Chandra Crawford won a gold medal for Canada today in sprint cross-country skiing. Beckie Scott, who it seems is not that good really, as she only wins in the courtroom, not on the snow, finished fourth. Fourth again for Canada!
When the Canadians are not busy finishing fourth, sometimes they do actually win medals. The catch seems to be that we get our medals in events that are what they call "new." Which probably means that Canada invented them, or at least tried to convince the Olympics people to put them in, so we could look good at something. I wonder if in Vancouver in 2010 there will be a touque knitting event (judged, of course) for Canadians to win? Criminey!
I actually did some research on this-called up my friend Ronnie. Works at CBC. He's a bit of a lefty, but he's a good man. Anyway, he said that since 1992 Canada has won 34 medals in new Olympic events. That's summer and winter. I didn't know we'd even won that many medals total!
Let's look at some of these events. Today Canada won a gold medal in cross-country sprint. It looked like it was taking those people about two minutes to finish the course. Maybe it's just me, but I thought cross-country was supposed to be a long-distance event. I mean, it's not like running, where sprinting and long-distance are both somewhat useful or applicable skills. When do you ever have to sprint on cross-country skis? To get away from a bear, maybe, but that's what guns are for. Like the biathlon.
Snowboarding is also new. They are adding new events each time. First it was slalom, which is perhaps reasonable as it is kind of like skiing, but then they get doing all those tricks, and it gets kind of silly. Snowboard cross, a four-person snowboard race is an exciting event, but the reason Canada does well (a 5th and a bronze in Turin) is because the rest of the countries, traditional skiing countries like Austria and Germany clearly don't take it as seriously as they do skiing.
How about skeleton? Canada won three of the six medals they had up fer grabs (and, you guessed it, had another fourth place, too!). Why? Because Germany is thinking: what is wrong with regular luge, or bobsled? Why do those Canadians have to invent sports to be good at?
I suppose there is no need to have the women's hockey debate again, but even after the Swedish miracle, there are only three teams that have a chance to win a medal. A bit of a gimmie there, no?
When short-track speed-skating gets the ice back from the annoying figure skaters, Canada will probably do well there, too. Canada already got medals in the short-track relay. We won a medal in the long-track pursuit team race, another silly sort of race-three people go at once, and they have to all finish together.
Like I said, I'm happy to see Canada winning medals, for sure. But it feels kinda cheap. It's sort of like inventing a game, then teaching someone else the rules so you have someone to beat, then proclaiming yourself the world champion. Actually, it's a lot like that.
Boy, are these Games over yet?
Donald S. Thompson