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Letter: While Canadian athletes go for gold, we need to be thinking about silver dollars

We need to ensure the growth of the Olympic program by generating significant funding
alannah yip uniform - credit Arctyrex - web
Alannah Yip sports the Olympic climbing uniform designed by North Vancouver outfitter Arc'teryx.

C’mon Canada, confess. How many of you are now getting up early morning and furtively searching your computer for the latest medal standings?

This group of athletes has generated national pride and patriotic fervor, and garnered more medals during the first four days of competition than any other Olympics team.

Nothing galvanizes a nation more than those shiny things. I am convinced that all Canadians recognize and applaud our Olympic athletes, who represent us with distinction.

Does our government recognize the spinoffs of Olympic success – national pride, athletes as role models, young people inspired to participate in sports, self-esteem and discipline for our children, and savings to our health-care spending?

Canada’s sports spending lags behind that of many western nations. A grant of $1,765 per month – and that is for elite athletes only – doesn’t cut it. Statistics reveal that 62 per cent of our summer athletes have net negative incomes. Many more athletes would be attracted to train if they were given enough to cover basic living expenses.

We need to ensure the growth of the Olympic program by generating significant funding. Anything less is an egregious error.

Barrie Street
North Vancouver

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