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Sportsmanship not lost

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Apparently nothing brings out whiners and weenies like an Olympics. I expect Australia’s Dale Begg-Smith’s name to become synonymous with both at least as far as his former country of Canada is concerned.

From the weather blues to the British media who seem to have made bashing Vancouver a national pastime the critics are getting a good workout on Vancouver’s behalf . (Good luck in 2012 England, payback’s a you know what. . .)

But thankfully for every Dale Begg-Smith there seems to be 10 Olympians who put the sport back into sportsmanship.

There are the Shannon Bahrkes and Cindy Klassens and Clara Hughes, who seemed more excited for a teammate’s good fortune than they would be had they won a gold medal themselves.

That’s sportsmanship.

There is Swiss snowboarder Olivia Nobs who won a bronze medal in Ladies’ snowboard cross Tuesday. She was on the podium for the flower ceremony and they were about to announce Canadian Maëlle Ricker as the gold medalist. Nobs, started waving her arms for the already roaring crowd to give Ricker a bigger ovation.

That’s sportsmanship.

Later in the day, when Canada was playing Switzerland in women’s curling, a Swiss stone which should have been knocked out further hit Canadian skip Cheryl Bernard in the foot and stopped. The Swiss team could have been über-competitive and made the rock stay where it was but they quickly, without being asked, stepped up to acknowledge it should be further away and moved it themselves.

That’s sportsmanship.

And then there are the Maëlle Rickers of the world, who train their butts off for years and realize their Olympic dream and when it’s finally happened, can only giggle in disbelief and remind everyone why she started snowboarding in the first place.

"It was so so fun."

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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