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Unashamed to Own the Podium
20 March 2010, 08h00 EDT (GMT-4)

The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Click logo for my commentary article

I was quite taken aback by the level of political carping against the Own the Podium programme during the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics, much of which seemed to suggest that the quest for medals is somehow vulgar or not Canadian.

Accordingly, as I prepared to ride for Canada at next week’s FEI International Tent Pegging Championships, I put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard) in an effort to articulate why I believe that the pursuit of victory is not just a noble end in itself, but can also be a means towards still greater triumphs serving the public good.

My article appeared in yesterday’s Globe and Mail, and has prompted a quite a number of e-mails to me from the newspaper’s readership. To answer many of those letters at once, tent pegging is not supported by Own the Podium or by any public funds of any kind.

I will be happy to place first, or last, or anywhere in between at the championships, so long as I conduct myself in a way that brings honour to Canada. By the same token, I feel I would be doing my country and my sport a disservice if I were to strive for anything less than victory.

It may be unfashionable in some quarters, but I am unashamed to believe that I ride for a country that deserves to own the podium.

The full text of the article is available here.


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