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Canadians shouldn't 'throw in the towel': COC head

The head of the Canadian Olympic Committee says Canadians who are upset with their country's lack of medal production at the Beijing Games should calm down and relax.

Chris Rudge addresses CBC readers' frustration over lack of Canadian medals

The head of the Canadian Olympic Committee says Canadians who are upset with their country's lack of medal production at the Beijing Games should calm down and relax.

The fact Canadians haven't won a medal in the pool has sparked a heated debate among readers of CBC.ca/olympics who are frustrated that Canada has been shut out so far in the Games that are now in Day 5.  

Chris Rudge, chief executive officer of the COC, told CBC's Heather Hiscox in China that "this is the time to support the athletes who are there."

He says that after the Games are over, Aug. 24, that all aspects of the entire Canadian contingent's performance will be examined.

One CBC reader wrote "we are on the road to mediocrity," while another said "[it's] sad when you see these third world Countries at least winning a medal or two and a rich, large country like Canada has won 'squat.'"

Rudge says more money is coming into the system in the next few months. He also wishes Canadians would be more vocal about the Olympic team when the Games aren't being held.  He says that would help create the atmosphere needed to generate more funds.

Before the Games, the COC predicted Canada would be in the top 16 for medals. He stands by that prediction, and says "you don't throw in the towel yet."

Silken Laumann, who won three Olympic medals in rowing for Canada, appreciates how fans feel, but she also echoed Rudge's sentiment about getting behind the Canadian athletes competing in China.

"Canadians are expecting medals, we like to know we're doing as well as countries like Australia, but I think we need to take a step back," Laumann told CBC Newsworld.

"For instance, looking at what's going on in the pool, sure we haven't won a medal yet, but there are a lot of our swimmers who have set Canadian records, who have had personal-best performances, and that's worth something, and I think we should be proud of how our athletes are doing."