By Charlie Gillis - Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 0 Comments
2012 Newsmakers: Lance Armstrong’s arrogance in the face of incontrovertible truth. Livestrong, as if.
When the shock had worn off and tempers had cooled, the wonder lay not in his misdemeanours but in his resolve. It’s one thing to cheat, another to lie. But to cheat and lie for so long—to draw in teammates, to bind them with threats, to lay waste to their reputations when they confessed—who among us could have done it? We’re used to learning our heroes have feet of clay, that they dope or drive drunk or cheat on their spouses. This was different. Lance Armstrong wasn’t revealed to be human this year. He was revealed to be inhuman.
The lies took more than a dozen years to fall away, hanging this summer by the threads of Armstrong’s brazen denials. Since the first whiff of suspicion back in 1999, when a former French rider spoke publicly about widespread doping in cycling, Armstrong had been on the offensive. He publicly attacked that rider, Christophe Bassons, inviting him to “go home” from the 2000 Tour de France. He ridiculed and sued the truth-sayers who followed—riders, journalists, and racing officials who alleged widespread doping at the highest echelons. In a 2001 TV ad for Nike, Armstrong all but laughed in their faces: “What am I on?” he snarled. “I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?”
But the drip, drip of revelation kept coming, culminating two years ago in the stunning admission by Armstrong’s former teammate, Tyler Hamilton, that he and Armstrong had taken the blood-doping hormone erythropoietin (EPO) before and during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours. Finally, in October, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) published its jaw-dropping report on doping on the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery teams Armstrong had led in his seven Tour de France victories. Armstrong wasn’t just a participant in the teams’ doping program, by USADA’s estimation; he was the doping program. His unquenchable appetite for Tour victories, the report said, “led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions, but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own.” Continue…
By Ken MacQueen, Aaron Wherry, and Patricia Treble - Friday, September 21, 2012 at 2:50 PM - 0 Comments
Will and Kate fight back, Bill Clinton reveals the secret to his presidency and Putin ’fesses up
Sarah calls in her chits
Practise your music scales and maybe one day you too can play the White House. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton ﬂew to Vancouver to help out Sarah McLachlan, who assembled a stellar crew for her Voices in the Park concert to raise funds for her music school for at-risk youth. Among those performing at her behest on a perfect September Saturday were Jann Arden, Bryan Adams and Stevie Nicks. Clinton, who left his sax at home, delivered a short, sweet message about the importance of music in fostering creativity and brain development. “It is very unlikely I would have ever become president had I not been in school music from the time I was 9 until the time I was 17,” he told the audience of 11,000. McLachlan, he added, has helped his various causes for 20 years “She did it when I was up. She did it when I was down. Politics—it’s a contact sport, in case you hadn’t noticed.” He was honoured to return the favour.
Keep calm and carry on
Talk about awkward timing: Prince William and his wife, Kate, were visiting a mosque in the predominantly Muslim nation of Malaysia when topless photos of the duchess of Cambridge hit newsstands. The blurry shots show the pair poolside at the Provençal retreat of the Queen’s nephew, Viscount Linley. While Kate maintained her smiling public facade, her husband, who is fiercely protective of his wife, took on a “look of absolute thunder,” according to the BBC royal reporter. Royal lawyers launched an all-out attack to stop the photos from spreading further—publications in Italy and Ireland reprinted the snaps before a court-ordered ban. The couple, on a royal tour of the Paciﬁc, pressed on, taking the stiff-upper-lip advice of an aide to “stay calm and carry on.”
By macleans.ca - Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 11:30 AM - 4 Comments
What if it rains the whole time? Is figure skating still rigged? Will the refs trip us up?
What if it rains for two weeks?
Let’s be honest, Vancouver doesn’t really have winter. Even light snowfalls paralyze the place. It rains all the time. So the international hand-wringing about the city’s warmest January on record should be put in proper context: they won the Olympics despite—not because of—the weather.
And really, the only problem spot is Cypress Mountain on the North Shore, site of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events. Whistler has been under a heavy blanket of the white stuff since early December, and 10 more metres of it fell this past month. All of the sports in the city—speed skating, hockey, curling, figure skating—will be held indoors, on artificial rinks.
Games organizers hoped for Mother Nature’s help on the slopes just outside of town, but have hardly been taken by surprise by the thaw. Cypress was closed to the public on Jan. 13—two weeks ahead of schedule—in an effort to preserve the courses. When things continued to melt, they moved to plan B: putting down straw bales, then layering on tonnes of snow pushed and trucked down from higher elevations. The spectators might have to wade through the muck in the parking lots, but for the TV cameras the mountain will look like a winter wonderland.