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Current, former Badgers help USA earn World Championship

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first_imgJen Small / The Badger HeraldTrading in the cardinal and white for the opportunity to compete in red, white and blue, two members of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team helped earn Team USA a gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship April 9.Senior forward Brianna Decker and junior goaltender Alex Rigsby traveled to Ottawa, Ontario, to play the world’s best and came home world champions after defeating the home-ice Canadian squad 3-2 in the final game.“It was a really cool experience. I think that is the biggest thing to take from it … the team was awesome every practice. The team came to work and during the games it was the same thing,” Rigsby said. “The fact we were able to come together in such a short period of time was awesome.”Showing no signs of slowing down after her collegiate career ended with Wisconsin failing to qualify for the NCAA tournament, Decker found a way to the back of the net in all of Team USA’s five games. Working in sync with forward Amanda Kessel – known to Badger fans as WCHA arch-rival Minnesota’s star player – Decker took advantage of a two-on-one midway through the second period of the championship game to put the United States on the board first.She finished the tournament with six goals, tied for most of the tournament and atop the charts for the U.S., earning her a place on the media all-tournament team.Beyond returning to UW with a gold medal around her neck, the highlight of time spent in The Great White North through Decker’s eyes was the game-winning goal by Kessel to seal the victory.“I think when Amanda Kessel scored that game-winning goal at the end of the Canada game, I couldn’t have been more happy for her,” Decker said of the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award Winner. “She has had a heck of a season and deserved that goal.”Joining Decker and Rigsby were three former Badger teammates – forward Meghan Duggan (2011), forward Hilary Knight (2012) and goaltender Jessie Vetter (2009). While Decker had a chance to play with all three Badger alumni in her now-completed four years at UW, Rigsby entered her freshman season at UW the year following Vetter’s senior season.Although Rigsby did not see ice time – dressing as the back-up for Vetter in three of the five games, including the gold-medal game – the first-time World Championship team member gained experience both on and off the ice, working with the player she stepped in to replace at Wisconsin three years ago.“It’s fun being her partner because she is so chill and relaxed, and you can really see how the team looks up to her and plays hard for her in front of the net,” Rigsby said.For the Badger players and the rest of Team USA, the road to becoming world champions was no easy task. Opening play against a Canadian squad backed by nearly all 11,174 fans, the United States fell 3-2 in a shootout loss after owning a 2-0 lead. Following the border rivalry, the U.S. completed the preliminary round with a 4-2 triumph over Finland and downed Switzerland 5-0 to earn a quarterfinal round bye. Facing Finland again in the semifinals, Decker led Team USA to a spot in the gold-medal game with two goals in the 3-0 shutout win.With Canada as their final opponent, the intense rivalry between the two dominating countries in women’s hockey would again take center stage. The two nations have monopolized the champion’s title in all 16 years the tournament has been played, with the United States winning five of the last seven titles.Decker and the team had a vivid recollection of the 2012 tournament in which the United States lost the championship game to Canada after beating them in the preliminary round.The curse of the first-game victory proved itself again with the U.S. walking away with golden medallions.“[Former Team USA member] Angela Ruggiero, in one of her interviews, said that the players change but the rivalry is always there, and it is a tough environment to play in when you are playing in Canada,” Decker said. “There were about 13,000 fans there cheering against us, but it’s kind of a motivation.”The World Championship tournament also serves to prepare both Decker and Rigsby for the 2014 United States Olympic team tryouts that will take place in June. Neither player has competed in the prestigious sporting event before. For Decker it would be the next step in her post-UW hockey career, and for Rigsby it would entail leaving the Badgers for the 2013-2014 season – something Duggan, Knight and UW head coach Mark Johnson did in 2010. Both hope to put every athlete’s dream into reality and plan on using this recent success as a launching point towards tryouts.“It just makes you want it that much more. You go to camp and go to worlds and see what it’s like and it is like you are one step closer,” Rigsby said. “Tryouts in June are going to be a big step, and I’m ready to go and start training for that and be as prepared as I can.”last_img read more

Nigeria’s Presidential Commission on Small Arms on Learning Visit to Liberia

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first_imgLiNCSA vice chairperson Bennietta T. Jarbo (R), Chairman Fromayan and retired General of the Nigerian Army, Major Olayinka Akinyemi Oshinowo alongside other delegates.-Nigeria hopes to Learn from Liberia’s experienceA 5-man delegation from the office of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, currently serving as the nucleus of the proposed Nigeria National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, arrived in the country over the weekend for a week long working and experiential learning visit with its counterpart, the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (LiCNSA).James M. Fromayan, chairman of LiNCSA, who spoke to journalists at a press conference in Monrovia yesterday, said the purpose of the delegation’s visit is to do a week long case study that will enable them to transition from a presidential committee on small arms to a national commission on small arms.Chairman Fromayan said as the Nigerian government tries to comply with the ECOWAS convention, which he said aims to establish a national structure that will oversee the management of small arms as regards the proliferation, prevention and eradication of light weapons in that country and the region, they saw it fit to visit Liberia to use it as a case study.According to Fromayan, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana have made significant progress with respect to the standards set by ECOWAS, and with Liberia being one of the countries far ahead in this regard, the Nigerian government considered it prudent to come to Liberia to do a case study, he emphasized.He said over the years Liberia has established a National Commission on Small Arms and has been working very hard to maintain its status by putting in place proper systems and working with national security agencies to ensure that small arms within the region are registered and tracked accordingly.Fromayan re-emphasized that Ghana and Ivory Coast have also made significant progress as well.He said the Nigerian government has a presidential committee on small arms (PRESSCOM) which is in transition to becoming a functional and fully fledged commission. And because Nigeria is determined to make sure that they establish such a body, they decided to come to Liberia, Fromayan declared.“While they are here they will be visiting some key security institutions and some personalities within our society,” he said.He said during the week-long tour Liberia will share experience with their Nigeria counterparts to provide the necessary technical knowledge that will enable them form a full commission on small arms.Meanwhile, a retired General of the Nigerian Army, Olayinka Akinyemi Oshinowo, who is heading the five-man delegation, lauded the government of government for its efforts to successfully establish a capable commission.General Oshinowo said he was so impressed with the level of work being done by LiNCSA and based on that it was important for them to visit Liberia to understand the technical aspects on how Liberia has made such significant progress in the prevention of the proliferation of small arms that Nigeria can learn from and adopt.“We actually choose to come to Liberia because we knew that Liberia has been through bad times before in terms of arms circulation during the country’s civil conflict and now is a time we must start learning from Liberia.“We are here to know the processes and the challenges you went through and the prospects, and how we will be able to interface with the government and other international organizations in the process of carrying out our assignments,” he said.Oshinowo also stated that small arms and light weapons are like weapons of mass destruction, “because a single arm can create a lot of problems and as such we need to make sure that we get these out of the region. I hope that for this one week that we are going to stay here, there will be a lot that will be learned.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more