Tag Archives: Kelly

After positive test, Canadian Olympian Kelly VanderBeek reflects on stigma of COVID-19

Awaiting round two of their covid tests, my seven-year-old son tells his Dad, “I hope I have COVID, so I can hug mom.”

That statement, so simple, so sad, shows the culmination of what quarantine feels like.

And we’re the lucky ones. The ones with a comfortable, large and well-equipped home. With friends who deliver food and, most notably, an asymptomatic COVID case.

I have COVID-19.

A statement I dreaded ever saying, and not for the right reasons. I feared saying it not because I feared getting it. I feared saying it because of the social judgment I expected to accompany it and for the fear of spreading it to more vulnerable people.

Now, in what I hope is the height of the second wave, I reflect on the social stigma of COVID-19.

Now I’m talking (or rather, writing)

I am a very public figure. Still, I didn’t want to write or talk about this positive test.

We are supporters of mask wearing, with hand sanitizers stashed everywhere. Still, my son goes to school and we’ve partaken in sport and small, socially distanced gatherings.

So, where/how did we get it?

WATCH | VanderBeek wants women’s sports to be a priority in son’s life:

For International Women’s Day we’re asking you to join us and retired alpine skier Kelly VanderBeek in making a commitment to supporting girls in sport. 0:55

Hockey … most likely.

Although the effects of the pandemic have been felt far and wide, our community has been largely untouched by the disease itself. For the most part, our numbers were well under 10 cases in a valley that includes Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise, Alta. Considering that hundreds of thousands of tourists continued to pour through this area over the summer months, this fact was a source of pride.

Then, Halloween came and far too many people partied. The numbers have since skyrocketed and we’re now one of the highest (if not the highest) rate of positive tests per capita in Alberta.

Scary stuff

My husband and I are both on-ice volunteers with my sons U9 team. After a Monday night practice, we received word, late Wednesday evening that someone on the ice had tested positive. We were required to go into 14 days of quarantine — all three of us.

First things first, we booked in for testing the following day, even though we knew it wouldn’t shorten our quarantine period. Thankfully we did.

Test results came back (much later than expected). First for my son and husband on Saturday morning, then mine late that evening. They were negative, I was positive.

I wear a full visor on the ice. This makes it a bit harder to hear and be heard, so I get extra close to the kids. Plus, we were, more or less, told that masks weren’t welcomed on the ice, even though they are mandatory everywhere else in the building.

Thankfully, I’m asymptomatic. However, that fact also showcases why contact tracing is so vital. I would never have gotten tested had I not been told I was exposed.

From what I can tell — and I called everyone I crossed paths with while potentially contagious — I didn’t pass on the disease. Making me extra thankful I was practicing social distancing and mask wearing.

Now what?

For now, I sit in my basement, largely on vacation, as my husband cares for my son and delivers my meals.

I write, thankful for the care I’m receiving and for being the luckiest of COVID patients — asymptomatic.

Still, I am acutely aware of the impact isolation is having on my family. My sons emotions are frayed and my husband is exhausted both from the work load and from the unknown. Did I pass COVID onto them? Will our quarantine be extended? And most notably, the fear of knowing symptoms may be just around the corner.

Now, with bated breath we wait for our second round of test results. Thankful, we have a breath to take.

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CBC | Sports News

Canadian NBA player Kelly Olynyk grew up around Raptors as mom made history as team’s scorekeeper

On Nov. 3, 1995, the Toronto Raptors played their first game in franchise history, defeating the New Jersey Nets 94-79 in front of more than 33,000 fans at what was then called the SkyDome.

It was a big night for Canadian basketball as across the continent in Portland, Ore., expansion cousin the Vancouver Grizzlies were also playing their first game, defeating the Trail Blazers 92-80. 

The pair were the first NBA teams in Canada since the Toronto Huskies in 1947, which were part of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), the forerunner to the NBA. (The Grizzlies would have less success than the Raptors, however, and relocated to Memphis in 2001.)

Less obvious, however, was the history being made courtside at the SkyDome, where Arlene Olynyk served as scorekeeper, the first female to do the job in NBA history.

