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"Own the Podium" and taxpayer funded medals--Thoughts?
#1
This editorial piece tells us each medal "costs" about 1 million dollars in "own the podium" funding.  

There was also an article a few days ago, indicating that the program--with its focus on the likelihood of medals--favours certain sports and women in particular since medals are more likely.  

Are you for these kinds of elite athletes sports funding?   Or no?


Here's the opinion piece.  


http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnis...lay-sports



Stephen Hume: Olympic investments would be better spent getting more kids to play sports
[Image: af20c27a754309b9cbbf00ee0958daf0?s=33&d=identicon&r=G]STEPHEN HUME
More from Stephen Hume

Published on: August 17, 2016 | Last Updated: August 17, 2016 1:51 PM PDT

[Image: oly-2016-rio-stadium-olympic-stadium-eng...630&crop=1]
We need to commit to sports development emphasizing participation, fun and lifelong enjoyment, writes columnist Stephen Hume, rather than pouring money into elite athletes going to the Olympics. This is the Olympic Stadium, known as Engenhao, in Rio de Janeiro.YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES


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A confession. I haven’t watched any of the Rio Olympics. Not one minute. Zero. Nada.
Didn’t watch swimming. Skipped the rugby. Ditto for soccer. Couldn’t stir myself for Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps,  stunning as they are. Nope, this time, for these Olympics — sorry. I. Just. Don’t. Care.
Don’t care about medals for athletes coming off a second doping suspension. Don’t care that Russians are banned for state-sponsored doping while Americans tainted with repeat doping offences blithely compete. Last time I looked, close to 100 athletes from 51 countries in 13 sports on the Olympic roster had previously been convicted of a doping offence.
Don’t care about Own the Podium. Can’t muster excitement over medals that cost Canadian taxpayers — most of whom can’t afford to have their children participate in exclusive elite sports development programs — about a million dollars each.
Don’t care about the whole sanctimonious spectacle of hypocrisy, greed, triumphalism, nationalist propaganda, organizational corruption and political cynicism.
How cynical?

Well, here we are denouncing intolerance, extremism and child soldiers, yet that Olympic torch relay is a relic of Nazi propaganda devised to aggrandize Aryan supermen at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It coincided with the opening of the first concentration camp at Sachsenhausen. The guy who invented the torch relay exhorted Hitler Youth members to fight to the death in the ruins over Hitler’s bunker. Over five days, 4,500 child soldiers became casualties. But hey, nice marketing tool.  
Look, I get it about the sacrifices individual athletes make in their personal and professional lives to make it to the podium – and, let us not forget, the lucrative endorsements, coaching, sports administration and university careers that accompany medals.
I love sports. I have played competitive football, baseball, cricket, field hockey and soccer. I played my last rugby game when I was 58 – and that was a regular league game not some Old Boys’ hug and cuddle. I ran on the track until the wheels fell off, then moved on to road racing and marathons, then orienteering and finally, in my decrepitude, long hikes.  
Alas, it appears the sport model that Own the Podium seeks to advance, so focused on producing elite winners to feed the Olympic marketing juggernaut, is actually helping to kill what it purports to nurture.
In 2015, Own the Podium disbursed $34.9 million to athletes aiming for medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio. 
In 2012, Canadians won 18 medals. So at today’s spending, the price of those medals would be $1.9 million each. Only one was gold, so if owning the podium means standing on the top tier, then that cost $34.9 million. At the last Winter Olympics, the 25 medals cost about $1 million each.
But back here in the real world, so far from the thin air recirculated among Own the Podium enthusiasts, a Statistics Canada study finds kids participation in organized sport plummeting: swimming, down 30 per cent; gymnastics, down 50 per cent; downhill skiing, down 66 per cent. 
An even more recent, 2016, study found, alarmingly, that the participation rate for young adults is falling much faster than it is for older folk. And kids with families in the top 20 per cent of incomes participate in sports at rate more than 50 per higher than those in the bottom 20 per cent.
Young people told researchers sport isn’t fun. They feel they aren’t good enough to play. In other words, holding up elite athletes as models to emulate is having the opposite effect. Why would anybody be surprised, when elite programs systematically weed out the less talented.
Almost 74 per cent of Canadians said children’s sport was too focused on winning at the exclusion of fun and fair play. Perhaps there’s a message here for people who actually care about sport rather than the marketing opportunities it represents.
We need to commit to sports development emphasizing participation, fun and lifelong enjoyment; sport that is inclusive rather than exclusive. And we need to broaden the accessibility of sport for young people, women, newcomers, people with disabilities, seniors and people with low incomes.
Imagine what $56 million a year would do for minor sport infrastructure and organization in small communities. If we focus obsessively on winning at spectacles like the Olympics, tainted by excess, cheating and corrupted ideals, we risk losing precisely the qualities these events purport to serve but clearly don’t.
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#2
I think they can and should fund both. Based on these numbers, the Conservatives spent more on propaganda ad campaigns then what Own The Podium gets.


