Posted by: ownthepodium | February 16, 2010

On Unfair Access to Olympic Venues

There has been some recent commentary in the foreign media that the Own the Podium program (OTP) has restricted access to certain sport venues for foreign teams, specifically the sliding track at Whistler and the speed skating oval in Richmond. This is not the case.

OTP is a national sport technical initiative that was created to help prepare the Canadian team for the Winter Games, but not to disadvantage others.  Own the Podium has had no influence over access to the Olympic facilities by foreign teams. 

The Vancouver Organizing Committee is responsible for determining access to these facilities, and their policies for access were determined in conjunction with each international sport federation. These policies have resulted in all foreign teams having unprecedented access to the Vancouver facilities.

Own the Podium is an independent initiative that provides funding to Canadian sports for costs such as training camps, competitions, sport science and medicine support and hiring coaches and other technical staff.  It does not manage or control access to sport venues.

 It is normal for the home team to access venues more than foreign teams. Home team access to Olympic facilities has occurred for the Americans at the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and this will also be true for the British for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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