Thursday, February 23, 2006

Olympic spirit (or lack thereof)

In a 2004 newsletter, olympian George Karrys talks about how great the Canadian Olympic Committee website is at helping athletes get jobs. Danielle Goyette, player on the gold medal winning Canadian Women's Hocky team, works a job at Home Depot along with fellow Olympian Steve Elms. They, like so many other Canadian olympians, work their asses off at one, two and even three jobs all while practicing their sport several hours a day. They do it with passion, desire, hope, love for their sport, and smiles, pure olympic spirit. It is what it is all about. And they are doing an amazing job, giving us our best Olympic results ever.

Then there is Canada's Men's Olympic Hockey team. Professional hockey players paid exorbitant salaries to play the game they work at full time. The guys who went on strike to make sure people didn't cap their ability to make oodles of money off the sport that is their job (their passion, I don't know). I would never fault anyone for losing as long as they tried their best, as long as they gave it their all but with the lot of them shifting around on the ice aimlessly and being shut out in three separate games, these guys deserve a good boot. It's not just that they lost, it's the pathetic display of sportmanship that I saw. It was the moping around talking about how much pressure was on them and how hard it was to have all that pressure, how jet-lagged they were, how lawsuits and gambling investigations were tough on their morale. Awwwwww. You are professional hocky players. Pressure is part of your job. You get paid richly for it. Shut up whining and say that you sucked and you need to try harder. Have some shred of the olympic spirit in you, for God's sake. To not do so is a disgrace to all the athletes who are doing this for the love of the sport and for the ability to represent our country and stand at the podium listening to the our Candian anthem. Anything less than that, especially when the practicing and playing comes so easy for you, is shameful.

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