Canada should be ashamed

We Canadians like to think of ourselves as good sports: honest and fair to people of all races, religions and creeds, etc. But could it be that we’re really no better than anyone else?

We Canadians like to think of ourselves as good sports: honest and fair to people of all races, religions and creeds, etc. But could it be that we’re really no better than anyone else?

It seems so, judging from recent accusations that Canada is unfairly restricting foreign access for training at venues for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver.

Apparently, Canada is trying to boost its chances for success on the podium by giving its own athletes plenty of access to training facilities while granting minimal opportunities to athletes from other countries.

That’s dirty pool — to put it mildly.

American speedskater Catherine Raney, who spent more than seven years living in Canada and training with the Canadian national team, says she’s shocked by the approach taken by officials here.

“They’re playing nasty,” says Raney, now living and training in Utah. “I think every one of us would love to prove to them that what they did wasn’t right, and we’re ready to show it on the ice.”

Raney notes that Canadian athletes were granted equal access to training facilities prior to the Winter Olympics held at Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002.

Remember, those were the Games at which Red Deer skier Deidra Dionne captured a bronze medal in freestyle aerials.

One wonders if Dionne had been treated the way Canadians are treating Americans and others, would she now have an Olympic medal to call her own?

Canadian officials say they are following the rules of access to competition sites, as set by each sport’s governing body.

And, to be fair, they appear to be living up to the letter of the agreements — although they certainty don’t appear to be behaving with any generosity toward foreign athletes.

One wonders if this Olympic scandal will forever taint the 2010 Games the way financial shenanigans marked the Games in Utah.

Canada’s recent tactics stink of desperation based on this country’s failure to ever win an Olympic gold medal on our soil.

“We’re the only country to host two Olympic Games and never have won a gold medal at our Games,” explains Cathy Priestner Allinger, the executive vice-president for sports of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, referring to the summer of 1976 (Montreal) and the winter of 1988 (Calgary). “It’s not a record we’re proud of.”

Well, maybe Canada is not so proud of that, but at least in the past we were good sports.

Now, it seems, we’re no better than anyone else, and likely worse than many countries that have hosted the Olympics.

Lee Giles is an Advocate editor

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Update: Bomb squad investigates, destroys suspicious package in Red Deer

North police station was closed as they investigated Tuesday afternoon

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month