, ok pause, isn’t that what they should call him? Cammalleri > Calamari. My almost seventy year-old pops and lover of the game, can’t pronounce hockey names worth a darn. In Cammalleri’s last stint with the Flames, my Dad almost always said Calamari. “Why doesn’t that Michael Calamari score more!?” God forbid when Sven Baertschi finally cracks the line up. Anyways, The Squid was a good call, but the Flames will need more than tough angle one-timers to play past the regular season. How about a decent power play? They’ll also need to catch a fast track on some current injuries including David Moss and Curtis Glencross.
End of season projection: 9th

Phoenix Coyotes

Can I just say that I wish I was a hockey fan in the desert? Upon cruising to the ‘Yotes site, there’s an ad for their Feb 4th tilt against the Sharks: $1.00 hot dogs. One dollar!? You could almost take the whole family out for a game AND dinner for less than a single ticket inside Rogers Arena or the Scotiabank Saddledome. Haha, but I digress. This is a really aging squad, doesn’t mean they can’t pull it off but sitting on the wrong end of the bubble is bad news for anyone paying attention to the plight of the Desert Dogs.
End of season projection: 10th

Minnesota Wild

After starting the season looking like a serious contender, the Wild have slowed up big time. A second losing skid, (3-6-1 in their last 10), finds them planted in 8th spot, although they did get four out of four points against Dallas and Colorado before the break. Honestly, this team plays games in a confusing fashion, without consistency. There doesn’t seem to be a fluid offensive system and when the defense breaks down in their zone, it gets ugly. Bright spot alert! Mikko Koivu is skating. If he gets back in the line up it will definitely help.
End of season projection: 11th

Dallas Stars

Jaaaamie Benn. Ok, got that out of my system. Kid can snipe. Definitely an NHL heavyweight if not already. However, I’m not sure if Benn’s emergence in the last season or so is enough to push his team into some extra April ice time. Dallas is tremendously streaky, right? Despite kicking off the campaign 11-4-0, since Nov 12, the team has gone 14-17-2. Winning or losing in little packets of twos and threes. With Brendan Morrow out, (although apparently close to return), they’ll have to win consistently to have a chance. Meh, I don’t see that happening.
End of season projection: 12th

But what about the Anaheim Ducks…?
C’mon, who are you Jamie McLennan? Haha, no way…