O Canada!

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

There were lessons to be learned - of the sporting and the life varieties - at the Games of the XX Winter Olympiad, which wound down in Turin last weekend.

The 16-day sporting spectacle afforded us an emotional display of individual and team athletic achievements, heartbreak and pure magic.

Here are but a few of those lessons:

Sportsmanship, no matter what the cynics among us may say, is alive and well.

During the fourth day of competition, Norwegian coach Bjornar Haakensmoen handed Canadian cross-country skier Sara Renner a replacement pole after hers had broken during the final of the women's team sprint event.

Renner and fellow Canuck Beckie Scott went on to capture a silver medal, while Norway's entry missed out on a medal, finishing fourth.

Canadian women rule.

Without the gutsy showing of such extraordinary Canucks as Cindy Klassen (a gold, two silvers and three bronze medals) and the Canadian women's hockey team, our country's fortunes would likely have been sub-par at best. Two-thirds of our nation's medal haul came courtesy of our female athletes.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) got it right, for a change, in estimating that our country's athletes would capture close to 25 medals. Had our men's hockey team lived up to the expectation of a medal of any colour, the forecast would have been bang-on. An additional 21 fourth- and fifth-place finishes bodes well for Canada in 2010.

As of today, there are 1,442 days until the Vancouver Games. If this Olympics' record-setting effort is a sign of things to come, Canada will be both a hospitable and competitive Olympic host nation.

In an outstanding example of selflessness, gold medalist Clara Hughes made use of her post-victory interview on CBC Television to promote Right To Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that promotes giving disadvantaged children around the globe opportunities to improve their health through play and sport.

Our Olympic athletes deserve better.

While most of the world's Olympic powers reward top-three finishes with cash, Canada offers its athletes not a penny for their remarkable achievements. It's high time we started providing a more substantial benefit than personal pride to those who strive for and obtain athletic excellence.

One final observation on the 2006 Winter Olympics: Two weeks after the Games in Turin, the IX Paralympics Winter Games will be contested in the same Italian city.

Why do we feel a need to separate these athletic contests? If the Olympic message is one of inclusiveness, why not hold the Winter Games and the Paralympics at the same time?

O Canada!

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

There were lessons to be learned - of the sporting and the life varieties - at the Games of the XX Winter Olympiad, which wound down in Turin last weekend.

The 16-day sporting spectacle afforded us an emotional display of individual and team athletic achievements, heartbreak and pure magic.

Here are but a few of those lessons:

Sportsmanship, no matter what the cynics among us may say, is alive and well.

During the fourth day of competition, Norwegian coach Bjornar Haakensmoen handed Canadian cross-country skier Sara Renner a replacement pole after hers had broken during the final of the women's team sprint event.

Renner and fellow Canuck Beckie Scott went on to capture a silver medal, while Norway's entry missed out on a medal, finishing fourth.

Canadian women rule.

Without the gutsy showing of such extraordinary Canucks as Cindy Klassen (a gold, two silvers and three bronze medals) and the Canadian women's hockey team, our country's fortunes would likely have been sub-par at best. Two-thirds of our nation's medal haul came courtesy of our female athletes.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) got it right, for a change, in estimating that our country's athletes would capture close to 25 medals. Had our men's hockey team lived up to the expectation of a medal of any colour, the forecast would have been bang-on. An additional 21 fourth- and fifth-place finishes bodes well for Canada in 2010.

As of today, there are 1,442 days until the Vancouver Games. If this Olympics' record-setting effort is a sign of things to come, Canada will be both a hospitable and competitive Olympic host nation.

In an outstanding example of selflessness, gold medalist Clara Hughes made use of her post-victory interview on CBC Television to promote Right To Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that promotes giving disadvantaged children around the globe opportunities to improve their health through play and sport.

Our Olympic athletes deserve better.

While most of the world's Olympic powers reward top-three finishes with cash, Canada offers its athletes not a penny for their remarkable achievements. It's high time we started providing a more substantial benefit than personal pride to those who strive for and obtain athletic excellence.

One final observation on the 2006 Winter Olympics: Two weeks after the Games in Turin, the IX Paralympics Winter Games will be contested in the same Italian city.

Why do we feel a need to separate these athletic contests? If the Olympic message is one of inclusiveness, why not hold the Winter Games and the Paralympics at the same time?

O Canada!

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

There were lessons to be learned - of the sporting and the life varieties - at the Games of the XX Winter Olympiad, which wound down in Turin last weekend.

The 16-day sporting spectacle afforded us an emotional display of individual and team athletic achievements, heartbreak and pure magic.

Here are but a few of those lessons:

Sportsmanship, no matter what the cynics among us may say, is alive and well.

During the fourth day of competition, Norwegian coach Bjornar Haakensmoen handed Canadian cross-country skier Sara Renner a replacement pole after hers had broken during the final of the women's team sprint event.

Renner and fellow Canuck Beckie Scott went on to capture a silver medal, while Norway's entry missed out on a medal, finishing fourth.

Canadian women rule.

Without the gutsy showing of such extraordinary Canucks as Cindy Klassen (a gold, two silvers and three bronze medals) and the Canadian women's hockey team, our country's fortunes would likely have been sub-par at best. Two-thirds of our nation's medal haul came courtesy of our female athletes.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) got it right, for a change, in estimating that our country's athletes would capture close to 25 medals. Had our men's hockey team lived up to the expectation of a medal of any colour, the forecast would have been bang-on. An additional 21 fourth- and fifth-place finishes bodes well for Canada in 2010.

As of today, there are 1,442 days until the Vancouver Games. If this Olympics' record-setting effort is a sign of things to come, Canada will be both a hospitable and competitive Olympic host nation.

In an outstanding example of selflessness, gold medalist Clara Hughes made use of her post-victory interview on CBC Television to promote Right To Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that promotes giving disadvantaged children around the globe opportunities to improve their health through play and sport.

Our Olympic athletes deserve better.

While most of the world's Olympic powers reward top-three finishes with cash, Canada offers its athletes not a penny for their remarkable achievements. It's high time we started providing a more substantial benefit than personal pride to those who strive for and obtain athletic excellence.

One final observation on the 2006 Winter Olympics: Two weeks after the Games in Turin, the IX Paralympics Winter Games will be contested in the same Italian city.

Why do we feel a need to separate these athletic contests? If the Olympic message is one of inclusiveness, why not hold the Winter Games and the Paralympics at the same time?