To say that Roos has been a thorn in the COC’s backside is probably understating things. More like a dagger. One they tried unsuccessfully to extricate.
Yet the Canadian athletes adore Roos. She runs the Canadian Athletes Now Fund, or CAN Fund as it’s known. She’s put cash in the hands of hundreds of athletes to help with their Olympic preparations without anything expected from them in return.
The COC called the CBC up after that interview and told that them MacLean shouldn’t be asking athletes any questions regarding Roos. Don't know what the CBC response was, but one can imagine. Only one guy tells Ron MacLean what to say -- and his loud suits wouldn't fit it in at the COC (Or would they?)
The COC tried to put Roos out of business. She’d run several successful fundraising campaigns using the “See You In” moniker such as See You In Sydney, See You In Salt Lake … But then the COC claimed that such a trademark belonged to them. A silly legal battle ensued, lasting 2-1/2 years before Roos prevailed and the COC had to pay her legal costs of around $60,000.
What does the COC have against Roos? Well, they've never quite gotten over an ad campaign she ran where athletes were portrayed as paupers -- they felt it belittled the job they were doing.
The COC says they’re just protecting the interests of their sponsors from ambush marketing. But there’s very little evidence this has actually happened. It’s comparable to the flimsy argument the Vancouver Organizing Committee has used to punt the athletes-backed charity Right To Play out of the village for the 2010 Winter Games.
Maybe, the COC is embarrassed Roos seems to do a better job promoting the athletes’ causes with far fewer resources.
The COC can get a bad rap because the things they do for the athletes often aren’t as obvious as the $6,000 in direct funding supplied by Roos, but then the COC is also its own worst enemy with ridiculous policies like the one in Beijing that kept many of this country’s past Olympic heroes out of Canada House.
Sure, Roos can be annoying. She’ll get in your face. If you owed money, believe me, you wouldn’t want Roos as your debt collector.
But her passion is genuine and many of the best athletes in this country consider her an ally. Hence, this week’s well deserved award.
Most don’t quite view the COC in the same way. That's probably what bugs them most of all. Get out of the way. Here comes another fur ball!