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Canada at Olympics
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:18 pm
We have a silver and a bronze now. That ties us with such athletic superpowers as Indonesia and Zimbabwe.
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:35 pm
So here's the problem. We fund our athletes at or below the poverty line yet we expect them to compete with or out compete countries that actually spend money on their athletes
. We need to put up or shut up. I say we tax all media outlets that cover the games and funnel the money to the athletes. Seriously. If I was a canadian reporter covering these games I'd punch myself.
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:58 pm
I blame our stringent doping tests.
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:59 pm
So far our medals are in trampoline and synchronized diving, both of which are relatively new sports. Are we spreading ourselves too thin? With relatively few people in Canada, should we be targetting our funding on just a few sports and try to do well in those? Or do we keep funding everything and hoping that someone excels in one of the sports?
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:11 pm
Canadian results without Ultimate in the Olympics: 0 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
Canadian results with Ultimate in the Olympics: 3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:28 pm
buddhasphincta wrote:So far our medals are in trampoline and synchronized diving, both of which are relatively new sports. Are we spreading ourselves too thin?
My impression is that we always do well in new sports. Whatever sport you want to throw in there, we'll be able to find someone who is right up there. Once it becomes an Olympic sport, other countries start to fund it, and so they go past us the next time around. I don't know what this says about Canadians. Maybe we are naturally athletic. Maybe we are adventurous and already out there trying the cutting-edge stuff before anyone else. Maybe we need to lobby for a new rule that all Olympic athletes must have full-time jobs and only train in the early mornings, evenings and weekends. Then we'd kick butt.
buddhasphincta wrote:With relatively few people in Canada, should we be targetting our funding on just a few sports and try to do well in those?
How would you decide which sports to fund? Pick only the high-profile sports? I suspect that beach volleyball and judo (which we did quite well in last time around) would be left out of this group.
Certainly, the overall funding for our "professional amateur" athletes is far below other countries. Should it be? Is Olympic performance a priority for us as a society? Would you willingly pay more income tax, or accept cuts in social services, in order to buy us more medals once every four years? Or is it enough to see our athletes giving their all and setting personal bests?
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:07 pm
GregS wrote: Certainly, the overall funding for our "professional amateur" athletes is far below other countries. Should it be? Is Olympic performance a priority for us as a society? Would you willingly pay more income tax, or accept cuts in social services, in order to buy us more medals once every four years? Or is it enough to see our athletes giving their all and setting personal bests?
I'd definitely pay more taxes or accept cuts. Just figure, $10 more a year per tax paying Candian roughly works out to between 150 and 200 million a year. Some portion of this will be used to build/ maintain athletic facilities that all canadians can use (Calgary has some of these already, and yes, average canadians do use them).
Anyways, the olympics and doing well at them as a country brings many societal benefits. How many people have been inspired to by an olympic athlete to take up a new sport or excel at an existing one? If we can get more people to increase their level of activity we will end up saving millions if not billions in health care later on. Seriously, we waste billions a year into programs that really don't benefit us as a society. Why not invest some money in ameteur athletcs and actually get a benefit out of it.
end rant 2.
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:38 pm
I did a bit of looking on the Internet, and I found the following statistics:
-Olympic athletes receive about $16 million a year from all levels of government
-Sport Canada, a government agency that oversees all Olympic and amateur sport funding, has an annual budget of $90 million to fund all levels of amateur sport teams, facilities, events, equipment and coaches.
-In comparison, Australia funds Olympic athletes at about $98 million a year
What a joke. Let's spend a billion dollars on a gun registry that doesn't work or do anything useful whatsoever, but let's not fund amateur sports. I'm beginning to wonder why we're a country of fat, out-of-shape lardballs.
We talk about the importance of health care, and yet we pull phys-ed from schools, don't build enough parks or playing fields, and we don't support those organizations that help keep us active.
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:47 pm
GregS wrote:Or is it enough to see our athletes giving their all and setting personal bests?
The problem is that in a lot of ways, the athletes aren't achieving personal bests at the Olympics. There are exceptions like Mike Brown in swimming breaking Canadian records with each swim but then there are big problems like his teammate Knabe pretty much giving up in the heats and Gill losing his first match. I don't know what it is but it seems like Canadians have a mental block when it comes to competing on the world stage.
