A brief look at the so-called, “Road to the Rings,” gives just one more indication of the way all things Olympic are suborned to cash.
Some wonder how it is possible that besting everybody else in the country to become the top team in Canada – the Brier National Champion or the Scotties National Champion – is not enough to qualify a rink to at least play for the chance to be, “Team Canada,” at the Olympic Games.
Even the official Team Canada, named as such for winning the National Women’s championship, is not guaranteed a chance to become Team Canada at the Games.
Wonder no more. It is because the national curling association, Curl Canada, has simply given control of its entire agenda to the, “pros,” – those who earn their entire living curling, including some who receive taxpayer funding as elite athletes.
It came down this year to the point where the current national men’s champion scraped into a berth in the Canadian Olympic Trials on the last possible day to do so.
That is just wrong, and those who run the Olympic program – lap dogs of one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet – are to blame.
Were it up to me, the reigning national champions would automatically be the country’s Olympic representative (we are going to send somebody, though more and more Canadian, believe the IOC should be consigned to the scrap heap of historic boondoggles) so we should make it simple, and supportable for its fairness.
It isn’t about objecting to curlers making money. It is about the unfairness of a system which is dominated only by money and money-grubbing.
Points towards the trials are accrued, like Air Miles, on the basis of money from the hundreds of cash spiels held around the country.
That means it is far easier and less costly for teams from metropolitan curling areas like Toronto, the large prairie cities, the Okanagan and lower mainland, to amass said points.
The current men’s champion rink is from Northern Ontario. There are few close big-ticket events for teams from that area and even with support from taxpayers and sponsors it must be difficult to navigate the distances from their home to the big events anywhere else.
Teams from the hot spots, of course, can comfortably drive to most in their regions, needing only to fly to some of the, “majors,” (as decreed by the pro players association).
It would have been the same for the dozen brier contenders (and one winner) from these parts when Greater Trail was the acknowledged curling powerhouse in the province.
Frenchie D’Amour (the ‘48 winner), the Stone brothers, Buzz, and Deane Horning and their rinks would have found it very difficult to contend for an Olympic berth (had curling been in the Olympics from way back) living as they did/do in a relatively out-of-the-way place like Trail.
See MONEY, Page 12
All members of those teams worked at full-time jobs, and though generous employers tended to react well to the time off needed for those teams to compete at the top level the cost of the kind of travel required under today’s scheme would have been prohibitive.
Fairness, when it comes to money and the Olympic money-grubbers, is not an issue, As Ever.