Popular area angler will be missed

When the 2013 editions of Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and the Shaw Kenora Bass International get underway next summer, one name sadly will be missing from the angler lineup.
Last Thursday, Frank McClymont passed away at the age of 60 after a battle with cancer, leaving a big hole in the bass fishing tournament community in this area.
Frank, who was raised here but had lived in Kenora since 1984, had fished in every edition of the FFCBC since its inception in 1995 and had taken part in every KBI since that event started back in 1988, making him the only person to compete every year in both events.
Although he never won either event, Frank often was in the top 10 or close to it on a number of occasions, and he also had the KBI’s big fish award named after him before his passing.
Prior to this year’s FFCBC, I had the chance to talk to Frank and his son, Terry, as they prepared to make their way out on Rainy Lake for a day of pre-fishing.
Although our chat was brief, Frank provided one of my favourite quotes of the entire tournament—and one that I’ll personally remember for quite some time.
“I think anyone would tell you that they are having a tough time out there, and if they don’t tell you that, then they are probably lying to you,” he had said in regards to the tough times anglers were having during pre-fishing.
For everyone involved in the world of bass fishing in this area, Frank most definitely will be missed.
• • •
While it gets very little of the limelight that the Olympics do every four years, the Summer Paralympics Games got underway in London today in what is expected to be the largest and most successful in its history.
Obviously, while I will be rooting for our Canadian athletes, the one person I will be cheering on most is Italian hand-cycling competitor Alex Zanardi, who has a remarkable story.
For those that may be unfamiliar with him, Zanardi won two championships in the now defunct CART open-wheel racing series in 1997 and 1998 before losing both of his legs in a terrible accident in Germany in 2001.
But Zanardi refused to let that slow him down as he soon would return back behind the wheel of a race car—and even won a few World Touring Car Championship races in Europe.
In the last few years, though, Zanardi has gotten away from racing and started to focus on hand-cycling full-time in preparation of trying to make the Italian team for the Paralympics.
Like he was behind the wheel of an open-wheel machine in the late ’90s, Zanardi quickly has become a top competitor in his new sport, winning the New York City Marathon in his hand-cycling class last year in his fourth attempt.
While it would be amazing to see Zanardi receive a gold medal at this year’s games, the fact that he’s there at all is really amazing given the injuries he suffered more than a decade ago.
He truly is an huge inspirational figure to many, even if you are not a sports fan.
But when it comes to down to it, everyone who is taking part at this year’s Paralympics are people anyone can look up to.
• • •
Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of talk about the progress women’s hockey has made, especially with the number of players taking part.
Although the game still has a long way to go to catch up to the men, a little bit of history will be made next month in the world of video games.
As part of the legends’ roster in “NHL 13,” players will have a chance to play as Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser or American defender Angel Ruggiero.
Although players of this madly-popular series have had the chance to play as a female before, the fact that well-known players are in the game this time around is something that’s really cool to see.

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