Friday, 31 October 2014, 12:32 pm

Sometimes, experience matters most

Students at Niagara College, Welland campus, watch the women’s half-pipe semifinals, on Feb. 12. PHOTO BY COLLIN STACHURABy JESSE ROBITAILLE
Staff Writer
Heading into the seventh day of competition at this year’s Olympic Games, Canada sits near the top of the medal standings after enjoying a brief moment in the first position.
Earlier this week, Canada led the total and gold medal standings — a first for our country, which has participated in every Winter Games since its 1900 debut in Paris.
The 2010 Winter Games, held in Vancouver, saw Canada finish atop the gold medal standings for the first time in its history. But by this time in 2010, Canada only had seven medals — three gold, three silver and one bronze — and placed fourth in the
 overall rankings.
This year, Canada has nine medals — four gold, three silver and two bronze. Norway took the overall lead with 12 medals earlier this week, leaving Canada with a narrow lead over the Netherlands’ eight medals.
Chris Rudge, the former chief executive officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said we shouldn’t weigh heavily on Canada’s early successes.
“Yes, it probably is true that this is the first time Canada has led at an Olympics, but does it mean anything? It’s a bit of a mug’s game,” Rudge told The Toronto Star earlier this week. “We really won’t know until we get to the end of the Games.
Having said that, it certainly does not detract from a spectacular performance by those athletes.”
Jesse Cote, a graduate of the Photonics Engineering Technology program at the college, said he has been watching the Games for over a decade and finds the quadrennial competition entertaining regardless of the outcome.
“Obviously it’s nice when your team wins, and I’m sure it’s nice for these athletes to win such prestigious medals at the beginning of their careers, but it’s the experience that matters most,” said Cote.
“The fact that we’re winning is just making a good thing better.”
According to The Daily Beast, Canada has won 145 medals in the Winter Olympics — the sixth most behind only Norway, the U.S., Russia, Germany and Austria.
Dylan Roesch, a history student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and a member of the McMaster Marauder football team, said Canada’s athletes have consistently improved over the past century.
“Since the first Winter Games, we’ve won over 150 medals,” said Roesch.
“We went from getting no more than seven medals, usually much less, to getting over a dozen in 1994 and then 26 in 2010.”
Canada has bested its previous medal standing by at least two medals every Games since the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
This year’s competition is held in the southwestern Russian city of Sochi.

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