Sunday, February 21, 2010

OWN THE PODIUM? NOT LIKELY

Sorry for my absence around here -- I am trying my best to relax as much as possible and avoid giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome from all the writing I've done recently. Last weekend I was really exhausted and had to rest up, and that's continued over the past week.

Have been following these gaffe-filled Winter Olympics out of Vancouver and it's still pretty much a gong show, what with people crashing out of events (Lindsay Vonn), security issues with the Olympic Flame all cordoned off to the fans, and other nonsense.  
The main piece of nonsense coming out of these games has been the flop that has been the Own the Podium stance of the Canadian Olympic officials. That's that multi-million dollar initiative where Canada concentrated on a number of sports so they could dominate the Winter Olympics for the first time in history and top the leader board in medals.
Well, so far that initiative has been a flop. Canada has won eight medals, grand total, for fifth place overall. To add insult to injury, the United States is way ahead with 23. Yesterday, Canada failed to win a medal anywhere, even though they went into Saturday favored to take, well, something.
Actually, I'm sort of glad it isn't working out as planned. Frankly, the Olympics are supposed to be about friendly competition and bringing nations together -- not about winning. But this stance was all about winning and about finishing first. They went so far as to deny other countries fair access to the facilities to practise for the games. That isn't exactly playing fair as far as I'm concerned.
The main problem is that if you make some sort of statement declaring yourself to be the best, you gotta be able to back it up. Don't make such a declaration unless (a) you know for sure you are going to win or (b) you don't know for sure but you win anyway. It's like that Joe Namath guarantee of a Jets victory in the Super Bowl in '69 -- you've got to back it up.

Anyway, don't blame the athletes, they aren't the ones who declared they were going to Own the Podium. So far, it sure looks like the podium's up for sale, because Canada ain't dominating it one bit.

Oh, and Canada takes on the Americans in hockey tonight. If the Canadians lose, expect all kinds of consternation from people and calls for investigations.

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