Names and Games
Gary Kingston, Vancouver SunPublished: Saturday, September 29, 2007
Tom Johnson of Vancouver has been named head coach of the Canadian swim team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It will mark the seventh Olympics for Johnson as a member of the coaching staff.
Currently head coach of the National Swimming Centre in Vancouver, Johnson coached Brent Hayden of Mission to a gold medal in the 100-metre freestyle at the 2007 world aquatic championships in Australia. Hayden was also part of the bronze medal-winning 4x200 freestyle relay team that included UBC Dolphins teammate Brian Johns, also coached by Johnson.
"We are very honoured to have Tom take on the position," said Swimming Canada CEO Pierre Lafontaine. "Tom has shown great leadership as head coach of the 2007 world championship. His experience and involvement within Canadian swimming will have a positive influence on the swimmers and coaches headed to Beijing."
Johnson replaces his brother, Dave, as head of the Olympic team. A powerful figure for years in Canadian swimming, Dave lost his job after the 2004 Olympics in Athens and was harshly criticized by the media when Canada failed to win a medal for the first time since 1952.
GET 'EM UP EARLY
Swimming Canada is moving the finals for the Bell Grand Prix/Mel Zajac swim meet in Vancouver in May, 2008, to the morning to simulate the schedule for the Beijing Olympics.
"If we want our Canadian athletes to be competitive on the international scene, we need to ensure that they can swim fast regardless of morning or evening sessions," said CEO Pierre Lafontaine.
THE TOKE JOKE
Former Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, the Whistler product who famously had his gold medal stripped briefly in Nagano in 1998 after a positive marijuana test he blamed on second-hand smoke, can still laugh about it.
The director of snowboarding and skiing at the still-under-development Kelowna Mountain has named his training academy RASTA (Rebagliati Alpine Snowboard Training Academy). Rastas, or Rastafarians, view marijuana as the "wisdom weed."
BONE CRUSHES BROCK
With the pounding of drums and a blaring trumpet in the background, Nigerian-born cruiserweight A. J. Bone, who now calls Burnaby home, knocked out James Brock of Los Angeles in the second-round Thursday at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver to win his third pro fight.
Bone, 3-0, dropped the clowning Brock, 13-40-2, midway through the round and the visitor was counted out as a noisy Nigerian contingent cheered.
Bone's cousin, Julius Odion, 11-0-2, of Calgary won a unanimous six-round decision over Stephane Chartrand, 1-8-2, of Montreal. A scheduled bout between Bone's brother, Albert Onolunose of Calgary and Cory Budd of Lima, Ohio, was cancelled when Budd was not allowed across the border.