Soaking it all in was her four-year-old son Kelly, who would grow up to be an NBA player and member of Canada’s national team.

“He grew up as a gym rat there,” Arlene Olynyk told CBC’s Sarah Penton of Kelly, now 29 and a member of the Miami Heat who recently played in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, losing in six games.

LISTEN: Sarah Penton’s interview with Arlene Olynyk:

Arlene Olynyk talks about her career working for the Toronto Raptors, which started during their inaugural season, her son Kelly’s NBA career, and how the game has grown. 12:59

Kelly was 14 when his mom wrapped up her time as scorekeeper for the Raptors, and having special access to the team on game days during those 10 years helped his early development as a player.

‘He would see some of these players behind the scenes’

With free tickets to every game and behind-the-scenes exposure to the team, Kelly got an up close look at the life he would grow up to live.

“He liked to go to as many games as he could, and he would come into the players’ room,” Olynyk said. “He would see some of these players behind the scenes; he would see how big they were. He would see how they were warming up before the game because he had to come down with me.”

They moved to Kamloops B.C., where Kelly won the province’s high school player-of-the-year honours in Grade 12.

When Kelly would tell his mom he wanted to be an NBA player when he grew up, Arlene responded by telling him he needed a backup plan, as there was no predicting he would eventually grow to be six-foot-eleven, having just completed his seventh season in the league. He spent his first four with the Boston Celtics.

“I’m really, really happy that he’s enjoying the journey,” Olynyk said of her son’s success.

1st female scorekeeper in NBA

While being the NBA’s first female scorekeeper was an important league milestone, it also had its challenges.

Women employees of any kind were rare at the time, and Arlene said she had deal with sexism during games when referees would report to the score bench.

Arlene Olynyk, pictured third from left behind score bench, was the first female scorekeeper in NBA history and the first scorekeeper hired by the Raptors. (CBC)

“They would report to the closest male, and I wouldn’t get it all,” Olynyk said. “So I had to teach them in Toronto who they were looking at and who they were looking for.

“That was the little bit tougher part — a couple of referees just didn’t get it that they were reporting to a female.

Olynyk also had to record statistics as part of her role with the Raptors, something she and her co-workers were adamant to get right.

“They [players] get paid in bonuses by what they do, and they want their stats,” Olynyk said.

Statistics dispute with Michael Jordan

But Olynyk still dealt with disputes over statistics with players, including an incident with NBA legend Michael Jordan.

“We had one time when Michael Jordan was still playing, at quartertime he gets his stats printed out, he looks at them and then came and sat on the score bench and looked at us and said, ‘you’ve missed two assists,'” Olynyk recalled.

“He made sure that we knew that he was counting.”

Olynyk said one of the most enjoyable parts about her time with the Raptors was being involved in the pre-game ritual of some players as they stepped onto the court.

“Some of the early players, some of their good luck thing was to fist bump the whole row of the score table,” Olynyk said. “So you come down and you’d be fist bumping Tracy McGrady or whoever had that in their part of superstition before they went out to play.”

Olynyk was an important part of the early history of the Toronto Raptors, and her son’s NBA journey is a testament to the influence the league has had in Canada since the Raptors arrived 25 years ago.

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CBC | Sports News

Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly Gush Over Their Instant Connection in First Joint Interview

Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly Gush Over Their Instant Connection in First Joint Interview | Entertainment Tonight

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Kacey Musgraves and Estranged Husband Ruston Kelly Exchange Sweet Messages Amid Divorce

Kacey Musgraves and Estranged Husband Ruston Kelly Exchange Sweet Messages Amid Divorce | Entertainment Tonight

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Kelly Rowland Gets Candid About Being Compared to Beyoncé

Kelly Rowland Gets Candid About Being Compared to Beyoncé | Entertainment Tonight

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ET’s Favorite Moments with Kelly Preston and John Travolta Through the Years

ET’s Favorite Moments with Kelly Preston and John Travolta Through the Years | Entertainment Tonight

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Machine Gun Kelly Says He’s ‘In Love’ Amid Megan Fox Romance Rumors

Machine Gun Kelly Says He’s ‘In Love’ Amid Megan Fox Romance Rumors | Entertainment Tonight

