Home Own the Podium plan united country

Own the Podium plan united country

by admin March 2, 2010

Own the Podium plan united country

by admin March 2, 2010

With the 2010 Olympic Winter Games behind us, our Canadian athletes did not exactly “Own the Podium” as was promised by the ambitious athlete-funding plan set up by the government to help athletes medal at the Games. But with 26 total medals and a Winter Games record 14 gold, these Winter Games were Canada’s most successful. Canada won 24 medals in Torino in 2006.
The program cost $117 million, more than half – or $66 million – of which came out of taxpayers’ pockets. That means Canada’s 26 medals cost taxpayers over $2.5 million a pop. Worth every loonie.

While Canada did not come out on top of the medal count, it should be noted, obviously, that the United States has unrivaled manpower and money (mostly corporate sponsors, but the market for athletes south of the border is in a different league than Canada’s).
The Vancouver Games were definitely Canada’s most historic as well. The Games’ opening ceremony was watched by two-thirds of Canadians, a Canadian ratings record. Over 10 million Canadians tuned into the Canada versus United States preliminary hockey game on Feb. 21. These are Super bowl proportions. In terms of national unity, these Games brought the country together in ways no election or event has in years.
Too often, Canadians compare themselves to their neighbors to the South culturally and socially. It’s important for sports funding to continue so that children and amateur athletes have homegrown Canadian athletes to look up to.
In the same way 1994 moguls gold medalist Jean-Luc Brassard was an inspiration to Alexandre Bilodeau, the 22-year-old Quebec native will now be the role model to a whole new generation of aspiring and amateur mogul skiers.
It’s fundamental for Canadians to continue caring about their athletes and not look elsewhere for inspiration. In terms of our often-foggy national identity, the idolization of Canadian athletes will go a long way in perhaps unifying us uniquely.

An important aspect of the Olympic Games is raising awareness about sports that get little to no coverage in the four-year lapses between Games. The Vancouver Games proved that hockey isn’t the only sport Canadians can get involved in and excited about: there’s bobsleigh, speed skating, moguls, luge, figure skating, ice dancing and nerve-wracking curling too, among many others.
Does the Own the Podium program put too much stress and pressure on athletes to perform? It’s not an unreasonable question. Manuel Osborne-Paradis was considered by many the favourite in the men’s Super-G and Downhill events. He left the Games empty-handed after taking a spill in the Super-G and finishing out of the top 10 in the Downhill. With all their talk about getting more practice runs than anyone else and using the same course for no less than two years, the Canadian alpine ski team was most disappointing.

But as host of the Games, it was really important for Canada and her athletes to show the world what they are made of. With over 20 fourth and fifth-place finishes, and the assumption that our mostly-young athletes will only get better and stronger with time and more practice, the possibility for Canada to be at the top of the medal count in 2014 is not a crazy one if the heart and determination of the now-legendary Clara Hughes is instilled in everyone going to Sochi.
While it’s impossible to gauge just how much of the Canadian athletes’ success can be attributed to the Own the Podium program, it is invaluable that funding for sports other than hockey continues and increases in Canada. The admiration for our athletes and the unification the events bring create a pride among Canadians from all provinces that is not observed often enough.

Leave a Comment

With the 2010 Olympic Winter Games behind us, our Canadian athletes did not exactly “Own the Podium” as was promised by the ambitious athlete-funding plan set up by the government to help athletes medal at the Games. But with 26 total medals and a Winter Games record 14 gold, these Winter Games were Canada’s most successful. Canada won 24 medals in Torino in 2006.
The program cost $117 million, more than half – or $66 million – of which came out of taxpayers’ pockets. That means Canada’s 26 medals cost taxpayers over $2.5 million a pop. Worth every loonie.

While Canada did not come out on top of the medal count, it should be noted, obviously, that the United States has unrivaled manpower and money (mostly corporate sponsors, but the market for athletes south of the border is in a different league than Canada’s).
The Vancouver Games were definitely Canada’s most historic as well. The Games’ opening ceremony was watched by two-thirds of Canadians, a Canadian ratings record. Over 10 million Canadians tuned into the Canada versus United States preliminary hockey game on Feb. 21. These are Super bowl proportions. In terms of national unity, these Games brought the country together in ways no election or event has in years.
Too often, Canadians compare themselves to their neighbors to the South culturally and socially. It’s important for sports funding to continue so that children and amateur athletes have homegrown Canadian athletes to look up to.
In the same way 1994 moguls gold medalist Jean-Luc Brassard was an inspiration to Alexandre Bilodeau, the 22-year-old Quebec native will now be the role model to a whole new generation of aspiring and amateur mogul skiers.
It’s fundamental for Canadians to continue caring about their athletes and not look elsewhere for inspiration. In terms of our often-foggy national identity, the idolization of Canadian athletes will go a long way in perhaps unifying us uniquely.

An important aspect of the Olympic Games is raising awareness about sports that get little to no coverage in the four-year lapses between Games. The Vancouver Games proved that hockey isn’t the only sport Canadians can get involved in and excited about: there’s bobsleigh, speed skating, moguls, luge, figure skating, ice dancing and nerve-wracking curling too, among many others.
Does the Own the Podium program put too much stress and pressure on athletes to perform? It’s not an unreasonable question. Manuel Osborne-Paradis was considered by many the favourite in the men’s Super-G and Downhill events. He left the Games empty-handed after taking a spill in the Super-G and finishing out of the top 10 in the Downhill. With all their talk about getting more practice runs than anyone else and using the same course for no less than two years, the Canadian alpine ski team was most disappointing.

But as host of the Games, it was really important for Canada and her athletes to show the world what they are made of. With over 20 fourth and fifth-place finishes, and the assumption that our mostly-young athletes will only get better and stronger with time and more practice, the possibility for Canada to be at the top of the medal count in 2014 is not a crazy one if the heart and determination of the now-legendary Clara Hughes is instilled in everyone going to Sochi.
While it’s impossible to gauge just how much of the Canadian athletes’ success can be attributed to the Own the Podium program, it is invaluable that funding for sports other than hockey continues and increases in Canada. The admiration for our athletes and the unification the events bring create a pride among Canadians from all provinces that is not observed often enough.

Leave a Comment