Thursday, February 25, 2010

Owning the Podium

Through 13 days of competition with 25 podiums remaining, Canada is now tied for most first place finishes. Ironically enough, this is also tied for the most gold medals Canada has ever won in a Winter Olympics. One more gold and we will set a new record for most playings of our national anthem at an Olympics (1984 Soviet boycott notwithstanding). Does this qualify as choking under pressure? What happened to the days when pressure and fan support provided energy to athletes? What's up with the theory that athletes are going to screw up specifically because there is a lot of fan support?

When the USA jumped out of the gate with several 2nd and 3rd place finishes, I was among the first to suggest that perhaps "owning the podium" should be the most total playings of the national anthem. A few days ago I even joked that our focus for these games should be "if you ain't first, you're last", and a number of Canadian athletes have been propelled by the media reported pressure to finish in first place. Pressure leads to anxiety, which leads to adrenaline. It is a simple equation.

There will be more added to this story in the next few days.


  1. I am thankful our WOMEN have been dominating the games. Even in 2006 they have stepped up and been bringing home the medals.

    I am enjoying the jockeying for new sponsors for after the games. I hope the behind the scense deals land before the Games are over.

    Where is RIM, instead of a single NHL franchise in Hamilton, why not RIM the Podium?

  2. Every single athlete from every single country deserves notable mention; but to own the podium means the most first places.

  3. The IOC itself considers "most gold medals" tp be the test of which country "wins" the Games.

  4. I like to think that atheletes don't do well when nobody gives a crap. When we bleed for them, they'll bleed for us.

    We'll get another medal today for sure with women's Hockey, and a chance at a bronze with women's figure skating.

    If we can stay in third, and win the most gold even if we don't match the 24 medals we got in Turin I think the Own the Podium program was a resounding success.

    We still have our curling teams and men hockey for 3 more great chances at golds. I don't think there is any doubt that we will get more golds this time around.

    Good show Canada.

  5. Canada has done just fine at these Olympics. The athletes have been great and the competitions exciting.

    There is no need for Canadians to get all anxious and spend more money on athlete training.