FanDuel - WFBC

August 30, 2004

Yeah, Canada should really take policy advice from the I-O-frickin'-C: The end of another Olympics, another round of national hand-wringing about the disappointing haul of medals by Canadian athletes. With Vancouver 2010 just six years away -- and some worried Canada will be the only country to host a games and not win a gold... for the third time -- should us Canucks listen to (what is arguable one of the most corrupt international organisations ever,) the IOC, and commit more public funds to high-performance athletes? More generally, is success at the Olympics simply a function of funding, or are other factors just as important? Should we really give a rat's ass about quadrennial trinkets?

posted by docgonzo to other at 08:51 AM - 14 comments

I thought Canada usually does better in the winter events. Then again, that's an assumption and not anything I've checked on... you'd think they would though.

posted by swank6 at 03:00 PM on August 30

I thought Canada usually does better in the winter events. Then again, that's an assumption and not anything I've checked on... you'd think they would though.

posted by swank6 at 03:00 PM on August 30

Ack, sorry bout the double post.

posted by swank6 at 03:00 PM on August 30

Any country can spend money on talent identification and development, and win gold at the Olympics. But only a few countries spend money on a good public education system and universal health care. Canada is one of these. Personally I'd rather live in a country that spends its money wisely. Oh, sorry, i already do (Australia), and what's that? Not only do we have universal health care, and a good school system like our Canadian Commonwealth cousins, we finished 4th on the Athens medal table as well....:)

posted by owlhouse at 05:56 PM on August 30

owlhouse: You mustn't have seen the Canada-Australia comparison which notes that (a) Canada spends about as much more on healthcare as Australia does on sport and (b) Canadians live longer than Australians. So, yes, it does have a cost, all those extra medals. (And let's not even go into how much more healthcare is going to costs Aussies after their magnificent "free trade" deal).

posted by rodgerd at 06:13 PM on August 30

Sorry rogerd, but check out the UNDP Human Development Report 2001 table for life expectancy here. Australia pips Canada by one one hundredth of a second, or something. And in any case, if we don't vote the right way on October 9, we will definitely become the 51st state with a US-style health system to follow.

posted by owlhouse at 06:26 PM on August 30

An Aussie-Canuck pissing match? Over medals and health system? *Pulls up a chair*

posted by dusted at 08:48 PM on August 30

I'm of the opinion that the Olympics are a waste of money, and further I don't care if Canada (my country) wins medals or not. Let them have their dog and pony show in Vancouver... so what?

posted by molafson at 01:24 AM on August 31

Yeah, I must admit I see no reason to pump money into the Olympics. Healthcare sucks in Canada these days, so does the military; there are a lot of higher priority things to spend on. And, you know, national pride is not exactly what we're all about. Except hockey. How's the Aussie World Cup of Hockey team doing, anyway? One of my friends said that he'd heard an idea to take a lot of the money used for anti-tobacco programs and spend them on athletes & fitness-related things. I would be ok with that.

posted by alex_reno at 01:43 AM on August 31

To find out how the Aussie hockey team is doing, click here. Gold medal, anyone? Over here we only put ice in our drinks.

posted by owlhouse at 01:53 AM on August 31

if we don't vote the right way on October 9, we will definitely become the 51st state with a US-style health system to follow i gotta pick up my G&M/NP reading. But yeah, sports are low on the priority list in this day and age.

posted by garfield at 08:18 AM on August 31

I think the question of whether or not Canada should invest in sport is kind of like asking whether or not a corporation should give money to throw a kick ass Christmas party: it's not necessary, but it sure does boost morale. I for one would welcome some well-directed funds into our elite international sporting ventures.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:49 PM on August 31

Your Christmas party analogy would be more accurate if the company in question made the employees pay for it, and then didn't invite them to the party (but let them watch it on TV). Public money comes from taxpayers, and this taxpayer resents shelling out his hard-earned loonies to buy some synchronized swimmer a shiny gold necklace.

posted by rocket88 at 04:41 PM on August 31

alex: real hockey or ice? As for public spending on sport, I'm a lot more enthusiastic about stuff that affects the 99+% of people who have no chance of ever being elite athletes. Getting ordinary kids and adults access to good facilities, equipment, etc, seems like a far more appropriate use of public funds than giving money to a handful of elite athletes, especially in the olympic sphere, where many of them are professionals, anyway. It seems to me a bit on the nose that we give money to a guy who gets no result at the Olympics and has a professional riding gig in the US if we're not making it easy for Joe and Jane Average to get acess to cycle tracks and the like. It's like paying for a seventy year old billionaire smoker to get a lung transplant at a public hospital, but failing to ensure that a 20 year old at McDonalds can afford nicotine patches. Now, if the Olympics wants to go back to being amatuer-only, that might be different.

posted by rodgerd at 06:16 PM on August 31

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