As September draws closer and we prepare for the return of winter sports, we reflect on summer’s greatest triumphs
I scored a run in my softball league last week and it was quite possibly the pinnacle of my athletic life. Not impressed? Neither was The Gateway’s sports staff. Here’s their list what they call the more impressive moments to have ever happened in summer sports… I’m still not convinced — my infield hit was pretty remarkable. At least my mom said it was. And she’s the loveliest person I know.Matt Hirji
Storming down the straightaway on a humid night in August at Atlanta’s Olympic Stadium during the 1996 Olympics, Donavan Bailey made history. In a blaze of camera flashes, the Jamaican born, Canadian transplant leaped out of the blocks and ran faster than anybody ever has. Reaching a top speed of over 43 kilometers per hour, Bailey claimed the title of world’s fastest man.
All it took was 9.84 seconds for Donavan Bailey to find his way into the collective imagination of all Canadian sports fans. The screams of excitement let out by Bailey after passing the finish line were echoed by all those Canadians watching the event — including my nine-year old self, who from that day on wanted to run faster than the wind to claim Olympic glory one day.Justin Bell
I have a horrible confession to make — I don’t like summer sports. It’s not that I don’t like temperate sports (I love soccer, and football is fun), but when the summer hits, I’d rather be out throwing a frisbee rather than sitting inside watching sports.
But my favourite summer sports memory happened right here in Edmonton. Last year, in an attempt to get drunk for cheap and watch some fireworks, a few friends and I headed over to watch the Capitals play what some would call baseball.
After two hours and three innings, we started to get bored and the initial joy of watching baseball while drinking wore off. With another two hours until fireworks kicked off, we had to find something to do in order to pass the time during the nauseatingly slow game of “baseball.”
So we heckled. The brunt of our aggression was focused on Willmington, Delaware native Cliff Brumbaugh. Or, as we referred to him, BRUUUUUUUMBAUGH!
Hours of boring, unaffiliated, bush league baseball are only made tolerable by reminding the players that they are going nowhere in life and their best days are behind them.
We even discovered that the iPhone makes the perfect companion to the art of heckling. How else would we know that Cliff Brumbaugh had come from Delaware and that he once played ball in Japan?
Unfortunately, the fireworks were not worth the long wait and we ended up leaving the game sober. But halfway through the seventh inning, after hours of sustained berating, Brumbaugh finally looked up and smiled.
It made my summer.Aaron Yeo
The Vancouver Canucks had come a long, long way, and everything was in place for a chance at hoisting Lord Stanley’s cup this summer.
In the team’s 40th anniversary as a franchise, the twin prodigies Daniel and Henrik Sedin had become leading stars in the league after being drafted together in 1999 in one of the most stunning drafts in sports history. The two Art Ross trophies, Hart Memorial, and Ted Lindsay awards from the pair in the last two years showed just how far they had come. It had been 18 years since the cup was last in Canada, and 17 since the Canucks’ last finals appearance.
Adding to the momentum, Vancouver had held the Winter Olympics a year before; when Calgary and Montreal held their Olympic games, they won the cup the following year. It was a record that made NHL fan assume that it was the Canucks destiny to lay their paws on the cup.
And when the Canucks clinched the Presidents’ Trophy title, they showed that they were ready to dominate the postseason. They weren’t going to take no for an answer. The Stanley Cup was coming back to British Columbia.
It was time to reclaim what belonged to Vancouver. They beat out the feared rival of the past three years, the Chicago Blackhawks, in a nail-biting seven games. After downing the Predators in six, Vancouver took on the San Jose Sharks in five game, claiming Western Conference victory. So when it came down to a Stanley Cup final game seven at home, it’s only natural that they be drinking champagne on the streets of Vancouver with all the respectful, non-rioting fans of the Green and Blue.
They won the cup...right?