Memories golden for Virtue, Moir

ALISON KORN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

TORONTO - One year after winning Olympic gold, figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir recalled that they “didn’t think the sun would come up” after the 2010 Olympics and had made no plans for life after Vancouver.

Luckily for them, the ice dancers’ win kicked off a thrilling post-Olympic year that included dinner with the Queen of England, meeting Prince Albert of Monaco and performing in 12 cities across Canada with Stars on Ice.

“First of all, I can’t believe it’s been a year,” said Moir, 23. “It’s been quite a year, to be honest. The perks were amazing.”

“We always said that we didn’t think that the sun would come up after the Vancouver Games were over. We hadn’t planned a single day past that. We have such a short-term mindset, such a tunnel vision on our goal. Right now, our biggest goal is to win the world championships coming up in five weeks (in Tokyo).”

The pair’s unplanned post-Olympic year included both fantastic opportunities and three months spent dealing with Virtue’s recovery from surgery last fall to correct compartment syndrome in her shins and calves.

Short term goals are the pair’s only focus, they said, though Virtue, 21, is studying psychology part-time at the University of Windsor.

“I’m going to keep plugging away at those credits,” said Virtue. “Finish my undergrad and go on to a graduate degree. It’s been a great balance for me to get out of the rink and sort of feel like a normal student for a few hours a week.”

They’ve committed to doing Stars on Ice again this spring. After that, the two will decide whether they’ll continue to skate. It’s a year-by-year decision.

“Long term, that’s a good question,” laughed Moir. “I guess I should probably plan more.”

New Zealand city devastated by quake hosted 1,000 athletes a month ago

The International Paralympic Committee has sent its thoughts and condolences to the people of Christchurch, New Zealand after a major earthquake devastated the city, killing at least 75 people. Just last month, the city hosted more than 1,000 athletes from over 70 countries for the IPC Athletics World Championships. Canada won 12 medals there, good for 16th place among nations.

“Christchurch is a great city with some great people,” said IPC president Philip Craven. “The people there are strong and resilient and they need to call on all that strength and courage now as they attempt to rebuild their lives and infrastructure.”

One win away from Mexico 2011

Canada is just one win away from a spot in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011. The win-and-you’re-in match is the quarter-final match of the 2011 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Wednesday.

“Our boys are very eager to play,” said Canadian U-17 head coach Sean Fleming. “The spirit in camp has been good and everyone is raring to go.”

The FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 runs June 18 to July 10.

New sponsor for Synchro Canada and senior national synchronized swimming team

Quebec firm Epiderma has become the official sponsor of Canada’s senior national synchronized swimming team, following the signing of a three year agreement with Synchro Canada, representing an investment of close to $300,000. Synchro Canada will use this support to help its athletes’ chances of taking the podium at the London 2012 Olympics, by participating in new training camps and more competitions. Synchro Canada will give Epiderma visibility on its athletes’ clothing as well as during the many events and championships in which the senior national team will take part. Athletes will have access to “medical aesthetics care” such as laser hair-removal and specialized cosmetic products.

Paralympic sledge hockey at 40 and back to school at 50

Paralympic sledge hockey gold medallist Paul Rosen has struggled with literacy his entire life, and recently went back to school – at age 50. The goal: improving his elementary school level reading and writing. Now, just four months after starting class, Rosen reads at a high school level and has advanced four grade levels in his reading vocabulary and two grade levels in spelling.

“My mind is blown when I think back to what I’ve been able to accomplish in four months,” said Rosen. “I went from someone who hadn’t read a book in years to someone who has read several in a matter of months. Most importantly, I’ve got my confidence back and have quieted the voices from my past that had me believe I was an idiot.”

Rosen has documented his trials and successes on the what’s next video blog (found at gradelearning.ca/blog) and at www.facebook.com/gradelearning.


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