This quote says it all,
Australia, primarily a summer-sport country, has a budget of about $250 million for sport, said Baumann. The Aussies – with 20 medals after seven days – are worried about their count here, however, and are saying they’ll need another $200 million to keep them among the world’s elite, he added.
Â $450 million a year gets you what exactly.Â The warm fuzzies every two years when your athletes play theirathletes.Â Is being a leader in the medal count so important that it is worth $450 million?
Of course you know that I am long time fan of sports.Â I played soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, rugby, and football competitively and that in spite of the fact that I am a pretty poor athlete in almost all of those areas.Â Everyone in my family and extended family played organized sports.Â I think sports is really important to communities and those hockey arenas, curling rinks, soccer pitches cost money and I think it is a good investment.Â It is good for the kids and it is a good for the neighborhood ties it creates.Â I think from areas like crime reduction to increased health of a population, it is important.Â
What I can’t see as being important is every two years hearing the COC saying that the government needs to spend more on funding for amateur sport and then point to Australia as the reason.Â If the Australians want to be the New York Yankees of the IOC, that is their prerogative.Â There is a reason why the COC can’t attract more sponsorship money from the private sector, Canadian don’t really care that much outside of the two weeks every two years and in reality, it is only two weeks every four years that we really care about and that is hockey and the sport which we are mocked around the world for, curling.Â Could it be that maybe the reason we don’t excel at a lot of Olympic sports is that outside of a tiny isolated community of athletes, no one really cares about them.
The more I follow the IOC and the COC, the more I realize that it is a pretty big echo chamberÂ and this is the time of the year where those echos escape out of the boardroom unchallenged.