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Antoine Mountain ski resort hosts first ‘Pride Ski’ event in Northern Ontario

Antoine Mountain ski resort hosts first 'Pride Ski' event in Northern Ontario

To wrap up the 2021-22 ski season, Antoine Mountain ski resort in Mattawan is going out with a bang.

The ski hill is holding it’s first ‘Pride Ski’ event in northern Ontario featuring drag queens and performers coming from North Bay and beyond to hit the slopes and hold a drag show.

Decked out in their special ski gear, three drag queens shred the high hills.

Antoine Mountain Pride Ski Drag Queens

“I have two ski outfits. This red one is the one for me getting my ski legs back because I haven’t skied in over a decade,” explained Drag Queen Dixie.

It’s the final ski weekend at Antoine Mountain. Beginning the season on Boxing Day, Sunday is the last day before the skis and snowboards are put away until next winter.

The hill wanted to go out with a blast of colour by hosting a DJ, drag show and downhill skiing for all.

“It was was a fantastic year. We were very excited to be open for a full season,” explained Antoine Mountain Spokesperson Sarina Goad. “We’re welcoming everybody and anybody. Everyone needs to get out there and have some fun and be inclusive.”

Other southern Ontario and Quebec ski hills have hosted downhill Pride events and Antonie Mountain wanted to be the first hill to bring the festivities to northern Ontario.

Antoine Mountain Pride Ski Flag

“The 2SLGBTQ+ community is everywhere,” explained North Bay Pride spokesman Jason Maclennan. “It’s about time we accept everybody for who they are.”

Maclennan says online attacks and bullying still occurs for members for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, especially in the north.

“Northern Ontario has struggled a little bit. We’ve experienced a little bit of hate, homophobia, transphobia,” he explained. “It’s kind of surprising we’re in 2022 and we’re still experiencing that.”

Antoine Mountain is looking at making ‘Pride Ski’ a yearly tradition in order to be open and inclusive for all.

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Alpine Canada working to get athletes out of Russia as world cup ski events cancelled

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Canada’s national sporting body for alpine skiing is working to get athletes out of Russia after that country began military attacks on Ukraine.

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Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) confirmed Friday they are working with the federal government to secure flights out of the region ‘as soon as possible’, said spokesperson Kyklie Robertson.

“We are working directly with the ministers of Global Affairs and Sport who are aware and providing support as needed,” said Robertson.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) announced Friday morning that it would be cancelling or moving all remaining World Cup events previously scheduled to take place in Russia after President Vladimir Putin moved troops into Ukraine and began firing missiles and artillery into the country after weeks of posturing along the Russia-Ukraine border. Ukrainian officials said Thursday that dozens of people had been killed and more than 100 others were injured.

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“After close consultation with its stakeholders, FIS has decided that in the interest of the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the World Cup, that all remaining World Cup events scheduled to take place in Russia between now and the end of the 2021-22 season will be cancelled or moved to another location,” read a statement posted to the FIS website.

Those events included World Cup ski cross and aerial competitions that were scheduled for this weekend. FIS said participants were already on site and the sporting organization is working with stakeholders to get the athletes home.

Robertson did not confirm what or how many Canadian athletes were in the region but the ACA website lists a number of Albertans on the national skicross team, including athletes from Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Edmonton.

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Calgary-based Church group Samaritan Purse announced Friday that emergency assistance teams would be deployed to countries around Ukraine to provide emergency relief as needed.

“Samaritan’s Purse has been closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine for weeks,” said president Franklin Graham. “We have deployed members of our Disaster Assistance Response Team to surrounding countries and are standing ready to help meet emergency needs resulting from the crisis. Please join me in praying for the people of Ukraine and for this conflict to end quickly.”

Samaritan’s Purse has prepared an emergency field hospital to be shipped overseas as needed.

Meanwhile, the provincial government has dedicated a million dollars to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Canada Ukraine Foundation. The funds are meant to assist with humanitarian aid in the eastern European country.

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“Our government will always stand by Ukrainians and their elected government. I have been clear that we support Ukraine’s sovereignty and its right to defend its borders – and its people – against adversaries. Our hope is that there is a de-escalation of the situation, but in the meantime our government is proud to provide support to the humanitarian aid effort,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a news release.

Shortly after the attacks began Wednesday, Kenney called for a global embargo on Russian oil and gas exports.

Speaking to media Friday, Kenney said there was little his government could do to economically impact Russia outside of producing and exporting more Alberta energy, saying Europe and parts of Asia have become reliant on Russian oil and gas. He called on the federal government to use the strongest sanctions possible against Russian exports.

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“I’m not aware of any particular ties (between Russia and Alberta). We have very small, negligible trade with the Russian Federation,” said Kenney.

Several other provinces, including Ontario, announced Friday that they would begin pulling Russian liquor off of crown liquor stores. Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) said it was considering all possible options and will provide further updates as soon as possible.

The Alberta legislature flew a Ukrainian flag inside the chamber during the legislative assembly’s Thursday sitting. Speaker Nathan Cooper invited all MLAs in the chamber to take part in a photo to show support for Ukraine.

