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Canada, and investing in our Olympic team


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#1 Kamero89

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:12 PM

The United States Olympic team is simply so successful is because they invest a massive amount of money in their athletes. Their soccer program alone gets more money than our entire Olympic program.

Own the Podium was successful in Vancouver 2010, but the total amount of investing dropped for the 2012 games. Granted the amount of total money invested is far higher than the 70's/80s/90s, where we hosted two separate Olympic games, and did not even get a gold medal.

Similar, and even worse economies invest more than us, should we step up and pay more, or put the money into other things?

The United States is est. to have spent $300m on their athletes for these games. Canada has spent a fraction of this, and it shows in the medal count.

In my opinion $300m is ridicules, especially for a country so in debt, but some more money can be found somewhere. New Zealand has half the economy of BC alone, and has 2 gold medals, and usually gets more golds than us. Spending what Germany, and Australia do seems logical. Spending smart, and to be competitive, and give our athletes an actual chance.
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#2 Machine Gun Kelly

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:19 PM

No offense to our athletes, but its kind of pointless to invest in something we know we will never have a chance at, (Swimming Gold, Mens Soccer Gold)

I say invest in stuff we are close, but aren't quite their yet.
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#3 elvis15

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:22 PM

The US doesn't think fiscally, it thinks patriotically. That's why there are people still in support of a war that cost them more than twice as much in one day than they spent on their whole Olympic program for these games.

Canada could do more for their athletes, and it is a good cause. That doesn't mean there aren't other causes too that are just as worthy, or that we don't have waste elsewhere that would help fund more deserving programs (or just outright waste), but there's only so much to do with taxpayers money.
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#4 CanucksFanMike

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:25 PM

It is at times embarassing when we just suck period at certain events, but we shouldn't just spend a whole lot of money to be more competitive. there is a balance and if we arn't prepared to spend we better just be satisfied with ranking in the top 15 or so in medals.
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#5 Common sense

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:27 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Canada has traditionally done not so well at the Summer Olympics. It's really in the winter sports where Canadians have the chance to shine.
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#6 hockeyville88

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:52 PM

The only way to develop a sport is to get kids exposed at an early age.
The only way to expose kids at an early age is to have awareness and opportunities for them to develop
The only way to have development opportunities is to have support both financial and in terms of personnel

If we want to improve in these minority sports we need to make a LONG TERM committment to start young and see athletes through to the final stages of their growth.

The proof is in women's hockey - money is being given to Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, etc. and even though their progress is slow, it is still a vast improvement from what they were 10 years ago.
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#7 Champions of Nothing

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:02 PM

I've always been a huge advocate for funding sports starting at the grassroots level and working up. There are so many more benefits that we get out of sports at a grassroots level that has nothing to do with success at the elite international level, but that is one.

HOWEVER more money doesn't mean more medals, and our success shouldn't be measured on medals alone. Don't forget Canada has a smaller population than most of the countries ahead of us in the medal standings (China, USA, Japan, Russia, France, UK, Italy, South Korea, Spain). You also can;t forget that most of our countries best athletes gravitate to hockey at a very early age. And if not hockey, then either other team sports or winter sports.

At the grassroots level it is easier and more beneficial to fund team sports. Hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse than it is individual sports that dominate most of the medals given out. Canada has always leaned towards team sports compared to a lot of the countries in the world.

I have no problem with the position Canada is on the international stage. Top 15 in the Summer and Top 3-5 in the Winter. Considering we are the 35th most populated country in the world that's pretty good if you ask me.

We are never going to compete with China or the USA at the olympics.
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#8 Kamero89

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:03 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Canada has traditionally done not so well at the Summer Olympics. It's really in the winter sports where Canadians have the chance to shine.

That is 100% true, but we have never really invested in Summer Olympics at all. 1/3 of all athletes are from BC, and most of all athletes train in BC simply because of climate reasons.

Something like rowing, were we reached the finals in nearly every category but did not win gold. We finished 2nd to the US twice, with a fraction of the budget, that is HIGHLY impressive. A little money there could go a LONG way.


Swimming in an indoor sport, and something we can actually improve on quite easily. Also once upon a time we used to dominate in athletics. We had the worlds fastest man, and now a days we don't even have anyone even qualifying for the 100m.

Clara Hughes and Catriona Le May Doan are two of the most successful Canadian athletes of all time. Their success came from the money they got from endorsements. I think we have to do a better job of getting them more money. Top 10 finishes should be this countries goal, and it is very doable.
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#9 hudson bay rules

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:06 PM

Own the Podium is alive and well.

