Monday, February 15, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
Special Edition of The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti
Anna Maria Tremonti will be hosting from Vancouver this week.
It's Monday, February 15th.
Canadian skating officials are down-playing the idea of an anti-European bias among Olympic judges.
Currently, Although they have agreed to drop Don Cherry from the list.
This is The Current.
Jennifer Heil Profile
To get to where they are today, Olympic athletes have devoted years of their lives to the kind of intense, grueling training that few of us could fathom. They have made huge personal sacrifices, spent substantial amounts of money, and put other parts of their life on hold. All of that - in preparation for what is often their one and only shot at a medal - a moment that is measured in fractions of a second - and can be over and done with in less than a minute. That moment can bring a phenomenal amount of pressure.
And it's why, for competitors, the mental preparation becomes a feat of its own.
Peter Jensen is a pioneer in the world of Canadian sports psychology. He has been working with Canadian athletes since the Calgary Olympics in 1988. And he was in Vancouver as the Mental Trainer for the Canadian Women's Hockey Team.
Steve Podborski is best known as one of the Crazy Canucks. He is an Olympic medalist in alpine skiing. He's now an Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada. He was in Whistler for the show.
Listen to Part Two:
From the opening ceremonies, to the medals, from the torch relay to a high profile pavilion - these Olympic Games have a distinctive aboriginal brand.
And for the first time in the history of the games the participation of indigenous people goes beyond 'drums and feathers'. Most of the Olympic playing field is on the traditional lands of the Lil'Wat, Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh.
Together they make up the Four Host Nations Society. This society is an official partner with the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee in the hosting of the games.
Opposing the Partnership
That partnership - which was a featured component going back to the bid process for the games - has generated millions of legacy dollars for the four bands. But not everyone in the aboriginal community is happy with this arrangement. Those opposed, see the Vancouver Olympics as a waste of money and resources that could have been better spent on serious issues facing aboriginal people in this country.
We talked to Leah George Wilson. George Wilson is a former elected chief with the Tsleil-Waututh in North Vancouver and she is on the board with the Four Host First Nations.
Missing Aboriginal Presence
While the face of these Olympics may have a distinct aboriginal brand, the one place where an aboriginal presence is missing is on the slopes and ice rinks.
Canada's Olympic team has only one aboriginal athlete. She is snowboarder Caroline Calvé from Quebec. If the team was to truly reflect the face of Canada - where close to 4 per cent of the population identify as aboriginal - then we should have 7 or 8 aboriginal athletes on the 200+ Canadian team.
Waneek Horn-Miller is one of a handful of aboriginal athletes who has competed in an Olympics. She is in Vancouver doing hosting duties for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and is the Co-ordinator of the First Peoples' House at Mcgill University.
Listen to Part Three: