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Olympic ramifications

This story in the Globe talks about how after 4 days Canada has no medals yet at the Beijing Olympics, and there are already grumblings amongst Canadian athletes about how little support they get from the government with regards to funding as compared to other countries.

A few thoughts on this:

1) It’s still early in the Games – there is still a chance the medals will come and that the goal of 16 medals is met.

2) Corporate sponsorship in this country lags just as badly,  if not worse then government funding does, in my view.

I think obviously everyone wants our athletes to do well.. but if we do poorly at the end of these Olympics, it will be interesting to hear the Conservatives defence or explanation regarding current funding. I’ve read at Red Tory’s site from a commenter in his post on this that “this is the first year that  Canada is offering money for medals all the while cutting funding“, and he blames Harper’s and the Conservatives free market approach for this result.

I don’t know if that’s correct or not, but even if it is, I have my doubts anyone in Canada will vote against the Harper government  because of how they choose to spend funding on the Olympics.  If this Olympics turns out to be a disaster for us medal wise by the end of it however, it might bring pressure on the Harper government  to make sure we wouldn’t have a repeat of this in Vancouver (though we do better at winter sports anyhow).

3 comments to Olympic ramifications

  • It’s certainly true that corporate funding lags way behind in Canada, but that’s because we have a largely branch-plant economy. The big corporations aren’t going to put funding into our athletes. We’re trying to run things on the American model, but we’re not corporate headquarters the way the USA is and never will be.

    That’s true not only for athletes, but for lots of other expressions of Canadian identity and culture. We keep trying to nickel-and-dime our way through, hoping that some corporate sponsor will pick up the slack, but it never does, at least not sufficiently.

  • CWTF

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/amateur/story/2007/11/19/canadian-medals.html

    Canadian athletes will receive cash rewards for winning medals at the Olympic Games.

    The Canadian Olympic Committee announced the decision Monday as it prepared for the Summer Games next August in Beijing.

    It’s the first time Canada’s athletes will be paid for winning medals at the high-performance competitions.

  • mushroom

    I will be disappointed if Dion does not take advantage of this by promising to create a Canadian National Sports Commission and a National Institute of Sport. We will need to do much better in 2012 and 2016 in order to support a bid for the Summer Olympics in 2020 or 2024. It should go to either Edmonton or Toronto.

    Wellness and a fit society are necessary for a society. It should be used to counter Harper’s decentralization and weakening of the Canada Health Act.

    You can criticize the Harris government for the sad state of affairs in this year’s Olympics. Thanks to the feud with the Teachers Union, many public schools no longer have that many after school sport programs. The ones that Canada target in the Summer Olympics (ie. rowing) are only provided in private schools :(.

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