We are way ahead of pace compared to Beijing.
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#10 Kamero89

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:08 PM

I've always been a huge advocate for funding sports starting at the grassroots level and working up. There are so many more benefits that we get out of sports at a grassroots level that has nothing to do with success at the elite international level, but that is one.

HOWEVER more money doesn't mean more medals, and our success shouldn't be measured on medals alone. Don't forget Canada has a smaller population than most of the countries ahead of us in the medal standings (China, USA, Japan, Russia, France, UK, Italy, South Korea, Spain). You also can;t forget that most of our countries best athletes gravitate to hockey at a very early age. And if not hockey, then either other team sports or winter sports.

At the grassroots level it is easier and more beneficial to fund team sports. Hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse than it is individual sports that dominate most of the medals given out. Canada has always leaned towards team sports compared to a lot of the countries in the world.

I have no problem with the position Canada is on the international stage. Top 15 in the Summer and Top 3-5 in the Winter. Considering we are the 35th most populated country in the world that's pretty good if you ask me.

We are never going to compete with China or the USA at the olympics.


Hockey Canada gets funding (which is great!) but we seem to ignore every other sport. More kids play soccer in Canada than any other sport, yet we can't produce any real players. Most of Canada's mens team plays on the TFC reserve team. They aren't good enough to play on the worst team in the MLS. This all comes from a lack of funding.

To prove that, once upon a time USA soccer spent the same amount on soccer as we did, and they were awful. Around 1994 when they got the World Cup they invested a huge amount of money, and now their team regularly qualifies for the World Cup.
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#11 Kamero89

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:10 PM

Own the Podium is alive and well.

We are way ahead of pace compared to Beijing.


Yes, but countries our size are in the top 10, we are not. We are not even projected by our own Olympic committee to do so.
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#12 hudson bay rules

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:16 PM

Yes, but countries our size are in the top 10, we are not. We are not even projected by our own Olympic committee to do so.



So who exactly is comparable and how well do they do in the Winter Olympics?
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#13 Champions of Nothing

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:18 PM

Yes, but countries our size are in the top 10, we are not. We are not even projected by our own Olympic committee to do so.

For the record:

Canada is 11th for medals right now. The countries in the top 10 are:

Rank Country Pop.
1. USA - 315,000,000
2. China - 1,350,000,000
3. Russia - 145,000,000
4. Great Britain - 62,000,000
5. Japan - 125,000,000
6. Germany - 82,000,000
7. France - 65,000,000
8. South Korea - 48,000,000
9. Australia - 23,000,000
10. Italy - 60,000,000
11. Canada - 35,000,000

In the top 10, only Australia has a smaller population. Canada is getting very good bang for the buck for medal production.
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#14 Champions of Nothing

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:20 PM

So who exactly is comparable and how well do they do in the Winter Olympics?

In the last 4 Winter Olympics, only USA, Germany, Norway and Russia had more medals than Canada in any single games. Only USA and Germany has more total in the 4 combined.

We are doing just fine in the Olympics.
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#15 hudson bay rules

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:24 PM

We are doing just fine in the Olympics.


My feeling as well

Stoopid thread.
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#16 hockeyfan87

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:30 PM

I don't think it needs to be a priority.

It clearly payed dividends with the 2010 Olympics but unless the games are on home turf Canada can't really be embarrassed unless we don't medal in Men's Hockey. Even if we spent the SAME as the USA we wouldn't nearly get the same medals as they do for obvious reasons. There will be diminishing returns on money spent for the sole purpose of trying to win medals which isn't all that important.

I think what other people said regarding the grass roots level is spot on. Spending money to give more kids more opportunities to participate, create a life long love for a sport, and doing something productive is a wise investment. It would lead to healthier, happier and more well-rounded people.
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#17 PlayStation

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:31 PM

I think a lot should be put into developing kids at an early age and throughout elementry and highschool. I have ALWAYS wanted to do track, but never really had the oppertunities in school because well, it was never big, and half the time I never heard we even had a team! Other than that, I had no idea on how to get into the sport.
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#18 micgao

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:39 PM

The only way to develop a sport is to get kids exposed at an early age.
The only way to expose kids at an early age is to have awareness and opportunities for them to develop
The only way to have development opportunities is to have support both financial and in terms of personnel

If we want to improve in these minority sports we need to make a LONG TERM committment to start young and see athletes through to the final stages of their growth.

