2010 Winter Olympics have led to a decade of Canadian confidence in sport

2010 Winter Olympics have led to a decade of Canadian confidence in sport

Canada aimed to win the most medals in 2010, and it won the most golds

Mikael Kingsbury’s perception of his own potential changed a decade ago.

He was a 17-year-old forerunner testing the moguls course for competitors about to ski the Cypress Mountain slope at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Kingsbury witnessed Alex Bilodeau win gold and become Canada’s first Olympic champion at a home Games.

“Seeing a Canadian win the Olympics, Alex, and knowing him since I’m very young and seeing him accomplish his dream was huge,” Kingsbury recalled.

Ten years later, Kingsbury is the current Olympic and world champion.

On the other side of the country in Halifax, 14-year-old gymnast Ellie Black watched the Winter Olympics on television and wished she was in Vancouver celebrating the host country’s success.

Fourteen gold medals won by the Canadian team in Vancouver and Whistler set what was then a record for the most by any country at a single Winter Olympics.

“I think that inspired a lot of us to really see that ‘OK, we can make it to the Olympics, we can be on top of that podium, we can have those performances and have that success,’” Black said.

“If you have those dreams, you’ve just got to work hard to make them happen.”

Black became the first Canadian to win an all-around medal at the world gymnastics championship in 2017 with a silver.

She’s a medal contender at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The afterburn of 2010 is fuelled by inspired athletes and stable money a decade after the Feb. 12 opening ceremonies.

The prevailing wisdom is it takes a decade and a half to build an Olympian.

So Canada is still in the window of athletes like Kingsbury and Black, who both aspired to more after 2010 and are reaching their athletic peak.

“There will be some gas left in that story and some of those young people from back then will be on the team in Tokyo for the Summer Games,” Swimming Canada’s high-performance director John Atkinson said.

Marielle Thompson was a ski cross forerunner in 2010. She watched Ashleigh McIvor win gold and duplicated the feat four years later in Sochi, Russia.

Kelsey Serwa made it three straight gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

“I think a big part of keeping the fire burning is realizing what we did and making sure it’s part of our culture now,” said national ski cross team high performance director Dave Ellis.

The federal government has maintained an annual investment of about $200 million in Olympic and Paralympic winter and summer sport.

Own The Podium, established five years out from 2010 to get athletes on the podium at their home games, directs about $65 million of that money to the sports federations developing athletes with medal potential.

OTP assesses medal potential and provides technical expertise to sport federations.

The targeted-funding strategy survived a federal government review in 2017.

Investment in coaching, sport science and technology, next-generation athletes five to eight years out from peak performances and the establishment of sport institutes across Canada are also part of the 2010 legacy.

The Canadian Olympic Committee prepares athletes for Olympic Games and looks after them upon arrival, as well as contributing $9 million annually to OTP’s work.

The COC currently has 36 sponsorship contracts.

“There’s a tremendous interest in our corporate community of being partners with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian athletes,” COC chief executive officer David Shoemaker said.

“I give the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver an enormous amount of credit in developing the proposition around sports marketing and partnerships in the Olympic Games in Canada.

“So many of our premiere national partners got their start in the Vancouver 2010 Games.”

Canada set an audacious goal of winning more medals than any other country in 2010.

Twenty-six in total ranked the host team third, but Canada won the most gold.

PHOTOS: Vancouver Olympics torch relay started 10 years ago today (Oct. 30, 2019)

Norway and Germany have since joined Canada as record holders with 14 gold apiece in 2018.

Canada has maintained its status as a winter-sport power ranking fourth in Sochi with 25 medals (10 gold) and third again in 2018 with 29 medals (11 gold).

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Olympics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

Randy Bell. File photo.
Former Smithers council candidate arrested for refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union

Salvation Army Christmas kettle campaign. File photo.
Kettle campaign delayed, kicks off Nov. 27

Salvation Army’s annual fundraiser to look different this year, thanks to COVID, tap option available

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Most Read