I'm partial to swimming and it kills me that the Australians have come so far and the Canadians seem to be going backwards. What has gone wrong since the golden days of Victor Davis, Alex Baumann, Sandy Goss, Mark Tewksbury, etc? It's not like we have to build more facilities, do we? There are Olympic sized pools in every major city.
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:57 pm
You can't train as much as you need to to acheive peak performance if you have to work full time as well.
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:20 pm
GregS wrote:Certainly, the overall funding for our "professional amateur" athletes is far below other countries. Should it be? Is Olympic performance a priority for us as a society? Would you willingly pay more income tax, or accept cuts in social services, in order to buy us more medals once every four years?
I would far rather they take the money that they currently spend on a small number of individual athletes and spend it on facilities that can be used by everyone.
How does it benefit me or anyone else in this country when Jo-Bob Guy wins a silver in the synchronized circle-jerk? Good for him! I'm happy all his hard work paid off ... HOW much of my tax money went to pay for his training?
one claim is that it inspires our youth .. too bad they have nowhere to train..
(you'll have to excuse me I'm a bit grumpy ... if the Olympics was for real amatures Canada would be looking at 3 gold and 3 silver for Ultimate right about now...)
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:38 pm
This of course begs the same question as the medals we've won in synchronized diving and trampoline. Sure we excel at sports which are only popular in a few countries. Once the sport becomes more globally played, do we stay at the top? Or do we drop out of the hunt for medals? I think there were only about 20 teams at Worlds for ultimate.
Anyway, I wish the best of luck to all the Canadian athletes at the Olympics. It really is an honour to be there.
P.S. the day that they have synchronized weightlifting is the day I stop watching the Olympics...
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:38 pm
buddhasphincta wrote:P.S. the day that they have synchronized weightlifting is the day I stop watching the Olympics...
Synchronized 110m hurdles, now that would be something.
Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:07 pm
I thought it might be interesting to revisit this discussion, in light of Canada's record-breaking haul of medals in Torino. Once again, we did well in the new sports, saw remarkable achievements by unheralded names, and were disappointed by some of the big guns. (Can you say men's hockey?) Do you see any significant differences, positive or negative, since we last discussed this?
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:13 am
I have to admit, I was disappointed at the start of the Olympics when medal hopes such as Beckie Scott and Jeremy Wotherspoon failed to medal. But the final result shows that, at least at the Winter Games, the Own the Podium program has produced some rewards. Forget the men's hockey team. Let's focus on who actually won. The women's team kicked butt. Actually most of the Canadian women athletes kicked butt. I think the success in the Winter Games can be attributed to Canada's focus on fewer sports and investing in training (physical and mental) and a good development program.
On a different note. Too bad they didn't have synchronized ski jumping. We RULE that sport!
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:00 am
Apparently Canada also got 18 fourth-place finishes..
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:40 am
Alex Gardiner, COC director of international performance, noted there had been 13 fourth-place finishes and he couldn't restrain himself: "We're a fourth to be reckoned with," he said.
Canada won medals in 10 sports here, best number of all. Seven sports had been our previous best. The Germans, bless them, won their 29 in seven sports, a whopping 11 coming in biathlon. The U.S., fighting the natural medal dropoff that comes to countries after playing host to an Olympics, counted its 25 in nine sports. The big-name loudmouth athletes, like Bode Miller, flopped here, but speed skating (seven medals) and snowboard (seven more) saved their Schneiders.
Toronto Star Article
Bottom line for Canada is that 132 of 196 athletes here were Olympic first-timers. They didn't all come home with medals, obviously, but they gained experience and, heading home for 2010, everything will count. And two dozen medals is a great place to start counting from.
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:45 am
Canada's Top 5 finishes
For a total of 45 top 5 finishes
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:02 pm
march wrote:For a total of 45 top 5 finishes
I wonder how that stacks up against Germany, US, Russia, Norway, Jamaica, etc.
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:50 pm
I think a large part of Canada's success in these winter olympics can be attributed to the infrastructre built during the Olympics in Calgary. One can only hope that the Vancouver Olympics will result in medals for years to come.