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Hockey_Canada1

2010 Winter Olympics

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Hands up anyone who doesn't think our athletes are performing to the absolute best of their abilities?

I don't like the "Own The Podium" promotion and I never have, because it sets ourselves up for the exact type of comments that we are seeing here; that anything less than a first place is a failure. However, setting a goal in the first place is never a bad thing. A goal may not be achieved but that doesn't make it any less worthy. Some things however, are best kept relatively private and not made into an international campaign.

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Hands up anyone who doesn't think our athletes are performing to the absolute best of their abilities?

I don't like the "Own The Podium" promotion and I never have, because it sets ourselves up for the exact type of comments that we are seeing here; that anything less than a first place is a failure. However, setting a goal in the first place is never a bad thing. A goal may not be achieved but that doesn't make it any less worthy. Some things however, are best kept relatively private and not made into an international campaign.

No hand up here Charman.

I think our National Expression of patriotism is being served to the Maximum at the Vancouver games and that is what is making me proud. Not our Medal Count and it never will be for me no matter how much I donate as far as Money or Time or Effort towards the Canadian showing of the games. People need to feel pried and they should through the Expression of National Pride and through the Organization of the Olympic Games themselves.

The fact of having a Canadian competitor in every single event speaks volumes to me already.

IMO all of our Athletes are competing to the very best of their ability and it is an unrealistic perspective to think that they are going to have a Olympic Record or World Record performance every single time they compete. I don't like the emphasis of OWN THE PODIUM myself and I think it not only gives way for negative response but it is inherently unrealistic.

Things like the Olympic Creed were developed and implemented for a very important reason and therefore should be brought up and repeated over and over again. The theory of Winning It All is absolutely ludicrous. There are Individual and Team Events alike and there are always going to be people more at their peak than others. Everyone too has their own story that is influential and needs to be told for the world to hear, not just Canadian Athletes. I find it much more beneficial to hear those stories and understand that it is through things like that where we all benefit not just getting a Gold in every event.

Our Athletes are doing well and putting forth their very best effort. Hands Down! So hands UP in support for our Canadian Athletes WIN or LOSE.

No one Losses at the Olympic Games ultimately and Silver, Bronze or anything below aren't a Loss or a Failure. They just aren't winning a Gold is all.

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I support the athletes win or lose. But I think that the attitude of some athletes (which is analogous to some of the posters on this board) is the reason why we are performing so poorly on the podium, and have done so historically. 

I'm sick and tired of the whole "ohhh we're proud to be here, we're so happy we're participating" crap when you have a 20th place finish. I want to see some disappointment, I want to see some anger on the faces of the athletes that don't perform the way they were expected to, and even the ones who weren't expected to medal in the first place. We're too freaking nice. This isn't tyke hockey where the most important aspect is to go out and have fun. This isn't a beer league. This is the damn Olympics. It's the highest level in the world. You're NOT out there to have fun or simply participate. You're out there to compete your absolute HARDEST. You're out there to leave everything on the field in hopes of reaching the podium. 

I look at some of these competitors from other countries, and their absolutely blood thirsty. If I poured my heart out cross country skiing and ended up not medalling, I would be proud of participating in the Olympics, but at the same time I would be very dejected. I'm not going there to finish outside of the podium, and we have this culture in this country that it's not big deal if you lose, what matters is that you were there (outside of Men's Hockey of course). I'm sorry, but that's utter garbage. We have to find a middle ground between ambivalence and the murderous and abusive hockey father. We're slowly moving towards the extreme end of ambivalence and I don't like it. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who countered "well we produce happier human beings in this country and it's a result of our attitude". That may be true, but it doesn't mean that if you feel disappointment as a result of your loss, that all of a sudden you're an unhappy human being. Dealing with dejection is a part of life. I'm not advocating being a poor sport like Plushenko, I'm saying that that we really need to work on our attitude if we ever hope to have a better showing in world events. We have the talent, and we have the ability, we just don't want it bad enough. 

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Hands up anyone who doesn't think our athletes are performing to the absolute best of their abilities?

