President U Bum

It is traditional for championship winning teams from the big four sports to attend the White House and take their trophy to meet the president. Since Trump however,  some athletes have turned down this honour.

The latest is the current NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors. Point guard, Steph Curry, said:

I don’t want to go. [I] don’t stand for… the things that he’s said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right times. I don’t think us not going to the White House is going to miraculously make everything better, but this is my opportunity to voice that.

The team will visit Washington to celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusion, but will not attend the White House.

Trump, of course, waded into matter  on his Twitter (which I can’t believe is under his complete control with nobody vetting his tweets prior to being made public).

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And LeBron James countered: _97988986_a9ae6f71-85ec-4c37-b0f3-21345d6e8139

Colin Kaepernick famously took a knee during the national anthem in protest of the treatment of black people in America and has essentially lost his NFL career as a result – whereas players who are accused of physical or sexual assault continue their careers. Kaepernick’s act was not offensive; it was a peaceful protest. Kaepernick’s act of not standing for the national anthem garnered more outrage than the murders of countless black people at the hands of authority figures, however his act has paved the way for others to criticise the treatment of American people, and moreover the people in power whose beliefs are in direct opposition of their own. It’s not “unAmerican” – the practice of free speech is a basic human right and the first amendment.

Most recently, Bruce Maxwell, a rookie catcher with the A’s became the first MLB player to take a knee during the anthem. Maxwell was born on an army base to a father who was serving.

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Too often, athletes are told to stay out of politics, stick to kicking a ball, yet also be role models. How can athletes stay out of politics when their president can’t keep out of sports?

At a republican rally in Alabama recently, Trump has criticised NFL owners for not doing more against players who protest during the anthem.

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.

When you are more outraged that athletes are kneeling for the national anthem than the fact police killed 309 black people last year then you have a serious issue. The USA has experienced extreme weather conditions recently, with Puerto Rico and Florida battered by hurricanes, Houston flooding, and forest fires ravaging the West Coast. Trump is also engaged in a war of words with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. Surely the president of the United States has bigger issues to face than black athletes not wanting to visit his racist ass – but no, he will continue to throw his toys out of the pram because he’s not a president, he’s an egocentric bigot.

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NHL Awards 2017

Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid
Most Valuable Player

Ted Lindsay: Connor McDavid
Best player as voted by NHLPA

Norris Trophy: Brent Burns
Best defenceman

Vezina Trophy: Sergei Bobrovsky 
Best goaltender

Calder Trophy: Auston Matthews
Best rookie

Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron 
Best defensive forward

Lady Byng Trophy: Johnny Gaudreau
Most gentlemanly player (61 points and only 4 penalty minutes)

Bill Masterton Trophy: Craig Anderson
Dedication to hockey (took a leave of absence to care for wife fighting cancer)

Jack Adams Award: John Tortorella
Coach of the Year

General Manager of the Year: David Poile

King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Nick Foligno
Leadership/humanitarian (Foligno and wife donated $500000 to hospital that operated on new born daughter)

NHL Foundation Player Award: Travis Hamonic
Core Values of Hockey (Created D-Partner program for children who have suffered loss of family member, encourage them to be open in talking about grief/loss)

Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Nick Foligno

Art Ross Trophy: Connor McDavid
Highest scorer

Maurice Richard Trophy: Sidney Crosby
Top goal scorer

William M. Jennings Trophy: Braden Holtby
Fewest goals scored against

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Congratulations to all the winners!

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft

The New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery – thanks to expert Taylor Hall – and with their first overall pick, they selected Nico Hischier. Nolan Patrick went second to the Philadelphia Flyers, and third selection, Miro Heiskanen, went to the Dallas Stars.

In previous years there has been a clear number one rookie (Auston Matthews and prior to that Connor McDavid), however there wasn’t a clear cut favourite between Nolan and Nico. The two rookies have been spending a great amount of time together in the weeks leading up to the draft and there was no animosity between the two as Nico just edged Nolan for the first spot. In doing so, he became the highest ever drafted Swiss player… and some may say it’s destiny.

 

Full draft results can be found here.

The Vegas Golden Knights

Every NHL team released their list of “protected” players i.e. the ones that Vegas was not allowed to take during the expansion draft which occurred during the award show. The team had signed their first player, Reid Duke, a few months ago and now finally have a full roster.

