Podium proud

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While the Canadian Olympic Committee’s much-heralded Own the Podium campaign pretty much fizzled with this country finishing no where near the top of the medal standings, that doesn’t mean we should look upon the Vancouver Games as being a failure.


On the contrary, there were many bright moments for Canadians athletes during the two weeks of competition and no matter what the British tabloids choose to print about the Olympics and this country’s ability to host them we all should be proud as Canadians for a job well done. More than that, however, we should be prepared to celebrate a strong showing by this county’s athletes – including our female athletes, who led the way to the medal podium.


There were plenty of positive stories from Vancouver with the women’s hockey team striking gold on Thursday and a bronze-medal performance by skater Joannie Rochette that pulled at the heart strings of everyone watching the figure skating competition. Those wins followed a rare one-two finished by Canada’s women’s bobsledders and another medal by speedskater Clara Hughes, who may very well go down in history as this country’s top female athlete of all time with medals in both the summer and winter games.


In the days following the Olympics there are going to be a lot of questions about the financial resources we put into preparing our athletes for international competition. While Own the Podium may have been overly ambitious, it provided our athletes with the funds that allowed them to train and compete for a chance at the medal podium.


The fact that our athletes – especially our female competitors – are thriving at the international level is proof that Own the Podium, if not resulting in winning the medal count, has played a role in making this nation a force on the international athletic front.


Instead of looking for someone to blame at what could have or should have been, we need to continue supporting our athletes so they will be ready to compete in London in just two years during the Summer Olympics and when athletes reconvene in four years in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Games.

Organizations: Canadian Olympic Committee

Geographic location: Vancouver, Canada, London Sochi Russia

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Recent comments

  • Jacques sur les Rogges from Belgium
    March 03, 2010 - 13:21

    Seems to me the writer was referring to the Canadian Olympic Committee's official program known as "Own the Podium" which called for Canadian athletes to win more medals combined (that's gold, silver, and bronze, Jack) than any other country. You can throw insults at the writer all you want with your figurative take on who really owned the podium, but it doesn't change the fact that the writer is correct, according to the program so-named, Canada DID NOT own the podium.

  • Jack On The Rocks
    March 02, 2010 - 11:31

    Hey Mr.Writer(not a very good one at that),you may think that Canada did not own the podium,but they sure owned the most important part of it.THE MIDDLE!!!!!!!!!!!

  • W
    March 02, 2010 - 10:07

    What do you mean we didn't own the podium?! Canada blew every other country away when it came to gold medals! We took more gold than any other country in the history of the modern day Olympics. So we didn't take as many second or third place medals as the US, who cares -- we set a gold medal record!! If that isn't owning the podium I don't know what is!

  • Fuzzy Bear
    March 01, 2010 - 11:38

    Sorry writer but in fact we do own the podium....it was built by a Vancouver resident and he did one incredible job on it. It was a beautiful piece of work and he should be proud. And as well all Canadians should be proud of every athlete who went there and gave their best even if it ended up being 4th or 5th or lower. They did try and that is what truly matters. It hurt us all to see that one female competitor crying because she failed to win a medal for our country however she gave it her best which just wasn't quite good enough (this time). If anyone should be somewhat ashamed it should be the Canadian Olympic Committee and our politicians who added to the already tremendous pressures these athletes have on them by naming a financial sponsorship program "Own The Podium". Where is their brain?.......oh maybe we should check their reverse side!! Why did they need to get something back at all..... The reason is they wanted credit for whatever the athletes did that's why! Remember after about day 12 when it looked like we were not going to do well the Committee distanced themselves from the athletes (by publically saying we would not own the podium after all) only to jump back on when we started to win again. They and only they should be ashamed of their performance. As a final comment if the lotto corp proceeds went to where it was originally intended we could be one of the most decorated countries in every Olympics...however that is never the case with Canadian Politics.