Saturday, February 27, 2010
SHARING THE CREDIT...
Certainly, the Canadian-esque disowning of the 'Own the Podium' earlier this week was a tad premature.
Canadian athletes did as we expected them to -- made us proud, and reached beyond our expectations.
That the 'Own the Podium' program had set expectations beyond what we're use to may have played a role. Governments and corporations and communities all stepped forward to assist our athletes in reaching the targets they had dreamed of.
Naturally, Stephen Harper's CONs will all be about getting their photos with the champions -- perfectly understandable, since no government would turn down that possible connection. However, their support seems to stop there. I recall Pierre Trudeau boarding the plane in 1972 when Team Canada touched down after edging the Soviet Union during the great, untoppable Summit Series.
While Harper wouldn't dare acknowledge it, and most athletes likely have forgotten, I think it's a good time to make sure the credit for some of these initiatives is spread to more than today's spotlight grabbers.
Former B.C. premier Glen Clark, who put a lot of his personal moxie on the line to get Vancouver into the competition of winning the 2010 bid.
Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, for being a full supporter from the moment go.
Former Prime Minister Paul Martin, for creating and funding the 'Own the Podium' program. Former sports minister and B.C. MP Stepehn Owen was the point person.
Chretien and Martin deserve some extra credit, too, for creating the economic conditions where a two-week bash in the middle of winter wouldn't be a financial burden on a nation. Unfortunately, someone else came along and punched holes in that rainy day fund to where now B.C.ers and Canadians will be paying for the party for a long time.
Gold medals all around, gentlemen!
Posted by rockfish at 10:07 PM