When an Olympics comes to a country, they try their hardest to get to the top of the medal count.
China lost to the US in the overall medal count two years ago, but its Project 119 helped produce the most gold medals of any country in the Summer Games.
Canada spent $117 million on its Own The Podium program to get to the top of the medal tally for these games and were projected by the Wall Street Journal to win 37 medals, a Winter Olympics record.
It wasn't that far of a stretch.
Canada, after all, took home 24 medals in Torino.
But after 10 days of competition, Canada is far from that projected goal with only nine total medals and the Canadian Olympic Committee is now projecting that, at most, Canada will finish the games with 22 medals. Things haven't been helped by the fact that the host country has had 16 fourth or fifth place finishes.
Their high-profile speedskaters have faltered, their ski-cross specialists (who the Journal said could sweep the new event) didn't place when one of their athletes, Chris Del Bosco, fell out of the bronze on the last hill. Their top ranked skeleton competitor Mellisa Hollingsworth finished in fifth. And, to make things worse, their hockey team lost to Team USA last night.
Some Canadian athletes are even blaming the Own the Podium effort for making them worse. Own the Podium rules made sure that Canadian athletes didn't train with athletes from other countries. Speedskater Denny Morrison, whose face is on ads all over Vancouver, said the rules broke him up from his training partner Shani Davis. Aksel Lund Svindel of Norway, an alpine skier who has so far won a gold and a silver, said Canadian alpine skiers were worse off for not being able to train with him.
Everywhere you look there are Canadian flags. Now if only there were more reasons to waive them.
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