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Kelly Rowland Holds Back Tears Discussing Social Injustice in the Black Community (Exclusive)

Kelly Rowland Holds Back Tears Discussing Social Injustice in the Black Community (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Mark Consuelos Tried and Failed to ‘Catch’ Kelly Ripa Cheating With a Fake Flower Delivery

Mark Consuelos Tried and Failed to ‘Catch’ Kelly Ripa Cheating With a Fake Flower Delivery | Entertainment Tonight

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Kelly Hrudey brings awareness to mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

Former NHL goaltender and current Calgary Flames colour commentator Kelly Hrudey has never shied away from talking about mental health, and he is continuing to bring awareness to the important issue in an effort to help those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social distancing measures and the current global health situation have increased the challenges faced by those suffering from mental illness, but Hrudey also pointed out that people are now dealing with new mental health challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The 59-year-old shared his thoughts and offered some advice amid the uncertain and unprecedented times.

“Whatever we’re all going through, don’t discount it; it’s real,” Hrudey said on Instagram Live with CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo on Friday. “Your feelings, your stress, your anxiety, your angst, it’s all real and we’ll get through it, but please talk to somebody about it.”

‘This affects all of us’

Hrudey opened up about his own challenges and concerns that have surfaced because of the pandemic, pointing out that it is normal to be struggling with mental health right now.

“This affects all of us, it really does,” Hrudey said. “I have some really good days, and I have some really terrible days trying to figure out what’s going to happen, not only in our lives but our kids’ lives, because financially everything is changed for them.”

WATCH | Kelly Hrudey opens up about mental health:

The broadcaster and former NHLer gets vulnerable and transparent about how self-isolating affects everyone’s mental health. 3:39

The issue of mental health is of personal importance to Hrudey, as his daughter, Kaitlin, has endured a battle with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder over the years. He said the topic is extremely important right now with so many people facing mental health challenges for the first time while in isolation.

“This is important to talk about because I doubt there is anybody out there that is sitting back and going ‘This is great. I’m fine, I’m OK with the time off.’ Nobody is feeling that way. We all feel alone at times, so this is a great conversation to have.”

Hrudey said he recently spoke with fellow Canadian mental health advocate Michael Landsberg about the situation people are currently dealing with.

“Michael talked to me about his depression and another person in his life that he loves that has the same thing as Kaitlin, and they were saying ‘Welcome to my world.’ So all of us now are new with this pandemic and going through a strange time, and that person is saying ‘That’s what I’ve been living with my entire life.'”

Making progress

Hrudey is happy to see an increasingly large number of people, including athletes, stepping up to shine a light on mental health​​​​​​. He views it as a sign of progress that reflects the message on his T-shirt that reads “It’s OK to not be OK.”

“I’m extremely proud of the work that everyone has done raising awareness for mental health issues,” Hrudey said. “Kaitlin went very public in 2013. We’re so proud of her and how strong she is.”

Hrudey acknowledged how far things have come regarding the openness toward conversations about mental health over the past 15 years, especially among males that might have previously felt shame and remained silent.

“This is so heartwarming to me that we can have this conversation and not be ridiculed,” Hrudey said. “Most people would say ‘What a step in the right direction.'”

‘We still need to be louder’

But Hrudey also made it clear that there is still a lot of work that has to be done in order to continue the progress that has been made.

“We still need to be louder,” Hrudey said. “We need to get governments to do more because it’s not right that people have to wait in line for six months to see somebody. Our governments at the federal level, provincial level, municipal level, they have to be willing to give resources so people don’t suffer.

“There are too many men and women out there who are suffering, and they shouldn’t be.”

Although Hrudey enjoyed a successful 15-year NHL career that included an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, he said bringing awareness to mental health ranks above everything else in his career.

“I’m really proud of my playing career, proud of my broadcasting career, but I think when it’s all said and done I’ll be most proud of the work my family and others have done in the field of mental health.”

ICYMI | Dan Carcillo discusses hockey culture:

Former NHL player Dan Carcillo says hockey culture silences players and protects abusers. 9:04

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CBC | Sports News