At one time Canada had a national embarrassment. You see we held the summer Olympics in Montreal in 1976 and we failed to get a gold medal. It was such a blatantly honest performance that the IOC let us host another Olympics only 12 years later.
So, in 1988 we held the winter Olympics in Calgary. Embarrassingly enough we again failed to win a gold medal at a games we were hosting. Not willing to repeat the 12 year thing for our honesty, the IOC let us host another Olympics a longer 22 years later.
Now before we get to Vancouver 2010, we should have a little reminder. Since 1976, the USA, a country with 9 times Canada’s population, has only hosted the Olympics 4 times. Our little nation with 33 million has hosted 3 times. I can only believe we’ve been so privileged because of our blatant honesty. True Ben Johnson was caught cheating in the Seoul 1988 summer Olympics but we dealt with it. And did I say we were obviously not cheating on the whole or we would have won a gold in Calgary or Montreal.
In the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada has caught the cheating bug in a big way. We could have made it plausible by winning one or two gold medals. But no, we went out of our way and have now won 10 and may even win more gold medals than any other country. Any more and we break the record for most golds by a host country in the winter Olympics. We could have made it look likely. But now the world is going to see us as one great big cheater.
Sure we pretend it was the “Own the Podium” program that got us all those gold medals. But doesn’t that very name sound almost like a threat. As in ‘we own the podium so the rest of you nations had better cooperate’.
Now that we have come of age as cheaters what of our upcoming Olympic bids? Toronto has tried a couple of times to attract the summer Olympics. But now the IOC sees right through Canadians and our cheating ways. It looks like the earliest Toronto will see itself hosting the summer Olympics will be in 2100. Thanks a lot Vancouver.