My focus is 100 per cent on the World Cup,

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My focus is 100 per cent on the World Cup,

Notapor wangshi » Sab Dic 02, 2017 3:50 am

Now that another Olympic Games is over, many across Canada know the stories of our athletes and the various roads they took to get to their ultimate goal. Glenn Hall Jersey . But what about the officials? Every sport has officials and they also have stories about hard work and sacrifice but their accomplishments are seldom recognized by anyone outside their inner circle. Well, meet Derek Amell, 17-year NHL linesman and now an Olympian. When I turned on the mens hockey gold medal game between Canada and Sweden, I was happy to see that an old acquaintance would be working the lines for the biggest game on the worlds biggest stage. You see, over 25 years ago, Derek and I worked together at a drug store chain in Whitby, Ontario. I was a university student taking a year off school and he was a high school student looking to improve on his first job working the night shift at Burger King for $2.85/hr. There were two things I remembered about Derek back then: he was a lot bigger than me, and he had a very calm personality. Looking back, those are two good attributes for an NHL linesman. For Derek, the dream took off at the age of 24 when he worked his first Ontario Hockey League game. Three years later, he started working American Hockey League games and this is where our paths would cross again. I was an off-ice official with the Hamilton Canucks and Hamilton Bulldogs in the 1990s and we would touch base now and again at Copps Coliseum. I could see then that he was on his way to the NHL. "I felt the NHL was an attainable goal after working the AHLs Calder Cup Final in my first year," said Amell. He wouldnt have to wait long for the big moment. The following year, he found out he would be working NHL games in the upcoming season. In his first NHL season, the league made the decision to return to the Olympics in Nagano, meaning there was now another rung on the ladder of success for NHL players and officials. There would be some career highlights along the way, such as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, the 2009 and 2012 Stanley Cup Finals as well as the 2012 NHL All-Star Game. Could the Olympics be next? And then he got the news. Unlike the athletes who are introduced at news conferences, Amell was contacted through e-mail by Stephen Walkom, the NHLs director of officiating. The message was sent on December 1, naming the 13 NHL officials who were chosen to work in Sochi. Of course, when athletes go to the Olympics, they stay in the Athletes Village and invite family and friends to share in the experience. Is it the same for the officials? "The officials stayed together in a hotel right inside the Olympic area. It was great to be together with all the amateur officials," said Amell, who is a married father of two children but did not have any family join him in Sochi. To work the gold medal game, he had to prove himself again. "The gold medal officials were chosen by a panel of supervisors from various countries and it was based on performance during the tournament. We were told by e-mail after the semifinal games," said Amell. When the officials for the gold medal game were announced, former NHL player and Swedish international Peter Forsberg was incensed that Canadians would be working the game but some current Swedish players defended the decision, saying their nationality wouldnt affect their decision-making. "We knew there would be extreme scrutiny on the officiating when it was announced that the officials were Canadian," said Amell. "We knew the players would be comfortable with us since we are all in the NHL. It was more an issue with the media than with the players. "At the end of the game, the entire Swedish team came over and shook our hands and told us we did a great job. That was very satisfying for us." So which was more nerve-racking: the first NHL game or the gold medal game? "Working the gold medal game was the most nerve-racking game I have ever officiated," he admitted. Its been a long road from collecting shopping carts in Whitby to officiating at the gold medal game in Sochi. And while Amells appearance at the Olympics may not have been as celebrated as many of the athletes, or even noticed by most viewers, the accomplishment is no less significant. And just like the athletes, family plays an integral role in the success of officials, offering support and enduring hardships over the years. "Since we only work 6-8 games a year at home, the family sacrifices are large," said Amell. "I miss most of my childrens sports activities and birthdays. They understand the life of an NHL official, but it still can be very difficult on my wife and children," said Amell. As for the hundreds of people who show up at the airport for our returning athletes, how does the return