Sunday, August 17, 2008

Canada Olympic Team Boycotts Beijing

Is there a Canadian Boycott of the Beijing games? Please tell me yes, it would make me feel a lot better about the current medal standings. I thought I saw the team come out during the opening ceremonies but maybe they started the boycott after that?
From a Canadian perspective being in the states watching the games with US coverage is always a nightmare. You really can’t get anymore of a one sided perspective. In years past when this has happened to me there were at least a few bright spots I could point to among my American friends. Some highlights were rather short lived like Ben Johnson’s gold medal and declaring we had the fastest man in the world. We’ve had swimming success in the past with Alex Bauman coming to mind and of course our synchronized swim team has always done well. Hey don’t laugh my mom was a synchronized swimmer. Our rowers and shooters have always been in the top ranks; perhaps those events have not started yet.

During a recent conversation with a Canadian friend now living in the states we both had to admit how embarrassed we are with this years showing to this point by our home country heroes. As of today there are 55 countries with at least one medal and Canada is not one of them – what the *&%*@# is up with that?
So I took a quick look on the net today to see just how badly we are doing in comparison to years past and well, we’ve never really done very well except during the boycott of the LA games by the USSR and company.

Canada’s results in years past.
Athens (2004) 21st place with 12 medals
Sydney (2000) 24th place with 14 medals
Atlanta (1996) 21st place with 22 medals
Barcelona (1992) 11th place with 18 medals
Seoul (1998) 19th place with 10 medals
Los Angels (1984) 6th place with 42 medals
Moscow - boycott
Montreal (1976) 27th place with 11 medals

So I guess I should not be so disappointed at this halfway point. After all when we hosted the games in 76 we only had 11 medals. I guess it really comes down to watching extremely biased coverage on NBC and the US sports networks. This is difficult for Americans to understand, because as you know the world revolves around the United States.

I’ll be back in Canada for 4 days very soon and I look forward to some Canadian coverage of the games! For those Canadians feeling the same way I am I found this article in the NY Times today worth reading. Here's another page of Top 10 Canadian Olympic Moments.

Go Canada!


Brad said...

Hey Mike, don't stress it. Canada has different strengths and different "points of pride". And you have to think about the populations of each country....though Canada is GEOGRAPHICALLY large, it's not by population standards. The countries with large populations just have more athletes to choose from when making the Olympic team.

I just saw something on the internet about the Netherlands (my Grandpa's home country). They're never big medal winners either but it said they get the gold for spirit because every year, win or lose, they cheer their teams and just enjoy the events, no matter who wins! That made me feel a bit of pride for the Netherlands. Now, in soccer, they kick but...just like Canadians at hockey (and the lumberjack competitions ;-)

Lil' Hammerhead said...

It's alright.. when it comes to comedians and bacon, you guys still seem to run the field, eh.

scubatripp said...

Hey Brad there is certainly something to be said for the population size of the top countries.

With Canada now having 13 medals and the USA population being approx 9 times larger you could say we are doing pretty well since an extrapolation should see the USA with about 117 medals and they only have 83.

But then again Australia has about 13 million less people than Canada and 24 more medals to this point. Of course their whole country is basically in a perpetual state of Summer so they have that going for them.

It would be nice if there were a column in the standing for per capita rankings!

Lil, I agree! Who cannot laugh at John Candy in Canadian Bacon! I would also through in female recording artist - no not just Celine Dion but many many other great talents as well.

Brad said...

You know Mike, I was wondering if perhaps the Canadian athlete would perform better if they weren't required to wear flannel under their uniforms. Just a thought....;-)