Who are these jackals that insist we must 'own' the podium? - Macleans.ca

Who are these jackals that insist we must ‘own’ the podium?


Jay Hill asks that you stop expecting so much our Olympic athletes.

I’m disappointed by the number of news stories focused on glitches and tough expectations on our athletes … when Alexandre Bilodeau won his event, the pundits obsessed that “finally” we won our first Gold here at home in Canada. What does his success have to do with what did or did not happen in 1976 in Montreal or 1988 in Calgary? … Personally, one of the most rewarding moments of these Olympics so far was the Men’s 1000m speed skating final featuring our very own Fort St. John native, Denny Morrison.  To be in the stands at the fabulous Richmond Oval with thousands of other Canadians hollering and whistling Denny on is an experience I’ll not soon forget. Although Denny didn’t win, I’m sure he’d be one of the first to agree, that just to have qualified to be there, representing Canada … the greatest country on earth … was a victory in itself!  Go Canada Go.


Who are these jackals that insist we must ‘own’ the podium?

  1. Govt commandment apparently.

  2. Own The Podium : afetr all we have paid enough for it – whether we had any athletes there or not! This idea that canadians should be mild mannered and not stand up and yell in a yankees face = GO CANADA GO .. is flat out ridiculous and hypocritical to the extreme .. I for one thank the olympic gods for not only Own The Podium but B210 or whatever it is called as well. Only in Canada would there be any talk of us (1) beating up opponents too badly re: hockey (2) putting too much focus on winning re: ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME (3) … I think we need to dial up the pressure and really get patriotic as it is like a giant breath of fresh air out here at the games .. I have never ever (at least since the classic Us vs Russkies) see such displays on such a large scale and it does my heart good to be a part of this. I think there is way more here as a story than people realize .. rememebr this is from the perspective of attending and living here on vancouver island (I fly over harbour to harbour catch an event then fly back) = I have never seen anything like this and want more. We should be very proud and rightly so!

    • Of course if 'Own the Podium' turns to be prophetic, Hill will rescind the above opinion and give a PG-style high five and make sure everyone believes that the CONs own the 'podium' program, just as they try to wear Canada's relative economic sturdiness, the banking industry's surefootedness, all good things Canadian etc.

  3. I truly hate that "Own the Podium" slogan. I am also embarrassed when people hold up signs at hockey games claiming that "Hockey is OUR Game!" as though everyone else is ruining our fun and should leave us alone.

    When it comes to empty nationalism, we have become gold medalists. We really need to get over just how great we think we are.

    • Well, if we're going to stand up and be counted I wish it was over something more useful and important than hockey, the Olympics and invasions of random countries.

    • Own The Podium ISN'T just about winning…you seems swayed by B.S in the British media-it's about having pride in our athletes-no matter what the sport-where, unfortunately we lag behind other countries-and a little pride never hurt anyone…

      • Really? This is how they describe their goals:

        Podium Performance at Olympic and Paralympic Games
        Place first in the total medal count at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
        Place in the top three in the gold medal count at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games

        Place in the top 12 nations in medal count at the 2012 Olympic Games
        Place in the top eight in the gold medal count at the 2012 Paralympic Games

        They describe this as a program meant to produce well defined outcomes. No where did I see anything in their description that this "isn't just about winning". Quite the opposite actually.

        • Place first in the total medal count at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games

          That's just stupid. I'll bet that brand of stupidity will be much featured in the ongoing investigations, possible prosecutions and inevitable litigation resulting from the tragic death of the Olympian from Georgia on the stupidly dangerous Luge facility we built to generate more medals for us in sliding events. Nice hosts, eh?

      • self respect is better than pride

  4. Yup, definitely a Con govt commandment.

  5. Next PMO talking point: "Own the Podium, brought to you by Canada's Economic Action Plan" unless it doesn't succeed in which case those troop-hating Liberals are responsible".

  6. It's solely about winning.

    It just hasn't worked out that way.

  7. We do own the podiums. We paid good money for every single one. Long after the Olympics are over, we will still own those podiums. Maybe we can even rent them out to various sporting events.

    • Somehow "Rent the Podium" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

    • Loan the Podium?

  8. "I'm sure he'd be one of the first to agree, that just to have qualified to be there, representing Canada … the greatest country on earth … was a victory in itself!"

    (1) No, qualifying to be there is merely the bare minimum required of an Olympian. Play to win.
    (2) "the greatest country on earth"? Can we please douse the nationalist "we're better than everyone" attitude in favor of "we love our country" patriotism?

    • Well, no Gaunilon, it was a victory to be named as an Olympian. It's just that that was last week (month, year) and now the athlete needs to play to win.

      Having said that, I must say that the Own the Podium initiative is really kind of dampening my Olympics enthusiasm. I can't watch an event with a Canadian presence without being almost crushed by the expectations. Do you all remember one summer Olympics where NBC really went over the top, and after every race where an American didn't win it, they shoved a microphone in his face and demanded he explain his failure? We have almost crossed over into that hell, IMO.

      • Alright, yes, it was a victory to be named an Olympian. I don't mean to belittle qualifying – I certainly couldn't do it.

        However, I loathe this quintessential Canadian tendency to say, after getting thumped in the Olympics, "well, we're just happy we made it this far". Yes, it's an impressive achievement, but no competitor should be "just happy we made it this far" when "this far" means "less than first place".

        • I loathe it when Canadians loathe their self-loathing. It's so small, somehow.

  9. Economic Action Plan — 3 words.

    Own the podium — 3 words.

    Support the troops — 3 words.

    Keep it simple.

    Conservative. Communications. Strategy.

    • Laugh out loud.

    • hmm = although you may have been intending sarcasm however – think about it

    • "Own the Podium" dates back to 2004. Facts are fun. ;-)

      • Yes, it's more like the three words become a joke when touched by Harper's hand. Rights and Democracy is 3 words too and it preceded Harper, but what a difference Harper's hand can make.

        • Gold Medal Retort!

        • Harper: the Midas of trilexemes? I like it.

  10. Pwn The Odium!

  11. Whoa is a *conservative* MP actually saying this???? That's… unexpected. Good for him.

  12. Not much of a leap from "own the podium" to "win at any cost". I think it is highly unsporting and a disgracefully un-Olympic sentiment. It is one thing to host an Olympics, quite another to reflect the noble sentiments of the Olympic movement.

    • Not meant for yourself, but I find it the height of irony when the IOC talks about Olympic spirit.

  13. Compete with Class!

  14. WOW…good job to lose everything. They come in 4th and worse with no funding and so we give them 5 years of funding and they still don't do well!!!!! I do not get it how is this working. The simple fact is that it isn't. We have to watch our athletes get owned by the USA and South Korea. I am sick and tired of seeing my country come in 4th or even 13th place Mr. Morrison. they should have to take out a loan if they medal they get it forgiven if they don't the have to pay it back with 25% interest plus the place they finished. So if you came in 13 place it would be 25+13=38% interest. That would motivate them!!!!!! nothing else is. Even thousands of screaming Canadians doesn't light a fire nothing will!!! thanks for the humiliation guys!!!!

  15. "Own the Podium"…absurd…. and naive. I am surprised at how nationalistic Canadians are proving to be… like Canadian poop smells better than any. I previously thought our neighbors up north were 'chill' people… but I didn't realize Canadians were this proud…

    • I have noticed a creeping Nationalism since the Mulroney days, when one of his goals was to make Canada a "world class nation". Full of false-pride and braggadocio. It seems that the mtv/jerry springer/bachelorette/trash-talking/humiliate- -thy-neighbour culture has infected our policy makers as well. Own the Podium is a national embarrassment and those who supported it's creation should be publicly ridiculed. I much prefer the image of the polite, unassuming, moderate, peaceful northerner – whether true, or not. Nobody likes a bragger (especially when the bragging can't be supported). I love Canada – it's my birthplace and home, but this kind of arrogance not only lacks sportsmanship, but is near-sighted and immature. I hope the concept of Own the Podium gets thoroughly pwned by all of us. Modesty used to be a great quality.

    • What is wrong with having pride in your country?What is wrong with a country coming together for 17 day and celebrating all the things that make it great?What is wrong with supporting our athletes financially so they can reach goals otherwise unattainable?
      For years our athletes have been under funded by government while countries like Norway and Germany have given their athletes great support.The private sector in the U.S. has given their athletes all the tools they need to succeed.
      It is about time we show some national pride we live in the greatest country on earth! For once we are shouting it from the rooftops and wearing it on our sleeves.We need to do it for people like you Walt to let you know that the good old U.S.A. is not the be all end all. "Own The Podium…absurd…and Naive" Canada (population 33 million) wins 14 gold medals the most in the history of the Winter Olympics,United States (population 330 million) wins 9 gold medals.We did own the podium not absurd not naive.You win a gold medal you receive Silver and Bronze for the people who count quantity not quality lol.
      i am so proud of the athletes,organizers ,volunteers and the city of Vancouver for giving myself and the rest of Canada memories that will last a lifetime.
      I would bet all you naysayers have never played sports in your life,either that or you have forgotten what joy is created there.

      • There's nothing wrong with doing it. Especially when it is held here in Canada, and we can come out together to celebrate our athletes and the games.

        I do think it is wrong to spend our children's money (or as MYL says, our retirement funds) on such a thing continuously into the future. If we could afford to pay without going into debt, then I'm all for it. But since we are already in debt, this is a budget line that is most easy for me to cross off.

        I am proud of our athletes. I am proud of BC. I am thrilled we funded the sports and athletes well enough to hold our heads high and revel in their success. But I don't like cat food, and neither do my kids. Let Russia take the medals at their games, and let us be proud of our athletes for their great showings, whether they bring home any hardware or not. Buying Olympic medals with other people's money is just wrong.

  16. Did some committee actually sit down, discuss this slogan and then agree to it? I'm picturing a group of pencil pushing geeks that have never competed in a sport themselves. I'm all for funding our athletes and working towards a winning attitude, but to think Canada could "Own the Podium". Give your head a shake. If you look at our metal count and compare it to our population, our athletes are doing a great job. The USA should be ashamed of itself. The Norwegians with just under 5 million people are the true "Owners of the Podium".

  17. This could have been your games! This could have been the best games ever! And you ruined it with this stupid slogan, with your expectations, with your overreached national pride and nationalism. At the same time you did amazingly well. But you cannot even enjoy your success because there's the frustration that you haven't matched your own expectations. There's almost no nation that would have came up with such a stupid program for the Olympic Games. The Europeans cannot even understand the significant meaning in counting medals. They are simply not interested in medal tables. And they are astounded that you let allow the medal table belittle the joy about your tremendous success.

    So what was OTP for? To show a world, which doesn't care that much about medal tables and who has won the most medals, that you are the best winter sports nation ever (by the way, Germany is, but nobody in Germany freaks out because of it)? You have been well respected and loved as a great and noble nation (and in the end you're still are ), but you have become somewhat the new China in winter sports. Shame on your olympic committee and my sympathies to every humble and noble Canadian who had the only wish that is in important when it comes to Olympic Games: Hosting the best Olympic Games and showing the best possible performance.