Volume 95, Issue 75

Thursday, February 14, 2002

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'Big Daddy' and the silent assassin fuel the Mustang basketball stampede

Is hockey still "our" sport

Congdon snaps at chance

A Western send-off to Salt Lake

Strip down and run

A Western send-off to Salt Lake

By Dave Martin
Gazette Staff

Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
"OH BOY, CAN I SIGN THE CAST FOR THE CANADARM?" Many signed the giant banner located in the lower level of the UCC to wish Canada's athletes good luck in Salt Lake City.
Not many things from the outside world are able to penetrate the fortress of Western, but this year's winter Olympics stands as an exception.

This was evident this past week, as Western support for the Canadian Olympic team was overflowing in material form, thanks to the work of the University Students' Council's entertainment productions manager Mark Wellington and USC promotions assistant Val Aggelopoulos.

The pair organized the production of a large banner with the words "Go Canada" in big purple letters and placed on the lower level of the University Community Centre for Western students to sign and show their support.

"We are always looking for ways to generate traffic in what we call the 'UCC mall' [the downstairs area around the BookStore, TravelCuts and Cottage Tanning Co.]. Big events give us the chance to try interesting ideas. On the other side of it, there was a real desire from the USC board to send some form of best wishes to our Olympic team and we were really pleased to come up with the banner," Wellington said.

Aggelopoulos said the banner was sent to Canada's athletes yesterday, after being in the lower level of the UCC for three days.

"We've contacted the Canadian Olympic Association who were thrilled with the support and are eagerly waiting the banner's arrival in Salt Lake. It should reach the Canadian Olympic Village by Thursday or latest Friday," she said.

Both organizers were shocked by the overwhelming response of students, as the banner was only on display for three days, but, by Tuesday afternoon, it was a struggle to find much more than an inch of space to sign your name.

Two first-year food and nutrition students, Adriana DeLuca and Annie Kudirka, found a bit of free room and said they were delighted to be involved in the banner.

"It's really good for students to feel a part of what's going on as everyone is fully into these games," DeLuca said.

"It's really a privilege to be able to do something physical to support our Olympic team."

Some signed their name or offered a unique version of 'Go Canada,' but many included messages full of support either to the team or individuals such as Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

"Medals or not, you're already winners," or "David and Jamie: Thank you for the perfect performance on and off the ice," are a pair of examples.

So, as you watch the Olympics you can smile, knowing that a little love from Western is helping spur on our Canadian athletes.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002