I certainly wasn't trying to. I was trying to make a comaparison with NBA basketball (if that's even possible because they are so different)
First, speed skating is very popular in many countries with skaters being treated as national heros in most of the Scandinavian nations.
"Many countries"? I wonder how many.
"Most Scanadanavian countries"? That would be two out of three countries
And personally I'd rather watch speed skating than the tedium known as NBA basketball.
That's cool. I prefer basketball. I'll only watch speed skating when it involves Canadians in the Olympics.
And the skaters do have a long season of competition--it is not just the one trick pony of the Olympics--and between competition and training, I imagine they work harder longer than the average basketball player.
Hmmm... I wonder about that too. I suppose it's possible, but I would imagine that they both have short off seasons. Just a guess on my part.
And the Olympics are the biggest stage in sports,
The summer Olympics are. The winter Olympics are a much smaller event and there are other events that dwarf it.
From the official Olympic website:
[i] TURIN 2006
XXth Olympic Winter Games
A record 2,508 athletes from 80 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competed at the Turin Winter Games, and 26 NOCs took home medals, another record. [/i]
The past three summer games have had over 10 thousand participants each.
The World Police & Fire Games has about 10,000 particpants too. Frtom Wikipedia:
Held every two years, the Games offer approximately sixty sports (and almost 80 disciplines), including Angling, Wrestling and Pistol Shooting. Participation is approximately 10,000 entrants, slightly fewer than the Summer Olympic Games, and exceeding the third position holder, the Commonwealth Games
Then there are the Asian games that are currently going on. From Wikipedia:
The 15th Asian Gamesto be held in Doha, Qatar, from December 1-15 will be the biggest ever, with some 7,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions participating.
Pan Am games form Wikipedia :
The first Games were scheduled to be staged in Buenos Aires in 1943, but World War II caused them to be postponed until 1951. Since then, the Games have been held every four years, with partipication at the most recent event at over 5000 athletes from 42 countries.
and the 2007 Rio Pan Am website/:
The organization expects 5,500 athletes
...so dominating it is bigger than being the MVP in the NBA.
My point was that one speed skater does not dominate the entire winter Olympic games. there are many medalists
I respect your opinion, but I think dominating one sport in an Olympic games that lasts a couple of weeks is not the same thing. And I fully realize that it is an impressive feat that takes lots, and lots of training that requires peaking at the right time. An NBA player doesn't have the luxury of shooting for just a brief peak period in order to succeed.
They don't get 82 games to redo, retry, reload.
It's now, or never. Basketball players never see that kind of pressure--or at minimum, it is a very different pressure.
Sure they do. I can give you two examples.
- Basketall is an Olympic sport
- NBA playoffs / finals
Steve Nash and his team can try to win again tomorrow or next year.
But winning the MVP of the NBA requires that you perform at a very high level for a very long time for an 82 games season that lasts seven months and then prepare for the playoffs.
Athletes like Klassen often only get one Olympics.From a pressure standpoint, it is comparable to playing in the NBA Chamionship if it were held only once every 4 years.
But it's not, because the NBA MVP has nothing at all to do with the NBA championships.
Statistically speaking I think there are many, many more aspiring pro basketball players than there are elite speed skaters. I wonder how many kids are speed skaters in this country. I have never known any. Convesely, I've known and know many, many basketball players.
A quick search of speed skating links showe dme that there are 17 speed skating ovals in Canada with 47 clubs in Ontario.
I could not find basketball numbers for all of Canada, but from the Basketball Ontario webiste I found this:
Basketball Ontario has over 230 Affiliated Basketball Clubs throughout the Province of Ontario. Each club may run a Houseleague (recreational) and/or a Rep Team (competitive) program.
So as far as canada goes, statistically speaking it would be more difficult to make the national basketball team than it would be to make the national speed skating team.
Now keep in mind that making the national basketall team does not translate directly into making the NBA. That's a whole other step and now you have competetition that not only invloves the basketball juggeranut of the USA, but the entire world.
There are 61 memeber countries of the ISU (International Skating Union)
From the FIBA website:
- FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, is an independent association formed by 213 National federations of basketball throughout the world.
• A global study, conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide in April '97 based on 35,000 interviews, showed that 11% of the world plays basketball.
Basketball has even replaced football as the most popular sport in areas like Asia and Australia and is on the way to surpassing football worldwide.
• Over 450 million people play basketball on competition and grassroots level in 1998, but the number of licensed players has also risen drastically since 1992. [/i]
So giving the award to Klassen should have been a no brainer and I can't imagine what the sportswriters who made the vote close were even thinking!!
I guess some were thinking like you , and some were thinking like me. Very diffeent sports with very different trains of thought. Discussions like these is another example of what makes sports so great.
Boy, did you make me waste my time this morning.
I sure digressed in my surfing / research and learned a lot.
So to summarize, I don't think Klassen is a bad choice at all as Canada's most decorated Olympic athlete, but given a vote, I would probably have voted for Steve Nash, especially when one considers he won the Lou Marsh last year, and then went on to better that performance the next year.(takes breath after an awkwardly long sentence in an awkwardly long post) They are both amazing Canadian athletes.
(Now for some decaf)