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23:26, Jul 14 2015
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. -- Of the many injuries that can befall a downhill ski racer, John Kuceras is an unusual one. The 2009 world downhill champion isnt racing in the season-opening World Cup downhill Saturday or in Sundays super-G at Lake Louise, Alta. Kucera was the first Canadian man to stand atop the podium at Lake Louise when he won the super-G in 2006. He also won a silver in the discipline in 2008. The Calgarian is dealing with the lingering symptoms of vestibular neuritis, an inner ear condition causing dizziness and nausea. It struck suddenly at a training camp in Chile in September. "I literally went to bed with a cold and woke up and went to turn off my phone alarm and got full dizzy spins and the whole nine yards," Kucera says. "The easiest way to describe it is post-concussion. Its sensitivity to motion. I get nauseated and stuff and a little fog comes over me and I cant focus on skiing gates." Thats a problem when Kucera needs to navigate terrain and gates at 130 kilometres per hour. The 29-year-old has been free skiing this week, but Kucera isnt at a point where he could race and be competitive. "This is a place I love to race and its not even just here," Kucera said. "Its any race when theyre going to be on. Its not like when you have a broken leg and youre so out, its unrealistic to even think you can do it. "With this, you almost feel like youre so close, but youre just not there. Itll be frustrating in that regard." Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., Vancouvers Manny Osborne-Paradis and Jan Hudec of Calgary are Canadas top medal hopefuls at Lake Louise this weekend. Between those three and Kucera is a litany of back and knee injuries. Hudec leads the way with seven knee surgeries. Kucera broke his leg at Lake Louise in 2009 and didnt race the next three seasons. The skiers accept these as the occupational hazards of their sport, but Kuceras vertigo seems strange and random to them. "Its a bummer Johnnys not feeling up to it yet, but hopefully that will settle down and hell be back on the snow soon," Guay said. "It is a weird one. Id never heard of it. He said he looked online for a long time and hes only found two cases of it with athletes. "He said the two athletes he found was a Major League Baseball player and a professional tennis player. If you fall down in those sports, its not a big deal, but when youre going 140 and you get dizzy, theres some serious consequences. I wouldnt risk it too much." Norways Aksel Lund Svindal won Fridays final downhill training run that was shortened to the super-G course because of poor visibility at the top of the mountain. While Lake Louise is nicknamed "Lake Lindsey" because of Lindsey Vonns multiple wins in the womens races, Svindal is approaching that domination on the mens side. Svindal has won five times at the Alberta resort, including victories last year in both downhill and super-G. Georg Streitberger of Austria was second and Bode Miller of the U.S. was third Friday. Osborne-Paradis was the top Canadian in 25th and Guay 26th. Fogged goggles and a missed gate made Hudecs run adventurous, although he did get to the bottom. "I went on a road trip and almost didnt come back and ran out of gas and didnt put windshield wiper fluid in the tank. But I still made it," Hudec said. "I definitely took the scenic route." Guay was fastest in the first training run with Osborne-Paradis and Hudec also in the top 10, so the Canadians feel confident and relatively healthy heading into their home race. "We have guys who are definitely in contention of getting a podium here," Osborne-Paradis said. "We need to push it. Hopefully it happens, but if it doesnt, theres a race every weekend." The timing of Kuceras malady isnt good. Breaking his leg in the super-G in 2009 kept him from racing at the 2010 Winter Olympics as well as the next three seasons. He returned to the World Cup last winter with the intent of building a base of racing under him again. The mens speed team has depth this season and there will be internal competition for the four downhill spots on the 2014 Olympic team. Hudec, Osborne-Paradis, Guay, Ben Thomsen of Whistler, B.C., and Kucera, if he can get back to racing, are the forerunners for the Olympic team. But that group will also get competition from brothers Morgan and Conrad Pridy and Robbie Dixon of Whistler, Dustin Cook of Lac Sainte-Marie, Que., and Jeffrey Frisch of Mont-Tremblant. All will race Saturday except for Cook, who declined his spot to concentrate on Sundays super-G, and Dixon, who didnt qualify out of training. Hudec, Osborne-Paradis, Guay and Thomsen have met half the criteria for Olympic selection, as those four each achieved a top-12 result last season. Kucera needs a pair of top-12 finishes or one top-five this season to meet the standard. But all he can do for now is wait until his symptoms disappear, which is not unlike having a concussion. "Sometimes you kind of get dealt the cards you get out of nowhere and a weird one," Kucera says. "The good thing about it is its nothing super-serious where my health is really at risk long term. "At the end of the day, its a bummer and my career might suffer, but its a good thing Im not here fighting for my life or something really crazy. Theres other crazy health cards out there that can really get you." Jonas Valanciunas Raptors Jersey .UEFA says its disciplinary panel found Ukraine fans guilty of racist behaviour during a European Championship qualifier against Macedonia last month.Ukraine was fined 58,000 euros ($72,700) and ordered to close a 5,000-seat section of the stadium when Ukraine hosts Luxemburg in a Euro 2016 qualifier in June. Kyle Lowry Raptors . Eric Gelinas scored on a power play 1:15 into overtime, after the Devils squandered the lead in the final seconds of regulation, to lift New Jersey to a 4-3 win Saturday night. http://www.officialraptorsonline.com/Authentic-Tracy-Mcgrady-Raptors-Jersey/ . The Jets are 1-2-1 against Nashville this year despite outscoring the Predators 11-10. Blake Wheeler and Olli Jokinen lead Winnipeg with four points, while Craig Smith has four for the Predators. Vince Carter Raptors Jersey . The match was the first of three for Canada on its European tour. The Canadian women meet France again on Tuesday in Amneville before taking on England on Nov. DeMar DeRozan Raptors Jersey . -- Garret Sparks made 31 saves as the