I know I've missed the boat on the 2004 Olympics, and nobody in Canada cares any more ... but I have some things that I still need to get off my chest (even if nobody's reading).
Today's topic: maybe the Canadian sports "system" isn't to blame for everything.
Canadian sports fans are well aware that Canada won "only" twelve medals in Athens. There's been a lot written about this subject, some pretty insightful and some just stupid. I have quite a few thoughts about this myself. I'll present one of those today.
As noted, it is "common knowledge" that Canada had a very poor performance at the Athens Olympics. In fact, however, if we measure success by top 8 or top 12 finishes, the 2004 Olympics were Canada's best Games ever. So, why so few medals? A lot of people would see the low total as an indictment of Canada's whole approach to sports. But maybe it only means that some of our very best athletes failed to perform to their abilities.
Canada's World Champions in Athens
Two silvers from six world champions seems like a poor payoff to me. Add two more medals from this group, and Canada would have matched the overall performance in Sydney. And this is one area where I don't see how you can blame the national sports program. It has to come down to individual athletes or teams, and their coaches.