I want to elaborate more on Question 3 from Friday’s Interview with Doug Logan.
There’s a famous quote: "No
taxation Olympics without representation"
The Olympics should be about representation! Not just the medals.
But the average TV audience views the Olympics as entertainment, not sports.
So you are probably familiar with this chart, which is what you saw during the TV 2012 Olympic coverage:
Image source: www.london2012.com/athletics/medals/medal-standings/
Click on the image for the full listing…
Where is Canada?
Canada sits at 33rd, tied for LAST PLACE for that lone bronze medal (Thank you high jumper Derek Drouin for not embarrassing ourselves). In fact, that’s what happened in Beijing 2008 with a lone bronze medal from Priscilla Lopes-Schliep’s 100mH.
“Own The Podium”?
We spent how much on the OTP program?
Ha! Let’s call it “Rent The Podium”
You see, most often you care only for the medal count.
But what is also important is scoring the top 8 finalists for some sort of “representation” (some people think it should be top 16, or perhaps it should be all entrants with the IAAF “A” or “B” standard, including the preliminary rounds of the 100 meters.
A lot of countries determine the size of their Olympic team based on the athlete’s chances to medal, the chances for a top 8 finish, or the chances for a top 16 semi-finals finish.
In a perfect world, like the USA, top 3 from the Trials should go to the Olympics providing you have the minimum IAAF standard (3 with A or 1 with B)
The sprint relays have already started this “elitism”.
The 4×100 and 4x400m relays are already top 16 based on the best aggregate time from 2 permit meets. There is a good reason for this, and that is for the live TV audience. 2 heats then finals, and that’s it.
Determining Top 8 Performances
A big thank you goes out to Frank Dick at the Global Coaches House for the data below.
In the charts below, we use a 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points for finishing 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 respectively. (unlike the 10-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 in College meets)
Looking at the charts, Canada scored 22 points, compared to Canada’s 23 points in 2008 and 9.5 points in 2004. (A DNF by Perdita Felicien didn’t help the points in Athens)
But what is more alarming is the improvement by Germany and China.
They scored more points in 2012 than 2004 and 2008 combined!
What are they doing in their National program?
“Buy in” from the federation?
Secret magic workouts?
I personally think we need to rethink our grassroots attitude and current coaching system if we are ever going to match the same levels as other countries. The more athletes you have participating in athletics, the better chance you’ll have in finding the ones with the genetic predisposition to speed, power and strength events (which is 90% of a Decathlon, right?)
If you have better ideas, or know what other countries are going, especially Germany and China, please comment below.
Another interesting article, thank you.
I am a Masters Sprinter in Ontario, Canada.
One of the places I train is the Toronto Track and Field Centre-
a great facility, reasonably priced…… BUT..
NOT OPEN ON SUNDAYS!!!
It doesn’t matter to me that much, but surely must make winter and summer training difficult for lots of the up and coming athletes-
talk about failing to encourage grassroots participation!!
The beautiful outdoor track at University of Toronto is even more difficult to get at.
Jimson Lee says
@steve, don’t get me started… when I was at McGill, the closest indoor track was an hour away at Centre Claude Robillard. Not to mention Metro/bus strikes, and closures from the city (due to strikes, holidays, etc)… and all the jerks and joggers who claimed Lane 1.