of an official compare? "No one met me at the airport," Amell laughed. "It was like coming home from any other road trip!" The Olympics is a place where dreams can come true. Most people dream of winning a gold medal but dont tell Derek Amell that his accomplishment is anything less. He just achieved his Olympic goal with a lot less fanfare. And, like a linesman who goes unnoticed when he does a good job, thats the way he likes it. Patrick Sharp Jersey . The Incheon-based tea, of the Korea Baseball Organization said the deal for the 35-year-old Scott included a $50,000 signing bonus. Scott reached the major leagues with Houston in 2005 and hit 23 homers or more for Baltimore each year from 2008-10. Steve Larmer Jersey .J. -- Tom Coughlin doesnt have many options at halfback for the winless New York Giants. http://www.officialblackhawksauthority.com/jeremy-roenick-blackhawks-jersey-c-19/ . Ryan Callahan trade talks caught a lot of people off guard. Details are now emerging about why the Rangers would consider such a move. Darren Dreger: He wants a lot of money. Its been widely reported that Callahan is looking for a seven-year term around $6 million per year. That is not accurate. Im told that it is more than $6.RECIFE, Brazil -- Mario Balotelli couldnt care less if hes mentioned in the same breath as Neymar or Lionel Messi at this World Cup -- as long as he comes away with the trophy. Having scored the winning goal in Italys 2-1 victory over England and now getting ready for Fridays match against Costa Rica, the temperamental forward has gained more attention than any other Azzurri player in Brazil. "I hope this is Italys World Cup, not Marios. Im not really interested in being compared with the big stars," Balotelli said Thursday. "In the end its the squad that wins. I dont want to be a big star. I want to win the World Cup." "Personally, I want to score as many goals as possible," he added at the official pre-match news conference. "But the important thing is that the squad wins and advances." Wearing a black cap turned backward and a total of three diamond earrings -- two on his right ear, one on the left -- Balotelli was his usual candid self. Asked if he minds being the lone forward in coach Cesare Prandellis 4-1-4-1 formation, Balotelli snapped back: "As long as I play." This is a first World Cup for Balotelli, who helped lead Italy to the 2012 European Championship final. "This is the biggest event of my career and I want to give my all," he said. "The World Cup is more important than the Golden Ball, the Champions League or the scudetto (Serie A title), so its only normal that it creates a spark inside of you." Balotelli has made headlines almost from the moment he landed in Brazil, first by proposing to his Belgian girlfriend on a moon-lit beach in the week leading up to the England match. "The proposal had nothing to do with the World Cup," Balotelli said. "The proposal would have occurred even without the World Cup." Balotelli is coming off an up-and-down club season with AC Milan and has been the subject of rampant transfer speculation in recent weeks. Duncan Keith Jersey. There have been reports that Arsenal is offering Milan a (euro)30 million ($40 million) transfer fee, and a contract for Balotelli worth 180,000 pounds (more than $300,000) per week. "My focus is 100 per cent on the World Cup," he said. "I dont know what will happen afterward. I dont know anything." While he does appear focused, Balotelli was not prepared for questions about Costa Ricas players. For example, what does he think about Keylor Navas, who had a strong season with Levante and is considered one of the top goalkeepers in the Spanish league? "Honestly, Im unprepared for this question because I havent seen the Costa Rica goalkeeper," he responded. OK, so what impressed him about Costa Ricas defence in a 3-1 win over Uruguay? "I saw the match but to be sincere I didnt study the players," Balotelli said. "Ill watch them tonight." That was the point when Prandelli butted in and offered help. "If you want, I can answer about all of the players," the coach told a Costa Rican journalist with a smile. Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzalez, however, wasnt amused. "We will let the world know that we are here," Gonzalez said. Sitting right next to Balotelli, Prandelli managed to analyze his prized players hot and cold streaks as if he were there alone. "If you look at Mario in these four years there have been moments of alarm," Prandelli said. "One moment hes the man whos going to bring you to the top of the world and then a moment later he shouldnt even be at the World Cup." "The important thing for us is for him to stay focused and play like he did in the last match," Prandelli added. "If he does that for 90 minutes he could be decisive. He needs to give 100 per cent." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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