I’ve heard a lot of talk and disappointment over the fact that Canada still has not been up to the podium at the Olympics. We seem to be coming up short on every event. And of course, people are upset about this. We want to celebrate our country. We want to have pride in our athletes. But here is the real problem, we don’t support them.
Sure, for the few days that the games are on every four years, we are all hyped up about our athletes and their chances to win big. But what about the four years leading up to the games?
It takes years of training and competing to be ready for the world stage. We simply don’t have the infrastructure or monies to properly support our athletes over the four years prior to the games. This is the real reason that we haven’t won any medals.
How can we expect to compete with athletes who have been training for six hours everyday? athletes that have huge government incentives to win? athletes that have complete support from their community and country?
We need to care about our athletes every day, not just during the olympic games. We need to give them enough funding that they can train the way they need to. How can we expect an athlete to train sufficiently if they have to go to school and hold done a part-time job as well? It’s crazy.
We need training facilities. We need to be able to send our athletes to competitions around the world prior to the games. Athletes get better with training and competition. Canadian athletes often lack these things.
So, if this is important to us, and it is to me, we need to step up to the government and demand that our athletes are treated better. We can’t whine and complain that they don’t perform when we don’t support them. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t skimp on them and then celebrate them when they win and hold them up only then. It’s not fair to them and it’s two-faced.
So let’s do the right thing here and support our athletes through these games and through the next four years to the next games. That will make a difference. I guarantee it. And next time, we will have medal upon medal. We have the talent here, I’m sure of it. We just need to support that talent, nurture it, and help it fully develop.