Winning is the best kind of fun, and that will never change.
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#3
I'm not a fan of the bulk of funding going to the elite athletes. I don't care much for Hockey Canada for the same reasons.
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#4
Parents, video games/computers - those are the reasons youth don't find sports fun.
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#5
(2016-08-17, 06:11 PM)thebest41587 Wrote: I think they can and should fund both.

Agreed. Without funding, our athletes wouldn't be able to focus on training full-time and we'd see not only a decrease in medals, but many of our athletes wouldn't be able to go at all.
Late breaking story on the CBC, a nation whispered "we always knew that he'd go free"
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#6
I think the conclusion is faulty. I also think that the real problem is the very poor level of resources available at grass roots level. The pool of kids playing sports is getting smaller, but I also think the opportunity is diminishing also.
I've said on another thread the best young male athletes and far too much money both public and private ends up in the national obsession with Hockey.

What chance small gymnastics clubs, and swimming pools? None.

To get better we need better facilities, more good athletes trying out different sports and real coaches. Jeez even in Hockey the coach of my local top level rep team is one of the dads! Why the Texas are the parents paying that kind of money to have one of the dads nurture little Owen's NHL dreams?
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#7
That seems like a small price to pay for a quadrennial global advertising campaign for Canada.  Elite performance on the world stage is great for national marketing.  

The Nazi argument is kind of dumb.  If Hitler invented the cure for cancer, would we abolish its use on principle?
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#8
As a fan of sports and winning I have no problem with funding these athletes.

Winning brings a sense of pride and the country together...even if its a swimming race.

I don't think I would watch the Olympics if I knew we had zero chance of winning anything.

The funding also gives hope to all kids/athletes, not just rich kids.

I don't think I have personally been affected by a cyclist getting a bit of money from the government.
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#9
(2016-08-17, 06:03 PM)nicky Wrote: This editorial piece tells us each medal "costs" about 1 million dollars in "own the podium" funding.  

There was also an article a few days ago, indicating that the program--with its focus on the likelihood of medals--favours certain sports and women in particular since medals are more likely.  

Are you for these kinds of elite athletes sports funding?   Or no?


Here's the opinion piece.  


http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnis...lay-sports



Stephen Hume: Olympic investments would be better spent getting more kids to play sports
[Image: af20c27a754309b9cbbf00ee0958daf0?s=33&d=identicon&r=G]STEPHEN HUME
More from Stephen Hume

Published on: August 17, 2016 | Last Updated: August 17, 2016 1:51 PM PDT

[Image: oly-2016-rio-stadium-olympic-stadium-eng...630&crop=1]
We need to commit to sports development emphasizing participation, fun and lifelong enjoyment, writes columnist Stephen Hume, rather than pouring money into elite athletes going to the Olympics. This is the Olympic Stadium, known as Engenhao, in Rio de Janeiro.YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES


SHAREADJUSTCOMMENTPRINT
A confession. I haven’t watched any of the Rio Olympics. Not one minute. Zero. Nada.
Didn’t watch swimming. Skipped the rugby. Ditto for soccer. Couldn’t stir myself for Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps,  stunning as they are. Nope, this time, for these Olympics — sorry. I. Just. Don’t. Care.
Don’t care about medals for athletes coming off a second doping suspension. Don’t care that Russians are banned for state-sponsored doping while Americans tainted with repeat doping offences blithely compete. Last time I looked, close to 100 athletes from 51 countries in 13 sports on the Olympic roster had previously been convicted of a doping offence.
Don’t care about Own the Podium. Can’t muster excitement over medals that cost Canadian taxpayers — most of whom can’t afford to have their children participate in exclusive elite sports development programs — about a million dollars each.
Don’t care about the whole sanctimonious spectacle of hypocrisy, greed, triumphalism, nationalist propaganda, organizational corruption and political cynicism.
How cynical?

Well, here we are denouncing intolerance, extremism and child soldiers, yet that Olympic torch relay is a relic of Nazi propaganda devised to aggrandize Aryan supermen at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It coincided with the opening of the first concentration camp at Sachsenhausen. The guy who invented the torch relay exhorted Hitler Youth members to fight to the death in the ruins over Hitler’s bunker. Over five days, 4,500 child soldiers became casualties. But hey, nice marketing tool.  
Look, I get it about the sacrifices individual athletes make in their personal and professional lives to make it to the podium – and, let us not forget, the lucrative endorsements, coaching, sports administration and university careers that accompany medals.
I love sports. I have played competitive football, baseball, cricket, field hockey and soccer. I played my last rugby game when I was 58 – and that was a regular league game not some Old Boys’ hug and cuddle. I ran on the track until the wheels fell off, then moved on to road racing and marathons, then orienteering and finally, in my decrepitude, long hikes.  
Alas, it appears the sport model that Own the Podium seeks to advance, so focused on producing elite winners to feed the Olympic marketing juggernaut, is actually helping to kill what it purports to nurture.
In 2015, Own the Podium disbursed $34.9 million to athletes aiming for medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio. 
In 2012, Canadians won 18 medals. So at today’s spending, the price of those medals would be $1.9 million each. Only one was gold, so if owning the podium means standing on the top tier, then that cost $34.9 million. At the last Winter Olympics, the 25 medals cost about $1 million each.
But back here in the real world, so far from the thin air recirculated among Own the Podium enthusiasts, a Statistics Canada study finds kids participation in organized sport plummeting: swimming, down 30 per cent; gymnastics, down 50 per cent; downhill skiing, down 66 per cent. 
An even more recent, 2016, study found, alarmingly, that the participation rate for young adults is falling much faster than it is for older folk. And kids with families in the top 20 per cent of incomes participate in sports at rate more than 50 per higher than those in the bottom 20 per cent.
Young people told researchers sport isn’t fun. They feel they aren’t good enough to play. In other words, holding up elite athletes as models to emulate is having the opposite effect. Why would anybody be surprised, when elite programs systematically weed out the less talented.
Almost 74 per cent of Canadians said children’s sport was too focused on winning at the exclusion of fun and fair play. Perhaps there’s a message here for people who actually care about sport rather than the marketing opportunities it represents.
We need to commit to sports development emphasizing participation, fun and lifelong enjoyment; sport that is inclusive rather than exclusive. And we need to broaden the accessibility of sport for young people, women, newcomers, people with disabilities, seniors and people with low incomes.
Imagine what $56 million a year would do for minor sport infrastructure and organization in small communities. If we focus obsessively on winning at spectacles like the Olympics, tainted by excess, cheating and corrupted ideals, we risk losing precisely the qualities these events purport to serve but clearly don’t.

