Canada down in World Cup medal count
There are 11 days left until the single greatest tournament in the history of the world, to ever happen in Vancouver, begins.
The countdown officially started on Feb. 12, 2007, when the Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock — designed by Omega, "official timekeeper of the 2010 Games," and maker of watches you can't afford since 1848 — started ticking down the days to the Winter Games.
And here we are, merely 11 days from Olympic glory.
Canada is ready. Our hands are toasty in red Olympic mitts. Donald Sutherland's husky bass has encouraged us to "believe." We have five-time Olympic medallist, cyclist/speedskater Clara Hughes carrying our flag. Even the federal government has taken time off to reflect on the importance of the coming days.
Canada's athletic programs have benefited from the $110 million by Own The Podium, a Canadian Olympic Committee initiative, and now we are ready to do just that.
Or are we? Last year, according to Own The Podium, Canada won 157 World Cup medals in Winter Olympic sports — 33 more than this year (albeit, some World Cup events continue beyond the Olympics, so that tally will rise).
In the overall medal count, an indicator of potential Olympic success, Canada sits second overall to Germany.
In the last week, the Germans added nine medals to their total, to finish the month at 180.
Canada added one—a great effort by snowboarder Marc McMorris, who won the first-ever slopestyles finals in the history of the FIS snowboard World Cup. Slopestyles is a freestyle event, in which snowboarders are given points for doing tricks on jumps, rails and boxes. However, it's not an Olympic event.
We sit at 124, and will likely stay there with only a cross country World Cup event left before the Olympics.
The United States closed the gap on us by adding five World Cup medals to their total over past week, courtesy of Lindsey Vonn and the U.S. alpine ski team. They sit at 121 medals.
It's important to note Canadian men swept the skicross podium at the Winter X-Games over the weekend, with Chris Del Bosco, Dave Duncan and Brady Leman winning gold, silver and bronze, respectively. On the women's side, Ashleigh McIvor took silver and Kelsey Serwa took bronze for Canada.
So add asterisks to Canada's World Cup total, and have no fear. Before the month is through, our Olympic dreams will be realized. If not, at least you have a nice pair of red mittens.
Either way, the test is yet to come.
World Cup medal count as of Feb. 1.