No Good News – Olympics

Want an eye-catching headline about the olympics? The Star doesn’t have one.

And check out that harsh review at the bottom: fewest gold medals since 1976! NINETEEN SEVENTY SIX! I like how begrudging they’re being about it, for a non-sports paper. “Yeah, same number as Beijing. I guess that’s something.”

Memorable moments, yes, but Canada’s overall performance at the London Olympics was unexceptional.

The same number of medals won as 2008 with fewer gold and silver, while falling just outside the goal of a top-12 finish in the overall medal count was a lukewarm outcome.

That doesn’t diminish the feats of Canada’s medallists in London.

That seems a little bit like backpedalling at the end, no? “Unexceptional” is a word that tends to diminish. Other diminishing phrases: “falling just outside the goal”, “lukewarm welcome”. Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press knows what these words mean, right? After all: someone paid to send her to London. Or paid for her to watch the Olympics on television. Or didn’t pay her at all, and chose to publish an unsolicited article about the Olympics in the Toronto Star. All of those seem like bad answers. Why is this article so inconsistent? It hasn’t really started yet! And it isn’t just a shaky start:

On the biggest stage in sports, they rank among the top three in the world. Eighteen medals put Canada 13th in the overall medal count, two behind Hungary and the Netherlands, who were tied for 11th.

Wait. If we’re 13th, we can’t be in the top 3. That’s not how the number 3 works. And what’s all this about Hungary and the Netherlands? We only ever think about the Netherlands when we’re arguing that we should be allowed to smoke pot, which isn’t very Olympian, and when do Canadians ever think about Hungary?

Man, we were the KINGS OF THE WORLD over that shit. Maybe we just need to focus on the winter games. Maybe summer isn’t Canada’s area of expertise. Write what you know, you know? We know stoned snowboarding. And figure skating. We are amazing at figure skating. We should focus on the winter games, and forget the summer games.

If moving up the rankings at Summer Games is important to Canadians, it will be a more difficult road than the top-three result Canada achieved in the overall standings at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

No! That’s exactly what I’m telling Canada not to do! What will we get out of it? Why do we want to be good at summer? We’re not summer people. We need to accept that. COC president Marcel Aubut responds:

“I am adopting the philosophy that we should be good in winter and summer. It’s not we give everything to winter and we just participate in summer. That’s over. We want to win the summer. Until we implement that philosophy, it takes a while. It takes a lot of money that we are trying to generate right now.”

How is money going to implement a philosophy?

OK, I 100% understand how money implements a philosophy. But how is money going to help us “win the summer”?

Obviously not that, I know. But what is this money, what are we spending it on and if we win the summer, can we make it stop at 25 degrees and then drop right off in the evening? I’m dying here.

Own The Podium has about $35 million per year of taxpayer money to spend on summer sport. Rowing, diving, women’s wrestling, trampoline and canoe/kayak received the most money in the four years since Beijing and all produced medals.

The second tier included swimming, track and field, equestrian and women’s soccer. All generated medals except equestrian. The death of Eric Lamaze’s horse Hickstead last year was a blow to medal prospects in that sport.

The third category included the “longshots” of cycling, triathlon, synchronized swimming, sailing and judo. Cycling appeared poised to win a few medals, but one bronze was the result. Valois-Fortier was the only other medallist in that third tier.

Man, that part about the horse really chokes me up but 35 MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS??!!?!??! On judo? I say cut these weird “long shots” off. Except synchronized swimming.

[This video blew my mind]

Can you do that? Never. You can imagine yourself sprinting. But imagine yourself doing the thing at 1:27 where they all move -in the water, AS A GROUP- like the Heather Graham Martian in Mars Attacks! You can’t do it. Because it’s impossible. Running fast? No problem! Did you know that thing where they make gang signs with their legs took 3 months to learn to do? Good luck! And we got fourth for that jazz! FOURTH!

The medal that captured Canada’s imagination the most — and is expected to have the most impact post-Games — was bronze.

Again, Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press had to – HAD TO-  have read the beginning of that sentence before she finished it. After all, this is her job, right?

About Matt Collins

Matt Collins is a musician (Ninja High School), cartoonist (Sexy), jock (Manhunt), and comedian (Matt Collins) in Toronto, Ontario. Please buy more Matt Collins. [Other Posts By Matt]