Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Should Canada pull out of the Olympics?

$772 million.

That's the figure that a Spanish University would estimate it cost Canadians to secure our fourteen 2010 Winter Olympic gold medals.

Even putting aside the dollars spent on hosting the Olympic games, $772 million is an awful lot of money to be spending on elite athletes.

I can't help but ponder the value of those Olympic golds to our country. Is there any? People may talk of inspiration, and even were it to be true that Canadians are inspired by excellence in sport, is there any evidence to suggest that inspiration translates into any sustainable action?

Somehow I doubt it.

What I don't doubt however is that our Olympics helped sell a lot of Coca Cola, and that Olympic heroes sell a lot of Wheaties, McDonald's and other less than ideal foods.

I think the concept of the Olympics is a beautiful one.

Unfortunately I think the execution these days not only wastes a tremendous amount of resources that could be used to improve the shape of society, it also helps fuel the success of those very industries that have helped lead to our healths' demise.

Makes me wonder, if we're talking about sport, what $772 million could do for everyday kids, rather than for our super-powered, temporary heroes?