Tagged: own the podium

Olympic-esque Blog Day 11

Gold medal in ice dancing for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Missed the Canadians skating. Usually don’t work Mondays but here I was at work. Had it on TV but got a phone call and had to go help upstairs for a few minutes. Came back down they had skated and were in first place. Lot of happy people on Twitter. Those who watched Canada-US probably felt a bit better. Nice also in that 2 people who have trained for years together won. Opposite of the “millionaires” tournament where you throw together NHL-ers from different teams and hope they quickly figure out how to play well together.

Ice dance the rare [or only] case where CTV pumped up expectations a bit higher than needed but won Gold. You could say that they did what the Vancouver Canucks never did at the Pacific Coliseum and that’s win the big one. [Low blow but true.]

Still the “own the podium” debate will not end anytime soon. Will start using lower case letters for “own the podium” since it’s become a bit of a joke.

COC finally admitted they will not finish first in the medal count. Fact they were somehow hoping to still finish first says a lot about them. They knew they had raised Canadians expectations too high. Anything less is disappointing. Tried to put off talking about that as long as they could. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports wrote a column about it. From an American perspective.


‘Canada struggling with high expectations’

Hoping to finally win Gold at home is one thing. But when they said the goal was to finish first in medals you are opening up Pandora’s Box. Most medals won by a Canadian team would be a high enough goal. They didn’t think so and now pay they have to pay the piper.

Strangely you have one of the athletes themselves blaming the increase in funding for their performance. Denny Morrison blamed ‘own the podium’ for his 13th finish. Why? Because he wasn’t allowed to train with his buddy Shani Davis of the US. Well then Denny, it’s amazing at all you even finished. Such a tough obstacle to overcome. Pretty sure the other countries who finished ahead of you didn’t train with Shani either. He tried backtracking on his comments after. Too little, too late as most Canadians would have seen his original comments and not his follow up.

Working on a longer blog entry for tomorrow.

Olympic-esque Blog Day 8 and 9

Friday night I was busy with radio and work. Long night from 5pm to 7am. Too bad the Queen’s hockey team didn’t show up for Friday’s playoff game. Outplayed by Carleton in a game in which they could’ve wrapped up the series. They play this afternoon in the nation’s capital in the deciding Game 3.

Saw the Gold medal in Skeleton live that night though. And him chugging beer out of a pitcher while walking to an interview. Looked like someone who was really enjoying himself. That seems to be the last bright spot for Friday and Saturday.

Had 8 women around the TV at work watching the speed skating final. Two Canadians in a group of 5 in a final. I thought “Canada should win a bronze” and that was too hopeful a prediction. Nothing. Two brothers got out in front but were all passed by the 2 Koreans and Ohno. Women watching were in shock. Nothing?

Story of the games so far. Expectations too high, but results much lower than expected. From a hydraulic part not working in the Opening Ceremony it has gone downhill. Talking about downhill, no medals at all for the ski team.

COC Chief Michael Chambers is either in denial or doesn’t understand sports. Said he still think Canada can finish 1st in medals. That’s just crazy talk. Not a question of Canada doing better but also having all the other countries in front not winning. US, Germany and Norway are not going to go on a cold streak. Even Korea is in front of Canada tonight by 1 medal.

He also thinks the federal government is not going to cut funding to Own the Podium after the games are over. Now that is rather funny. At this rate Canada will have less medals than in Turin. Simple equation for any government. Increase in funding = less medals. That does not compute. From what I’ve seen from Canadians watching these games is that they are not happy with bad results. Especially with their tax money going towards it.

Skiier Emily Brydon said Own the Podium has helped at the World Cup level and it should continue. But we all know nobody in Canada follows World Cup skiiing. If it doesn’t translate at the Olympics then it is looked at as a failure. Cold but true. Like the Indianapolis Colts or Atlanta Braves. They are good teams that choked time and time again. Emily didn’t even finish her run so she might not have been the best person to talk about keeping funding where it is. She called Saturday’s performance for the team a “train wreck”.

And I do use the word “choke” about more than a few of the bad results. If you finish 8th and that’s the highest you’ve ever placed that’s great. All you can ask of someone. However if you do well at World Cups and don’t finish in the top 10? That’s more of a “choke”.

