Athletes are true ambassadors
by Aisha Vance
As millions of people invade the Olympic city of Vancouver and the excitement of corporate products, sponsors and entertainment
sets in, it’s easy to forget
about the athletes that are taking part in the games.
As a former high performance athlete in synchronized swimming,
I know the effort that is put into training and preparing for big events. For an Olympic athlete,
began way before Vancouver was named host city ba-ck in 2003. On average, most athletes train up to 10 years before
they make it to the Olympic level.
As Canadians we forget about our athletes most of the time and then when the Olympics come around, we are always disappointed
with our lack of medals. We turn and blame the athletes who are up against competitors from countries that are given an unlimited supply of funding, training and state-of-the-art facilities.
We tend to denounce our athletes
on the spot as not good enough and continue to think of ourselves as a weak competitor of sport on the world stage.
In British Columbia, we are slashing funding to amateur sports organizations like BC School Sports that had its “entire
provincial government operating
grant” cut, according to a BC School Sports August 2009 news release. But we are pouring
millions in hosting a world-sporting event.
It upsets me to see this happen,
as our athletes are the ones who truly suffer in order to host a world event like the Olympics so that businesses and corporations
make their money from the games. It seems everyone is benefiting from the event except the athletes and doesn’t that seem like an unjust outcome in the most extreme way?
We are now into February and the games will be starting soon. There is nothing that can be done about the Olympic games coming to Vancouver, however, maybe this time when we once again do not dominate in the medal category, we should take a step back and thank our athletes
for what they are; the true ambassadors for Canada.
The Vancouver 2010 Olympics officially commence on Feb. 12 with the Opening Ceremonies at Vancouver’s BC Place at 6:00 p.m. mountain time. Olympic events kick off that same day with ski jumping going in the morning. For the next 16 days after that, it will be a battle of the best of the best from all over the world to see who takes the gold. After the biggest event of the Games, (the men’s hockey gold medal final) closing ceremonies,
also at BC Place, commence
Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. mountain time.
—Aisha Vance grew up in Vancouver where she spent two years on Team British Columbia for synchronized swimming, wining
two national titles. She’s been coaching for the last six years.