Posts tagged “athlete

Hawaiian surfer: riding off Ke’e Beach

Surfing at Ke'e - © Christopher Martin-5634

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Ke’e Beach is further up the coast on the north shore.  The waves were big and came in haphazard sets with some breaks sending waves slamming into other ones.  I did not expect to see anyone surfing there but on one of the days we spent on the beach, watching the coastline and keeping an eye out for seals, I saw one fellow sitting on a surfboard watching the waves.  He watched for quite a while and then headed out, presumably having found the right spot and the right way to get out to it.

Into the cauldron - © Christopher Martin-5554

I kept an eye on his progress and when he started catching waves it was awesome.  He knew what he was doing and it was great to watch him navigate through the chaos, pick a wave and then grab a good ride.


Calgary Stampede – Bull Riding Champion

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The finals of the Calgary Stampede’s Centennial Rodeo were a wet, muddy affair this afternoon.  It was awesome!  The last event was the Bull Riding Final.  Earlier in the day, the rain and mud seemed to work in the bull’s favour and of the ten cowboys that qualified for last day, only three of the four places in the final four were filled.  The other men were bucked off and did not get a shot at the $100,000.  In the final, luck stayed with the bulls and all three riders were thrown.  That meant another round of rides but adrenaline took over and you wouldn’t have known that these guys were each on their third bull of the day!  Shane Proctor, the 2011 Stampede Champion from Mooresville, North Carolina, got started and hung on from the side of the bull for the last two seconds to make full-time and earned a score of 66.50.  With the wet conditions and the ferocity of the animals, no one ruled out that as the winning ride even though the cowboy himself would have liked more.

Next up was Aaron Roy from Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan.  He rode beautifully aboard Risky Remedy and scored an 86.0.  He had great control and it was a ride worthy of a champion.

The final ride, barring a tie, was Chad Besplug riding on Kish This.  When the gate swung open, they came out like a huge whirling dervish.

Mud flying, cow jumping and spinning while the cowboy stayed balanced and rode out the madness.

Chad won the battle and remained firmly in place past the horn.  He did end up getting thrown and went flying in the air a couple of seconds after time.

However, you have to get off a bull somehow and as long as you don’t get hurt doing it then it’s a good dismount.

The crowd knew it was a great ride but it was not clear where his score would land.  Later, when he was being interviewed he said neither him or Aaron Roy were sure who won.  They had a minute to share a couple of words while the judges confirmed the score and shook hands agreeing that either one was deserving.  The score was an 87.0 and Chad Besplug earned the title of Calgary Stampede Bull Riding Champion for 2012.

The three rodeo clowns, who practice their craft of keeping the bull riders safe exceptionally well, were the first to congratulate the winner.

Then, as he crossed the infield, they tackled him into the muddy bog created by the rain that had just ended.  That was almost as much fun as the winning ride itself.

Congratulations Chad – well-earned and it is fantastic to have a Canadian champion on the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede!


Calgary Stampede – Wildcard Saturday at the Rodeo

Saturday was the last chance for competitors in the rodeo events to qualify for finals.  A lot of fun watching these athletes (people and animals) perform.  I’m heading down to the Stampede for the finals now but wanted to share some of the moments from the day of wildcards.

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Sunday’s Finals should be the exclamation mark to end a great rodeo over the past 10 days.  Good luck to all the competitors!


Calgary Stampede – Lindsay Sears tearing up the Ladies Barrel Racing on Day 7

Lindsay Sears is a local barrel racer from Nanton, Alberta.  She won the Barrel Racing event at the 2008 Calgary Stampede as well as being a two-time Barrel Racing World Champion (2008 and 2011).  The crowd went crazy when she raced today and it was well deserved.  She is the best in the sport right now and is rightfully the hometown favourite.

She has been getting faster with each day through the qualifiers at the 100th Calgary Stampede Rodeo this year.  She won the Thursday Group B qualifier, with a time of 17.62 seconds.  She is currently tied for 4th place in Group B with the last qualifier on Friday.  I would expect she will keep getting faster and should earn her spot in the Sunday finals without rolling the dice in the Wildcard Saturday event.  When the finals are run on the 15th, her track record would suggest it might be foolish to bet against her walking away the centennial champion.  I can’t wait for that race – good luck Lindsay!


Calgary Stampede – Rodeo Action

Day one at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo was fantastic.  A number of really great rides on the bulls and the horses throughout the afternoon.  The ropers had a bit of trouble, several cowboys missed with the rope.  But the wrestlers threw themselves at the steers with high enthusiasm.  All the events were exciting, I’m looking forward to the rest of the competition.

Here, Dean Gorsuch from Gering, Nebraska hits the brakes sliding to a stop with the cow on his way to winning the day’s event in a time of 3.8 seconds.

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