I don't like the "Own The Podium" promotion and I never have, because it sets ourselves up for the exact type of comments that we are seeing here; that anything less than a first place is a failure. However, setting a goal in the first place is never a bad thing. A goal may not be achieved but that doesn't make it any less worthy. Some things however, are best kept relatively private and not made into an international campaign.

My hand would be up.

Our athletes are trying as hard as they can, and we've already had a few who have gone out and exceeded expectations, and put up the performance of their lives. But for every one of those, we've had one or two more who've not been able to get the results they should have.

I actually think that the pressure on some of our guys has increased since the start of the games, and I feel that guys like Charles Hamelin and Denny Morrison are trying too hard as a result instead of just letting their natural ability take over. Hamelin, for example, really should have won a medal yesterday but he went out too hard, too fast and didn't have the energy to finish. I don't blame him for it - it clearly shows his desire to win gold for us - but on the same token, because of that decision he fell out of a medal spot.

I don't expect every single one of our athletes to go out and smash their personal best, and it's an especially tough thing trying to do it when you've got the pressures of an entire nation on your shoulders. That being said, there's been quite a few results already where, if our athletes were finishing at the positions they can, should and have done in the past... we'd have at least 5 more medals.

I'm very proud of all of our athletes so far, but there's been more than a few disappointments and I'm kinda left with the feeling that we could have done better...

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Slightly off-topic perhaps, but the short track speed skating does not seem like a legitimate event in its present state. Add some bodychecking to the event and watch Canada start winning some medals. Physical jostling is clearly the way it is always won, team blocking is sometimes a factor, you have to do it sneakily enough to get away without a disqualification. If all the athletes were skating against the clock one at a time, the outcome would be determined by who skates around the track the fastest. Right now, it is more like border/ski cross, why not just make body contact legal, like roller derby, call it speed skate cross? Just a thought, and not a very deep one tongue.gif.

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I have to ask this question now that Canada sits 5th in the medal standings, and might even be in 8th or 9th place by the end of the day.

Why are these highly-touted athletes (I'm talking about competitors who are pre-race favourites, like Charles Hamelin) just missing out on the podium and underachieving? Has the pressure of the Games being on home soil really caught up to them? Is it too much pressure?

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Slightly off-topic perhaps, but the short track speed skating does not seem like a legitimate event in its present state. Add some bodychecking to the event and watch Canada start winning some medals. Physical jostling is clearly the way it is always won, team blocking is sometimes a factor, you have to do it sneakily enough to get away without a disqualification. If all the athletes were skating against the clock one at a time, the outcome would be determined by who skates around the track the fastest. Right now, it is more like border/ski cross, why not just make body contact legal, like roller derby, call it speed skate cross? Just a thought, and not a very deep one tongue.gif.

Did you see the Koreans and Americans pushing and shoving in short track yesterday?

The Canadians are too polite when it comes to racing in short track speed skating. Mabye we need to develop some similar tactics such as the Americans. grin.gif

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Slightly off-topic perhaps, but the short track speed skating does not seem like a legitimate event in its present state. Add some bodychecking to the event and watch Canada start winning some medals. Physical jostling is clearly the way it is always won, team blocking is sometimes a factor, you have to do it sneakily enough to get away without a disqualification. If all the athletes were skating against the clock one at a time, the outcome would be determined by who skates around the track the fastest. Right now, it is more like border/ski cross, why not just make body contact legal, like roller derby, call it speed skate cross? Just a thought, and not a very deep one tongue.gif.

No, if we let pushing and shoving become a part of Short Track, the Americans and especially the Koreans would gain an advantage, not us. The refs are pretty good at catching any illegal contact, especially if it's involved with jostling for a medal position.

Plus, I think it's more legit not being Spike TV's Roller Jam on ice tongue.gifwink.gif

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No, if we let pushing and shoving become a part of Short Track, the Americans and especially the Koreans would gain an advantage, not us. The refs are pretty good at catching any illegal contact, especially if it's involved with jostling for a medal position.

