Did Own The Podium's $106M investment pay off?
Money helped rowers, paddlers secure medals
Last Updated: August 13, 2012
Over the past three years, Canada's Own The Podium program has divvied up a total of $106,303,660 earmarked for our summer Olympians. Each sport received a different cut determined by medal probabilities. The funding - the bulk of which comes from the federal government - is used for coaching, training facilities, equipment, and other costs. The ultimate goal: increase Canada's total medal haul.
Canada's rowing teams received the largest investment at $16.1 million from 2009 to 2013. In London, Canada's men's and women's teams captured two silver medals. By comparison, the weightlifting program received a modest $180,000 over the same time period. Canada's Christine Girard took bronze in the 63-kg event.
Hover over the bar chart below to see the funding amounts for each sport.
Mouse over the medals to read more about each win and Own The Podium's investment.
Men's Kayak Single 200m
Canadian kayaker Mark de Jonge won bronze in the K-1 200-metre race on Aug. 11.
Ed McKeever of the United Kingdom and Saul Craviotto River of Spain captured gold and silver respectively.
"It was a good race," he said. "It was not my perfect race, but I am so happy to get a medal."
Open-water 10 km marathon
Canada's Richard Weinburger swam to a third-place finish in the open-water 10k marathon swim on Aug. 10.
He became the first Canadian to win an open-water swimming medal. The sport was first included in the Olympics in 2008.
Own the Podium provided Swimming Canada with $2,995,000 for the 2012-2013 season. More than half of that total went towards funding the national team. The rest funded science and sports medicine, coaching and administration.
Three-time Olympian Tonya Verbeek won silver in the women's 55-kg women's freestyle match on Aug. 9.
Verbeek, 35, was defeated by gold medallist Saori Yoshida of Japan.
"I promised myself before this competition that I was going to enjoy myself and I feel I did that today," Verbeek said.
The Ontario athlete said she plans to retire after the world championships in September.
The Canadian women's soccer team defeated France to take the bronze medal in added time on Aug. 9.
"We felt as a group that we were going to earn this and we did, in the last minute," said Diana Matheson, who scored the winning goal.
Earlier in the tournament, Canada lost 4-3 in a semi-final match against the U.S. The Canadians complained about a two controversial penalties.
Own the Podium money was used to hire coaches and sports scientists. New GPS and heart rate monitoring technology was also introduced into the sports programs.
Canada's women's eight team captured silver at the Olympic rowing regatta on Aug. 2. The favoured Americans claimed gold and the Dutch took bronze.
"We gave it our all, no regrets," said Lauren Wilkinson following the race. "Fuel to the fire for 2016."
The Canadian team includes coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie and crew Natalie Mastracci, Ashley Brzozowicz, Janine Hanson, Krista Guloien, Darcy Marquardt, Andreanne Morin, Rachelle Viinberg and Wilkinson.
Own The Podium has provided support for Canada's national training centres at Elk Lake, B.C., and Lake Fanshawe in London, Ont. Other OTP contributions include sports science and sports medicine personnel and funding for warm-weather training camps in Florida and California.
The Canadian men's eight rowed to a finish of 5:49.98, trailing Germany's time of 5:48.75 on Aug. 1. Great Britain claimed bronze.
Canada claimed gold at the 2008 Beijing Games but could not hold back the powerhouse Germans at London's Eton Dorney.
"The Germans are the cream of the crop and we didn't want to get fazed by their speed," said Robert Gibson in a release. "We did everything."
The Canadian crew included Gibson, Andrew Byrnes, Malcolm Howard, Will Crothers, Jeremiah Brown, Conlin McCabe, Doug Csima, Gabe Bergen and coxswain Brian Price.
Women's Synchronized 3M Springboard
Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel won Canada's first medal of the London Olympics, claiming bronze in the synchronized three-metre springboard event. China's Minxia Wu and He Zi won gold while Americans Kelci Bryant and Abigail Johnston took silver.
With her win, Heymans became the first female diver to win medals in four consecutive Olympic Games.
ìItís really great. And I hope itís going to inspire the other athletes to do well and to do their best over the next two weeks,î Heymans said.
The Own The Podium program, which identified Heymans and Abel as potential medal athletes, provides support for coaching salaries and diving clubs.
Women's Synchronized 10m Platform
Divers Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won bronze in the 10-metre synchronized event on July 31. China and Mexico took gold and silver respectively.
Benfeito and Filion finished seventh in this event at the Beijing Olympics.
"We gave it all we had and we came away with a bronze medal," Benfeito said. "We're pretty happy with that."
Own The Podium named both Benefeito and Filion as potential medallists.
Wrestling - Women's 48-kg
Carol Huynh defeated Senegal's Isabelle Sambou to take bronze in the women's 48-kg wrestling event on Aug. 9.
