After near death Denny Morrison is not just surviving, he is hungry

Originally appeared at "Just breathe, just breathe." These are the critical words paramedics repeated on May 7 to Olympian Denny Morrison after his motorcycle careened into a left-turning car at a Calgary intersection. In photographs large pieces of metal and plastic surround the eviscerated Read more

Prospect Tobias Lindberg scoring and comfortable at the Memorial Cup

Originally appeared at the Official Website for the Ottawa Senators. On Tuesday night at the Memorial Cup, Tobias Lindberg scored a goal he’s been working on for a long time. The 19-year-old Senators’ prospect took a pass from linemate Sam Harding, Read more

Play as you are: Olympians set positive goals for LGBTQ in Canadian sport

Originally appeared at The news: On Tuesday the Canadian Olympic Committee announced plans to foster LGBTQ inclusivity in national sport. The #OneTeam Athlete Ambassador program will hit schools to speak about mental fitness and equality, supported by a first-ever school resource Read more

Must-See Women’s Races in London

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(Photo Courtesy: ©Tim Binning/

Originally posted

Storylines abound in the women’s category. There are young stars in the making, and veterans seeking final glory. Here are a few women’s races you just can’t miss.

Day 2 – Women’s 100 Butterfly

Every swimming fan loves a heavyweight tilt. (By heavyweight we mean swimming credentials of course). In one corner we have Vollmer, as the 2011 World Champion and current world #1, racing the current World Record holder Sjöström. The young Swede, (who won’t turn 19 until shortly after the Games), is creeping closer to her mark from 2009 Worlds. She swam under 57 in March, going a healthy 56.79. Posting that early in spring means she might have been able to fit in another shorter cycle before London. Vollmer looked poised in Omaha, swimming a PB 56.42 to register the top time in the world. Both have similar powerful strokes, so this one could literally come down to the touch.

Dark Horse Medal Threat: Alicia Coutts, AUS

Day 3 – Women’s 100 Backstroke

The Russian national is a consistent big meet performer, with a tendency to break records in preliminary swims. At 2009 Worlds, aided by a rubberized exterior, Zueva swam a WR 58.48. That mark lasted less than 24 hours as Gemma Spofforth, GBR reduced the record to 58.12 in the final, Zueva was second. Also the silver medalist from 2011 Worlds, Zueva will battle Missy Franklin, and the young American’s first shot at individual gold. Barely a hair separates their season bests, and it could take a 58.low to win. It will be Franklin’s youthful poise against Zueva’s experience in a big final. Also, there will be an element of fitness at play, considering the Franklin will likely swim the 200 Freestyle semi earlier on.

Dark Horse Medal Threat:  Aya Terakawa, JPN

Day 3 – Women’s 100 Breaststroke

Google ‘Breeja Larson’. Go ahead, do it. On the first page of results you’ll find the line, “Who is Breeja Larson?” The world is about to find out. As American swimming fans, and teammate Rebecca Soni discovered in Omaha, Larson can lay down a 100m of breaststroke. However, Larson’s 1:05.92 from US Trials isn’t Championship material. Soni went 1:05.05 to win 2011 Worlds in Shanghai, not to mention 1:04.91 in semis. But considering that Larson, a product of Texas A&M was ranked 42nd in the world last year, you have to wonder if her trajectory is on course to threaten for gold. Soni is seasoned, and she likely has another layer of taper from Omaha which would render this no contest. This one might be reaching, but at the Olympics, anything is possible.

Dark Horse Medal Contender: can Jessica Hardy enter the event for Qatar?

Go enter our Great SwimSwam Pick Em’ Contest! Do it!

The Games start in a few days! Can’t wait? Tell me about it.

Ryan Lochte is a bigger star than Michael Phelps

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(Photo credit @swimswamnews)

Also appearing on

Since Beijing, Ryan Lochte has legitimately swum himself into the same stratosphere as Michael Phelps. Whether or not their rivalry is real, or by definition a rivalry at all, people are talking about Ryan and Michael as equals. But they’re not.

