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New York Times Story About Canada Protecting Home Advantage


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Our facilities, our money, our country. Why should Canada allow other countries to come and train here, we have no obligation to. We have done it for a considerable number of years and its results where that in 2002 we lost a lot of ground to the Americans that were trained in Canada at Calgary.

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Well with the test events the rest of the world should have had the opportunity to look over and experience the venues. Did Michael Phelps get access to the Water Cube 5 months out from the Beijing Olympics? Or a better example - did the kayakers get access to the white water course? No. Everyone gets allotted times before competition begins. Every host has a home town advantage - its a given. This is a non-event news wise.

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Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong, regardless of who does the complaining? My very first concern about the Own The Podium program was exactly this, the potential cutting off of training at the facilities for other athletes. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. This will be the first seaside Olympics and the conditions will be very unique for competitions, namely anything outdoors and on ice. How will potential Canadian victories NOT be tainted if they were in sports in which other athletes were refused comparable training time?

This isn't an issue about teams getting MORE than their allotted time by sneaking into practice areas, showing up unannounced, etc; it's an issue about being shut out of already SCHEDULED training. It's happened to Americans, Germans, Chinese, Norwegians, Swedes, and so on. And the coach of China's skating team actually being ESCORTED off the oval's premises?

I'm sure a couple (and maybe even up to half) of these instances may have been human error (the officials' response to all of these happenings), and maybe a few athletes did want to jump the gun on training, but there are always grains of truth in something that keeps reappearing unexpectedly. I completely agree with Derek Parra's statement that somehow "it doesn't feel like the Olympic spirit." Canada not having won any home gold medals is NO excuse to passively sabotage others from as fair a competition possible.

Like I said, much of this could be pure human error, but organizers should still apologize for the confusion and try to work out their issues face to face with sport and NOC team officials in the spirit of transparency and fair play. Just because Canada is putting on the games with it's own money doesn't mean the games and the medals that go with it belong to Canada. This is still a world event and it's about being a gracious HOST, not a sore winner. Nobody is going to give your country kudos for winning all the gold if it's rude to them at the door.

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Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong, regardless of who does the complaining? My very first concern about the Own The Podium program was exactly this, the potential cutting off of training at the facilities for other athletes. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. This will be the first seaside Olympics and the conditions will be very unique for competitions, namely anything outdoors and on ice. How will potential Canadian victories NOT be tainted if they were in sports in which other athletes were refused comparable training time?

This isn't an issue about teams getting MORE than their allotted time by sneaking into practice areas, showing up unannounced, etc; it's an issue about being shut out of already SCHEDULED training. It's happened to Americans, Germans, Chinese, Norwegians, Swedes, and so on. And the coach of China's skating team actually being ESCORTED off the oval's premises?

I'm sure a couple (and maybe even up to half) of these instances may have been human error (the officials' response to all of these happenings), and maybe a few athletes did want to jump the gun on training, but there are always grains of truth in something that keeps reappearing unexpectedly. I completely agree with Derek Parra's statement that somehow "it doesn't feel like the Olympic spirit." Canada not having won any home gold medals is NO excuse to passively sabotage others from as fair a competition possible.

Like I said, much of this could be pure human error, but organizers should still apologize for the confusion and try to work out their issues face to face with sport and NOC team officials in the spirit of transparency and fair play. Just because Canada is putting on the games with it's own money doesn't mean the games and the medals that go with it belong to Canada. This is still a world event and it's about being a gracious HOST, not a sore winner. Nobody is going to give your country kudos for winning all the gold if it's rude to them at the door.

Read the article, it says international athletes have had MORE access then at previous Olympics. And as puppy said its not standard practice for the organizing committee to allow the venues to be used by other countries. This has nothing to do with the Olympic spirit, nothing to do with relationships, but standard practices. The Italians did not let all comers use their venues beforehand and in reality the principle reason for the complaining is that all the venues for the technical side of things are generally very new and have not been on the world cup/world championship lists so athletes won't have the familiarity as they did with the skiing courses in Italy for example. But almost all of the venues have had international competitions at them over the last two years including world championships, major meets and other test events that have allowed athletes to compete there. Access not possible at other games because there was a rush to get the venues done in time.

