Thursday, February 12, 2009

Olympic Timing

In Monday’s Globe, I wrote a story about the timing of the Olympic Trials and how many athletes are now questioning the merits of holding it just 10 weeks or so before the actual Games.
Well here’s another example of why the timing is bad. In this morning’s Globe, there’s a wonderful section profiling the athletes who’ll compete at the Games, with great photography and bios. There are short-track speed-skaters, alpine skiers, figure skaters, aerial skiers, hockey players and skeletoners or skeletonites or skeletonians or whatever you call them.
But no curlers.
Despite the fact that Canada will be a gold medal favourite, there are no curlers profiled and there’s a good reason – we don’t know who will represent Canada in Vancouver.
To me, it is becoming more and more obvious that the Trials need to move to the Spring of the year before the Games. When I wrote the book Hurry Hard with Russ Howard last year, his depiction of those weeks between winning the Trials and staring the Games as utter madness. Not really the best way to prepare.
For the article in the Globe, I spoke with Gerry Peckham, the CCA’s director of high performance, who said that they’d consulted with experts about timing and such stuff and that what they had in place was no just by chance.
He also said, however, that there was a marketability side to the event. That’s pretty clear when you see that the fine folks in Edmonton who are hosting the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings dropped a $900,000 cheque into the CCA’s coffers. It would be tougher to sell a Trials event, some say, on the heels of a Scotties, Brier and World Championship despite the fact that would be better timing.
But if the profile of the athletes and, ergo, the sport, has any bearing on this at all, then I think the current slot on the calendar is far too late.


Huskers-For-Palin said...

Hey CCA, time to catch up with the USCA and have the Trials one year before the Olympics.

jrs_curling1 said...

Bob, check with any Sports Psychologist, 10 weeks is not enough. More like 12 months.
Why not have the Trials kick off the Season of Champions one year before the Olympics. Play the event in February. I would think that the marketing would be very good!!