Tag Archives: Sport

The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou: Book Review

Angie Abdou’s first novel The Bone Cage was a Christmas gift and is the first book on this year’s reading list. Dave bought it for me because he heard about it on Canada Reads and thought it would interest me because I worked on a series called Sport and Society last year that focussed on Olympic athletes.

In The Bone Cage Abdou introduces us to Sadie and Digger two University of Calgary-based athletes on their way to the Sydney Olympics. Both Sadie who is a swimmer and Digger who is a wrestler are at the end of their sporting careers and this is their last chance to make it to the big ‘show’, the Sydney Olympics. This is the sporting event that they have trained for their entire lives and their chance to finally shine in the public light.

This is a really quick read and offers a glimpse in to the world of the elite athlete. The grueling hours of work, the lack of recognition, the personal sacrifices that have to be made, training with little or no funding, the inability to focus on anything else in life except personal performance and the toll this pursuit has on the athlete’s body.

Abdou touches not only on the mental strength it takes to make this journey but also the physical pain that is endured by almost every athlete as they inevitably encounter injuries that must be overcome. The book does raise some ethical questions about some dangerous practices athletes are willing to undergo in order to make the team or reach a particular goal. For example, Digger and his team mates dehydrate themselves completely by wearing plastic and exercising in a hot sauna in order to make weight.

I think it’s important to have these kinds of stories told because we’re often seduced by the bright lights of the Olympics. The book raises the question of how we support our athletes, should we support them and in what way, do we put too much pressure on them to reach increasingly difficult goals, and how far can we drive the human body?

I’m interested in this topic so the book was an easy enjoyable read for me. But I thought overall the characters were somewhat wooden as was the relationship  between Sadie and Digger. When Abdou wasn’t writing about actual training or sports the words and the story didn’t quite flow as naturally as it could have.

I mentioned this book to my friend who is a high school teacher because I think it has a lot to offer in terms of the topic and I think anyone interested in elite sports or athletics would find this a good read.

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Stephen Lewis, Johann Olav Koss, Wilfreid Lemke, Benjamin Nzobonankira

Hey everyone,

I went to an amazing event last week at the Chan called Sport, Peace and Development: How Can Sport Contribute to Positive Social Change?. Stephen Lewis, Johann OlavKoss, Wilfreid Lemke and Benjamin Nzobonankira were the guest speakers. The talk is available as a podcast (along with Sport, Ethics and Technology) on the Globe and Mail/Intellectual Muscle web site.

It’s long so grab a massive beverage (coffee let’s say) and be prepared to get inspired.

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Richard Pound: Sport, Ethics and Technology

For those of you interested in Sport, Ethics and Technology this is an excellent discussion led by Richard Pound (former Olympian/and Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency). He is joined by Dr. Rupert and Beckie Scott on an interesting discussion on what constitutes a fair playing field in sport and how this is being challenged by doping and other technologies.

Have a listen or download here>>

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Right to Play: Stephen Lewis, Johann Olav Koss, Wilfreid Lemke, Benjamin Nzobonankira

I am a wannabe speed skater who belongs to a local short track club. When I found out that former 4 time Olympic Gold speed skater Johann Koss (founder and CEO of the humanitarian organization Right to Play) would be speaking at  the Chan Centre I jumped at the opportunity to attend.  Anyone interested in the speed skating world would be interested in hearing the legendary athlete speak in person along with Stephen Lewis (no slouch in his own area of expertise and a very inspiring humanitarian as well). Continue reading

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