Give us your thoughts on Canada's Olympics. What are your expectations?

Interviewed by Rex Murphy on the February 14, 2010 program

"Give us your thoughts on Canada's Olympics. What are your expectations?"

Part One:

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Part Two:

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  • Roger Jackson
    Own The Podium's Chief Executive Officer & Director, Winter Sport

  • Charles Hamelin
    Olympic Short Track Speed Skater from Lévis, Québec.

  • Ben Hebert
    Lead curler in the Canadian Men's Olympic Team from Regina.

  • Lucas Makowsky
    Olympic long-track speed skater.

  • Megan Imrie
    Biathlon athlete from Falcon Lake, Manitoba.

  • Peter Donnelly
    Director, Centre for Sport Policy Studies, University of Toronto.

Rex Murphy's introduction to the February 14, 2010 program:

"Give us your thoughts on Canada's Olympics. What are your expectations?"

Today we'd like to talk about the Olympics. The world's greatest winter sporting event is underway in Vancouver. It has been 22 years since the Winter Games were last in Canada (in Calgary).

Thousands of Canadians have been preparing for this for years to showcase Canada to the world.

It hasn't been without setbacks.

Just before the Games started a pall was cast over the anticipation and excitement after a young Georgian luge athlete was killed when he flew off the track during a practice run.

And, in downtown Vancouver yesterday, police broke up a crowd of about 200 black-clad protesters, who managed to break windows and generally intimidate people on the streets.

Nonetheless it's undeniable there's a touch of Olympic fever in the air --- the Olympics remain an event almost like no other for drawing the attention of much of the world, and setting the pulse of the "host nation" racing.

The expectation this time is high for Canada's athletes to come out on top in the overall medal count. It's a hope that Canada can break with its past record ...the distinction of being the only host country to never have won a gold medal at home. And we've been working at it.

For five years now, government and business have put roughly $120-million dollars into a program called 'Own The Podium.' It's designed to ensure that the best trainers, coaches and equipment are made available to young Canadians who have a chance to win Olympic medals.

Some have said there is a new swagger to Canada's approach to the Olympics. Have you noticed it? What do you think?

How do you think Vancouver has prepared to meet the world at these Olympics? And what are your expectations for the athletes?

The Olympics are underway - are you caught up in the moment?

Give us your thoughts on Canada's Olympics. Has Canada done a good job in preparing to host this world event ...and, what are your expectations for the coming days?

I'm Rex Murphy ...on CBC Radio One ...and on Sirius satellite radio channel 137 ...this is Cross Country Checkup.

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