B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell was quick out of the blocks in claiming a share of the Olympic glory in Canada’s belated start to the Beijing medal race. “All British Columbians and people across the nation are incredibly proud of [wrestler] Carol Huynh of Hazelton, and [rowing pair] Dave Calder of Victoria and Scott Frandsen of Kelowna for bringing home some of our country’s first Olympic medals from Beijing.”
Campbell also proudly noted that Calder “is a member of B.C.’s talented public service in the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.” In fact, Calder had quit rowing to join the public service after his boat was disqualified in Athens for straying from its lane. He only returned to rowing this year, taking a partial leave from his job while balancing the brutal demands of training with the responsibilities of a husband and father. “His work ethic is incredible,” says wife Rachel. Who says public servants don’t break a sweat?
Had Campbell waited until Sunday morning to pump out his release, he could have added
Ryan Cochrane to the list. The Victoria-based swimmer won a bronze medal in the 1500-metre freestyle. That’s three of four Canadian medals so far won by British Columbians, if anyone other than the premier is counting. In fact, 40 per cent of the Canadian team lives or trains in B.C.
Expect even more jocks to head west after Campbell hinted that more money for athletes should be forthcoming. He ended a visit to Beijing last week by lamenting Canada’s slow start at the Games. “We have to have a good hard look at how we fund our athletes, our coaches, our nutritionists,” he said. “Let’s get on with doing something. It’s critical.”