Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

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B-17
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Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by B-17 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:44 pm

http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/cbc- ... d=23506110

So, basically, "Own The Podium" was this huge private sector-government funded initiative that poured in almost 120 million into training and sports research for our Olympic athletes. Around half of that was taxpayers dollars. And what do we have to show for it? 9 medals, on home field advantage, no less! We looked like a looming powerhouse in Turin just four years ago without this "elite" initiative.

Let me tell you where I think all the money was wasted. A bunch of consultants, sports psychologists, "experts" who knew how to write good BS proposals but didn't really know what the **** they were talking about. Seeing so many of our favourites falter, people who you know were going all out and trying to do their best, says to me that the coaches and experts and everyone else with their hand in the OTP pocket got the cash, and didn't deliver.

Let's say we get up to 12 medals. That's 10 million per medal, on top of everything else that is already spent in sports development for the Olympic athletes. Some people got rich off of this, and this is what steams me. This money could have been better spent in just supporting the development of new athletes, or better funding for the athletes themselves, or getting the best coaches who have actually been successful, rather than all the pseudoexperts who wanted to feed on the funding trough.

Seriously. 10 million. Per medal. What a waste. We did just as well (and better) with the existing system four years ago, which was much more athlete and coach focused, didn't put unreasonable pressure on, and just let the athletes compete. In trying to find "the edge", what was apparent was that fundamentals were lost, athletes lost focus, didn't train the way they needed to, and as a result, when the moment to perform at their potential arrived, were just not prepared and ready the way they could have been.

Anyone else share this opinion, or am I way off base?
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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by argolio » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:49 pm

If you're right about where a lot of the money went (and I'm not familiar with the nuts and bolts of 'Own the Podium'), then I think you've hit the nail on the head. Russia is now ahead of us after having only three medals a few days ago, and now we might struggle to finish in the top five. Based on what this program promised, not finishing in the top three is pretty embarrassing, and heads should roll.
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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by Sir Purrcival » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:53 am

Huge Ripoff....no I don't think so. Maybe it hasn't all been well spent but I will argue till my last breath that what we used to do in regards to funding athletes (basically nothing) was abysmal and should never be entertained again as a system for sports competitiveness. We also need to be realistic however. The Olympics are a bit of a crap shoot. Some years, it will all go your way and you look like you are on the top of the world. Other times, it can go like this. Our Ski teams were hit with a series of injuries leading up to these Olympics. Several medal hopes didn't ski at all because of it. Our Speedskating teams had an off Olympics but after the Doan and Claussen years, you might expect a let down to occur. I don't like the "Own the Podium" moniker. It is arrogant when you are at these levels of competition but I also don't expect 4 years of a new funding initiative to really turn the tide in our favour either. These regimes take many years before the results begin to show themselves and they will start with the athletes that are now 14/15 years of age. I would give it a least one more Olympics before I would pass judgment on whether is has been effective.

What you can note about the performances this year so far is that we have not only broken the gold at home drought, we have obliterated it. Calgary was only 22 years ago and that home advantage didn't buy us any Golds. We are also seeing that our medal performances are spread around a little bit more. Unlike the Koreans who have 1 schtick (skating) or the Germans and Swiss (sledding and skiing) or the Norwegians (X-Country). Our medals generally come from across the board. That to me is very encouraging and shows an upward trend unlike the Russians who although lead us in medals, have only 2 Gold and a whack of Bronze. Not great for a country that outsizes us buy a wide margin and who used to be a powerhouse in winter sports. Give it some time. Lets see what happens in Russia
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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by argofan87 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:22 pm

What a difference a few days can make!
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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by Al » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:06 am

Concidering the fact that Canada has tied the record for most Gold Medals ever in a Winter Olympics, and we have a good chance to break that record.

I am quite comfortable saying that we did "Own The Podium"

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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by Sir Purrcival » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:43 am

Still don't like that moniker as it is open to all sorts of interpretation as to its message. "Striving for Excellence" works better for me.
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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by kcin94 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:49 pm

Ugh, and that's why we should wait until the end of the games to make these comments. The exact same thing happened during the last summer olympics when we didn't win anything in the first week.

To look halfway through the olympics and try and make a generalization is rediculous. Canada always does well in the 2nd half of the olympics for a very good reason. That's when the team events are. Canada excels at the team events. There are also more medals awarded in the last week.

I just wish in 2012 in London people can wait until the olympics are over before declaring it a disaster. We set a record for the most gold medals, yet the olympics were a disaster one week ago. Geez.

The media is just as uninformed as viewers about this. I remember many times in this olympics that with were told we had 1 or 2 medal favourites in an event. However, if you look at their world rankings, they are ranked 5th or 6th. How does that make them a favourite to win a medal? Yes it gives them a chance, but all it did was take a 4th place result, and make the public view them as a failure.

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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by Solar Max » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:18 pm

For some reason, the scheduling of events at both Summer and Winter games never seems to favour our athletes and the events they are best in. We are slow to start, and finish strong, most Games. No different this time, except.....14 Golds.

Yes, "Own the Podium" was a success.
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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by B-17 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:39 am

First of all, I'm very pleased with how our Canadian athletes responded and won so many medals in their last week, especially at the gold level. Full credit to them all.

A small dose of reality. There are a number of new events and the total number of events is more than ever, so winning the "most gold" has to be taken somewhat objectively. That being said, it bodes well that, we still came out ahead of other Winter Olympic powerhouses. so it is still an accomplishment.

I will acknowledge that OTP and other programs did make our athletes more competitive and helped them better get into position to win events. And had there not been so much improvement in the second week, I would have held on tighter to my earlier opinion about OTP being a rip off. There still needs to be review as to which of their activities really paid off, and which were money wasters, so it can be as best spent as possible.
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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by kcin94 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:13 pm

The only new event this year was ski cross. Take that away and we tied for most golds ever with 13 and still set the most ever medals we've had with 25.

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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by amcflfan » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:15 am

B-17 wrote:First of all, I'm very pleased with how our Canadian athletes responded and won so many medals in their last week, especially at the gold level. Full credit to them all.

A small dose of reality. There are a number of new events and the total number of events is more than ever, so winning the "most gold" has to be taken somewhat objectively. That being said, it bodes well that, we still came out ahead of other Winter Olympic powerhouses. so it is still an accomplishment.

I will acknowledge that OTP and other programs did make our athletes more competitive and helped them better get into position to win events. And had there not been so much improvement in the second week, I would have held on tighter to my earlier opinion about OTP being a rip off. There still needs to be review as to which of their activities really paid off, and which were money wasters, so it can be as best spent as possible.


" There are a number of new events and the total number of events is more than ever, so winning the "most gold" has to be taken somewhat objectively."

Not really. The "new" events such as the snowboard cross and ski cross were american ideas so you would think that my country would have cleaned up. And....Alexandre Bilodeau won Gold in moguls which has traditionally been a strong american event. So..from an american point of view: 14 Golds, Most ever by a host nation. 26 total medals, bettered Turino's number. And of course the all important Mens Hockey Gold! Yeah!!! there's no doubt....you guys owned the podium! :beauty:

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Re: Anyone else think "Own the Podium" was a huge ripoff?

Post by Solar Max » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:54 am

Not only most Golds by a Host Nation; most GOLDS in a winter olympics by ANY nation, hosting or not.

Not bad for the ne'er do wells in the attic, right?
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