NY Times: Canada Protects Home Advantage at Olympics

September 23, 2009

So over the last few days, there has been a bit of a ongoing story regarding Canada’s approach to training access for foreign athletes at the 2010 venues. Other countries, the USA in particular, are upset that Canada hasn’t been allowing them extra time on the rink, or extra runs down the track, as we apparently have in the past

The New York Times has jumped on this bandwagon today: Full Article

Quite a few terms have been applied to this behaviour, including ‘unsportsmanlike’ and ‘un-Canadian’.

Well…not that my opinion matters, but if being called ‘un-Canadian’ means that we maintain the homefield advantages that hosting the Olympics are supposed to bring; then I’m all for it. As long as we are meeting the minimum access requirements as outlined in existing agreements, I see no reason why we should have to go ‘above and beyond’ and provide extra access.

One of the main advantages and points of hosting the games is the opportunity to be familiar with the venues, to play in front of hometown fans, and to use parlay those advantages into medals. Don’t think that there is an advantage worth protecting? Look at the medal total history of the USA since 1964.

As you’ll notice, there are two local maxima on this graph. You’ll also notice that those two maxima curiously correspond with the two years where the USA was the host nation. Especially striking is the jump from ’98 – Nagano to ’02 Salt Lake City, which saw the States increase their total from 13 medals to 34. That’s quite a jump.

Canada is coming of a strong showing of 24 medals in Torino. How much of a boost will playing at home provide to that total?


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This blog is the online chronicle of our adventures leading up to, and including, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope to give you a little insight into what went into planning our trip and a first hand look at the Games from the ground in Vancouver.

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