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Sunday, September 24, 2000

Canada sucks

Our path to Olympic success begins with bribery


  SYDNEY -- Okay, it is now official: We suck.

 On the Olympic map, we are Hooterville.

 Six medals so far, including Simon Whitfield's gold and our best events are over. Even Bulgaria has five medals. How many of us know anyone who has even been to Bulgaria?

 Bruny Surin and Donovan Bailey, combined, had fewer steps than you'll find at Casa Loma.

 On the bright side, we are kicking the snot out of Gabon and Lichtenstein.

 In response, we can spend millions of dollars developing athletes who may or may not excel at future editions of the Games. We can start at the grassroots, raise funds like Brownies and turn this thing around in about 10 years. And that's if we start today.

 Or we can do what the Americans do whenever they encounter a daunting challenge -- change the rules.

 It is time to use our national resources more wisely in pursuit of Olympic excellence. We need the national will to make a few nominal sacrifices that will deliver to us an event we can win.

 We need to buy the IOC. I am talking money in the Manila envelope corruption here.

 Believe me, we would not be the first.

 I'll give you an example. Got a banana republic strongman with a vote on the IOC? Give him our military -- it's not like we are using it.

 Give the Japanese delegates Lake Louise -- they love the place. Throw in Green Gables if you have to, just get them on side.

 Give Prince Edward Island to the Scots. They're the only ones who can understand anything said down there anyway. Give the Americans our side of Niagara Falls, it's time they sampled the better view.

 Trade Kitchener to Austria for future considerations. Throw Quebec City to France. Let the Cubans taunt the Americans from Windsor. Remember, think globally, act despicably.

 Once Canada controls the IOC, we set the agenda. Not the television networks, not the shoe companies. Us.

 Our Olympics will feature events for which we have already developed a passion and an expertise. Here are some I think we can win.

 1. Rush-hour Tim Hortons drive-through event: Points will be deducted for coffee spilled on business suit. Degree of difficulty increases with each child the contestant brings along.

 2. Air Canada Centre platinum-seat intermission race: Last person back wins.

 3. 5 a.m. drive to hockey arena: In the finals, contestants must tie their own kids' skates and stay awake through the entire Rendezvous Grill vs. Drulard's Variety minor tyke game.

 4. Stone-faced declaration statement at Fort Erie Canada Customs: Highest value of smuggled goods wins. Cavity search means instant disqualification.

 5. Sudden-death moonlight marshmallow roast: Contestants have just one chance to deliver a golden brown marshmallow without the dang thing falling into the fire.

 6. Toronto taxi race: The event starts at the CN Tower and ends at Nathan Phillips Square. It is a global goodwill gesture since virtually any world traveller has at least some chance of communicating with a driver in his or her native tongue.

 7. Saskatchewan Endurance Marathon: First person to see a tree wins. In the team event, contestants must find a tree and a hill.

 8. Alberta political hunt: Find a Liberal.

 9. Don Cherry between-period test: First person to find something that makes sense wins. Maximum number of Coach's Corner episodes would be 10.

 10. Underground economy search: Winner has the most goods and services accrued without paying GST or provincial sales tax. Receipts will result in instant disqualification.

 Come on Canada, these are our Games.

 Let's show the world how it's done.