Lochte is currently the bigger star. He has been for some time. He is currently more accomplished, more recognizable and overall more interesting.

In a sport like swimming, we often measure athletes against each other in terms of their Olympic performances. It is the biggest stage. Of course, Michael has 10 more Olympic medals than Ryan. But that only means Phelps has a better Olympic history, not that he is better today. Swimming should be measured like more traditional professional sports, in snapshots, only as good as your last game. Before Wimbledon you could have argued that Roger Federer was the best of all time, but that Djokovic or Nadal were the best in the world. (Of course in the time since, Federer has put his name back in the latter category). With similar reasoning, I would argue that the most recent World Championships, where Ryan swam to 5 gold medals, including beating Phelps head to head in 2, makes him swimming’s world #1.

With the media explosion in the months leading up to London, Ryan Lochte has come out on top. Lochte has sizzled on magazine covers such as Vogue, Men’s Health and TIME Magazine. He is the US Olympic Team Ralph Lauren poster boy. He gets himself trending with hashtags like #Jeah and nicknames like Reezy. Michael has more followers, but that is changing pretty quickly. (Phelps also frequently uses the word ‘tweeps’ but that is content for another entire blog post). It is abundantly clear that Ryan Lochte is just more marketable. In fact, he is a sport sponsor’s dream. Charismatic, likable, cool and now…the best at what he does.

Not disrespecting perhaps the most dominant Olympic performance in history, Michael just doesn’t have the same star power. Sport is a business, especially the Olympics. The burning reason why Tiger still leads golf coverage or Beckham still fills stadiums is because they are stars, regardless whether the reasons are positive or negative. It definitely isn’t because they are the best. But Lochte is, which makes his trajectory steep.

Ryan Lochte will fill your television screen in a few days and charm the world. There is no question. The only doubt is whether or not Phelps can pull a Federer and remind the world how good he is.

My Interview with Australian swim star Stephanie Rice

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The Mel Zajac International swim meet in Vancouver, Canada attracts top talent. This year definitely didn’t disappoint as Olympic Champions Stephanie Rice, Leisel Jones and Park Tae Hwan all showed up.

I chatted to Stephanie Rice on a blustery pool deck about her Olympic prep.

Check out the page for more SICK swimming coverage.



Abbotsford Heat on brink of elimination after Game 4 loss

Posted on by Callum Ng in Hockey, WRITING | Leave a comment

Clay Wilson Abbotsford Heat [Courtesy: SendtoNews]

Originally appeared The Hockey Writers.

The Abbotsford Heat did everything but win on Tuesday night.

The Heat outshot the Toronto Marlies 36 to 17, dominated much of the 5 on 5 game and dialed up their physicality only to fall 3-1 in Game Four of the best-of-seven series.

Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals goes Wednesday night at the AESC.

It was all Heat from the first puck drop, keeping the Marlies in their own zone and working the puck well down low. When the puck was cleared back into Heat territory, even the break outs were crisp and effective. On more than one occasion a Heat D-man would make a laser cross-ice pass to the far side blue line for a waiting forward.

It seemed as though Troy Ward had figured out a system to solve the Marlies’ neutral zone pressure.

Despite outshooting their opponents 10 to 3 in the first period, the Heat weren’t able to register a goal until finally getting rewarded in the second. Moments after killing off an Adam Estoclet penalty, Ben Walter whipped the puck towards the net from the left half-wall. The goal was originally credited to Walter. However, it would turn out to be a Hugh Jessiman marker after what Marlies’ goaltender Ben Scrivens would call after the game, “an NHL level re-direction.”

After 40 minutes it was 1-0 Heat and the shots were 23-10 in their favour.

Unfortunately for Abbotsford however, Marlies’ winger Greg Scott must have re-tied his skates in the second intermission because he came out blazing in the third.

Scott ripped down the right wing a few minutes into the period and went top shelf over Danny Taylor’s left shoulder. Taylor looked unprepared on the goal, perhaps from a lack of work up to that point.

