Today I had a conference call with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), discussing our cargo plans in getting our team horses and equipment to London and back again. And of course, the ever important negotiation of funding!
Huge props to the COC who are always terrific to work with, and really do everything they can to help our athletes and support teams taking part in the Olympic and Pan American Games.
It’s a huge job coordinating the efforts of the entire Canadian Team, across all sports, and an even bigger job trying to make Accreditations work so that the teams have the support they need for optimal performance at the Games.
The IOC’s formula when handing out Accreditations to National Olympic Committees is based on the formula of 1 support team Accred per competing athlete.
That formula works well when dealing with sports like soccer or waterpolo (where you can have upwards of 12-15 competing athletes).
It’s not so good for Equestrian once you factor in the team coach, chef d’equipe, team vet and grooms!!
While major games like the Olympics and Pan American Games really raise your patriotism, and makes you feel VERY proud to wear and represent the maple leaf, it also makes you realize the level of importance the Canadian government places on amateur sport compared to other countries.
Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely thrilled with the tremendous strides that have been made over the past few years with the financial support from the Canadian government and also with initiatives from Own the Podium…..that has played a SIGNIFICANT role in the success of our athletes. We’re just still lagging behind other comparable developed countries and I hope that the momentum keeps building. Without sustained financial support, it’s next to impossible for our disciplines to continue the programs they have built let alone improve upon them. And without continued & growing programs, our success at the international level will be more down to luck & circumstances rather than based on a solid foundation offering opportunities to as many athletes as possible. Just take a look at this recent post by 2010 WEG Silver Medalist mom Trish Bosch on the finances required to pursue your athletic dreams on the international stage.
Ok, enough on that. I could keep talking for quite a while on that topic! Instead I’ll leave you with this fun video. After the latest “Borat/Kazakhstan” anthem gaffe that happened recently, it would be hilarious if this song was played instead of Oh, Canada. :)