I have heard a lot of rumblings and grumblings that we have set our expectations too high with "own the podium" and that our athletes are going to crumble under the pressure. It sure didn't stop Alexandre the Great, but nonetheless a lot of Canadians think that we are putting too much pressure on our athletes to win. Czeck hockey player Patrick Elias has even gone so far as to say that he does not think the hometown crowd will help the Canadian hockey team, and might even be a detriment.
I listen to these voices on the radio shows, and I think it is a little odd. Most of the athletes I have seen look overjoyed to compete in front of thousands of adoring fans; as though the cheers are transferred into energy. In the men's moguls it certainly appeared as though the crowd had a greater impact on Team America, as two skiers with high expectations crashed and burned in their final runs and failed to even register a score. I think that our enthusiasm is helping our athletes, not hindering them. It makes me wonder who are the voices on the other end of the phone calling talk radio saying that our ambition will be our ultimate destruction?