No Games to play
Once-dominant Ontario is fading as a source of Canadian Olympians. High-level training facilities have gone to other provinces that have hosted major international Games. The Pan Am Games bid hopes to change that.
May 17, 2008
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 17, 2008)
Ontario's steady decline as a source of elite Canadian athletes has seemed in danger of becoming a free fall.
The province that is home to almost 40 per cent of Canadians once contributed half of our Winter Olympics athletes and more than a third of those at Summer Games.
With participation dropping to almost a fifth in recent Games, the alarm bells finally rang at the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Hamilton's Colin Jenkins enjoys that pride and assistance first hand as a member of Canada's men's triathlon team.
"It seems that half the athletes I bump into here are from Ontario," the Olympic candidate says.
He lists the advantages of training that are a legacy of the 1994 Games.
"There's the facilities, especially the pool for us, there's help with housing through individuals or corporations and discounts at a grocery chain. And there's low-cost medical insurance, which covers the therapy, massage and chiropractic we need."
Most of all, all the best athletes gravitate there, from rowers to cyclists, he points out.
The weather is obviously a big attraction as it permits year-round training, but Jenkins said it would be nice to spend some of the year in Ontario if the day-to-day competition warranted it.
More at the The Hamilton Spectator