Congrats to Rob Faulds for his call of the Skeleton win for John Montgomery. Much better than Jamie Campbell’s play by play of some medal performances. I felt it was like Jamie was auditioning for an Olympic ad instead of calling what he saw in front of him. Guess what I saw tonight? A McDonald’s ad that uses Jamie’s commentary from the first Gold medal. Hmmm. I think Jamie does a great job hosting/anchoring but I did not like his cheerleading play-by-play. Over the top. And completely different from his call of the Blue Jays. Which as you saw in ads on Sportsnet is now being filled by Buck Martinez. Read an article that Jamie’s contract is up in October and he still wants to do baseball. So maybe he thought this was a chance to audition for a job elsewhere, who knows. Not like he’s had much to get excited about with the Jays the last few seasons though.

Hey Rosetta! has been playing in Vancouver the last 2 nights. Great reviews and they play Sunday night at Atlantic House on Granville Island. Stephen Brunt from the Globe and Mail on their Friday gig.

“Heard Hey Rosetta! last night perform a very strong, very well-received set opening for Stars at the Orpheum.”

From Atlantic Canada House’s Twitter and Facebook page.

“Hey Rosetta was unbelievable. If you’re planning to see them Sunday night, be here early. Word’s out – they rock!”

Play tonight at Granville Island Back Stage, Monday at Whistler Village Square Stage. Finally Feb. 27th at the Surrey 2010 Celebration Site. From local Vancouver writer Kristina Campbell on Friday’s show.


Hey Rosetta Shines Brighter Than The Stars At Vancouver Orpheum Show

Last night’s duo of bands at the Orpheum had a clear winner: Newfoundland band Hey Rosetta shone with the energy of up-and-coming stardom while Montreal indie-rock veterans The Stars executed their lineup of beautiful, anthemic music with an undercurrent of jadedness that left many sitting, and few dancing.

Even if it weren’t for the 6-member Hey Rosetta’s soaring melodies and crash-tastic build-ups, even if it weren’t for delicious cello and violin undercurrents and lead singer Tim Baker’s heart-stopping smirk, there would still be the voice. Baker’s voice has a way of sounding like what he’s singing about requires your urgent attention. One moment he had everyone in the room hushed and hanging on his quiet melody, and the next moment he was belting out a note at the top of his lungs with a vital capacity that would put some opera singers to shame.

Click on the link to read the full review. When you get a glowing review compared to the main act that’s a sign you’re doing well. Given everyone on the West Coast enough of a heads up to their gigs. No complaining if you miss out.

Back Monday morning with another post. Probably some reviews overnight from the concert tonight if I can find some.

Olympic-esque Blog Day 6 and 7

Changing my sleeping hours to watch Olympic Primetime didn’t quite work out.  Was a quiet night on Wednesday.  When CTV is reduced to showing 5 minutes of the Team Canada practice you chose the wrong night to watch.

First thing I saw on Primetime was Ben Mulroney so that was a bad sign from the get go.

“Own the Podium” isn’t working out.  USA right now has almost tripled the Canadian medal total.

Skier from Norway Askel Svindal talked about it after winning a medal.  In particular not letting other countries train at the facilities. Which after the death at the luge course has been something pointed out by many.

“I just want to make something clear. It was VANOC (the Vancouver organizing committee) or Own the Podium or something. It wasn’t the Canadian ski team.”

Before the games he said: “I was supposed to train with the Canadian guys. But then some, like, big dude from VANOC told the coaches that they do a lot of funding for the training and that I wasn’t allowed to be on the slope. I thought it was ridiculous but, whatever.”

Toronto Sun article pointed out something I had forgotten.  Norway helping Canada out. It was the coach from Norway who helped Sara Renner by replacing her broken ski pole in the 2006 games which helped her win a Silver medal.  VANOC really seems like the Keystone Kops of Olympic Organizers at this point.

And it’s VANOC not Team Canada as he went on to talk about.

“The Canadian team and Alpine Canada are great to work with. Erik Guay gave me a great report on the hill while I was here. I want to thank the Canadian ski teem. It wasn’t them who kept me off the hill.”

And Norway is ahead of Canada in the medal standings.

Congratulations to Christine Nesbitt on her Gold medal.  Saw her medal presentation last night.  Sure it’s been overshadowed in the Canadian media today because of hockey.  One reason I don’t like the pros at the games was the possibility of taking attention away from others.  At 6am when Olympic Morning began hockey was the top story.  Guess I imagined a Canuck won a Gold medal.

Getting back into the swing of things after a couple of days away.  Hoping to keep putting a post each day during the games.