Canada's sports system received a $20-million boost in Wednesday's federal budget, but it was only one-third the amount Canadian Olympic athletes and administrators wanted.
They were asking for $60 million to finance their strategy to make Canada the top medal-winning country at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
In his 2005 budget, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale set aside $15 million per year to provide the coaching and equipment for the country's elite athletes. The budget allotted an additional $5 million a year for sport participation activities at the community level.
"In 2010, the eyes of the world will be on Canada," said the budget document.
"The Games will inspire Canadian pride and achievement â and provide an opportunity to encourage participation in sport by Canadians at the highest level and in communities."
Sports officials had been asking for an additional $60 million in funding to help avoid a repeat of the disappointing results from last year's Olympics.
Canada finished the 2004 Athens Games with 12 medals, the country's worst Olympic performance since the 1988 Games in Seoul where it won 10 medals.
Though the government claims that the new funding in the budget doubles its commitment to the sport system â from $70 million in 2004-2005 to $140 million in 2005-2006 â the higher amount is actually a mix of old and new funding, and includes about $50 million earmarked last year and not part of Sport Canada's base funding.
The federal minister responsible for sports, Steven Owen, has recognized that funding is an essential part of determining how well a country does in international sports.
Canada is the only host country never to win a gold medal, having failed to do so in 1976 (Montreal) and 1988 (Calgary.)
It hopes to end that drought at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, to be held in Vancouver and Whistler, and improve on the dozen medals won at last summer's Athens Olympics.
The Canadian Olympic Committee has set a target of 35 medals for 2010.
As part of its commitment to the Vancouver Games, the budget also set aside an additional $87 million over the next seven years, including an extra $20 million for the Paralypmic Games, to make sure the Vancouver Games are ready.
This funding is in addition to the $410 million the government has already allotted to help build the venues, as well as security and policing at the Games.