LAKE LOUISE, Alta. Nike Air Max 2019 Running Shoes . -- With the Winter Olympics coming over the horizon, its tempting to want to wrap Canadas top athletes in bubble wrap so they stay in one piece over the next few weeks. Sorry, cant happen, says snowboarder Maelle Ricker, the reigning Olympic champion in womens snowboard cross. The start of Rickers season was delayed by a concussion, but she vows she wont back off between now and February, when the Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia. "You cant be hesitating or hanging back or holding things back," she said Friday at Lake Louise. "It doesnt work that way. Thats just not the way to look at it. Youve got to keep your level of riding, keep progressing and hopefully you peak in February." Ricker became the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal in a home Games when she won in 2010 in Vancouver. She says a training crash "sent me on my head" earlier this month in Austria. The 34-year-old from Squamish, B.C., returned to Canada with a mild concussion instead of racing the first World Cup of the season in Montafon, Austria. The cobwebs cleared in time for Ricker to compete at the Sportcheck Snowboard World Cup in Lake Louise, which is the closest boardercross race to home shes had since winning gold on Cypress Mountain. Ricker and Dominique Maltais of Petite-Riviere-St Francois, Que., qualified Friday for the womens quarter-finals, semifinals and finals Saturday. Calgarys Chris Robanske was first in mens qualifying. Hell be joined in Saturdays main event by teammates Rob Fagan of Squamish and Kevin Hill of Vernon, B.C. Robanske, Ricker and Maltais have already qualified for Sochi. Ricker is also the reigning world champion after winning this years title in Stoneham, Que. Maltais, 33, won the overall World Cup snowboardcross title each of the last three years and was a bronze medallist at the 2006 Winter Games. Robanskes World Cup win at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ont., last season was the first by a Canadian male since 2007. Maltais opened this season finishing second in Montafon. Shes been a model of consistency and her reward has been the crystal globe that goes to World Cup champions. "You have to be on it pretty much every race," Maltais said. "I love what Im doing. Im always looking to improve myself. "Everything Im eating, everything Im touching is to make me a faster, better athlete and a better person too." Maltais and Ricker make Canada a double medal threat in womens boardercross in Sochi. The two women are supportive of each other and will high-five each other even before going head-to-head in a final. "I have so much respect for Dom when were on course," Ricker said. "Shes really pushed the level the last few years. Its really made our whole girls team rise up. "When were on course, were definitely not trying to take each other out. Thats not the idea. The idea is we both get to stand on the podium." Instead of racing each other in four-boarder heats as they do Saturday, the snowboarders race alone against the clock in qualifying. The top 32 men and 16 women advance. Maltais was second and Ricker fifth among women. Robanske was the fastest man with Fagan third and Hill 16th. Lake Louise is a rare race close to home for Robanske, who learned to snowboard at Calgarys Canada Olympic Park at the age of nine. He crashed in Montafon and is racing with injured soft tissue in his right elbow. "What we do is extreme and injuries happen," Robanske said. "If anything, its kind of an advantage for me. I put less pressure on myself when I have something wrong or somethings not working. I think Im going to have a good day tomorrow." Ricker has achieved the pinnacle of her sport, but she doesnt see Sochi as a place where she cant do better than she did in Vancouver. "I dont think about that at all," she said. "If youre thinking about that then maybe youre kicking yourself in the butt. "The big thing that most of us are looking for is that feeling of the perfect run where everything comes together. I really hope its going to produce a good result, but one thing I definitely realized in Vancouver was it was the whole journey leading up to that day and thats sort of where Im at right now." Cheap Air Max Free Shipping . - Maynor Figueroa headed in a late goal to give Honduras a 1-1 draw with the United States in an international friendly Tuesday. Wholesale Air Max China . Martin Reway and David Griger both recorded four points with a goal and three assists each. Mario Lunter, Daniel Gachulinec and Stanislav Horansky also scored for Slovakia (1-0). Dominik Kahun had both goals for Germany (0-2), who lost its opening match to Canada 7-2 on Thursday. http://www.cheapairmaxshoesofficial.us/ .J. -- Tom Coughlin doesnt have many options at halfback for the winless New York Giants.TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers several questions each week. This week, topics include the "bean wars" between the Red Sox and Rays, Blue Jays draft pick Jeff Hoffman, Justin Verlanders struggles, and surprising all-star voting results. 1) In light of the “bean wars” between Tampa Bay and Boston, what should the league do to reduce the number of retaliatory on-field incidents? Are the suspensions enough of a deterrent? Major League Baseball has reduced the number of on-field violent confrontations in a pretty significant way from the 1980s and before. The issuing of warnings to teams after a potentially intentional beaning has reduced the number of retaliatory responses. As we saw in the Rays/Red Sox series, boys will still be boys but it is better now than it used to be. Baseball also has a “heads up” program where umpires are alerted prior to a series about any bad blood that exists between the teams. Umpires can issue warnings before a game if they believe the lingering animosity could surface. This pregame warning serves as a deterrent and puts players on notice that at the first sign of monkey business there will be action taken. There are two changes that I would make to further address this issue. Firstly, I would encourage umpires to eject the instigator in a bean ball situation. Too many times the pitcher who strikes first suffers no penalty. Rays pitcher Davis Price hit Res Sox slugger David Ortiz with a pitch that may have been intentional. The umpire chose to only issue a warning to both teams. That was done with the intent of heading off possible retaliation against the Rays. That warning didnt work and Brandon Workman, Red Sox pitcher, was later ejected for throwing a pitch behind Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. If Price had been ejected, then the Red Sox would not have felt as compelled to bean Longoria for payback. Price didnt get a suspension at all. Second, I would institute a “no third-man in” policy. If there is a fight on the field, no other player can leave his position on the field or in the dugouts and bullpen. If they do then they face an automatic 10-game suspension. This should serve as a team deterrent that will keep all-out brawls from occurring. Thirdly, I propose that penalties become stiffer for the initial combatants as well. If you fight, you know you will serve at least a five-game suspension for a position player and relief pitcher and a 15-game suspension for a starting pitcher. It would be great to end all on-field violence. It wont ever happen but these changes would get us a bit closer. 