Thursday, September 4, 2008

Olympic #5: Green

re-ward: (noun) something given or received in return or recompense for service, merit, hardship, etc.

Yes, I know at the end of my last post I said this would be the "white" entry on the Olympics, but then I remembered that the last colour is green, not white, as white in the background of the flag. So I'm a bit of an idiot. I'm okay with that.

But back to green and - what else? - money. I'm not going to post about funding for amateur athletics, because I did touch on that in the "red" entry and because there's not much to say other than Canada needs to give more money. I'd rather talk about the financial compensation the individual athletes receive when they win a medal.

The Beijing Olympics marked the first Games where Canada gave money to its medaling athletes. Other countries are already doing this and Canada comes close to what some are offering, there are some countries that are giving a lot more. I think it's great that Canada is giving monetary rewards to the athletes that win medals and I hope, as a country, we're able to keep it up.

What makes me wonder - and worry - is whether pro athletes who compete in the Olympics also get moolah if they medal. For example, in Vancouver in 2010, let's just say, for instance, that Canada's men's hockey team had a chance to win a gold medal. Not that crazy. But that team will be made up entirely of NHL players. Top-notch NHL players. Multi-million-dollar-contract NHL players. Now, I don't think pro athletes should be in any amateur sporting event ever (but that's for another post) but I know Canada will send NHLers to Vancouver - as will every other hockey nation with NHL players to send. I'll be watching with interest to see what they do with their medal money. Of course, I cannot fathom that anything other than donations to charity will occur...right?

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