The City of Calgary also issued a statement of support for Ukraine on Thursday, A Ukrainian flag was raised outside the Municipal Building Thursday to show solidarity with the local Ukrainian community.

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“The City of Calgary has raised the flag of Ukraine at the Municipal Building to show support for a sovereign nation under a horrifying and unprovoked attack. We stand in support of the Ukrainian community in our city and the people who have close ties to their homeland,” read a statement issued Thursday.

Several members of the Ukrainian-Calgary community told Postmedia they are worried for their relatives still in Ukraine and called for action from the federal government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that his government would impose further sanctions against Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and Putin’s chief of staff. The announcement was part of a third set of sanctions imposed against Russian officials since the start of the Ukrainian invasion.

— With files from Brittany Gervais and the Canadian Press

dshort@postmedia.com

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World ski body cancels all upcoming events in Russia

World ski body cancels all upcoming events in Russia

GENEVA (AP) — Russia will not host any more World Cup events organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS) this winter, the governing body said Friday.

It announced the decision after a farcical attempt to hold ski cross races Friday in the Urals resort Sunny Valley one day after Russia started a military invasion of Ukraine.

Only a handful of Russians started and dozens of racers from all other countries did not take part. The non-starters included new Olympic champions Ryan Regez of Switzerland and Sandra Naeslund of Sweden..

FIS cited ”the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the World Cup” for calling off five scheduled events in the next month. Replacement venues are being sought.

A World Cup event in freestyle aerials was also scheduled this weekend in Yaroslavl. Women’s ski jumping competitions were scheduled between March 18-27 at Nizhny Tagil and Chaikovsky. Cross-country races were due in Tyumen on March 18-20.

At Sunny Valley, just six Russians started out of 61 scheduled racers in men’s ski cross qualification. Seven Russians among 24 listed starters took part in the women’s event.

FIS said regarding the ski cross and aerials skiers already in Russia that it was “working closely with the involved stakeholders to ensure their quick return back home.”

Norway’s ski federation had already asked FIS to cancel the planned events in Russia, with its president Erik Røste saying “this is bigger than sport and that sport cannot be neutral in such a situation.”

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Slew of DQs mars Olympic debut of ski jumping event, opens door for Canadian medal | CBC Sports

Slew of DQs mars Olympic debut of ski jumping event, opens door for Canadian medal | CBC Sports

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has come under fire after a slew of disqualifications marred Monday’s first Olympic mixed team event, with one athlete saying the governing body had “destroyed” women’s ski jumping.

Germany, Austria, Norway and Japan all suffered disqualification for suit infringements, prompting anger and tears on what should have been a great night for the sport, but which ended up in fiasco.

Each team was made up of two women and two men, and all five of those disqualified were female.

“We were looking forward to the second competition at the Olympics. FIS destroyed that with this action — they destroyed women’s ski jumping,” Germany’s Katharina Althaus, who was one of those disqualified, told reporters.

“Our names are now [out] there and we just pulled the crap card. That is how you destroy nations, development and the entire sport.”

The Canadian team was able to take advantage, earning bronze amid the narrowed field.

WATCH | Canada earns historic ski jumping medal:

Canada wins historic bronze in mixed team ski jumping

Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes secured a bronze for Canada with his final jump of 101.5m at Beijing 2022. 1:20

Horst Huttel, Germany’s head of Nordic events, said the situation was “outrageous.”

“This is a parody, but I am not laughing … It is outrageous that this happens with the four biggest ski-jump nations,” he added.

Norwegian ski jumping chief of sports Clas Brede Braathen said the experience was “very painful” for the athletes and that the issue should have been ironed out before the Olympics.

“The sport of ski jumping has experienced one of its darker days …,” he told reporters.

“I’m lost for words, really. I’m in pain on behalf of our sport.”

‘It’s completely crazy’

With lightning-fast take-off runs and soaring leaps, wind resistance plays a huge part in ski jumping, and skis and suits are regularly checked by officials to ensure that competitors have not done anything to gain an unfair advantage.

Slovenia took the gold medal, with athletes representing the Russian Olympic Committee picking up the silver and Canada taking the shock bronze medal, but the focus quickly shifted from their achievement to how the rules were interpreted.

“I hope nobody ever experiences that again, it’s completely crazy,” Norwegian jumper Robert Johansson, who had been sitting on the bar preparing to jump when he found out about the disqualifications, told Reuters.

Takanashi reacts after her jump. (Matthias Schrader/The Associated Press)

His teammates Silje Opseth and Anna Odine Stroem were both penalized, along with Germany’s Althaus, Japan’s Sara Takanashi and Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria.

A distraught Takanashi quickly left the arena, and Opseth was also in tears as she told reporters how her suit was the same one that she had worn in Saturday’s competition without any problem from the judges.

“I think they checked it in a new way today compared to what they had done previously, I think it’s very strange that they would suddenly change how they do it in the middle of a tournament,” Opseth said before breaking down in tears again.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m really just shaken. I’m sorry that I was disqualified today,” she said.

The judges at the competition declined to comment when asked to do so by Norwegian journalists.