By Dialogo February 17, 2010 Chile, which has competed in fourteen Winter Olympic Games and never won a medal, aspires to ascend the Olympic podium in a few years in skiing, a sport with a “promising future” in the country, according to Luis Alberto Santa Cruz, president of the Chilean skiing federation. “At these Olympic Games (Vancouver-2010) we have three representatives, but in the near future we hope to have more, given the work that is going on with children and young people throughout the country,” Santa Cruz explained to AFP. “We’ve been working, and today we have around a thousand boys and girls between nine and fourteen years old training in various places. I believe that the future of skiing in Chile will be promising,” he emphasized. At the Whistler satellite location, where the Alpine skiing competitions are being held, Chile is represented by Jorge Mandru, Maiu Gayme, and the young Noelle Barahona, all of whom have experience at the previous Winter Olympics in Turin in 2006. According to the official, the three are competing in the downhill, Super-G, giant slalom, and combined events. Mandru and Gayme have already tried their luck in the downhill race and finished in 49th and 56th place, respectively. In both cases, they finished behind their results in Turin, although Santa Cruz explains that the conditions in the Italian city were very different from those at the Canadian site. “The two Games can’t be compared, since 55 competitors participated in Turin, and here there were 64, on a much more difficult course,” the federation president concluded. The best finish by a Chilean skier at the Winter Olympics was in the Japanese city of Nagano in 1998, where Thomas Grob finished eleventh in the combined event. Santa Cruz specified that there are high hopes in Vancouver for Barahona, a nineteen-year-old from Santiago, who has been training in Whistler for over a month and who was the youngest athlete at the Turin Games. He emphasized that in Chile “there’s a tradition of winter sports, above all Alpine skiing, since we have 5,000 km of snow-covered mountain ranges and good places to practice these sports.” Nevertheless, he indicated that in order to achieve a real leap forward, the material conditions in these centers need to be improved, as well as the transportation facilities that could make them accessible to the majority of those interested in the sport. He indicated that with the support of the Chilean Olympic Committee, the sports ministry, and private sponsorship, “it was possible to obtain resources for the preparation of these kids who are here in Vancouver, but we need a regular source for this assistance.” Chile’s efforts to develop this pursuit earned the country the right to host the Junior World Ski Championships, which will be held at Termas de Chillán, 1,600 meters above sea level and 490 km south of Santiago. Nevertheless, the Chilean official dismissed reports that have appeared on the Internet about the possibility that Chile could be a candidate to host the Winter Olympics. “That’s absolutely false. We have not been able to determine who put that page up on the Internet, but as president of the Chilean skiing federation, I categorically deny that Chile aspires to organize the Winter Olympic Games, or even to be a candidate for them,” he stressed.
England’s bid to reach a first World Cup final since 1966 came to an end in the last four as they lost in extra time to Croatia in Moscow.FC Juventus striker, Mario Mandzukic was the hero of the night after he scored the match winner in the 109th minute, connecting from left side from Ivan Perisic’s flick-on into the area.Perisic’s volley sent the match into extra time after Kieran Trippier had given England a fifth-minute lead with a sublime free-kick. Unfancied before the competition, Gareth Southgate’s young side defied expectations by reaching the semi-finals, but were undone by an experienced Croatia side.England, playing in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, got the perfect start through Trippier’s brilliant free-kick and Croatia were finding it extremely difficult to deal with England’s high-tempo game.Harry Kane could have doubled the lead but was denied by goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and Jesse Lingard placed a shot wide from a good position.Croatia grew into the game in the second half and equalised through Perisic, and the Inter Milan winger hit the post with a low drive shortly after.In extra time John Stones saw a header cleared off the line, while Pickford made a brilliant save from Mandzukic’s close range effort – but the Everton man could do nothing about the winner.England will now play Belgium in Saturday’s third/fourth place play-off in St Petersburg.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
A board member of Accra Hearts of Oak, Commodore Mensah has indicated that there is a lot to savour following the Phobians 103 years of existence.Accra Hearts of Oak was formed on 11th November, 1911 and it was the third football club in the Gold Coast after Excelsior (1903 in Cape-Coast) and Invincibles (1910 in Accra)Hearts of Oak is at the moment, the only existing Club out of the 3 above-named, signifying its strength and character as the HEARTS OF AN OAK TREE, which is their emblem.Hearts of Oak turn 103 on Tuesday and the question most people are asking is what is there to celebrate for a club that has gone off the radar since winning the maiden edition of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2004.Let’s give praise and thanks to the almighty that despite all the challenges of life Accra Hearts of Oak is still in existence,” said Commodore Mensah in an interview with Joy sports“If you look back, other teams cannot boast of this feat of staying alive, where are the cornerstones and the host of others.“Even though on the field of play we have nothing to show off, the mere fact that we are still in existence calls for celebration.”