Troy Ward commented on the poor timing of his team’s goals against, “This has been a common problem at home for us, we’ve dominated 5 on 5 against some teams territorially, we don’t often times get rewarded at home for it and we give up a lot of first chance goals.”

The powerplay woes continued for the Heat, as they went 0-for-5 on the night and gave up a short-handed tally to go down 2-1. Greg Scott notched his second of the night after stealing the puck at the blue line and racing down ice. He deposited a five-hole deke at the 7:11 mark.

Scott then killed the game off later in the period by out-battling a Heat defender for the opportunity to score his third of the evening. He completed the natural hat trick with an empty net marker at 19:31.

“This year I wanted a shoot first mentality and I going into this game I was a little overdue,” Scott said of his offensive explosion. “I don’t think we played a great game overall, but you have to give credit to our guys, we came out with the victory.”

Troy Ward and the Heat will look ahead to Wednesday, when they will try to keep their Calder Cup Playoffs going.

“There’s not much to change, we did everything but score.”

According to Ward the Heat will have the talents of leading scorer Krys Kolanos back on the bench for Game 5.

Callum Ng covers the Calgary Flames and Abbotsford Heat for The Hockey Writers. Twitter @CallumNg

Toronto Marlies take 2-1 series lead in Abbotsford

Posted on by Callum Ng in Hockey, WRITING | Leave a comment

Max Reinhart Abbotsford Heat (SendtoNews)

Originally appeared The Hockey Writers.

Home is supposed to be a place where good things happen.

For the Abbotsford Heat, in search of a bounce back win, home wasn’t quite as kind on Saturday night.

With Leland Irving back in the net for Abbotsford, the Toronto Marlies posted an excellent road effort, taking Game 3 by a score of 4-1 to jump out to a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Game 4 will go Tuesday night, 7 PM PDT at the AESC.

The Heat didn’t make it easy on themselves early. Less than 60 seconds into the game, Nazim Kadri tucked a wrap-around past Irving, to put the Marlies up 1-0 on the game’s very first shot.

Irving admitted, “A little rusty to start,” and on the first goal, “unfortunately that first one, a wrap around is one I’ll stop 99 [times] out of 100.”

Constant puck pressure from the visitors led to a Clay Wilson turnover at neutral ice and the Marlies went up 2-0 on a Matt Frattin snap shot at 11:43. The Frattin tally was the result of a handful of defensive breakdowns that hurt the Heat in the first 20 minutes.

The home team had some push back however, and it was even evident right at the end of the first period. A scrum in front of Leland Irving led to an eruption of standard playoff pleasantries which set the tone for the second period.

In the middle frame it didn’t take long for the Heat to draw within one. After a high energy start, rookie Dustin Sylvester redirected a Clay Wilson point shot at 2:21. They then continued the good play, keeping the Marlies in their own zone for much of the first seven minutes. The same line that scored the Heat’s only goal was instrumental in this push, including Kolanos and Byron working well down low.

The energy spread down the bench, with solid follow-up shifts, including winger Guillaume Desbiens, “The frustration went away in the second, we channeled that into work and it worked out really good for us,” he said.

However, the Marlies would manage a push back of their own and re-establish the two goal lead at 12:30 with a marker from Philippe Dupuis.

According to Desbiens the third Marlie’s goal was a big blow, “That was kind of frustrating because we were dominating the whole period and they capitalized on that goal and that seemed to cut our legs a little bit,” he commented.

The Heat started the third period on the penalty kill after a Clay Wilson hook right at the end of the second. Depending on how you look at it, the Heat penalty kill was a positive take from Game 3, going six for six on the evening.

However, going down early on the scoresheet forced coach Troy Ward to make a lot of in game changes. “There’s a lot of tactic changes,” he said, “There’s a lot of punch and counter punch going on.”

On this occasion the coaching adjustments didn’t do the trick. Mueller iced the game for the Marlies by depositing a lovely pass from Dupuis behind Leland Irving with a little over five minutes to go in the game. The fourth Marlies goal also included Lasalle, Quebec native Nicolas Deschamps, who notched his third assist of the game.

