Canadians asked to donate to help Canadian athletes win medals
National online fundraising campaign kicks off in Canada, the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics Games, to raise $5 million to help Canadian Olympians “own the podium” come 2010.
“Own the Podium” program was launched in 2005 to help Canadian athletes earn more medals during Vancouver 2010 Games. The money collected through “Own the Podium” goes toward supporting top-achieving athletes capable of showing ‘real’ results in 2010. To date, Canada remains the only nation to not have won a gold medal on home turf while hosting the Olympic Games.
Through the program, $21 million was to be allocated to winter sports on top of the current spending for the following five years since the program’s inception in 2005. It was estimated that implementing the “Own the Podium” program would score Canada 35 medals in 2010, while doing nothing and not providing any extra funding would result in 17 medals at most.
Raising additional $5 million through the national fundraiser will cap total private donations at $55 million, which will be matched by the federal government.
Every Canadian who donates $20.10 will increase Team Canada’s medal hopes at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Own the Podium 2010 program is almost fully funded and the last $5 million raised through this national campaign will cap off the $55 million in private matching funds to $55 million in federal funding. The $110 million program will ensure that Canadian athletes have everything they need to win in 2010. Donors will receive a tax receipt as well as an e-mail and thank you message from Nathalie Lambert, Olympian (short track speed skating) and Chef de Mission for the 2010 Canadian Olympic team and Blair McIntosh, Chef de Mission for the 2010 Canadian Paralympic team.
“In sports where a hundredth of a second can determine gold over silver and joy over heartache – the pennies, loonies and dollars donated to Own the Podium 2010 by Canadians of all ages at www.olympicfoundation.ca will help give Canadian athletes the extra push they need to aim higher and reach further,” said Lambert. “Let’s help to make their Olympic and Paralympic dreams come true on behalf of all Canadians.”
“Canadian winter athletes are on a roll, and the world is taking notice – but to really shine in 2010 they need the support of an entire nation, so we need every Canadian to do their part,” said Roger Jackson, CEO of Own the Podium 2010. “The Own the Podium 2010 program has played a critical role in developing the strongest Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams ever. From a funding standpoint, we’re in the home stretch and we need Canadians’ help to raise the last $5 million through $20.10 donations,” he said. “Next year, Canadian winter athletes will be ready for the world’s biggest stage. By making a small donation of $20.10 Canadians from coast to coast to coast can celebrate in their unprecedented success knowing they have played a part in making it happen.”
However, $20.10 is not a small donation, and while many Canadians support our athletes and want to see them succeed, finding the money to donate might be difficult in today's troublesome times. Why can't Canadian government provide the missing $5 million? Why are Canadian taxpayers burdened again to pay for the program that should really be a complete responsibility of the federal and provincial government? When will we stop making our athletes feel like beggars having to ask for additional financial support through nation-wide fundraisers?
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