Toronto Marlies beat the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-1 in American Hockey League play Tuesday. EDMONTON -- Bo Levi Mitchell isnt interested in tying or surpassing any personal records. He just wants his team to win. The Stampeders quarterback threw for 124 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night to improve to 7-0 as a CFL starter and help Calgary edge the Edmonton Eskimos 26-22. Rene Paredes nailed four field goals as the Stampeders improved to 4-0 on the season. Mitchell, meanwhile, tied former Stampeder Jeff Garcias league record for best career start. But after the game, Mitchell downplayed the accomplishment. "Its not a record that people even keep track of, Im surprised people even keep it," he said. "Im excited to be undefeated, but Im more excited our team is playing well and that we are undefeated. Ill try to keep that record intact as long as I can, but a loss is going to come at some point." Edmonton was guilty of a couple of major gaffes in the game, including the questionable decision to try and run a fake punt out of the end zone late in the second quarter, a failed effort which led directly to a costly Calgary touchdown. "I was surprised they did that," said Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel. "We were very fortunate to be able to stop that by inches. It was a big play of the game since we scored on the next play. This is the type of game where a head coach has to make decisions to try and help their team win. I went for a third-and-one and was stopped. You have to take those chances and just hope that they are executed. "Were struggling offensively, but we are still winning. We need to get better and hopefully we will get better." The Eskimos dropped to 4-1 on the year, missing out on a chance to surpass the total number of wins they had in a disappointing 4-14 campaign in 2013. "Youd like to win them all, youd like to go 18-0 and then win two more in the playoffs," said Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly, who threw for 212 yards with one TD and one interception. "But the reality is thats not going to happen, so you try to learn from these experiences. "This is a good football team that we played against. Theyve got the best record in the league now, but we also learned that if we do a few things better, we could win that football game." Edmontons defence was forced to come up big early as Eskimos punt returner Jamal Miles coughed up the ball just over a minute into the game on his own 27-yard line. That was as close as Calgary got, however, as they were held to a 36-yard Paredes field goal. The Eskimos came right back on their next possession with a 31-yard Grant Shaw field goal to tie it 3-3. Calgary came up with another big special teams play with six minutes remaining in the first quarter as Keenan MacDougall blocked a Shaw punt deep in the Edmonton zone and was able to pick it up and ramble the remaining six yards into the end zone to put the Stampeders up 10-3. "I kind of went through untouched," MacDougall said. "I had a nice bounce into my hands after a couple of other bounces." Pat White replaced Mike Reilly at quarterback to start the second quarter and instantly drew a pass interference call on an end zonne pass.dddddddddddd He would then take it in from the one-yard line to knot the game back up. It was Whites first CFL touchdown. Edmonton looked to have surged in front two minutes later on a 59-yard passing play from Reilly to Fred Stamps, however the play was called back on a holding infraction. The defensive battle continued as Fred Bennett picked off a Reilly pass at the Edmonton 45, eventually leading to a 36-yard Paredes field goal. The Eskimos responded with a 40-yarder from Shaw. Edmonton tried a fake punt with 24 seconds remaining as defensive back Aaron Grymes took off with the ball from his own end zone. It was a costly risk, however, as he was stopped just short of the first down, leading to a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to Jeff Fuller and a 20-13 Calgary lead at the half. The Eskimos atoned for the miscue six-and-a-half minutes into the third quarter as they stopped the Stamps on a third down gamble at the Calgary 32-yard line. The next play Reilly was able to pass to a wide-open Shamawd Chambers for the touchdown to tie it once again. Calgary regained the lead in the pouring rain with just over a minute remaining in the third frame on a 29-yard Paredes field goal and then benefited from a bevy of Edmonton penalties to make it 26-20 six minutes into the fourth quarter on a 30-yarder from their kicker. Edmonton had a chance for an easy first down with one-and-a-half minutes down, but instead of driving it the inches necessary, tried a passing play only to see Reilly get sacked to force a punt. Calgary gave up a safety with 44 seconds left to run some time off the clock and put Edmonton on their own 35. The move allowed the Stamps to run out the clock from there. The Stampeders return home to face the B.C. Lions next Friday. Edmonton has a bye week before starting a two-game road swing in Montreal on Aug. 8. Notes: The last time the Eskimos were able to come away with a win against their provincial rivals was on Sept. 5, 2011. Calgary came into the game with eight wins in a row over Edmonton in the head-to-head match-ups. à The Stampeders were without reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player Jon Cornish, who was placed on the six-game injured list with concussion symptoms. à Eskimos linebacker J.C. Sherritt missed his fourth game this season. à Calgary came into the game having allowed just three sacks this season, while Edmontons defence led the league with 18. à The Stamps entered the match-up having surrendered a CFL-low 10 points a game, and just one touchdown, compared to the 14.5 scored against the Eskimos. à Fans were just as interested in the 50/50 draw as they were the game. In their last home game against Ottawa, the jackpot of $71,732 went unclaimed and carried over to the game against Calgary. The potential for a big draw ignited a frenzy, as fans endured long lines to get a crack at the pot, which ended up at an astounding and record-setting $348,534. Because of the heavy demand, the draw couldnt be announced at the game. Instead plans were in place to announce it on the team website. ... The attendance for the game was a league season-high 40,066. cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys Soni Mustivar Jersey ' ' '