Tag Archives: Own the Podium Campaign

XVIII Pan Am Games: A world away


Do you remember the Pan-American Games in 2015 in Toronto? It was a festival of sport and friendship of more than 6,000 young athletes from the Americas with venues throughout Southern Ontario. To raise the army of volunteers needed for various tasks, more than 60,000 people came forward to be selected, and of these only a third were chosen. Canada organized a delegation of its top athletes, who finished second in the medal standing. The Rogers Centre was packed for the closing ceremonies. The hosts built more than ten new facilities and 15 others were remodelled, to inspire the crowds that filled them. The privately-owned Hamilton Tiger Cats even finally walked away with a new stadium paid for by public tax dollars and renamed after some coffee chain owned in Brazil. Continue reading


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2018 World Cup: British über alles – great nation chauvinism

Panama’s Felipe Baloy exploits an English defensive mix-up and slides the ball into the corner for a historic goal.


England humiliated “little Panama” 6-1 on Sunday in Nizhny Novgorod. One newspaper (the Herald Sun) called its team a “fraud.” The TV broadcasters and the four members of the TSN “World Cup Panel” – all British, two from Yorkshire – oohed and awed over the superior English performance. The London Guardian unashamedly rejoiced: “Panama hammered by England in World Cup walkover.” The Independent screamed that the great power “can go all the way” and win the World Cup. A Guardian photo spread selectively featured four shots of Panama players “manhandling” and “bear hugging” the innocent and virtuous Englishmen, the so-called inventors of the game. This from a country where UK Sport was forced to conduct in 2017 a “root and branch review” of its policies following reports of a culture of fear in organisations as diverse as British Cycling, British Swimming, British Bobsleigh and British Gymnastics. This hubris and the whole concept of “hammering” and a “rout” by a great power over a small nation completely negates the modern spirit of friendship, respect and appreciation of all peoples and their right to be. It is British über alles of the imperialist era. Continue reading


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Olympics: State-organized talent theft and mercantilism

Qatar's Marko Bagaric, left, tries to score past France's Ludovic Fabregas during the men's preliminary handball match between France and Qatar at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro | Ben Curtis/AP

Qatar’s Marko Bagaric from Bulgaria, left, tries to score past France’s Ludovic Fabregas during the men’s preliminary handball match between France and Qatar at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro | Ben Curtis/AP

August 10, updated August 19, 2016

Of the some 11,000 athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, an unknown number are competing for medal-hungry countries that are not their birth nation. At least 23 of Qatar’s 39 member team at Rio were born outside of Qatar and transplanted – recruited in many cases with the offer of financial inducements. The Canadian Olympic team also features a number of plastic or transfer athletes recruited through the “Own The Podium” program of private big capital for support and funding on the basis that they are “winners” and “America’s best who happen to have some kind of Canadian connection.” Such developments, all in the name of high ideals, should be of concern to Canadians.

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Sochi 2014: ‘Chokers’?

It is tragic to hear incredibly talented youth who have given their all speak of how they have let down their country if they finished a fraction of a second or a few points behind those who won a medal. In a post-skate interview, figure skater Patrick Chan was forced to say he apologized – twice – “to the Canadian people for letting them down.” A chart was repeatedly shown depicting Canadian figure skaters who held the World Championship but filed to win Olympic gold in the same year. This impression given is that there were “chokers.” Chan did make some mistakes but Moir and Virtue did not, yet still received a silver. What happened to the idea that participating in the Olympics is itself a huge achievement. How could any of the athletes be considered “losers” or “chokers”? Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: Respect for one’s opponent in sport (2)

juegos-olimpicos-de-Invierno-2014Mike Babcock’s rant: “And the other thing that happens for the NHL player, and probably for you in the media, is the respect you have for the opposition.” Welcome to the G-20 Winter Games and the Harper agenda for a “new patriotism.” | TONY SEED* Continue reading

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London 2012: Locked out Quebec workers demonstrate to get Rio Tinto off Olympic podium

ON MAY 24 more than one hundred locked-out Rio Tinto workers from Alma, Quebec, demonstrated in front of the Quebec City Convention Centre as part of the Off the Podium Campaign to demand that Rio Tinto be withdrawn from the sponsors of the upcoming London Olympics and not be allowed to produce the Olympic medals. The demonstration was held as the International Olympic Committee was meeting in Quebec City in preparation for the Olympics. Continue reading


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Own the Podium – a negation of the spirit of friendship and solidarity

Vancouver, February 12, 2010: Mass demonstration at opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. (Photo: kk+ — Flickr)

By PEGGY MORTON, TML Daily, February 27, 2010

MANY people are asking why Canada came into these games with the slogan “own the podium.” Why is this put as the aim of the games and the measure of success or failure? After all, Canada’s population is only 33 million, while the U.S. has almost ten times that number of people, the Russian Federation more than four times our population. Germany has more than 81 million people while China’s population is more than one billion greater than that of Canada. Continue reading


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The other side of the medal

Letters to the Editor, TML Daily, 27 February, 2010

(Photos: kk+ — Flickr)

OLYMPIC gold, silver and bronze don’t come cheap for Canadians. Four-in-five respondents to a poll in British Columbia believe the games are being staged for the benefit of politicians and the elites, an online survey of a representative sample of 493 adult Canadians revealed. “Residents of the Winter Olympics host city are concerned about cost overruns and feel that the event is being staged for the benefit of politicians and the elites,” the Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found. Continue reading

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VANOC: Own the hokum

Never mind the money, the greed, the lies, the censorship – the most offensive aspect of the Vancouver Winter Olympics is the profound lack of sportsmanship Canada is displaying to the whole world. BRIAN JONES*, The Telegram

(February 19, 2010) – In Olympia, Greece, you can walk onto the field where – long before the era of corporate sponsorships and high-tech cheating – races were held during the original, ancient Olympics. Continue reading

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Canada group makes medals its business


(February 12, 2010) – Canada’s drive to win Olympic gold at home, a goal that eluded it in two prior Games, has a secret weapon this time.

It is a reclusive group of business leaders that provides a select group of Olympic hopefuls with special assistance, from the latest equipment to sports psychologists. B2ten it is called. Continue reading


Filed under Olympics – Vancouver