Baja California’s Off Road Warriors

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http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-628753

Along the Baja California Peninsula, people live and breath off roading. Here, off roading is not merely a sport. It IS life. And this time of year, check any local’s calender and there’s sure to be an off road even penciled in almost every week!

It’s hardly surprising then that the first recorded, organized off road event was held here in 1955 — in the La Paz / Cabo San Lucas area. With sponsors and cash prizes, it basically laid the path for the hundreds of off road races occurring around the world today. The sport is so big that some people spend nearly 1 million dollars on their race cars! But it’s not only a rich man’s sport, I’m told. Nearly everyone along the Baja has some type of car, truck or bike for off roading fun.

Hearing about the bone jiggling good times these guys are having in the backroads of Cabo San Lucas, I quickly bored with my Jeep when I was driving around paved Cabo during a recent trip!! So, I searched out “the man” on the Baja off road scene, Norman Cesena. He has his hands in almost every off road event. With a little shameless begging on my part, I convinced these hard-core off roaders to let me hit the dirt with them…

Get buckled in and watch this!

El Pato Rojo Off Road
elpatorojo.com

Have you seen a 4,500 POUND Marlin??

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The WORLD RECORD (1976) for largest Marlin ever caught by a commercial fisherman was 4500 pounds.

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-587017

And did you know that Marlins are what put Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on the map? This now uber-lux community, frequented by celebs, began as a little sport fishing town. And if you wander down the docks, amid the VIP yachts, you’ll notice that this little town remains a major sportsfishing hub, with some of the major fish catches daily!

CABO IS THE WORLD CAPITAL OF MARLIN FISH!

While the largest marlin wasn’t caught there, the fish remains a HUGE source of pride for the community as the locals truly value the very fish that literally birthed the town and its sportfishing industry. And recently, some locals (led by Tracy Ehrenberg, GM at Pisces Sportfishing) had a life-sized replica of the WORLD’S LARGEST MARLIN made and donated to the city, as a statue in “her” mighty Marlin’s honor.

I was lucky enough to be in Cabo for the HUGE statue’s unveiling and all I can say is wow, that’d make a lot of sushi! But actually, that wouldn’t really be the case, as Cabo has a catch and release sportfishing policy so the fish are always released again once documented.

Damien Thomlinson Just Keeps on Inspiring

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A little over a month ago, I had the extreme honor of interviewing Damien Thomlinson — probably one of the most inspiring individuals I’ve ever met. I could go on and on…but rather than take my word for it, see the interview here: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-565415

It seems Damien never tires of inspiring others and raising awareness. So, it’s no surprise that this week he’s rallying (literally) to raise funds for another great organization.

Check out Damien’s TEAM LEGACY ASSIST FUNDRAISING EFFORTS…all the way from the land of down under!

What do YOU think about dog sledding?

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My video about dog sledding: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-568095

Having just met with an amazing musher, Sally Swan, who runs a husky rescue operation in Northern BC, I have to disagree with anyone who says that mushing, in general, is bad. While people unfortunately latch onto negative news, I’m quite sure that the actual truth is that the majority of mushers treat their dogs exceptionally well! Actually, I believe that exceptionally good (rather than bad) treatment is far more likely to be the sport’s norm.

Wounded Warriors Soldiering On…on the ski slopes?

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While I was at the ski lodge there were dozens of disabled vets getting ready for their day on the slopes, with the adaptive “SOLDIER ON” sports program at Mount Washington (Vancouver Island). When I saw Damien smoothly “walk” in, I just assumed he was one of the instructors. All of a sudden he whips off both legs and starts to change into his ski gear, as he prepared to go outside and snowboard on a regular snowboard! I had to do this interview with him so that other disabled vets could see what potential remains.

My interview with Damien Thomlinson, during his week participating in the Soldier On program:
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-565415

Chillin’ with INCREDIBLE ice carvers at Chateau Lake Louise

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I stopped by “Ice Magic” to watch the ice chips fly in Alberta, Canada…and to find out more about the fascinating international sport of ice carving.

Ice Carving is an intensely competitive sport. Under strict supervision and tight time-lines, teams compete.

Ice carving is done using special, and very expensive ice blocks (at $100 each). Carvers use a combination of improvised wood carving and home appliances. You must watch this! They work fast and they take their craft very seriously.

The “cool” report is here: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-560541

Pond Hockey, Getting to the roots of “The Original Hockey”

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http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-542698

Even though the first records of a game known as “hockey” was in the 1700s, it wasn’t until 1875 that the first organized indoor game was played. It’s a sport traditionally played on lakes or home-made backyard rinks with packed snow around the edges serving as the ‘boards.’ The first hockey “world championship” was outdoors in Montreal in 1883.

In 1892, Lord Stanley (then Governor General of Canada) donated the first Stanley Cup as a tribute to his favorite sport. Back then, it was simply an award for Canada’s top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. It was only later that it evolved into today’s iconic symbol of North American hockey achievement. In fact, for more than 20 years, Stanley Cup games were ALWAYS played outdoors.

Interesting fact:
Some 80 years ago, Alex Antoine, a “star” amateur pond hockey player drew serious NHL attention, being offered a position with the New York Rangers but declined instead preferring to play official Pond Hockey.

Before multi-million dollar contracts, player lockouts and nationwide game broadcasts, hockey was so much simpler. A few guys passing the puck on a cleared patch of ice on a lake, driven by nothing more than a pure-hearted passion for the game they’d grown up playing. This is the game — and the moment — that pond hockey brings back to the game’s most genuine fans.

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