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Wed, August 18, 2004
Say's outburst nice to see
By -- Toronto Sun

Day 4

The saddest thing about that Canadian bozo in a tutu who jumped into the diving tank wasn't that he disrupted the Olympics.

The saddest thing is, next to Emilie Heymans and Blythe Hartley, he's the only Canadian at these Games to make a splash.

Somebody, pass the Prozac.

SAY HEY!

CBC swimming analyst Steve Armitage doth protest too much.

Armitage criticized Rick Say yesterday when the Canadian anchor of the 800-metre freestyle relay team said his teammates simply weren't prepared and it cost them a medal.

"I'm disappointed. This is crap. I wanted a medal," said Say, adding he failed in motivating his teammates to give their best performance.

Say told the CBC: "I was trying to make up for the mistakes our team made earlier in the race."

Which was true.

And if race analysts hadn't been making warm, fuzzy noises about the team setting a Canadian record (ho-hum), viewers would've already known that.

Say's outburst might've been un-Canadian, but that's what made it so compelling. Finally, an athlete who cares enough to be passionate, who cares enough to demand the best of himself and others.

Armitage, in fine Canadian fashion, tried to defend the indefensible.

"When you start pointing fingers," he said, "you've got to be careful."

Then, later, in doublespeak to make a politician's head spin, Armitage said: "I don't think we should accept mediocrity."

Hold it. Rewind that tape.

Isn't that what Say was just telling us?

FASHION MALFUNCTION

Darn TV, screen keeps flaring.

Hold it. Never mind.

It's just Ron MacLean's flashy white suit. This is what happens when a guy hangs around Don Cherry way too long.

OPEN TRAP, INSERT ...

Susan Nattrass, Canadian trap shooter, doesn't go far without her gun. She even does interviews with it cradled in her arm. Which might be a good time to remind reporters that if you ask the wrong question, you never know how some people might, um, pop off.

Be careful out there, kids.

Speaking of Nattrass, the 53-year-old has been to the Olympics five times. Her best finish came this week, placing sixth.

When it was over, Nattrass went to the "I'm just a poor athlete nobody loves" refrain popularized by Canadian athletes from coast to coast.

Now, this generally may be true. Our athletes do deserve decent monetary backing. But hearing the complaint about being hard done by from Nattrass is really rich.

"I was one of the first to benefit from the Game Plan in 1969," she told reporters. "And I got tuition which has helped me get three degrees."

In return, Canada got zero medals. And those degrees?

She used those to get a job -- not in Canada -- but in Seattle, where she has lived for eight years. So Canadians don't even benefit from the knowledge she gained at taxpayer expense.

"I've been thinking about U.S. citizenship because I love where I live," she is quoted as saying.

Is there any way we can help pay for that?

Still checking. I mean, Canadians are such darn cheapskates.

VIVE LA DIFFERENCE

The CBC gives you the Olympic experience. Live.

NBC gives you the American experience -- tape delayed.

Trying to figure out what's happening at the Olympics on U.S. television is an act of futility -- like waiting for Kostas Kenteris to find a urine bottle.

TIME IS ON HIS SIDE

Michael Phelps may not be another Mark Spitz.

Then again, he's only 19.

When Mark Spitz was 19, he wasn't, well, Mark Spitz either.

Spitz was halfway to his 23rd birthday when he made Olympic history. Phelps will be just past his 23rd birthday at the Beijing Olympics.

This isn't over.

SMART 'N' SASSY

Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix after wageronsports.com gave Canada only 30-1 odds of being the first country to produce a failed drug test in Athens: "Great, another event where we won't medal."




Does Canada's low-medal haul in Athens bother you?
Yes, it depresses me
No, it's just sports
I'm disappointed, but not worried
We'll get 'em in Turin
Don't care

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