"At the end of that match, I was feeling elated that I'd won another medal for Canada but, at the same time, I wanted to go out with a little more flair," said Huynh, who won gold at the Beijing Olympics.
Own The Podium has provided funding for training camps and competitions, personalized training programs and coaching.
Men's Kayak Single K-1 1,000m
Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden took silver in the men's K-1 1,000m event with a time of 3:27.170, trailing Norway's Eirik Veras Larsen who paddled to a time of 3:26.462.
"Everybody is out there trying to win the race and I feel like my race plan went well," said van Koeverden. "I was looking for a good finish. I can find the silver lining in silver."
Van Koeverden has collected a total of four Olympic medals, taking gold and bronze in Athens and silver in Beijing.
Own the Podium provided funding for a warm weather training base in Florida during the winter months. It has also provided support for video equipment and racing gear.
Men's Canoe C-1 1,000m
Mark Oldershaw won bronze in the men's C-1 1,000m canoe final at Eton Dorney on Aug. 8. Germany's Sebastian Brendel took gold ahead of Spain's David Cal-Figeroa.
Oldershaw, whose father and grandfather competed at earlier Olympics, is the first in his family to reach the podium.
"I'm so happy to be a Canadian and to be an Oldershaw. To represent both is a great feeling."
Canada's Rosannagh MacLennan took home the country's first gold medal of the London games after finishing first in women's trampoline. Chinese gymnasts Huang Shanshan and He Wenna won the silver and bronze.
MacLennan's final score was 57.305, ahead of Huang's 56.730 and He's 55.950.
"It's the biggest score that I've ever gotten and I knew that it would be a tough one to catch," MacLennan said.
The gold was MacLennan's first Olympic medal. Her teammate Karen Cockburn finished fourth.
Own The Podium named MacLennan, Cockburn and teammate Jason Burnett as potential medallists.
Men's high jump
Canada's Derek Drouin was part of a three-way tie for third place in the men's high jump event on Aug. 7.
Drouin shared the bronze medal with Qatar's Essa Barshm and Great Britain's Robet Grabarz after they each completed jumps of 2.29 metres.
Russian's Ivan Ukhov won the event, with Erik Kynard of the United States nabbing the silver.
Own the Podium poured more than $2.7 million into athletics, which includes high jumping, for the 2012-13 season.
Men's 1,500m Freestyle
Canadian Ryan Cochrane netted a silver medal in the men's 1,500m freestyle on Aug. 4. China's Sun Yang took the gold, while Tunisian Oussama Mellouli won bronze.
Cochrane's second-place performance, with a time of 14:39.63, was a personal best.
"It's a double-edge sword because I wanted to be vying for that world record," said Cochrane. "I wanted to be five seconds faster. I think I did underestimate how hard the mental side of this meet would be."
Own The Podium named Cochrane, along with teammate Brent Hayden, to be potential medallists. OTP has provided funding for the national swimming centres across the country. It has also provided funding for training camps, technical support staff and sports science staff.
Men's 100m Freestyle
Canada's Brent Hayden nabbed the bronze medal in the men's 100m freestyle final on Aug. 1. Nathan Adrian of the United States won the gold, while Australian James Magnussen took silver.
Hayden finished the race in 47.80 seconds -- just tenths of a second behind Adrian and Magnussen at 47.52 and 47.53.
Hayden's bronze came four years after a tactical mistake cost him a place in the 100m freestyle final in Beijing in 2008.
Own The Podium named Hayden a potential medallist.
Women's Team Pursuit
Canadians Tara Whitten, Gillian Carleton and Jasmin Glaesser claimed bronze in the women's team pursuit event on Aug. 4.
Great Britain and the U.S. claimed gold and silver respectively.
"We know they start off fast but we knew it was going to come down to the last lap," Glaesser said. "It was a challenge but we were 100 per cent committed to do our best."
Antoine Valois-Fortier of Quebec City defeated American Travis Stevens to claim bronze in the men's 81-kg judo event on July 31.
"It was tough mentally but the whole team supported me and I managed to pull myself together," the 22-year-old athlete said. "I wanted it really bad, it's what I work for every day."
Own The Podium provides support for Canada's National Team Training Centre in Montreal. Judo Canada has also used OTP funding to hire a full-time physiotherapist.
Christine Girard of White Rock, B.C. won bronze in the women's 63-kg weightlifting event on July 31. Kazakhstan's Maiya Maneza took gold ahead of Russia's Svetlana Tsarukaeva.
Girard, who finished fourth at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing,lifted a total of 236 kg in London.
"Four years ago in Beijing I came fourth and since then I have spent the past four years training through injuries and various changes in my life to get to this moment," she said.