Let the Games End
Whew! I was getting to figure these games would never come to an end! The whole business is getting a trifle tiresome. Overkill, I guess. Now for heaven’s sake, they’re even agonizing over who will be the flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies.
I have a real problem with Canada’s whole position on the Olympics. Sure, there is some government funding available, but it falls far short of what’s needed to do the job properly. Each of the disciplines has to fight tooth and nail for every penny it can get its hands on and make do. And then, everything each athlete does is for the glory of Canada? That’s just so much malarkey. Do you really think these athletes would go through four years of the kind of grueling training they do just to distinguish Canada on behalf of their sport, especially given their pay scale? That’s just plain silly.
Let’s get a little bit real here. In the first place, these athletes love their particular sport. They go through all that training in order to be the best there is at it. In other words, its for the glory of the 1) athlete, and 2) the sport. They owe Canada or Canadians nothing. Canada and Canadians can be supportive by all means, and encouraging, without exacting a piece of the glory from the particular athlete, or even worse, punishing or disgracing him or her for failure.
Remember Ben Johnson in Seoul? He was the world’s fastest man AND HE WAS A CANADIAN! Then the shit hit the fan when he was disqualified in that doping scandal. Well – it turns out he wasn’t really Canadian after all. He was really a Jamaican. Shame on him. If that didn’t come back to bite us in the ass later, I don’t know what. We now find that the Jamaicans own the track. Had we, instead of pooh-poohing the whole Jamaican thing, had a look at how this has happened, we would know that in order to take ownership of athletics, we must give a little more. The Jamaicans have a different outlook on athletics than we do. By the time their children reach kindergarten or grade one at school, they already have propellers for legs. They are encouraged all through school by their teachers and have plenty of opportunity to compete. Not only that, but its nothing to fill a fifty thousand seat stadium to see these students perform. Moms, dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents are all there to see these athletes compete.
When’s the last time anything like that ever happened here in Canada? Probably when the Cree battled the Mohawks at lacrosse before any white man ever showed up. So you see, it isn’t the athletes who are or aren’t performing. They’re doing their job to the best of their ability. And if we want to ride on their backs, we’d better start to pony up and put our backs into it. Otherwise the glory should all go to the athletes. At least that’s how it looks from up here on the top shelf.