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Calgary freestyle skiers prepare for Olympics, da Vinci inventions come to Regina, Edmonton’s Hawrelak Park lake to get upgrade, and Winnipeg’s True North expands with gaming centre.

Hopeful Calgary freestyle skiers gear up for Olympics

The World Cup takes place this weekend at Canada Olympic Park, where many hopeful Calgary freestyle skiers see if they can get closer to their dreams and advance to the Sochi Olympics. With the Olympic qualification already underway, president of the Canadian Freestyle Skiing Association Peter Judge says this weekend is critical for the driven athletes.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” Judge said. “There’s the excitement of competing at home, the excitement of being in that chase, in the hunt for the world championship and Olympic spots, but it’s also the pressure of those things too. That’s why we set up the selection process that we do so we have that performance on demand kind of opportunity so that they get that sense of pressure and hopefully it helps them perform better down the road.”

While many of the 120 athletes competing will come from afar, some will feel right at home, like Calgary native Luke Ulisfer, who will be making his World Cup debut this weekend.

“The last few years they’ve had it here, I’ve always been helping out and watching the team compete,” Ulsifer explained. “Now I’m competing — it feels pretty surreal. I’m just pretty excited — I have lots of friends and family coming out.”


Unknown-1 da Vinci’s first helicopter concept design

You’ve heard the name Leonardo da Vinci, and are most likely familiar with pieces such as the Mona Lisa. Soon those in the Regina area will be able to experience the man and his creative mind. The Saskatchewan Science Centre will be introducing their interactive da Vinci exhibit starting February 9th.

“The exhibit is set up to feature interactive and life-sized machine inventions that he had invented backed in the 1400’s and 1500’s.  He created the first concepts of a car, bicycle, and helicopter,” said Collette Parks, manager of marketing and communications at the science centre.

There will be a modern feel to this renaissance artist with touch screen versions of da Vinci’s notebooks that guest can interact with, along with 3D animations that dissect and reveal the true meanings behind da Vinci works such as the Sforza Horse and the Vitruvian man. This Inventions exhibit runs until April 28th.

Leonardo da Vinci Inventions:



Unknown-3Hawrelak Park lake to get $1.3 million upgrade

The International Triathlon Union Grand Final, kind of a big deal, and Edmonton’s Hawrelak Park is set to host it next year. The man-made lake’s 40 year-old clay liner isn’t quite up to snuff with Alberta Health Services so to rectify that by the time the hosting honour arrives, it will be getting a $1.3 million upgrade.

“The lake will get drained and all the sediment that’s built up since ’99 will be removed and there’ll be a channel that will be 20 metres wide over the swim course that will be deepened,” said Sheila O’Kelly of the Edmonton Triathlon Academy.

O’Kelly leaves Wednesday to present to the international committee in Madrid. An estimation made in a city report shows that hosting the Grand Final will cost the City of Edmonton $5 million. Edmonton will kick in $2 million while the rest will come through corporate sponsors and both the federal and provincial government.


images Winnipeg’s City Place to get new gaming centre

For Winnipeg’s True North Sports & Entertainment, the compass points ahead to a new gaming centre that is currently under construction on the second floor of City Place. The new centre will be owned by True North and operated by Manitoba Lotteries.

“This gaming centre is a result of the province’s promise to provide gaming revenue support to the MTS Centre,” said Susan Olynik, vice-president of corporate communications and social responsibility for Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.

This 5,000 square-foot adult playground will  have 140 slot machines, four black jack tables, and two poker tables. Once it opens the 50 VLTs, which currently keep Tavern patrons betting across the street on the second floor will be removed.  This downtown mini casino still has no name, but is expected to have 40 employees brought on through Manitoba Lotteries.



Chadd Cawson is an intern at Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @ChaddCawson

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