Imo, the guy kinda sounds like a loser who's whining
Warning:  Brain May not be Engaged.
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#10
Jeez you've been whining fir the last ten years in here, what does that make you?
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#11
A professional!
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#12
(2016-08-19, 10:17 PM)cflisthebest Wrote: A professional!

you need to get some endorsements.  Wink


Who are your sponsors?   


I'm a bit torn on the issue.  Sort of like I was about Vancouver bidding for the Winter Olympics.  I was opposed.  I would have voted against them if I could.  

But once we had them, I believe in making the best of it.   I wanted them to be a great games and I wanted to enjoy them the best I could.      

Personally, I think the money is better spent on education and health.  

But I like sport.  And as long as we are supporting elite athletes, I would like to see the programme fair.  effective.
Mostly Harmless
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#13
Ontario spends over $25B on education alone, I know every little bit would help for education and health but I think this is money well spent. Helps bring a nation together, gives kids some role models to look up to, helps provide an education to these athletes, no problem with the money be in spent this way.
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#14
There's also a lot to be said for kids who play sports are far less apt to get involved with a bad crowd/drugs/etc. Its not just an investment in medals, but the health of our children
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#15
Ahh, the hell with all the funding, let's just give them all PED's for free and win lots of medals, like the Russians do!  Plain
"Stand up for yourself young fellow. Nobody else is going to do it for you" 
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#16
(2016-08-20, 12:08 AM)tm123 Wrote: Ontario spends over $25B on education alone, I know every little bit would help for education and health but I think this is money well spent.  Helps bring a nation together, gives kids some role models to look up to, helps provide an education to these athletes, no problem with the money be in spent this way.

Question, and I do not have the answer but, is physical education mandatory in our schools?

If it is not, I believe it should be, unless there is a (health) reason why one cannot participate.

I was a jock and loved PE... there were others that were not as enthused however, participation did help their overall health.

More obesity in today's youth... or, so it seems....
Apparently, one of the "frothing haters"??  Weird..
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#17
(2016-08-22, 05:05 PM)Bandit Wrote:
(2016-08-20, 12:08 AM)tm123 Wrote: Ontario spends over $25B on education alone, I know every little bit would help for education and health but I think this is money well spent.  Helps bring a nation together, gives kids some role models to look up to, helps provide an education to these athletes, no problem with the money be in spent this way.

Question, and I do not have the answer but, is physical education mandatory in our schools?

If it is not, I believe it should be, unless there is a (health) reason why one cannot participate.

I was a jock and loved PE... there were others that were not as enthused however, participation did help their overall health.

More obesity in today's youth... or, so it seems....

good question..so I asked my wife who is a teacher...gym class is mandatory in grades 1-8 and from 9-12 all you need is one credit of gym(I think its not enough)..I agree,when I was young I lived for gym period to break up the monotony of the hard classes.
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#18
(2016-08-17, 07:35 PM)lewis94 Wrote:
(2016-08-17, 06:11 PM)thebest41587 Wrote: I think they can and should fund both.

Agreed. Without funding, our athletes wouldn't be able to focus on training full-time and we'd see not only a decrease in medals, but many of our athletes wouldn't be able to go at all.

I also agree.! but I would like to see more funding for sports that this country inherently should do better at..in the winter Olympics im blown away at how poorly we do in cross country skiing,ski jumping and the biathalon..
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#19
Can't be good at everything.. 35million people
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#20
(2016-08-20, 12:08 AM)tm123 Wrote: Ontario spends over $25B on education alone, I know every little bit would help for education and health but I think this is money well spent.  Helps bring a nation together, gives kids some role models to look up to, helps provide an education to these athletes, no problem with the money be in spent this way.

meh..! these prick **** Lieberals have this province so far in debt that our yearly payment on our provincial debt is actually more than the province spends on education..!! these arseholes need to go and soon.!!!!!
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