Non-Canadians are probably not yet aware of an initiative known as "Own the Podium 2010". The idea is to develop and support Canadian talent in the run-up to the upcoming Vancouver-Whistler Winter Games; the ultimate goal, of course, is for Canada to top the medals table, and also place within the top three nations (based on number of gold medals) in the Paralympics.
The other part of the plan has been less well publicised.
In order to improve the odds of a first-ever Canadian gold medal on home soil, and boost waning local support for the games, the organisers are planning to introduce a number of new winter sports. These events have been specially designed to give Vancouverites an advantage over their competitors:
- The "I Don't Need Snow Tyres, This Is Vancouver, and Anyway I'm a Really Good Driver" Giant Slalom (Motorised) event will take place down Fraser and other main city streets.
- The "Oh Shit" Freestyle Aerials (Bicycle) competition will be held wherever the combination of steep hills and new pot holes affords optimal air for commuters on hybrid bikes. Conditions change daily; check back regularly for updates.
- Similarly, the Short and Long Track "Walking Through Ice and Slush Without Falling On Your Arse" race routes will be decided after Games staff have assessed the city's side streets for the longest and steepest sections of treacherous sidewalk.
- The "Riding the Bus That is Crammed Full of People Who Usually Drive and Do Not Understand Bus Etiquette" Endurance Event preliminary rounds will be held, oh, everywhere.
Survivors finalists will compete on the 99 B-Line down Broadway during rush hour.
- Unfortunately however, the "Sod It" Snow Shovelling (Sidewalks) event has been cancelled due to lack of interest.
My training is going well, and I expect at least a bronze in two of the above events.