Should we care how Canada places? 
Mike, a frequent commenter here, firmly believes that the federal government should not be in the business of giving money to sport in order to improve our chances at winning medals on the world stage.

I disagree.

I, and I am not being sarcastic here, feel that more funding for our sports would improve our results and improve our standing in the world and the pysche of our nation. Let's look at the current medal rankings:

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 22 14 10 46
2 U.S. 21 22 15 58
3 Japan 13 6 7 26
4 Australia 12 8 13 33
5 France 9 7 7 23
6 Germany 8 10 11 29
7 Italy 7 6 7 20
8 Russia 6 14 17 37
9 Britain 6 7 7 20
26 Canada 1 2 1 4

Notice anything about the top nine countries? All of the G-8 are there - except who?

Australia has 2/3 the population of Canada.

Canadian funding for sport: $70 million
Australian funding for sport: $280 million

Canadian military expenditures: $9,801.7 million (2003) (GDP $957.7 billion)
Australian military expenditures: $14,120.1 million (2003) (GDP $570.3 billion)
(from Factbook)

What does military expenditures have to do with sport funding or Olympic medals? Or foreign aid where Canada is also hitting way below our weight?

We have become so inward looking. I think our national self confidence is at an all-time low.

We no longer compare ourselves to global powers like our G-8 partners but to countries like Denmark and Norway. Our anti-Americanism will grow as we shrink further on the world stage - we will further resent the US as it seems the only symbol of our nation becomes singers and actors who move to the States anyway.

Yes - spend money on sport programs. Increase military spending. Increase foreign aid. Decrease internal program spending, don't create a national day care program, don't pile up corporate and regional subsidies.

I always hear that Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world - then shouldn't we have the greatest people in the world?

I want to be proud of our country when I watch the Olympics - it's more than whether or not we have a better gymnast or diver - it's a statement to the world and ourselves.

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