Luging Lauscher Lashes Out at Whistler Hostility
Veteran Canadian luger Regan Lauscher didn’t pull any punches in chastizing the community of Whistler for their indifference – and, she says, hostility – towards the team as they train on the Olympic track there. She lays out her case in the blog she is writing for CTV.
"My biggest challenge at the moment is surviving life in British Columbia," writes Lauscher.
be honest I'm not exactly sure what the people in Whistler dislike
more, the fact that I'm Albertan or that I'm a participant in their
perceived '‘Olympic abomination.'"
Lauscher later adds: "I mean, I get it.... we aren't saving lives, putting guys in the moon or improving the deteriorating environment, but seriously, I have to ask, in a country full of opportunity and prosperity, and with room for everyone, "why the hate?"
A friend with strong Whistler roots, Michel Beaudry, believes it's a gross over-reaction on Lauscher's part and that people there aren't negative towards the athletes at all.
This will no doubt spark a good discussion in them thar hills. Hopefully, it doesn't increase any hostility there may be there.
There's no denying a tension in Whistler about the coming Olympic extravaganza. Could be very interesting come Games time.
Does IOC Really Care? Olympic cross-country champion Beckie Scott made a plea to the International Olympic Committee last week to do more to help athletes cope with the tough transition after their careers are over.
Unlike many of their pro counterparts who also tend to struggle – let’s face it, it’s hard to adjust when the peak of your career comes when you’re in your 20s – most Olympians don’t have a large financial cushion to help them out.
The sad part is it's not likely much will ever be done for these athletes because they don’t have the clout of a union.
There are programs in place to be sure – the Canadian Olympic Committee has one – but it’s hard to know how effective they are and the biggest problem as Scott pointed out is in the developing countries. It's incumbent upon the IOC to try to help these athletes out because they can be future leaders.
There are groups in some sports, such as the athlete-led recently developed DemocraSki in the International Ski Federation, which are looking to have an impact on these issues. But they only just recently began getting invited to the annual congress so you know they’ve got a long way in making any progress.
The problem tends to be that the athletes with these concerns tend to come and go based on the longevity of their career, while the sports officials who seem not to care that much about their future stick around forever.
Too many of the former athletes who end up in positions with the IOC such as the athletes’ commission tend to be – unlike the aforementioned Scott – self-serving individuals more concerned with their own upward movement than their peers welfare.
Let’s face it, the IOC has the richest television and sponsor contracts in sport and does very little for the athletes. And they won’t unless they’re forced to.
(If you want to hear a great union song, check out this beauty by the Strawbs.)