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I guess this is where I come off the rails with WSL and will probably never be invited to one of your parties. We already spent $100 million bucks — I'm rounding down because the exact figure makes me want to vomit — to build the Sliding Centre. Okay, that was part of the Olympic con; I understand if disagree. Whatever, sunk costs. We've spent millions more to make the safe track safe, build a second start facility because the one at the top isn't safe for... okay, let's just continue to dodge the safety thing. We lose millions of dollars keeping the beast running every year and undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of dollars every time we enjoy the honour of hosting a World Cup.
The size of the Canadian bobsleigh, skeleton and luge teams combined currently stands at 62 "world-class" athletes. I'll let you do the math.
There are a handful of World Cup, North America Cup and Europa Cup races every year. That's it. There are no intercollegiate bobsleigh, luge or skeleton teams, no professional leagues, no pee-wee divisions, no pick-up games. Virtually no one not involved in the sport pays them any attention.Outside of their brief exposure every four years during the Olympics, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton don't even show up on the sporting world's radar; they are the ultimate insider sports. Three-cushion billiards and the world backgammon championships get more coverage on television.
What cost pride?
Now, various of your board members will tell you to just ignore me. Whenever I rant about the White Elephant, I get plenty of feedback from people involved with the creation and operation of the Sliding Centre and Olympics to the effect I don't know what I'm talking about. They're probably right.
One of the reasons I don't know what I'm talking about is, well, outside the Masons, WSL is one of the most opaque operations I can think of. But then, the Masons don't rely on government handouts to survive. WSL was very late with their first set of financial statements. I wouldn't have wanted to be too quick either if I had that kind of woeful news to deliver. The board has not been particularly forthcoming with reporting to the RMOW as promised, preferring the dark solitude of in camera discussions. Shussh.
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