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VANCOUVER -- Canada has set a goal of finishing first in the overall medal standings at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Snowboarders will in all likelihood have to play a key role if theres any chance of meeting that lofty target. The first five members of the Canadian contingent heading to Sochi next month were unveiled Friday, led by a three-time Olympian and an unlikely superstar from the Prairies. "We definitely have an amazing group and an amazing team and to be a part of it is great," said Maelle Ricker, who won gold in snowboard cross at the 2010 Olympics. "We have strong athletes in all the disciplines and Im very honoured and excited." Sochi will be Rickers third Games, but at age 35, the West Vancouver, B.C., native is still seen as a favourite in her event where competitors race down a course side-by-side. "I would love to perform at my best (again)," she said after Fridays news conference. "Definitely every time I put my snowboard on thats what Im aiming to do and hopefully we get some good results because of it." Apart from Ricker, another Canadian expected to contend for a medal is Mark McMorris. The 20-year-old from Regina is the two-time defending Winter X Games champion in slopestyle, an acrobatic snowboard discipline set to make its Olympic debut in Sochi. "It feels amazing," McMorris said of being named to the Canadian team. "Its going to be a fun time. Ive been preparing like a mad man and I think Im ready." Other rookie Olympians named to Canadas squad were Sebastien Toutant of LAssomption, Que., Spencer OBrien of Courtenay, B.C., and Calgarys Chris Robanske. Toutant and OBrien will compete in slopestyle, while Robanske is entered in snowboard cross. The rest of the team will be named Jan. 21. Canada won 26 medals -- including three in snowboard -- at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, good for third behind the United States (37) and Germany (30). An even bigger performance will be required in Russia to accomplish the Canadian Olympic Committees goal of finishing first. "If we say we dont want to be No. 1, were striving for mediocrity and were not going to do that. We will strive to be the best," said Canadian chef de mission Steve Podborski, who won bronze in mens downhill skiing at the 1980 Olympics. "When we went into (the 2006 Games), we had no notion that we could strive to be No. 1 and now we are looking at that. "So why not? Its going to be tough, maybe impossible, but you strive for impossible dreams." The laid-back McMorris doesnt put any added emphasis on his own performance when overall team goals are mentioned. "Whenever anybody looks at you to win theres pressure," he said. "Ive been able to have a lot of success over the last three years and consistently podium or win events. "Im in one event and my goal is to win a gold medal and if I do so, that will be a big help." With the Olympics set to begin Feb. 7, OBrien said shes looking forward to being part of a team after competing for years as an individual. "Theres definitely a lot of expectations, especially on me, Mark, Seb, Maelle, everyone thats been performing so well these last of couple years," said the 25-year-old. "I think its really special. Its a unique experience to have your country behind you." OBrien won gold in womens slopestyle at last years world championship, but added the Games are on another level. "An Olympic medal, youre winning it for your country, youre not just winning it for yourself," she said. "Its such a special opportunity and Id like nothing more than to bring one back to Canada." The Olympics werent even on the 21-year-old Toutants radar until it was announced that slopestyle would be included at Sochi. "Were used to competing in front of a lot of people and a lot of cameras, but we compete for sponsors and we compete for ourselves," he said. "To be able to compete for your country is huge. "The world is going to be watching." Podborski said there will be "enormous challenges" facing athletes in Sochi, but stressed the level of Canadian sport has come a long way since he competed more than three decades ago. "These athletes are the finest our country can produce," he said. "These are sophisticated, world-class athletes and I expect them to do very, very well." Fake Vans Shoes . JOHNS, N. Fake Vans Old Skool . Bostons bats exploded in Mondays opener, as David Ortiz belted a pair of two-run homers, Stephen Drew homered and drove in four runs and the Red Sox pummeled the Blue Jays, 14-1. http://www.fakevans.com/fake-vans-toy-story/. Thats how the Ravens won when Ryan was their defensive co-ordinator from 2005-08, and that is precisely the formula Baltimore used to beat Ryans New York Jets on Sunday. Fake Vans For Sale .com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have finalized their agreed-upon trade that sends former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins to the West Coast for a pair of minor league pitching prospects. Fake Vans Outlet . Alexander was released last week by the Edmonton Eskimos, where he spent the past three seasons at safety. He had 121 defensive tackles, five special teams tackles and seven interceptions in 51 regular-season and three playoff games.WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State will carry its pursuit of perfection into the Missouri Valley tournament. Cleanthony Early scored 19 points, Ron Baker added 13 and the second-ranked Shockers rolled to a 68-45 victory over Missouri State on Saturday, easily putting away a team that had given them fits this season. Relying on the same stubborn defence that carried it on last years improbable March run, Wichita State (31-0, 18-0) became the first team since Saint Josephs in 2004 to enter its league tournament unbeaten. The Shockers will have a first-round bye in St. Louis next week. Missouri State (19-11, 9-9) had them in trouble when they met Jan. 11 in Springfield, Mo., but the Bears blew a 19-point second-half lead and ultimately lost 72-69 in overtime. They never came close to making it a game Saturday, trailing by double-digits in the opening minutes. The Shockers are off to the best start since UNLV began 34-0 and lost in the 1991 national title game. Theyre also off to the best start by a Missouri Valley team since Indiana State, led by Larry Bird, won its first 33 games and fell to Michigan State in the 1979 title game. The Shockers last loss came in the Final Four, too -- to eventual champ Louisville last year. Putting this one away early gave a sellout crowd that had braved the threat of freezing rain ample opportunity to celebrate. Waving signs that applauded their unblemished record, fans packed inside Koch Arena serenaded a senior class led by Early that managed tto elevate the program from a solid mid-major into a national power in the midst of a memorable season.dddddddddddd Along with fellow seniors Chadrack Lufile, Kadeem Coleby and Nick Wiggins, Early gave coach Gregg Marshall a bear hug when he checked out for the final time in the closing minutes. Jarmar Gulley scored 15 points to lead Missouri State, which was dominated on the boards, in transition and just about everywhere else in losing its 10th straight against ranked teams. Unlike the first meeting, when it was Wichita State that stumbled early, Missouri State missed 18 of its first 22 shots, suffocated under token pressure and never got into a rhythm. When the Bears werent blowing layups, they were turning the ball over, leading to some easy baskets at the other end. Wichita State shot 57 per cent from the field in the first half, a big reason why it had built a 20-point lead just before the break. The trio of Early, Baker and Fred VanVleet picked up where it left off out of the locker room, Early scoring quickly and Baker hitting a long 3-pointer to keep Missouri State at bay. In fact, the only interesting moment of the second half came when Lufile was fouled with about 10 minutes to go. After missing his first seven free throw attempts, the big senior forward -- with the crowd rising to its feet -- finally got one to rattle home. Of course, it hardly mattered that Lufiles foul shooting wasnt perfect. Everything else about Wichita State is these days. ' ' '