Plus, I think it's more legit not being Spike TV's Roller Jam on ice tongue.gifwink.gif

Why do you say that?

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[quote name='flames-fan-911 wrote:


The_Don wrote:

Codes']Oh, I agree, Chairman.

Our funding for sports is definitely poured into a select few sports.  Own the Podium was designed to help fund more athletes so they can hone their skills with less financial distractions.  I believe that if Canada continues to fund our athletes like other countries do (ie: Own the Podium), we'll see a marked improvement in future Olympic standings.  Canada doesn't support amateur sport like other countries do, but I believe we're trying to do better to match countries like the US and Australia.

This brings up a point that everyone is missing.

The purpose of Own the Podium was to better support the athletes financially and throughout all winter sports.
The goal was to win the most medals.
If you ask me,
the program has been a success
because it followed through on it's purpose.

How do figure that? We're sitting fifth in medal count and nowhere near 1st or even 2nd.

Read the part that isn't bolded.

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Guest jsheajr

 Agree that 4 Gold Medals from ZERO Gold Medals, is a huge improvement? pimp.gifpimp.gifpimp.gifIt was a A+ Effort, but yeilded a A- or a B+ result. Who cares. A- is 90% (and a 3.75/4 GPA) from a F- (0/4 GPA, academic disqualification). And there are still more Medal contenders out there, Men AND women's curling! There's Ice Dance tomorrow, Womens Hockey, and one more week of games. Sure we might not reach Magna Cum Summa 4/4 A+, but an A- is still very good. It's pressure like this that are making children in Asia go bonkers, and die at 39 from Liver blowage (after partying to blow off steam).

Be thankful for the dazling preformances of what we have. pimp.gif

Sooo now that we lost to America, are we out? or do we still have another game?

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We are still in it Happycat. Just have to play an extra game as I understand it. Oh and play Russia too maybe I don't know. But we aren't out of Medal Contention though.

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[quote name='bigchief wrote:


Neufy_3']No, if we let pushing and shoving become a part of Short Track, the
Americans and especially the Koreans would gain an advantage,
not us. The refs are pretty good at catching any illegal contact, especially if it's involved with jostling for a medal position.

Plus, I think it's more legit not being Spike TV's Roller Jam on ice
tongue.gifwink.gif

Why do you say that?

Mainly because they already do it, they're already good at it and they have it integrated into their on-ice game. The Koreans will play on the edge of getting disqualified if it means they can get first place. It'd be a pretty big adjustment for the Canadian skaters to get used to, as we like to play it clean and let our speed alone do the work for us.

Given time and the next generation of speed skaters, we could probably be pretty good at it, but I don't see how it would give us an advantage right off the bat.

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Guest jsheajr

We are still in it Happycat. Just have to play an extra game as I understand it. Oh and play Russia too maybe I don't know. But we aren't out of Medal Contention though.

>>> Silver Medal? Oh well as I mentioned a A- is still good. roll.gif

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I totally disagree with the idea that Own the Podium is a failure. Is it a resounding success? No, but the concept is sound. The problem is they expected fairly short term results. In the grand scheme of things 4 or 5 years is not quite enough time to expect results when your talking about elite level competition. Especially when Canada doesn't own multiple facilities in many sports, ie sliding events, Ovals etc. I also believe the COC doens't quite get it. Its not about technology, its not about training time, its about psychology alot of the times too. I constantly see Canadians not have their best performances at the Olympic games. Denny Morrison, the Hamlin brothers, even Emile Heymens in the summer games all come to mind. Technology and constant hours of training isn't going to help that, mental preparation is and I dont' think the COC puts near enough emphasis on that field.

Own the podium has backfired somewhat, becuase I believe it put way too much emphasis on winning golds. I say its not a failure, becuase Canada is on pace to win more golds (i believe anyway) that it every has and to lead all countries in Gold medals. If you look back on past games, typically Canada is more about the Bronze and silver than Gold, so you have to say Own the Podium is working to a certain extent.

