Friday, August 15, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympics: Whither Canada?

The 2008 games have been open for one week and Canada has yet to snag a medal. The weird thing of it is we're breaking Canadian records left and right (16 at last count). We're faster than we've ever been but we're still not fast enough.

I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed by this because of how close we've come. Today I heard we were within 1cm of a bronze. But we're still at the bottom of the pile Even Togo has more medals than we do, a bronze in 500m kayak single. For those of you who don't know Togo, it's a narrow country in West Africa bordering Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso.

In defence of Canadian athletes though, we only seem to care about their performance when placed on a world stage. Where is the Canadian public in the years between Olympics? Our athletes work hard with the funding they're given to train and compete nationally and internationally.

All I want, is for the athletes to do their best and at least try to have a good time. If we don't win any medals then *shrugs* oh well. This competition is put on solely for the world's best to compete in the name of sportsmanship and friendship.

In other news, Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian threw his bronze medal on the floor during the podium ceremony and stormed off. His coach called his actions "political" after a disagreement over the judges decision to award the gold to Italian Andrea Minguzzi.

I don't know who was right or wrong in this situation but the move was, in my mind, unprofessional. I can name many Olympics athletes that I believe were cheated of a medal whether it be gold or not. The majority of their reactions was to accept the decision and/or to let it go. Sometimes life sucks and there's nothing you can do about it. In Abrahamian's case he might be able to lodge a formal complaint but that won't get him a gold medal. This is a good example of my belief that international competitions can bring out the best and worst in people.

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