Olympics 2014

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Updated: early-morning boozing approved for Olympic men’s hockey finals

(Image: yaokcool/Flickr)

(Image: yaokcool/Flickr)

You know what, it’s a hockey town. If folks want to have a beer during the third period at a bar in the morning, that shouldn’t really be a problem.”

—City councillor Mike Layton on his forthcoming motion to allow Toronto bars and restaurants to serve top-of-the-morning booze during the last four days of the Sochi Games. If passed, the motion will let Toronto hockey fans guzzle pints while cheering for Canada’s women’s and men’s hockey teams. (The women’s bronze-medal game airs at 7 a.m. on February 20th and the men’s gold-medal game at 7 a.m. on February 23rd.) The city has previously allowed early hooch licenses for FIFA World Cup events.

The motion won’t be decided until next week’s city council meeting, but it’s already been publicly supported by deputy mayor Norm Kelly and mayor Rob Ford. The mayor told the Z103.5 radio show this morning that he thought the 6 a.m. boozing plan would “good for businesses” but “pretty rough.”

Update: Early-morning Olympic hockey boozing is a go! Yesterday, city council voted 37-4 to approve the motion, which allows most Toronto bars, cafés and restaurants to serve alcohol from 7 a.m. onwards on February 22nd and 23rd. (The councillors for York Centre, York-South-Weston and Willowdale asked to be exempted from the motion, so it doesn’t apply in those wards.) Despite his early words of support, Rob Ford was a firm dissenter. He spoke out on behalf of oppressed nightclub owners citywide, whose exclusion from the motion will prevent them from serving alcohol to the 11 people who would elect to drink alcohol and watch sports at a nightclub at 7 a.m.

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There will be Toronto players—but no Maple Leafs—on the 2014 men’s Olympic hockey team

Players at Hockey Canada's Olympic orientation camp in August. (Image: Jeff Vinnick)

Players at Hockey Canada’s Olympic orientation camp in August. (Image: Jeff Vinnick)

Hockey Canada has just announced the men’s hockey roster for the Sochi Olympics, and the news, at least as far as Toronto is concerned, is bittersweet. On the good side, several players with local roots made the team. P.K. Subban, the Toronto-raised phenom, will be taking some time away from the Montreal Canadiens to lace up for his country. Also on the list is Brampton’s Rick Nash, now of the New York Rangers. Oakville’s John Tavares will be on loan from the New York Islanders.

Even so, Toronto fans will be saddened—but likely not surprised—to learn that not a single Maple Leaf made the team. The only one to attend Hockey Canada’s Olympic training camp in August was Dion Phaneuf, and he’s staying home. Some Leafs will be playing for their home countries, though.

The full Olympic roster is below.

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POLL: The design for Canada’s Olympic hockey jersey has leaked. What do you think?

(Image: justacanuck88/Reddit)

In this hockey-mad country, a lame Team Canada jersey is a calamity surpassed only by a failure to bring home the gold. Hence the immediate and furious online reaction to a leaked photo of the 2014 Olympic uniforms, which appear to feature mock lace-up collars, gold stitching, and a design that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Petro-Canada logo. Hockey Canada is refusing to say whether these jerseys are the ones that will be officially unveiled on October 8—which we hope means they’re making some last-minute tweaks. [Reddit]

Do you like the leaked design for the Team Canada jerseys?

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CBC wins the domestic rights for 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games, saving Canadians from having to watch NBC

(Image: Canadian Olympic Committee)

After much uncertainty and several failed bids, CBC has wrangled the TV, radio and Internet rights for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. That’s a relief, considering there was a chance Canadians would be stuck watching the (very unpopular) NBC broadcasts after the International Olympic Committee shut down a pair of joint bids between CBC and Bell Media, and Rogers Communications withdrew from the race in September 2011. The details of how much CBC paid have not yet been released, but the rights for the Vancouver and London games cost a Bell-CTV-Rogers consortium $153 million. Not chump change. [CBC]

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Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 9, because Patrick Chan is a winning machine

Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 9, Because Patrick Chan is a winning machine

In France at the end of March, Patrick Chan, the 21-year-old figure-skating phenom, successfully defended his world championship title in spectacular fashion. Near the beginning of his long program, he executed two flawless quad jumps, only to fall toward the end on a relatively easy double Axel. That he won anyway is a testament to his supreme talent. Chan is the perfect skating package: strength and athleticism combined with artistry and grace. Kurt Browning called him the best skater he’s ever seen.

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