The proof is in women's hockey - money is being given to Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, etc. and even though their progress is slow, it is still a vast improvement from what they were 10 years ago.


Exactly this. The problem is, in Canada, alot of very young talented athletes simply cannot go on after a certain point due to not having money. In the US, the country will help you pay for the equipment, the coaching and the money needed to participate in tournaments if you show you have talent while in Canada, you have to rely on paying for all that yourself. And high level coaching/training for any high level sport is definitively NOT cheap but better coaching/training will make ALL the difference when all the athletes are so tightly matched against each other. And without these athletes being able to pay for good coaching, the good coaches will obviously leave for another country where they can and will earn money.

Hell, even in hockey it's like this. In Quebec right now, it costs over 10k$ every year to simply get on a low level Midget AAA team and most of the 16 years old kids are 4th line, 3rd pairing players who play 5 minutes a game. Hockey Quebec calls the league a "development league".

Edited by micgao, 03 August 2012 - 10:44 PM.

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#19 Bob.Loblaw

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:51 PM

The United States Olympic team is simply so successful is because they invest a massive amount of money in their athletes. Their soccer program alone gets more money than our entire Olympic program.

Own the Podium was successful in Vancouver 2010, but the total amount of investing dropped for the 2012 games. Granted the amount of total money invested is far higher than the 70's/80s/90s, where we hosted two separate Olympic games, and did not even get a gold medal.

Similar, and even worse economies invest more than us, should we step up and pay more, or put the money into other things?

The United States is est. to have spent $300m on their athletes for these games. Canada has spent a fraction of this, and it shows in the medal count.

In my opinion $300m is ridicules, especially for a country so in debt, but some more money can be found somewhere. New Zealand has half the economy of BC alone, and has 2 gold medals, and usually gets more golds than us. Spending what Germany, and Australia do seems logical. Spending smart, and to be competitive, and give our athletes an actual chance.


We have never been good at the Summer games. There's no reason to do something like that.

Gold medals generally come from some form of natural talent. You should be grateful enough to have Canadian athletes working their butts off, come out of nowhere and steal a medal.

Canada is doing a decent job so far. Yeah, they haven't won gold yet, but there haven't been many events where they're the favourites. Own the Podium cannot produce a Phelps or a Douglas.
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#20 kacvan

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:53 PM

Hockey Canada gets funding (which is great!) but we seem to ignore every other sport. More kids play soccer in Canada than any other sport, yet we can't produce any real players. Most of Canada's mens team plays on the TFC reserve team. They aren't good enough to play on the worst team in the MLS. This all comes from a lack of funding.

To prove that, once upon a time USA soccer spent the same amount on soccer as we did, and they were awful. Around 1994 when they got the World Cup they invested a huge amount of money, and now their team regularly qualifies for the World Cup.


Our women's soccer is doing quite well and Christine Sinclair is arguable the best player in the world for women's soccer. It is only a matter of time before our men's teams start to play better.
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#21 canucks3322

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:04 PM

Our women's soccer is doing quite well and Christine Sinclair is arguable the best player in the world for women's soccer. It is only a matter of time before our men's teams start to play better.


I don't know about the men side getting better :P but I think some of it has to do with how some Canadian athletes decide to go play for another country like Leroux for the US women soccer team and Hollite < not sure I spelled his name right not wanting to represent Canada
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#22 canucks3322

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:07 PM

The only way to develop a sport is to get kids exposed at an early age.
The only way to expose kids at an early age is to have awareness and opportunities for them to develop
The only way to have development opportunities is to have support both financial and in terms of personnel

If we want to improve in these minority sports we need to make a LONG TERM committment to start young and see athletes through to the final stages of their growth.

The proof is in women's hockey - money is being given to Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, etc. and even though their progress is slow, it is still a vast improvement from what they were 10 years ago.


I agree with you but I think with the soccer program will continue to grow with Whitecaps,TFC,Impact youth team etc I think Canada will slowly dominate at the Olympics in the future
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#23 Gollumpus

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:11 PM

In the last 4 Winter Olympics, only USA, Germany, Norway and Russia had more medals than Canada in any single games. Only USA and Germany has more total in the 4 combined.

We are doing just fine in the Olympics.


This is my understanding as well. Isn't Canada ahead of its medal count for the same time period from Bejing? Or is it just where and how the events are falling?

regards,
G.
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#24 Bob.Loblaw

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:28 PM

This is my understanding as well. Isn't Canada ahead of its medal count for the same time period from Bejing? Or is it just where and how the events are falling?

regards,
G.


