Dave Feschuk in the Toronto Start gives us a great perspective of what happened to Canada in the latest Olympiad. It’s always easy to point the finger. Who did this, or didn’t do that. We, of course have a tendency to favour hockey, and at that we do very well, being at the top every time. We spend the money, we have the arenas and the broadcasters do their part to promote the sport.
But let’s see some other examples.
Swimming. Where are the pools? No, splash pads and 10 meter pools don’t count. We are about to host the PanAm games in Toronto, and we are nowhere close to having an aquatic centre. Basically we can count 2 “olympic length” pools in the whole city.
Just a few days ago, my son wanted to have a couple of hours of lane swimming at the local pool. But guess what! He is under 14, so no lane swimming for him.
I wonder, if he wants to aspire to be anywhere close Michael Phelps, what should he do? Start practicing when he is 14? By then it will be to late. The next Olympics will be in Rio in 2016, when he will be 15. Shouldn’t he be getting ready now?
Not according to the rules of the swimming pools in Toronto.
And how about Football ( call it soccer if you want )? It is the most played sport in Canada (or so ‘they’ say), but we have no semipro or pro league to look up to. The MLS? Maybe one day.
Now, try to watch Football on our national or local networks, and soon enough you will be put to sleep as the play-by-play is more exciting in billiards, bowling or golf. On the other hand, listen to a transmission from any game from Italy, Spain or anywhere in South America, and the most boring game becomes a spectacle.
The world cup is coming in 2 years and London 2012 was my test bed to watch a live stream originated anywhere but here. Yes, exciting and live. What a concept. It made everyone want to be there.
If we get our young excited, motivated and have the facilities to do it, maybe it could help, if perhaps just a little.
We have great people at the Canadian Olympic Committee. But their job isn’t easy even in the best of times. With some help, they could do a lot better. How about using some of the revenue that was generated while broadcasting commercials in the middle of the opening and closing ceremonies, not only interrupting our viewing, but fortunately too, interrupting the commentary. No, not the boring one from the football game. The useless one.