Staying caught up is the next important task
Here’s a question we’re sure to be asked when it comes time to debrief after our London excursion:
What do we do now?
How do we follow Olympic sports?
What kind of resources – time and money and manpower – do we pour into it?
No easy answers, are there.
The thing is, I think over the period of the London Games readers got to know a bit about some athletes many had never heard of and enjoyed their stories.
Big names like Paula Findlay and Simon Whitfield and Jessica Zelinka and Christine Sinclair. Lesser names like Rosie MacLennan, Derek Drouin and Richard Weinberger.
They all captured our attention for a little bit, some more than others, but are they now resigned to small little briefs every couple of months on the back pages of the section when they compete in some World Cup something or other in some farflung locale?
History would suggest yes and that’s actually too bad.
I guess we need to make some adjustments to what we do in the so-called “off years” for Olympians, both summer and winter.
Sure, we should pay attention to the big global events, the world championships, the major meets in all sports, but I think we also need to tell stories about the people more often.
It’s hard, it takes time and a dedication of resources and manpower that a lot of media outlets don’t have in these times of cutbacks and shrinking staffs but I think it’s important.
Everyone I’ve talked to since I got back from London wanted to talk about the people they’ve just heard of and become slightly familiar with.
To let those athletes drift off into anonymity now would be a mistake, one we can’t afford to make, I don’t think.
Sure, the Olympics are huge and a natural hook for telling stories. But finding other hooks, telling other stories – and I mean stories, not results-based dry reports – is equally important.
And if you do, keep hammering us until we do it.
I just heard on the radio that Willie Nelson’s in the hospital. Nothing serious but …
Why not some Willie Nelson?
Plus, I (heart) this song.
Oh, from my period of basketball neglect, I missed these two wee updates.
Canada Basketball’s had and has, a couple of girls teams on the go.
The girls under-18 just finished its FIBA Americas qualification tournament for next year’s under-19 world championships in Lithuania and finished fourth, good enough to earn a berth for next year. It’ll be the fifth straight time Canada’s been the world juniors for women and it pretty much keeps the organization on track to build on what the senior women have done.
And the girls cadette (under-16 team) is in the middle of its world championship over in Netherlands, they’re 1-2 with a day off today and a game with Mali tomorrow.
Once that wraps up – and once the senior men’s camp comes and goes here this weekend – it’ll be time to take some time off and take stock of where the organization is.
It would appear at first blush that it continues to be headed in the right direction; they have good people in place, a solid pipeline of young players who may one day be major contributors to the senior teams.
Of course, they could use more funding and sponsorship and now that the action moves off the court and into the offices, the pressure gets turned up a bit on the staff and board to make sure the teams have the money needed to run first-class programs.
Next year’s a big one – qualifications for the senior men and women for the 2014 worlds, world championships for the juniors – and if they want to keep the ascension going, some company or some rich individual is going to have to step up and help.
Oh, and the other thing they have to do? Get Allison McNeill back under contract, if not for the next four years, at least for the next two.
Take care of that, would you, Canada Basketball people?
No, I haven’t found any body parts anywhere near Casa Doug but the way they’re turning up all over the area, who knows what the day holds.
These truly are weird and awful times, aren’t they?
Hang on a sec.
Gotta love those under-achieving yutes.
Seriously, I guess it’s just the natural evolution of kids these days but, man, don’t some of them do some incredible things at such tender ages?
Back in the day – and I mean way back in the day – some 14-year-olds were just trying to figure out how the world worked, not conquering it.
Well done, young lady.
When you hear about things like that, about kids doing extraordinary things, it kind of gives you hope that the world isn’t going to entirely to hell in a handbasket, doesn’t it?
Okay, one more day of real-life stuff and decompression and it’s back to the regular grind. Wonder what that’s going to feel like.