Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beijing 2008: sometimes a silver feels golden

Simon Whitfield is a freakin' beast. A warrior. Clutch. Whatever cliche you want to throw at him it likely sticks.

Today, he ran a near perfect tactical race beating all of his main rivals. The only error he made was to let one unknown German out sprint him in the last 200 meters.As a Canadian the final three minutes of today's triathlon were the first true heart in your throat, standing in front of the TV screaming like a bloody fool moment of the Games.

Although no one keeps the statistic, it's pretty clear that Canada has the worst "conversion rate" (converting world championship medals to Olympic medals) at the Olympics in the world. "Pulling a Canada" generally means failing to make the final after being hyped by CBC for six days (eg. Hayden, Brent).

Whitfield most certainly didn't pull a Canada today. And, although he didn't win the gold his silver is exhibit 1A for why some of us love this whole Olympic thing.

During the broadcast today it was mentioned that enrollment in youth triathlon programs when through the roof in 2000 after Whitfield's gold. Eight year's later another boom seems likely. And, I'm sorry, but that's more than worth the $1,500 a month that "the taxpayer" is burdened with to "support" athletes in this country.

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