However, Chairman is on the right track that I think it also has placed too much pressure on athletes and given this "gold or bust" attitude. The Alpine team is a perfect example. Osborne - Paradis and Robbie Dixon skied with a gold or attidue bust. They took very aggressive lines that no other racer was taking in an effort to cut corners in order to come out on top. However, those lines (and their charged up attitude) led to over aggression and they couldn't handle the lines they were trying to ski. Then you see the favorites, and even Eric Guay, ski calm with a slightly more conservative line and get results and actualy finish the races. It was the same with the women. There was one turn that only Canada was cutting off in the Women's Super G. What happens? 2 Canada women lose their race on that one corner. Too much focus on Golds by alpine canada and I think thats the problem with the Own the Podium. The concept is good, it just needs tweaking. Focus on MEDALS not just Golds, and put more value on the psychological aspect.

I think what proves my point is what Jon Montgomery and Alex Bilodeau said. Almost word for word when they were asked is there too much pressure. They just sat in the start saying they have no regrets over the last 4 years and the are more preapared than ever. I don't hear that same type of talk by atheletes who are not achieving their goals.

And can we please not use the word "choke". That is so incredibly unfair to the Athletes you have no idea. None of us have any idea what its like to be in their shoes and ahve the type of pressure they have so lets be more fair to the athletes ok. I for one am damn proud of the athletes so far and they deserve a ton of praise regardless if they reach their expectations or not. They carry more pressure on their shoulders than we culd every dream of.

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[quote name='The_Don wrote:


Codes']Oh, I agree, Chairman.

Our funding for sports is definitely poured into a select few sports.  Own the Podium was designed to help fund more athletes so they can hone their skills with less financial distractions.  I believe that if Canada continues to fund our athletes like other countries do (ie: Own the Podium), we'll see a marked improvement in future Olympic standings.  Canada doesn't support amateur sport like other countries do, but
I believe we're trying to do better to match countries like the US and Australia.

This brings up a point that everyone is missing.

The purpose of Own the Podium was to better support the athletes financially and throughout all winter sports. The goal was to win the most medals. If you ask me, the program has been a success because it followed through on it's purpose.

I just want to make a brief comment (well as brief as my comments are anyway laugh.gif). 

It is a myth that the American government supports amateur athletes extensively. 

Their approach is very different. Corporations / Sponsors support the athletes who succeed with their money in exchange for advertising. At first athletic support is usually given through Colleges and Universities who provide sporting scholarships to get them started. This is not going to be emulated in Canada because Canadian colleges and Universities will not lower their academic requirements. If the athlete wants to continue development after they are out of school they have to do it themselves or find a sponsor. Some don't and struggle on, that is why Steven Colbert had to raise money for the speed skating team. Here is an article for a Olympic Level speed skating American who was living in harsh poverty right up until the Games. 

http://www.nytimes.com/20...ympics/09speedskate.html (Let me know if this NY Times article is blocked, I can post the story if you want but it is pretty heartbreaking, the picture of this highly skilled skater will tell you immediately why she couldn't get a sponsor, she isn't attractive enough)

Of course if they win and perform on an international stage at the Olympics, they become multi-millionaires beyond your imagination. Shaun White the snow boarder, had his own private half-pipe constructed deep in the mountains by Red Bull and goes there by himself via helicopter to practice. Unreal.

Some people scratch their heads and wonder why the Americans usually do so well at athletic competitions. It is absolutely no mystery at all to me. They are highly, highly motivated athletes and the reason why is if they fail they know they could easily slip into a life of poverty, no health care, no job or terrible job, no security, you name it. Shaun White knows and knew very keenly, early on that if he did not succeed he would very likely be living in a Trailer and flipping burgers as his career.

That thought will get you up in the morning at 4:00 am to practice and certainly make the butterflies go away at the key times. indifferent.gif

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............And can we please not use the word "choke". That is so incredibly unfair to the Athletes you have no idea. None of us have any idea what its like to be in their shoes and ahve the type of pressure they have so lets be more fair to the athletes ok. I for one am damn proud of the athletes so far and they deserve a ton of praise regardless if they reach their expectations or not. They carry more pressure on their shoulders than we culd every dream of.

