You, Me, Aubut and Dupre ... and Barn Owl Revisited
If Aubut can beat out four-time Olympic lawyer Tricia Smith, a B.C. native, it will put him in a better position to help Quebec City’s aspiration to host a Winter Olympics in either 2018 or 2022. A bid for the 2002 Winter Games failed miserably, but we know Salt Lake City already had that one in the bag.
Hard to say if Aubut’s got this one in the bag, but he’s got a lot of support, notably from Olympic heavyweight Dick Pound and from Jean Dupre, boss of Speed Skating Canada and a current member along with Aubut of the COC’s executive board.
Olympic insiders say that if Aubut gets the post, he will try to install Dupre as the new ceo of the COC if Chris Rudge steps down from the post as it’s anticipated after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Michael Chambers will remain as president through the 2010 Games.
Dupre, meanwhile, has some fires on the home front to put out leading to the 2010 Winter Olympics. While the Canadian long track speed skating team is a powerhouse, there is some major dissension in the ranks that threatens to derail a juggernaut team 11 months out frm the Games. Speed Skating Canada is promising action, but there are those who doubt it has the stomach to take the action necessary.
Lobbying and backroom deals will determine the COC elections, as it always does in these situations, as opposed to it being decided by the best choice for the athletes. The most glaring example of that was when Chambers was chosen in 2001 over Doug Hamilton, who’d done an excellent job as an unpaid volunteer in building Canada’s rowing program to prominence and was the clear choice of the athletes as a leader.
Hamilton was a rare breed, someone who cared only about getting the job done right, was effective at doing it, and wanted no personal credit. No wonder he didn’t get elected.
John Furlong, ceo of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, chose to back Chambers at that time and this time is behind Smith, a lawyer who has been involved in the 2010 Games. His toughest adversary in lobbying will be Pound, who himself was opposed to Furlong getting his ceo post.
Should be interesting. Smith is also up for election as vice president if she should fail to get the president’s post. For Aubut, it is all or nothing.
Owl-val Revisted: Photographer Mike Sturk, one of the nicest guys you can meet, has followed up his great pic of the barn owl flying around in the roof of the Richmond Olympic Oval with another of a barn owl in its natural environment, also shot in the same area.
Mike was actually interviewed by the Richmond Review about what it was like to photograph a barn owl in the Oval. He called it “serendipity.” Most photographers can’t even pronounce it, let alone spell it. (A cheap shot, but one my photo buddies have come to expect from me.)