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161 days to go – Own the Podium!!

September 3, 2009

In Oslo 1952 Canada won 2 medals.  In Sapporo 1972 we won 1 medal.  In Calgary 1988 we won 5 medals followed by 7 in Albertville 1992, by 13 in Lillehammer 1994, 15 in Nagano 1998, 17 in Salt Lake City 2002, and 24 in Torino 2006.  While we were off to a slowish start, Canada has started focusing more on winning medals.  And with Vancouver hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games the challenge was on to really bring home the metal! (Err… medals).

161 - Own the Podium logo

And so, in 2005, the Own the Podium 2010 programme was launched.  The goal of Own the Podium is to win the most medals of any of the countries for the Olympic Games and to place in the top three nations (by gold medal count) for the Paralympic Games.  And we’re certainly on our way!  We had the fourth highest number of medals at Salt Lake City 2002 (7 Gold, 3 Silver, 7 bronze).  We had the third highest number of medals at Torino 2006 (7 Gold, 10 Silver, 7 Bronze; Germany had the most medals at 29, we were only 5 shy of that!).  Just imagine what 2010 will bring!

Own the Podium is a programme that brings world class leadership, training and equipment to our Winter athletes to give them the very best foundation to work from.  Some of what they will work with during the course of this programme is even considered “Top Secret”!  It is a widely supported programme with all of the National Sports Organizations (ex. Hockey Canada) involved, as well as Sports Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Calgary Olympic Development Association, the Government of British Columbia, the Vancouver Organization Committee and several of their sponsors, as well as regular Canadians like you and I!

Own the Podium is the programme aimed at boosting our Canadian Winter athletes to be the best they can be, but that doesn’t mean our Summer athletes are left out.  They are covered by a similar programme called the Road to Excellence.  Are you interested in helping our athletes out?  Visit the websites for Own the Podium or the Canadian Olympic Foundation to donate and really help to make a difference in an athlete’s life.  These people are dedicated heart and soul to their sports and to winning.  The train and work long hours and often can only work part time due to their busy schedules.  Money can be slim but these programmes help to support our athletes in their quest for Gold!!

Team Canada at the Hockey Canada Cup - photo from Hockey Canada photographer Jeff Vinnick

Team Canada at the Hockey Canada Cup - photo from Hockey Canada photographer Jeff Vinnick

Today’s news:  the women were hard at work at the Hockey Canada Cup again today!  Sweden defeated Finland 3-1 during the 3pm game, and I am sad to report that the USA defeated Canada 4-2 in the 7:30pm game.  So, the standings are Canada 2 – 1, USA 2 – 1, Finland 1 – 2, and Sweden 1 – 2.  There are semi-final games on Saturday and the match-ups will be: 3pm USA vs Finland and 7:30pm Canada vs Sweden.  Get your tickets here (cheap! $25 + taxes and fees per seat).  And of course, on Sunday are the medal matches!  The Bronze medal game at 3pm ($25 + taxes and fees per seat) and the Gold medal game at 7:30pm (still cheap! $35 + taxes and fees per seat).  Tickets for those matches here!  Get out there and support our Canadian women!!  (Oh, and stop by and see me at the Olympic Shop in the Bay Downtown to get a new Olympic Hockey jersey so you’re appropriately dressed for the game 😉  I’ve already got mine and have got three of our ice sledge hockey players signatures on it too!  I’m hoping to add some of the women’s as well!

The Bay Downtown - come visit me!

The Bay Downtown - come visit me!

Other news… Yes!  The Canadian Team Olympic and Paralympic uniforms will be revealed soon!  I wasn’t hallucinating (about that at least)!  The will be revealed on Thursday, October 1st I believe at the Bay Downtown where we will also be having the Grand Opening of the Olympic Superstore!  (Think 20,000 square feet of Olympic and Paralympic goodness!  I can’t wait!!).  I don’t know the details of the event yet, but will let you know as a schedule is released.  I have a feeling that the Mascots will be there, but I can’t promise that (it may be wishful thinking on my part, I want a photo with them!!).  So mark your calendars and find a way to be at the Grand Opening on October 1st.  It will be a great day.

And now time for a great night (of sleep).  Thank you and merci!

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