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OTTAWA -- Hayley Wickenheiser doesnt put much stock in the flag-bearers curse. [url=h
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zhanjiao1212
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07-05-2019, 06:21 AM -
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OTTAWA -- Hayley Wickenheiser doesnt put much stock in the flag-bearers curse. Joshua Garnett Jersey . The womens hockey star, who will carry the Maple Leaf into the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics, says the idea that she and her teammates could be under any more pressure is absurd. After all, they play a sport that many in Canada consider religion. So any sort of cosmic jinx pales in comparison to the weight of an entire countrys expectations for the womens team to win a fourth straight gold medal in Sochi. "I think theres just too much emphasis to put on that," Wickenheiser said Thursday via conference call from Austria. "The pressure that we feel is the pressure that always comes with playing hockey as a Canadian hockey player, whether youre male or female. "The country expects a gold medal. Whether I carry the flag or not, Im pretty sure our team doesnt feel any extra added incentive that theres more pressure to perform, because we already feel that already." Not all athletes see it that way. Diver Alexandre Despatie felt it would be a distraction and said hed decline any offer to carry the flag at the 2012 London Games. Kayaker Adam van Koeverden carried the flag at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finished a disappointing eighth in the 1,000 metres -- although he did win a silver medal in the 500. Moguls skier Jean-Luc Brassard blamed his disappointing performance at the 1998 Nagano Olympics on being the flag-bearer a day earlier. Wickenheiser and her teammates hope the same thing doesnt happen to them. Hockey Canada says the women will march in the Feb. 7 opening ceremonies despite playing their first game the following night versus Switzerland. Brassard, the assistant chef de mission for the Sochi team, was on the panel that selected Wickenheiser along with chef de mission Steve Podborski, assistant chef France St. Louis and one athlete representative. Hockey Canada nominated her for the honour. "Throughout her successful career, this Canadian athlete has demonstrated true Canadian grit, patriotism and sportsmanship," said Podborski, adding that Wickenheiser will lead the Canadian team with "the utmost pride and class." Wickenheiser is embracing the opportunity to put her sport centre stage. "What I think it does is it shines a very positive light on the sport of womens hockey and just on our sport in general for the world to see," said the 35-year-old forward. "Thats a great responsibility and expectation that every nation in the world has to carry in and I think should really embrace." The Shaunavon, Sask., native, who is at a pre-Olympic camp in Austria and wasnt able to attend the formal announcement Thursday on Parliament Hill, will be making her fifth Winter Olympic appearance. But for the first time since 2006, she wont be Canadas captain. Caroline Ouellette has been handed that job, while Wickenheiser will be an alternate. But she remains Canadas biggest womens hockey star and a pioneer of the game. She and teammate Jayna Hefford will be the only players in the 2014 womens hockey tournament who have played in every Olympic Games since female hockey made its debut in 1998. Her stewardship extends beyond hockey as a spokesperson for Right To Play, Clean Air Champions, KidsSport, Spread The Net, Plan Canadas Because I Am A Girl and Classroom Champions. Wickenheiser read the athletes oath in the opening ceremonies at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and she is running for election to the International Olympic Committees athletes commission in Sochi. Veteran speedskater Clara Hughes carried the flag at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics while womens hockey player Danielle Goyette was the flag-bearer at the 2006 Games in Turin. "I remember we were joking, like Dont trip and fall when you come in," Wickenheiser said of her conversation with Goyette before the opening ceremonies eight years ago. "Thats sort of the same thing we were talking about today. Geez, Id better watch some YouTube videos and figure out how the athletes have done this before." --- Dante Pettis Jersey .J. Ward appeared in court Friday on misdemeanour charges that he threw a glass mug at a bartender at a Denver strip club. Alex Brown Jersey . Belfort was originally schedule to fight Chris Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24, but a Nevada State Athletic Commission ban on testosterone replacement therapy forced the former light heavyweight champ to withdraw. http://www.cheap49ersjerseysauthentic.co...ore-jersey .The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.Letestu had three goals and two assists in nine games before being injured in late October.The 29-year-old has 54 goals and 65 assists in 273 career NHL games, including 39 goals and 51 assists in 188 games with the Blue Jackets.SALT LAKE CITY -- Blowing out Utah for a second time this month was not in the cards for Portland. With the Jazz making a fourth-quarter rally, the Blazers struggled to fight through offensive sluggishness and escape with a win. Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard provided the lifeline in the final minute. Batum drained a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and Lillard followed with another shot from long-range on the next possession to lift the Blazers to a 105-94 victory over the Jazz on Monday night. "The ball bounced their way a few times," Lillard said. "We knew it would be tough because we just played them two or three days ago. Theyre a better a team on their home floor. With us not having the greatest offensive night, we just wanted to stay the course and get the job done -- which we were able to do." LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points and Damian Lillard added 18 to propel Portland to a bounce back win after a loss to Dallas on Saturday snapped a four-game winning streak. Robin Lopez chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews added 16 points for the Blazers, who notched their second win over Utah in December. Reserve Alec Burks had 20 points for the Jazz, who dropped their fourth game in a row. Enes Kanter added 19 points and Gordon Hayward chipped in 17 for Utah, which trailed the entire second half after nine ties and nine lead changes in the first half. "I thought we were doing a better job out there," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "I thought execution on the offensive end is getting a lot better. Were sharing the ball." Portland played clean basketball to build a second-half cushion and hold off a late Jazz rally. The Blazers had 23 assists and shot 47.1 per cent (40 of 85) from the floor, while committing just 11 turnovers. Portland broke open a close game by making six straight baskets to start the third quarter. Aldridge drained a jumper to start the run and Matthews capped the spurt with a 3-pointer, giving Portland a 64-51 lead at the 8:29 mark. Kanter made a pair of baskets to shave the lead to 64-57. It only set the stage for another Blazers run. This time, Portland rattled off four unanswered baskets -- capped by Lopezs layup -- to extend its lead to 72-57 with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter. The Blazers shot a blistering 61.1 per cent (11 of 18) from the field in the third quarter. And they did it by finding holles in the Jazz defence and attacking them with precision. 49ers Jerseys China. "With our offence, I want us to be opportunistic with whatever the game gives us," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "If it gives us 3s, we knock them down. If it gives us the paint, thats good too with LaMarcus on the block. One thing weve done well with offensively is we take what the game gives us." Utah made another run at the Blazers midway through the fourth quarter. Back-to-back jumpers from Hayward cut Portlands lead to single digits. Then, Trey Burke made a pair of free throws to bring the Jazz within 89-82 with 5:45 remaining. Utah cut the lead to seven several more times and pulled within 97-92 on a pair of free throws from Hayward with 1:28 left. But then Batum and Lillard drained their consecutive 3-pointers to put the game out of reach during the final minute. "You play good D for like 22 or 23 seconds and they hit the crazy shots," Kanter said. "Its tough you know -- thats basketball. You cant think about it. We just need to learn how to close games." Burke and Kanter put on a two-man show for the Jazz in the first quarter. The duo combined for 13 of Utahs first 15 points to help the Jazz keep pace with the Blazers. Portland created a small cushion late in the first half. Trailing by one after a layup by Kanter, the Blazers scored six straight points and took a 40-35 lead on a pair of free throws from Aldridge. They extended the lead to 49-41 after Lopez dunked and Aldridge scored an uncontested layup on back-to-back possessions. "We played sluggish tonight," Aldridge said. "We didnt have that killer (instinct) in us tonight. Guys were just tired tonight. Every game cant be great. I thought tonight was a good win for us because we came here and didnt make shots, but guys still put it up." NOTES: Portland notched its first win in its last six trips to Utah. The Trail Blazers are off to their best start since 1990-91, when they won 27 of 30 games to open the season. Utah announced that former coach Jerry Sloan will be honoured with a banner raising ceremony on Jan. 31. Sloan coached the team from 1988 to 2011, recording 1,127 victories during his tenure. . Lopez had his ninth double-double of the season. ... Batum matched a season-high with 11 assists. . Burks is averaging 16.6 points per game in his last seven games for the Jazz. 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