Mr. Speaker, everybody loves a winner, especially governments. To hear the Prime Minister talk yesterday one would think that Canadian athletes won 17 medals at Salt Lake City simply because of the few paltry dollars governments put into amateur sport.
The extra funding this year represented $4,500 per team member attending the Olympics. This equates approximately to the price of a ticket to see the hockey game between Canada and the United States. Wayne Gretzky did more for Canadian sport and Canadian patriotism in nine minutes than the Prime Minister has done in nine years.
What our athletes need from all of us, and yes, especially the press, is our support, encouragement and financial assistance throughout their careers, not just when they win.
It is not who wins or loses, it is how one plays the game. Our athletes of whom we are so proud could play even better if we supported them properly.