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Mikael Kingsbury’s dream year earns him male athlete of the year honours

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  • MONTREAL — Mikael Kingsbury never had so much to lose as on Feb. 12, when he hit the track at the Phoenix Snow Park. As the odds-on favourite in the men’s moguls event at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the 26-year-old ski star was well aware that only a victory would meet expectations.

    Going second-last in the super final, Kingsbury rose to the occasion. In full control, he nailed a perfect descent that earned him the one title that had eluded him: Olympic champion.

    “I was in the position where it was gold or nothing,” the athlete from Deux-Montagnes, Que. said of his second Olympic experience.

    “For those who follow my sport, even a second place would have been considered a poor performance. Yes, there was pressure but, at the top of the course, I had a really good feeling. And when that’s the case, I have confidence and that’s always a good sign.”

    Kingsbury’s dream year earns him the Lionel Conacher Award from The Canadian Press as Canada’s male athlete of the year.

    The Quebec skier was chosen by 30 of the 56 sportswriters and commentators from newsrooms across the country.

    He beat out Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid (12 votes), who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer as well as the Ted Lindsay Award for outstanding player as selected by his peers.

    Next on the list was soccer phenom Alphonso Davies with five votes, double Olympic speed skating medallist Ted-Jan Bloeman (3), para-skier Brian McKeever (3), New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall (2), and Ottawa Redblacks receiver Brad Sinopoli (1).

    “I could have chosen McDavid, as we chose (Sidney) Crosby at one time, but Kingsbury’s gold was one of the strongest moments of the Korean games, leading into performances by other Canadian athletes,” wrote Le Quotidien’s Denis Bouchard.

    “No other Canadian athlete dominates their sport as outrageously as Mikael Kingsbury,” wrote Jean-Francois Begin of La Presse.

    While Olympic gold was undoubtedly the highlight of his year, Kingsbury continued to dominate the World Cup circuit with seven victories in 10 starts, including three in a row to end the 2017-18 season.

    He won two Crystal Globes at the end of the last World Cup season as overall men’s freestyle points leader and overall men’s moguls leader.

    Kingsbury becomes the first skier to win the Lionel Conacher Award, which is named after the multi-sport champion chosen as the top athlete of the first half of the 20th century in 1950.

    Golfer Brooke Henderson was awarded the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as female athlete of the year on Wednesday for the third time. The sports team of the year will be named on Friday.

    Earlier this month Kingsbury was also awarded the Toronto Star’s Lou Marsh Award for top Canadian athlete.

    “It’s crazy to have had this much success,” Kingsbury said. “It’s an almost perfect season. My worst 2018 result was a second place.”

    “Compared to other sports, like tennis, it’s as if I won all the Grand Slam finals.”

    Kingsbury dominates his sport.

    In January 2018 Kingsbury set a new record for World Cup wins with his 47th victory. He has 52 victories in 93 starts.

    “I kind of feel like I have an aura around me. Without saying I intimidate the other competitors due to my repeated success, I have a great confidence in my abilities, I make few errors and that lets me find little advantages over them,” he said.

    “But I know I have a big target on my back and they all want to beat me. I’ve been first in the world for seven years, and every year there are those who say, ‘Kingsbury, we’re going to push him aside.’ It makes the competition even more interesting.”

    And even if he’s won everything, don’t expect him to relinquish his throne. Kingsbury says there’s still plenty to motivate him.

    “I love to win and I still want to win, but my motivation isn’t necessarily found in results,” he said. “I’m aiming above all to reach my full potential, to innovate in my sport, to try new jumps. I want to see how far I can go.”

    “While perfection doesn’t exist in my sport, my goal is to get as close as possible to it and to push the limits, in speed as well as the execution of my jumps.”

    Marc Delbes, The Canadian Press


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    Sports

    Patriots owner Kraft denies charges of soliciting prostitute

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  • JUPITER, Fla. — Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, faces charges of soliciting a prostitute after he was twice videotaped in a sex act at a shopping-centre massage parlour in Florida, police said Friday.

    The 77-year-old Kraft denied any wrongdoing. The case comes amid a crackdown on sex trafficking from Palm Beach to Orlando in which police planted cameras in massage parlours.

    Kraft was not immediately arrested. Jupiter police said a warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified. They said details about the misdemeanour charges against the owner of the Super Bowl champion team will not be released until next week.

    Hundreds of arrest warrants have been issued in recent days as a result of the six-month investigation, and more are expected. Ten spas have been closed, and several people have been taken into custody on sex trafficking charges.

    Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said he was shocked to learn that Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, was paying for sex inside a shopping-centre massage parlour, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. “We are as equally stunned as everyone else,” Kerr said.

    Most people charged for the first time with soliciting a prostitute in Florida are allowed to enter a diversion program, said attorney David Weinstein, a former prosecutor. Kraft would probably have to perform 100 hours of community service and attend a course on the harmful effects of prostitution and sex trafficking, he said.

    The arrest could also get Kraft in trouble with the NFL, which in a statement said only that it is “aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”

    Under league policy, players, owners, coaches and other employees can be punished for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL.

    “Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline,” the policy says.

    The Patriots won the Super Bowl this month over the Los Angeles Rams for their sixth NFL championship in the past 18 seasons, making them the most successful team in pro sports during that span. Before the Super Bowl, several retired NFL players appeared in a public service announcement decrying sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Atlanta, the host city.