The powerplay has to remain a point of concern for the Heat, now 0-for-16 in the series.

The post-game mood however was generally upbeat. “Tuesday will be a whole new day,” stated Troy Ward, “I don’t believe in momentum in the playoffs, it’s one day at a time.”

Putting that mantra to work, on this day, Ward wouldn’t name his starter for Tuesday.

The coach will look to rally his line up, “Playoffs are about unsung heroes, it’d be nice to find an unsung hero.”

Callum Ng covers the Calgary Flames and Abbotsford Heat for The Hockey Writers. Twitter @CallumNg

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:


My interview with Dan Mangan

Posted on by Callum Ng in Commentary, WRITING | Leave a comment

Pause on the sport for a second.  Last month I had the chance to interview Juno nominee Dan Mangan. Four nominations!  Songwriter of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Alternative Album of the Year and Video of the Year.  Oh so good for the Vancity product. (The Junos are April 1 in Ottawa BTW)

We were both hobbling around the ball hockey court for a damn good cause, Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer.
While Dan definitely has some actual hockey skills, I’m more of the talkative type, so we had a quick chat after the event.

I wanted to ask him how his community work makes him a better musician, and human being. Not to mention, why it’s so important.

It was an awesome interview, ever the songwriter, he delivers some unique quotes. And for a Canadian artist going up against acts like Drake and Feist it was super clear that all his talent and creativity will never eclipse one thing, his humility.

My interview with Dan Mangan:

The glory and the cold, wet truth.

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Elation for Tera Van Beilen, great to see her graduate from Youth Olympian to the real thing! (Christinne Muschi / Reuters)

Day 3 at Trials had probably the most dramatic ups and downs of any night so far. There was the ecstasy of adding four girls in the 200 Fr, a first Olympic Team for Tera Van Beilen. Of course, there was also a stunning and quieting result in the men’s 200 Br.

The media mixed zone at an event like this is usually positive, with the winners and qualifiers all coming through. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t feel the shockwaves of missed opportunities and broken dreams. In fact, for every smiling question I pose, I can’t help thinking that there’s someone, somewhere, who isn’t so happy.

That’s the cold, wet truth. As a former athlete I’ve been there, and it’s a dark place for many.

All the same, last night was great for many. Here’s a nice take of the now veteran Olympian Jillian Tyler and her new Olympic teammate Tera Van Beilen.

More coverage at


When making the Olympics is bitter sweet

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Stephanie Horner swims the breastroke leg of her Olympic Trials winning 400 IM (Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press)

Imagine one of your best friends. A person you spend an immense amount of time with. Imagine you’re both working towards something special, a dream you both have. You help each other, every day, but in the end it doesn’t work out, for just one of you.

It’s hard to imagine that an Olympic berth could be bitter sweet. But last night, this was truly the case for Stephanie Horner.

It was written all over her face. Embracing her Island Swimming teammate Alexa Komarnycky after winning the 400 IM, when neither of them had gone under the standard. This meant that only Steph would likely make the team.

It’s during sport moments like these that true character comes out. Steph was almost heartbroken for her teammate. Instead of commenting about her own situation, it was all about Alexa.
More coverage at

Here’s my post-race interview:


Day One done, Six Olympians, including former T-Bird Scott Dickens!

Posted on by Callum Ng in WRITING | 1 Comment

(Getty Images)

Doing the post-race coverage for Swimming Canada is an awesome gig. I get to interview the freshly minted Olympians as they exit the pool. Sometimes, those interviews are actually pretty emotional, even for me. Last night was a good example. My buddy Scott Dickens swam himself onto the team, after missing 4 years ago. Since 2008, I’ve watched Scott from the pool, and now the deck, adopt an almost super-human persona when it comes to training. Scotty’s a beast. He deserves this team spot and I have no doubt when he says, “I’m going to swim a helluva lot faster in London.”


Check out the rest of the results and stories from Day 1!