Not to mention the sacrifice it takes to be an athlete representing Canada. Train, train, train,, eat some kd, work after at some crappy job you have that buys your kd, chronically scraping by trying to make it to competitions where you will compete against elite athletes who don't have the same sacrifices to make.

I like the fact that we have someone up there representing our nation, I'm proud as hell that we do actually! We got some Gold medals as well as the silver and bronzes that some think are so embarrassing.

The pressure has got to be absolutely ridiculous!

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And can we please not use the word "choke". That is so incredibly unfair to the Athletes you have no idea. None of us have any idea what its like to be in their shoes and ahve the type of pressure they have so lets be more fair to the athletes ok. I for one am damn proud of the athletes so far and they deserve a ton of praise regardless if they reach their expectations or not. They carry more pressure on their shoulders than we culd every dream of.
I hate that term too, and I don't consider any of them chokers.  It's not like any of our shortcomers were the Shaun White's of their sports, many of them are competitive fields where gold - fifth can be decided by less than a second.  It is sad that some of these athletes don't get any recognition in their homeland for being great in world cup or other events because they fail in the Olympics.  The name the describes it best would be Jeremy Wotherspoon, very highly respected in the speedskating world, the best short distance skater of his era and one of the best all time, but in Canada he will only be remembered for his Olympic shortcomings.  

  

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I totally disagree with the idea that Own the Podium is a failure. Is it a resounding success? No, but the concept is sound. The problem is they expected fairly short term results. In the grand scheme of things 4 or 5 years is not quite enough time to expect results when your talking about elite level competition. Especially when Canada doesn't own multiple facilities in many sports, ie sliding events, Ovals etc. I also believe the COC doens't quite get it. Its not about technology, its not about training time, its about psychology alot of the times too. I constantly see Canadians not have their best performances at the Olympic games. Denny Morrison, the Hamlin brothers, even Emile Heymens in the summer games all come to mind. Technology and constant hours of training isn't going to help that, mental preparation is and I dont' think the COC puts near enough emphasis on that field.

Own the podium has backfired somewhat, becuase I believe it put way too much emphasis on winning golds. I say its not a failure, becuase Canada is on pace to win more golds (i believe anyway) that it every has and to lead all countries in Gold medals. If you look back on past games, typically Canada is more about the Bronze and silver than Gold, so you have to say Own the Podium is working to a certain extent.

However, Chairman is on the right track that I think it also has placed too much pressure on athletes and given this "gold or bust" attitude. The Alpine team is a perfect example. Osborne - Paradis and Robbie Dixon skied with a gold or attidue bust. They took very aggressive lines that no other racer was taking in an effort to cut corners in order to come out on top. However, those lines (and their charged up attitude) led to over aggression and they couldn't handle the lines they were trying to ski. Then you see the favorites, and even Eric Guay, ski calm with a slightly more conservative line and get results and actualy finish the races. It was the same with the women. There was one turn that only Canada was cutting off in the Women's Super G. What happens? 2 Canada women lose their race on that one corner. Too much focus on Golds by alpine canada and I think thats the problem with the Own the Podium. The concept is good, it just needs tweaking. Focus on MEDALS not just Golds, and put more value on the psychological aspect.

I think what proves my point is what Jon Montgomery and Alex Bilodeau said. Almost word for word when they were asked is there too much pressure. They just sat in the start saying they have no regrets over the last 4 years and the are more preapared than ever. I don't hear that same type of talk by atheletes who are not achieving their goals.

And can we please not use the word "choke". That is so incredibly unfair to the Athletes you have no idea. None of us have any idea what its like to be in their shoes and ahve the type of pressure they have so lets be more fair to the athletes ok. I for one am damn proud of the athletes so far and they deserve a ton of praise regardless if they reach their expectations or not. They carry more pressure on their shoulders than we culd every dream of.

Once again, Cross comes in an expresses what I have been trying to more eloquently than I ever could have,  Thank you Cross, you have saved the day once again!

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