    Kraft lives in Massachusetts and has a home in the Palm Beach area. Though he is a Democrat, he is friendly with President Donald Trump and a frequent guest at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. Kraft’s wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011. He has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012.

    “Well it’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence, totally,” Trump said at the White House on Friday.

    In a statement, Kraft’s representatives said they “categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”

    The spa Kraft allegedly visited is in a busy, upper-middle-class shopping centre with neighbours that include a dentist, a real estate office, surf and bike shops and a Publix supermarket.

    After hearing about the arrest, Brian Rubino, a Patriot fan who lives nearby, went by the spa wearing a team jersey. He said Kraft made a mistake, but he could see how it might happen.

    “A 77-year-old man, lost his wife, who knows? I see how you can end up in a place like this,” Rubino said.

    Vero Beach police Chief David Currey, whose agency has been involved in the sex-trafficking investigation, told reporters earlier this week that the prostitutes are victims who have been trapped into the trade.

    “These girls are there all day long, into the evening. They can’t leave and they are performing sex acts,” Currey said, according to TCPalm. “Some of them may tell us they’re OK, but they’re not.”

    The owner of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, 58-year-old Hua Zhang, was arrested Tuesday on 29 prostitution and related charges. Police in her arrest report said they watched video of her employees performing various sex acts with two dozen customers. Her attorney, Gennaro Cariglio Jr., had no comment.

    Kraft, who made his initial fortune through a packaging company, bought the Patriots in 1994 for $172 million to keep the team from moving to St. Louis. He hired Bill Belichick as coach in 2000, and the team later drafted quarterback Tom Brady, launching its nearly two decades of success.

    In 2007, the Patriots got in trouble for filming other teams’ signals. The NFL fined the team $250,000 and Belichick $500,000. In 2014, Brady was accused of deflating game footballs to gain a better grip. He served a four-game suspension, and the Patriots were fined $1 million.

    Kraft was not implicated in either scandal.

    ___

    Spencer reported from Fort Lauderdale. AP sports writer Kyle Hightower in Boston and reporter Kevin Frekking in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

    Terry Spencer And Joshua Replogle, The Associated Press


















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    2019 Canada Winter Games

    Week 1 wraps up with medals in short track, ringette, hockey, and half pipe… full schedule right here.

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  • Friday, February 22, 2019
    09:00 Ringette Female Placement Round – 7th – 8th Position Game (L24 vs. L25) – AB vs SK Collicutt Centre
    10:30 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Female Finals – Final 46A Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    10:30 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Female Finals – Final 46B Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    10:30 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Female Finals – Final 46C Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    10:30 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Female Finals – Final 46D Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    10:30 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Female Finals – Final 46E Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    10:30 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Female Finals – Final 46F Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    11:30 Ringette Female Placement Round – 5th – 6th Position Game (W24 vs. W25) – NB vs NS Collicutt Centre
    11:38 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Male Finals – Final 47A Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    11:38 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Male Finals – Final 47B Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    11:38 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Male Finals – Final 47C Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    11:38 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Male Finals – Final 47D Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    11:38 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Male Finals – Final 47E Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    11:38 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Male Finals – Final 47F Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    11:38 Speed Skating Short Track – 3000 m Points Race Male Finals – Final 47G Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    12:30 Hockey Male Relegation Round – 5th – 6th Position Game – MB vs NS Centrium
    12:30 Hockey Male Relegation Round – 7th – 8th Position Game – BC vs NB Kinex Arena
    13:38 Speed Skating Short Track – Team Relay Female Finals – Relay Final 52A Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    13:38 Speed Skating Short Track – Team Relay Female Finals – Relay Final 52B Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    14:12 Speed Skating Short Track – Team Relay Male Finals – Relay Final 53A Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    14:12 Speed Skating Short Track – Team Relay Male Finals – Relay Final 53B Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    14:12 Speed Skating Short Track – Team Relay Male Finals – Relay Final 53C Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
    15:00 Ringette Female Medal Round – Bronze Medal Game (L22 vs. L23) – BC vs MB Downtown Arena
    16:00 Hockey Male Medal Round – Bronze Medal Game (L34 vs. L36) – AB vs SK Centrium
    17:00 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Female Qualifications – Run 1 Canada Olympic Park
    17:00 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Female Qualifications – Run 2 Canada Olympic Park
    17:00 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Male Qualifications – Run 1 Canada Olympic Park
    17:00 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Male Qualifications – Run 2 Canada Olympic Park
    18:00 Ringette Female Medal Round – Gold Medal Game (W22 vs. W23) – ON vs QC Downtown Arena
    19:15 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Female Finals – Run 1 Canada Olympic Park
    19:15 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Female Finals – Run 2 Canada Olympic Park
    19:15 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Male Finals – Run 1 Canada Olympic Park
    19:15 Freestyle Skiing Half Pipe Male Finals – Run 2 Canada Olympic Park
    19:30 Hockey Male Medal Round – Gold Medal Game (W34 vs. W36) – ON vs QC Centrium


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    february, 2019

    fri15feb - 3marfeb 151:00 ammar 32019 Canada Winter Games1:00 am - (march 3) 1:00 am Red Deer

    sat23feb1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    sun24feb11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    wed27feb12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

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