“Athletes fed up”: Money and medals put pressure on Canadian elite sport culture

Economy Society Sport

Hundreds of active and retired Canadian athletes list how the national high performance system has failed them.

In recent months, athletes under the supervision of Gymnastics Canada, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, Rugby Canada, Rowing Canada and Sports Swimming Canada have called for change, ranging from the resignation of leaders and coaches, to dealing with complaints of bullying and harassment, and non-transparent solutions, taken in relation to the selection of athletes. for commands.

The recent increase in unrest among athletes has prompted Canadian Sports Minister Pascal Saint-Onge to call an emergency roundtable and announce $16 million in federal funding for safe sports.

Since she was named Sports Minister in October, Saint-Onge said there were reports of abuse, sexual assault or misuse of funds directed at at least eight National Sports Organizations (NSOs), and more were expected. Saint-Onge called it a crisis.

How did it come to this?

Canada has racked up a record number of medals at the recent Winter and Summer Olympics, but given the recent flurry of controversy among athletes, what is the cost? What is causing the erosion of trust between athletes and those who manage them?

“Athletes will tell you over and over again that they are not competing for themselves, but for their coaches. They also compete for the funding of their sport, for the future of their sport,” Bruce University of Toronto Professor Emeritus of Sports and Public Policy. Kidd said.

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