I think countries should be measured by the amount of gold medals they have. If I had to choose between discounting those who fought for a podium finish and those who are the best in the world, I'd actually choose the latter.

Canada needs to win gold. Our aim might be to win 15 medals or something like that. But Korea's approach is more direct and I think better: win 10 gold. They don't care about anything else. Now they're raising the bar because they're at 9 gold medals already.

We're at 7 medals, no gold. A problem indeed, but not something more money can just fix. Most of our winners came from nowhere and grinded their way to a medal.
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#25 Avicii

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:48 PM

Does it even matter?

The only sport i really, truly care about is hockey. I don't care about swimming, skiing, snowboarding, cycling.. Like okay sure if we win a medal, that's great woopie.. Not gonna change my life in anyway.

However, a Gold in Men's hockey is the only thing i care about.

The Olympics is pretty much just a d*ck measuring contest.

Edited by Ares, 03 August 2012 - 11:48 PM.

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#26 Kamero89

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:56 PM

We have never been good at the Summer games. There's no reason to do something like that.

Gold medals generally come from some form of natural talent. You should be grateful enough to have Canadian athletes working their butts off, come out of nowhere and steal a medal.

Canada is doing a decent job so far. Yeah, they haven't won gold yet, but there haven't been many events where they're the favourites. Own the Podium cannot produce a Phelps or a Douglas.


To a certain point you are right, but the teams on top are always the ones who spend the most. Phelps has a team of 20 people working with him, yes he is really talented, but he works really hard, and so does the team around him working on how to shave precious seconds off his times.

Money buys the ability to train better, and training matters a lot. When Phelps won those 8 golds, he trained all 365 days of the year for four years. I am not kidding or exaggerating he has said it multiple times. Compare this to the Canadian team which only has access to gyms, and trainers, and pools around 3-4 days a week. You can't just go to a public pool to train properly.
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#27 PlayStation

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:58 PM

Wrong thread.

Edited by PlayStation, 03 August 2012 - 11:59 PM.

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#28 Kamero89

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:58 PM

Does it even matter?

The only sport i really, truly care about is hockey. I don't care about swimming, skiing, snowboarding, cycling.. Like okay sure if we win a medal, that's great woopie.. Not gonna change my life in anyway.

However, a Gold in Men's hockey is the only thing i care about.

The Olympics is pretty much just a d*ck measuring contest.


"I care about". Forget what others care about right? How Canadian of you.
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#29 Avicii

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:15 AM

"I care about". Forget what others care about right? How Canadian of you.


You really care about if we win a medal in a 400m medley relay or whatever swimming competition? You'd lose sleep over it if we didn't win a medal?
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#30 goalie13

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:27 AM

I've always been a huge advocate for funding sports starting at the grassroots level and working up. There are so many more benefits that we get out of sports at a grassroots level that has nothing to do with success at the elite international level, but that is one.

HOWEVER more money doesn't mean more medals, and our success shouldn't be measured on medals alone. Don't forget Canada has a smaller population than most of the countries ahead of us in the medal standings (China, USA, Japan, Russia, France, UK, Italy, South Korea, Spain). You also can;t forget that most of our countries best athletes gravitate to hockey at a very early age. And if not hockey, then either other team sports or winter sports.

At the grassroots level it is easier and more beneficial to fund team sports. Hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse than it is individual sports that dominate most of the medals given out. Canada has always leaned towards team sports compared to a lot of the countries in the world.

I have no problem with the position Canada is on the international stage. Top 15 in the Summer and Top 3-5 in the Winter. Considering we are the 35th most populated country in the world that's pretty good if you ask me.

We are never going to compete with China or the USA at the olympics.


I agree with most of this.

The only trick with funding at the grassroots level, is in order to continue with the sport, the kids usually need inspiration of some kind. That may come from Olympians or it may come from pro sports. Take Dallas as an example. A thriving minor hockey system has developed there ever since the Stars moved to town. Olympians are no different. In many interviews you will hear them talk about someone in the sport that inspired them to take it up, or to push it to the level they have achieved.

So in some cases, funding elite athletes also benefits grassroots sports.

I totally agree with your latter point though. Canada is trying to be a jack of all trades. How many countries of our size are masters at both the summer and winter Olympics? I think it's great when Canadian athletes succeed at the summer games, but I don't get my shirt in a knot over our medal count. Somebody quoted New Zealand as having 2 gold medals in London, but what they didn't mention is that they had no medals in 2010 in Vancouver.
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