Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Olympics Over - Thank You Beijing

Team Canada has another very respectful showing with 18 medals

We, as a nation, wrestle with such issues of whether it makes sense to financially support our Olympians, whether it’s really important to win Olympic medals, but every time the Games roll around it’s reinforced that there is a great value in all of this.

I can’t tell you how many times throughout the coverage of the Olympics I have heard, “The funding is so poor for our athletes, our government better start investing more money towards them!” I too feel the same way. I have so much respect for their dedication and motivation to keep training while getting limited subsidy from the Canadian government.

A country to look at it Australia who has invested so much into their athletes and their performances have proven well worth the investment. Not only is it great to see so many medals and top performances to be proud of but the investment trickles down to the everyday people who are inspired by their athletes to become active or stay fit. Ultimately, this can have a massive impact on the Health Care system and Canadians should seriously look into the long term benefits of incorporating more funding for sports in Canada.

Now, as hard as we are on our government (more so than our athletes) for not getting more medals, one can not forget all the amazing performances of Canadians who “just missed”.
As 1984 Olympic canoeing gold medalist Larry Cain has stated in the press, “The shame of it all is that the amazing performances like Dylan Armstrong's, Mike Brown's and the other 4th and 5th place finishes go unappreciated by far too many.”

It’s true. Just imagine how any of us would feel to be the fourth or fifth best in the world at something. It’s a perspective that’s important to have.

One comment I have to make is that I hope for 2010 we have better uniforms to showcase our team. The athletes deserve a gold medal for having the guts to wear those godawful pants. They were abysmal. The COC and HBC better get their act together on this one!

And one can not forget to thank the Chinese and the city of Beijing, who put on an amazing show. The games were able to run with no major political issues at the forefront and the athletes had unreal venues to compete in all for a pretty hefty price tag of 40 billion.

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