And why should other countries come here and train, they have their own facilities and why should other countries train with Canada and learn information that they might not otherwise know. Its our money, our venues and our country, our athletes should come first.

Canada made the mistake of letting everyone use the venues at Calgary no matter what leading up to the games, to the determent of Canadians being able to train there. Not gonna happen again.

Edited by Faster
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I understand that it might come across as being a little unsportsmanlike, but as a Canadian I have zero issue with the organizers sticking to the letter of the law on this. As long as the minimum access requirements outlined in past agreements are being met, I don't see any reason why Canada should have to 'play nice' and allow extra.....

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That just isn't going to happen.

Really didn't think such a stupid comment warranted a response.

Hopefully Canada does reach into the 30 to 35 medal range. It would be nice to top the Americans highest total. I have hopes that if the first 10 major events go well on the weekend (6 to 8 medals) Canada should change the record total of 36. I think Norway's record 13 gold medals is safe.

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It's gonna be a big moment when you guys get THAT monkey off your backs!

February 13

Ladies Moguls

Men's 1500m Short Track Speed Skating

Possible in men's downhill.

February 14

Ladies 3000m Speed Skating

Men's Mogul's

Possible in men's 10km biathlon

Possible double medals in both moguls, men's 1500 and women's 3000

So out of those 4 events, Canada should win at least one of them.

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  • 1 month later...
VANOC is allowing the required access as set down by the federations, why do other countries all of a sudden expect more than what the federations say is adequate?

Maybe because it is REALLY inadequate for the "other countries", as "The Times" and "New York Times" reports.

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Its the federations that decide what is required. Take it up with them. There is only a complaint now because of 1) the venues have been ready a lot early then the previous games and 2) Calgary, people were expecting unfettered access like before Calgary 21 years ago, Canada learned. Every athlete bar the curlers will have competed at this venues at world cups, world championships or other major events. Nothing is going to change from then to February. And come the end of November there will be no access period.

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It's doesn't seem that simple though. The Times article suggests our team had already booked training at Calgary and were only told much later that only partial access would be granted. That's a bit off.

And the fact that the BOA has gone to the IOC over these issues and won its case suggests not all is right here.

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What right do British athletes have to use the venue at Calgary? And the article was quite unclear about what they won because it did not directly state that camera positions were provided to the Scottish Curling Association and the sliders will be training in the US before hand, not at Calgary. Maybe if the Brits want to train they should spend the money on a track in Scotland. VANOC is providing the contractually required international training, something that is only available because we spent the extra money to get the games venues built faster.

And like I said, come the end of November, until the first week of February there will be no access, no matter nationality because they are getting outfitted for the games. Canada has lived up to its recruiments, why do the other NOC's expect more then the sports federations?

I repeat, this is because Canadians venues have been open doors for international athletes for decades, the fact we have closed our doors to all but the requirements of access have thrown wrenches into other peoples plans and that is what they are complaining about.

Furthermore, come the Olympics, training is decided by the federations and is completely equal. So stop whinning and live with it. London is not going to provide more then is necessary, neither is Sochi and Rio certainly is not either and access to Athens, Torino and Beijing was minimal to non-existant. So why is Canada being held to a different standard.

I should quantify this though: if the respective NOC has, through the proper channels, booked use of venues/requested use of venues and the venues are not being used during the requested period then VANOC should not be blocking access, especially to potential training basis like those in Calgary and Canmore. And I think a lot of this is the COC trying to get better access to Sochi.

Edited by Faster
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I think the Americans and other athletes aren't used we Canucks playing hardball. They assumed we'd bend over backwards to avoid any strife. Guess again: this is sport and we're out to win. Fairly.

Besides, the biathlon and cross country skiers have unfettered access if they want to rock up like any other punter and ski the courses. It varies from sport to sport.

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What right do British athletes have to use the venue at Calgary? And the article was quite unclear about what they won because it did not directly state that camera positions were provided to the Scottish Curling Association and the sliders will be training in the US before hand, not at Calgary. Maybe if the Brits want to train they should spend the money on a track in Scotland. VANOC is providing the contractually required international training, something that is only available because we spent the extra money to get the games venues built faster.

So why are the Russians being allowed to use the facilities then?

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