2) The Blue Jays used the ninth-overall draft pick on Jeff Hoffman on Thursday; a player who just underwent Tommy John surgery. What does this say about the Jays development strategy, especially in light of Alex Anthopoulos drafting habits in the past? The Blue Jays have been drawn to the high-ceiling type players in the first round under Anthopoulos. They have shot for the moon. They want impact from their first round pick. Nowadays, many teams like predictability in first round selections. They will take less impact and a lower ceiling for a greater likelihood that the player will get to the majors. Not the Jays. Jeff Hoffman was thought to be one of the top three picks in this draft prior to injuring his arm and undergoing Tommy John surgery. This selection makes a statement on so many levels. First, the Jays believe that Hoffman is an extraordinary talent. Why else would any team take a baseball player whose injury prohibits him from doing what he does best? Secondly, the Jays believe in Tommy John surgery. It isnt quite as predictable as getting ones tonsils removed but the track record of success is very good. The Jays fully expect Hoffman to be 100 %. Thirdly, the Jays are saving money. Hoffman is a value because they took him with the ninth pick when many thought he could go as high as second overall. With the injury, the Jays will likely save some money but they are also assuming some level of risk and that has dollar value. With multiple first round selections, the Jays gave themselves the financial flexibility to get their picks signed this year. The fact that Hoffman is a college pitcher means that he is a bit more advanced in his development than if he were a high school pitcher and therefore missing some playing time now should not set his development back much at all. 3) Justin Verlanders 2014 numbers have been less than inspirational. Hes 6-5 on a first-place club, has an ERA over 4.00, is presently sporting the worst WHIP of his career, and hasnt logged a complete game since 2012. Should the alarm bells be going offf for the Tigers? The Tigers should be alarmed about Justin Verlander. Cheap Air Max. He is still a good pitcher but the dominant overpowering ace from a few years back is no longer on their roster. Verlander has thrown 1,885 innings in eight and a half years, which includes seasons of 251, 240, and 238 innings pitched in individual seasons. He has thrown the most pitches in baseball this year. In fact, he has thrown the most pitches in baseball since 2009. He has led the league in pitches thrown every year but one from 2009-2014. In 2010 he finished four pitches behind Dan Haren for second most. Verlander is a workhorse. He loves to go deep in the game and he loves to strike out hitters. He has been an amazing pitcher. The fact that he has such great stuff is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because he has won a ton of games for Detroit. It is a curse because he has been so good that he works deep counts since he strikes out so many hitters. And he has always been a better option for the manager than anyone in the bullpen, so he pitches deeper in the game. All of this has taken a toll. He is wearing down a bit. We have seen CC Sabathia fall off over the past couple of years because of the same reasons. The arm only has so many bullets and they have both used their fair share. Verlander can still be successful, but he is going to have to make adjustments. Command has to be more important than velocity for him. He used to regularly run his fastball into the high 90s. He no longer can pitch there. If he tries to generate too much velocity from delivery, his command suffers. Verlander needs to try and retire hitters on three pitches or less with well-located pitches. Velocity cant matter. This will allow him to be more efficient now and give him more years on the back end of his career. 4) The most recent All Star vote tally had some very interesting results. Torontos Melky Cabrera, is ranked third among AL outfielders in voting. Orioles designated hitter, Nelson Cruz, passed Red Sox slugger David Ortiz for the top DH. Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is in a close race in the NL outfield as well. Why are these results so significant? All three of these players have served suspensions for performance enhancement drugs. Yet, the fans seem to be putting that aside as they consider their performances this year. The fans believe that what they are seeing on the field is legitimate and real. They dont think it is enhanced. It is just good ol fashioned baseball. The All Star balloting has long been a popularity contest. The fans votes dont always coincide with the players votes or the stats. If the fans like a certain player, he has a shot to be an all-star regardless of his numbers. What is even more amazing is that the fans arent holding grudges like they have in the past. It had seemed that fans wanted to send a message to cheaters that their actions were unacceptable. One of the few ways they could do that was with their voting. But that feeling seems to be waning. Fans are either forgiving the players for past wrongs or just accepting of what has happened to the game. Either way, we all win. I have learned that giving forgiveness is not for the other person but it is for me. When I forgive someone they may react in any number of ways. But when I give forgiveness it releases a burden on me. I no longer feel pain and resentment. Baseball fans are showing healthy growth by surrendering their anger to baseball players. It shows growth. It shows a certain trust in the drug policy. It shows compassion and understanding. My hope is that baseball writers will take the lead of the fans. Writers feel duped by players. They feel like they were made fools of for celebrating home runs and record-setting accomplishments. They resent it and dont ever want to get burned that way again. My hope is that the writers will move to a place of forgiveness of the players as well. It is time to move forward. The writers need to look at the steroid era as just that, an era. It wasnt done to them. It was just what happened and they were there to document it. So they should document it. Vote steroid users in the Hall of Fame. Lets appropriately remember what happened so we dont repeat our mistakes. The writers should make history by passing that history forward. It is time to heal. It is the right thing for all of us that made mistakes in the steroid era of baseball. So let this day start the all-out campaign for Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Ryan Braun for the All Star team! Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada ' ' '