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Opinion | Keeping Kim Gaucher’s story alive and turning up the pressure hopefully helps

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A few items of note as we clean out the mind and the notebook to end yet another week.

I’m glad to see the push continues to find a way to allow Kim Gaucher of the Canadian basketball team to play in the Tokyo Olympics while not forcing her away from her months old daughter, Sophie.

As we mentioned back in May when the issue first surfaced publicly, the decision not to allow family, friends or even out-of-country fans to attend the Games was putting Gaucher in an untenable, and impossible, decision before what would be her third Olympics.

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I don’t know what Canada Basketball or the Canadian Olympic Committee can do to solve this dilemma, I fear any resolution sits with the both the IOC and the local organizers and imagining them having the common sense or empathy to make what we all feel is the right decision is, I’m afraid, probably asking too much.

Maybe public pressure, even at this late date, will work. Maybe getting this story back in the news now after a couple of weeks on the backburner will galvanize others to take up the cause the help the global powers come to their senses.

I don’t know that it will but it’s certainly not an issue that should be put aside to let quietly go.

More noise is good, more pressure and awareness is important and, hopefully, it helps.

I’ve known Kim for years and years and years, admired her for what she’s done on the court and truly admired her and her teammates for what they’ve done for the Canadian women’s basketball program.

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And that’s why I’m glad to see so many people getting behind her now.

I don’t know if it will get fixed, honestly, even though there has to be a way to make it work.

I also don’t think it should have gotten to this point but it did thanks to the intransigence and limitations of Games organizers their IOC overseers.

But it did. And that sucks.

As hard as it is to imagine, unless something entirely untoward happens in the next couple of days, I’m actually going to get on an airplane Sunday morning and fly off to cover a live sports event for the first time since I got back from a west coast Raptors road trip in the first week of March, 2020.

Crazy, eh?

So that means a few things.

First, I need to know what I need to know about flying domestically these days. How arduous and time-consuming is the check-in process and what should I be prepared for?

I also can recall more than a few Victoria recommendations from 2017 when the Raptors trained out there but anything up to date is quite welcome.

And, most important, an early Sunday flight means I’m going to have to have Ye Olde Mailbag done on Saturday night so if you’ve got questions, you better get ‘em in today. Click on [email protected] and type your little hearts out.

I’ve got no skin the game, obviously, but I’m all in on Free Britney.

I haven’t watched a single hockey game since that utter nonsense in the first period of the first Leafs game weeks and weeks ago, and frankly, my life hasn’t felt incomplete whatsoever.

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But I have been following because that’s what I do and the sustained success of the Montreals has really been something, hasn’t it?

And I do think, knowing how far they were written off before the very first series began, that these Stanley Cup playoffs have reaffirmed what I’ve been saying about the NBA playoffs this year and about sports in general for years:

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Form or history or tradition or a season or a game or two mean nothing and no one knows anything for sure. The best we can all do is not try to figure out what’s going to happen in the longer term and simply sit back and enjoy the moment because it rarely goes fully to expectations.

And anyone who tells you that they knew or know what’s going to happen is fibbing.

Maybe it was the fact the last few days had been so draining watching the NBA playoffs with Game 7s and the other good stories but last night’s Suns-Clippers game somehow just didn’t capture the imagination very much.

It wasn’t boring but for some reason it didn’t have nearly the juice or energy that we’ve come to expect and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open until I finally gave up mid-way through the fourth quarter.

And I wonder if maybe that’s because the Clippers just don’t seem to a team that plays with joy or the even the pace or the flair of many others.

Oh, they’re good, don’t get me wrong. They’re very good, as likely to win it all as any of the other three, but there’s just something about them that doesn’t capture the imagination.

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Am I right?

One final digression.

I am quite glad, as I am sure so many others of you are, that we in Ontario will get another step back on the trail to normalcy next week, a couple of days earlier than any of us expected.

I’ll be very happy for small businesses that can re-open, I will very happy that saloons can increase capacity, I will be very happy for those of us who desperately need haircuts and if I did the whole mani-pedi thing, I’d be over the moon at salons being opened again.

But.

Maybe it’s my basic mistrust – well earned, I’d say – of our provincial leaders but this smacks of opportunism and a way to look good going into a holiday and I surely hope that, despite their limitations, starting back even a couple of days earlier doesn’t lead to more serious repercussions down the road.

And, yeah, it’s great that stuff is open but please don’t go hog wild just yet, folks. Be careful and wise because we cannot go through another setback again.

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