August 5, 1976 [The Nechako Chronicle]
The 1976 Summer Olympics have been a 100% success – especially for East Germany, U.S.S.K., United States and West Germany. The Big “4” have taken this lions’ share of the medals. Canada captured quite a few silver and bronze medals but lamentably no gold medals at all.
I have noticed that our athletes seem to do well in the water, on the ice and in the snow. Almost all of our outstanding athletes have competed in sports utilizing these elements. Many of our swimmers, rowers, skaters and skiers have “done us proud” in the past, Canadians seem to do best where there is an extra challenge involved. Place a Canadian with his feet planted on firm dry ground and he is often unspectacular. Add water, ice, snow, or possibly mud and he is outstanding.
I believe we missed a bet this year with the Olympics being held in our country. We could have added some brand new competitions more suited to our particular talents or else, with the help of our very own naturally nasty weather, downgraded some of the track and field conditions.
If the weather were too nice in Montreal, we could have moved some of the competitions further west. I am sure Canadians would have done well in racing if the track had been coated with good old clay gumbo; the kind that builds up under your sneakers until your feet weigh more than you do. Canadian kids, especially country kids are very good at running in the mud – sometimes with only one shoe on. The other shoe is buried in a mud hole. That could have been a novel all Canadian Olympic race – hopping on one shoe down a muddy track. The other foot could have been encased in a white sock to detect cheaters. The cleanest sock at the finish line would have been awarded the gold medal. Canada would have probably won all three medals in that race.
High jumping in a wind, especially during a dust storm would have been a cinch for prairie kids. Prairie kids are used to high winds and dust storms. They always know which direction the wind is coming from and usually make sure it is at their backs. They are very good at seeing with their eyes closed and seldom open their mouths during a dust storm. Prairie kids definitely can see better with their eyes closed than many of the official judges at the Montreal Olympics.
It is too bad the 1976 Summer Olympics couldn’t have been made to fit our athletes instead of trying to make our athletes fit the conventional Olympics. And maybe under the adverse conditions I have mentioned the games’ costs could have been reduced to fit the original budget as well.