Here are their picks from other teams:

Calvin Pickard G
Luca Sbisa D
Teemu Pulkkinen F
Jon Merrill D
William Carrier F
Cody Eakin F
Tomas Nosek F
Jonathan Marchessault F
Brayden McNabb D
Connor Brickley F
Chris Thorburn F
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare F
Jason Garrison D
J-F Berube G
James Neal F
Deryk Engelland D
Brandon Leipsic F
Colin Miller D
Marc Methot D
David Schlemko D
David Perron F
Oscar Lindberg F
Griffin Reinhart D
Alexei Emelin D
Clayton Stoner D
Erik Haula F
William Karlsson F
Trevor van Riemsdyk D
Marc-Andre Fleury G
Nate Schmidt D

In addition, the team also acquired a number of players through trades and the rookie draft

  • Reilly Smith from the Panthers
  • Nikita Gusev from Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Mikhail Grabovski and Jake Bischoff from the Islanders
  • Shea Theodore from Anaheim
  • Alex Tuch from Minnesota Wild
  • David Clarkson from the Blue Jackets
  • Cody Glass in the first round of the 2017 draft with the 6th overall pick
  • Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom were also acquired during the entry draft as a result of trades with the Islanders and Jets for draft picks

So that’s the Golden Knights!

 

BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONS: THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a 2-0 victory in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals making them the first team to win back-to-back cups since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. Heck of an achievement!

Dreams were made last night. Ron Hainsey, who had played 906 NHL games and ZERO playoff games before he was traded to the Pens, has won his first cup aged 36. Cullen aged 40 has won for the second year running. Mark Streit has also won his first ever cup at 39 years old. Chris Kunitz, who was undrafted, has won his FOURTH Stanley Cup. Of course, Crosby won a load more for his trophy cabinet too.

Unfortunately there can only be one winner, and for Nashville the season ended with heartbreak. But for a non-traditional hockey city, Nashville showed they have the loudest fans with the most heart; the best anthem singers; and their guys – who were the bottom seed – went all the way to the end and forced a game six against the defending champions. There is nothing to be ashamed of in their performance. And we’ll always have the memory of sweeping the Blackhawks. Commiserations to the Nashville Predators – you fought a hell of a fight.

And to Pittsburgh… Enjoy the hangover!

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Congratulations! поздравления! Grattis! Onnea! Félicitations! Glückwünsche!

And that’s a wrap on the hockey season until October… but we still have the NHL expansion draft, the regular rookie draft, and the NHL Awards to get through.

Exercise in Old Age

This week I had a big girl job interview and as part of it I had to present a ten minute speech about increasing exercise participation in a target population. I researched it quite a lot and there was a large amount I couldn’t actually fit into the time frame so I decided to write it up into a post. Enjoy!

There is a general trend that as our age increases our exercise levels decrease. There are many reasons for this; time constraints, money constraints, or general tiredness from our busy lives. However 3/4s of the older adult population are not exercising to recommended levels. Evans (1999) went so far as to say that there is no segment of the population that can benefit more from exercise than the elderly.

Exercise is of course wonderful for our health – even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. For the elderly population, exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, reduce risks of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and help with weight management. Exercise programmes that focus on improving balance and strength can decrease the number of falls and reduce physical frailty, so any falls are less risk. In depressed elderly adults, meeting for group exercise can provide social support and reduce depression symptoms.

If exercise is so great then why aren’t they doing it? It could be a generational thing – my generation has a greater exposure to gyms, races, activities, even healthy food, yet for the older generation this is relatively new; they’ve never had cross-fit, wolf runs, or tough mudders. Gyms can be a scary place – there’s a lot of equipment that they don’t know how to work. Bodies suffer wear and tear so this generation has a fear of injury – particularly re-injury of joint replacements. Another factor is that many of this generation must rely on public transport to get around so that can take a lot of effort and may not be on a route to a sports centre.

What exercises can this group do?

Any casual exercise programme should be straightforward and fun – aerobics and dancercise classes fit that bill. The music can be adjusted to songs from their “heyday” such as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, old school fifties Rock and Roll. It can also be adapted to different abilities: for people who find it easy, small hand weights can be provided of a few kilograms which emulates lifting shopping and laundry; for people who struggle with balance then exercises can be performed whilst sitting down like swinging legs and tapping feet; aerobics can also be performed in the water which relieves the impact on joints and reduces risk of injury. health-fitness_04_temp-1306750736-4de36f10-620x348Another great, but under performed, activity is Tai Chi. It’s a martial art but not a typical combat one. It involves balance and shifting weight between the legs which makes it excellent for elderly people because the focus is on improving balance. It is also a low demand activity involving slow, flowing movements – perfect for people who currently do not exercise, or are unable to exert themselves too much. It can be adapted for people in wheelchairs, and can settle people who are perhaps restless in retirement. Tai Chi can also reduce the number of falls in this population too.

Sooooo, anyone for Tai Chi?