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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 1
Have the results from Canadian athletes in Salt Lake been a disappointment?

Here are responses to the above question:

We as Canadians have no right to be disappointed in our athletes. These athletes work harder than we can even imagine to be at the top, and just being in the Olympics is a special honour. No one has a right to say who is a disappointment. I'm sure that those athletes who are not satisfied with their results are disappointed in themselves but they do not need the heat of the country over their shoulders. Sure, it's natural for us to feel a little disappointed about their results, but we do not understand the effort that the athletes put in to be there. These athletes strive to be the best, and when the pressure gets to them, sure they're bound to make a few mistakes. Just think about the Canadians who were supposed to be medal contenders but due to pressure, they could not deliver. I congratulate them all for being able to be apart of the most prestigious competition in the world. No matter what their results are, they have had this opportunity of a lifetime, which only a specially selected few get to be apart of. It is absolutely not fair to say that any of them are disappointments.
Elysia Adams

Some of our athletes have been the source of enormous pride for our country. Salé and Pelletier skated to perfection and they handled their disappointing silver with grace and class. Le May Doan and our other medalists have also boosted our national pride. However, our country's athletic programs are still seriously under-funded in comparison to most other countries. The countries which garner high medal tolls spend considerably more money per athlete to fund their athletes, to pay the best coaches, trainers, and to access the latest in technology. They also can afford to field more athletes of a high calibre per event which increases their chances of winning. This year we have the largest Canadian team ever but we need to bolster the quality as well as the quantity. We need to recruit more young people into Olympic training and deepen our talent pool. To become an Olympian is enormously costly in terms of money and setting aside other personal goals such as higher education. Our athletes make great sacrifices to train for our country, and we need to do all that we can to improve their chances of succeeding. A huge thanks to all the members of our Canadian team as they have all done their very best and in the is heart and integrity which does our country proud, not just our medal total.
Richelle Wiseman
Calgary, Alberta

I do not agree with the idea of publishing a poll stating "Canada's biggest disappointment" to reflect Canada's attitude towards its athletes. The mere fact of having a survey is condescending to the individuals, it adds additional pressure to the athletes and presumes Canada does not believe each of them has put their best forward. We send these athletes we trust will represent our country to the best of their abilities; Canada should be morally supportive of all of its athletes. I am disappointed that a national newspaper would think this issue should be raised. How about an article putting pressure on the bureaucracy that prevents the funds to reach the athletes instead? wouldn't that channel the Globe and Mail's power to make a change?
Nathalie Guerard

I think it is ridiculous for media to be asking questions like "who has been Canada's biggest disappointment" and "Have our results been disappointing". In an interview the other day Ken Reid said the media plays a role in whatever level support the athletes get. Media tends to ignore the programs except for 10 days every 4 years. Instead of focusing on the negative why not rally interest around how we as Canadians can provide continuing support for our National athletes. I am not disappointed at all, I am proud of the efforts of our athletes!
Keith Branter

No, I think that the Canadians should be proud to place within the top 10 in the World. It is a tremendous undertaking for our athletes to even be able to participate against the world since they are very poorly funded. Also, a lot of the results are differences of a 100th. That's pretty tight results. I am proud of our Canadian athletes

What is the country's standing in the medal count if pro-rated by population (medals per capita)? We appear to be about 150 per cent better than the Americans, but half as good at the Norwegians!
Bob Merchant

I´m stuck (it's not so bad) watching the games from my temporary home Mexico and it's quite the shock to have the daily coverage begin with Canada losing 5-1 to Sweden with five minutes to go in the third. I didn't have my glasses on so I though my eyes were playing a trick on me, but sadly not. At least the figure skating is getting front page attention from the Mexican media.

Canada does not support its athletes at any other time, so we have no right to be disappointed in the results. Maybe if Canada invested more in its athletes and sports programs we'd see better results. I, personally, am very proud of our team and what they've accomplished, especially for the surprises like Beckie Scott and Cindy Klassen.
Catherine Willems

Your "Games Poll" as to Canada's biggest disappointment in the Games left out the option that I wanted to check; "this useless negative poll".
Bernie H.
 All responses   Part 2 

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