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Monday, August 30, 2004

Free advice

IOC President Jacques Rogge thinks Canada should spend more money on winning Olympic medals. Thanks for telling us our business, buddy. Who's this guy think he is, Paul Cellucci?

I've expressed that I'm okay with Canada only winning a few. Judging by call-in shows and streeter interviews, I think that attitude is spreading. I'm glad Canada makes sure our world-class athletes have coaches, have places to train, and can get to the games to perform. But if there's spare money in the pot after that, I would much rather see it spent on a lot of amatuer athletes (building hockey and curling rinks and soccer fields in small communities for instance) instead of spending hundreds of thousands on one athlete to try to get her from fifth-best in the world to second.

I listened to an advocate of Rogga's plan talk about the money that could be spent giving our velodrome bike racers better opportunities, through scouting opponents and tracks (which are, apparently, all different. Who knew?). Forgive me, but didn't a Canadian win that? Didn't she win against athletes who probably had those advantages?

I suspect that our government feels much the same that I do. I think Rogga will be given a polite welcome, as befits an IOC President who isn't also a war criminal, but if the Prime Minister politely told him to mind his own business, I'd be behind that.

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