Until the Vancouver games, Canada had never won an Olympic gold medal on home soil. To be fair, Canada had only ever hosted two Olympics. The 1976 Montreal summer games where Nadia Comaneci made history in Gymnastics, and the 1988 winter Olympics. For Vancouver, an "own-the-podium" committee was formed setting a challenge for Canadian athletes to win more medals than any other country (likely they were expecting mostly bronze). A program was put into place providing funding and rewards for medal wins (unlike the US, China, Russia, etc., Canada had never rewarded athletes for their medal achievements). During the first week of the Vancouver Olympics, it looked as if the program was a total failure. The program organizers were beginning to make their excuses in the media. Then Alexandre Bilodeau (a mogul skier) broke the jinx, and won the first gold medal. Throughout the remaining week, the gold medals began pouring in. The "own-the-podium" program failed to win the most medals, but achieved what organizers likely thought impossible. The Canadian athletes won more gold than any other country. The medals which received the most media attention where Alexandre's (since it was the first), Joannie's bronze (due to her circumstances), and of course the men's hockey gold. Both Alexandre and the hockey team even received special mention in the speeches at the closing ceremony, and the camera did a closeup of him sitting among the other athletes. Why am I telling you all this? ...So you can see things from the Canadian media perspective. Tessa and Scott's gold was just one of many, and not the most publicized outside of it's sporting niche.
Originally Posted by Art&Sport
In Canadian newspapers, figure skating is hardly mentioned. Looking in the sports section, you will typically find only pictures and daily news about Hockey, Football, Baseball, and Basketball. If it were not for CTV and CBC broadcasting figure skating events, the sport would be almost non-existent in the minds of the average Canadian. However from what I have read on these figure skating boards, it would seem figure skating in Canada is still more popular than in the USA. However, don't assume the "average" Canadian is knowledgeable about the sport. Like any other country, there is a mix of interest levels. There is the "wouldn't be caught dead watching figure skating". "It is for women and gay men, and not even a real sport". Next comes the "indifferent people". They have nothing against figure skating, but have no interest in watching it. During the Olympics, they are watching other channels showing skiing, snowboarding, etc. These people wouldn't know the skaters, much less their coaches. I'll admit, I was once one of them. If you had asked me who Toller Cranston was, I probably would have guessed a TV news anchor man (he has one of those names which sound like an anchor man). "...and now, the 6 oclock news with Toller Cranston" The next level would be the "casual" fan. These people will watch figure skating during the Olympics, or if they are bored and by chance had surfed to a figure skating event channel. These people may know some skater names, but not much else. I have one sister-in-law who falls into this category. I seriously doubt she watched the SCI broadcast this past weekend. However because of the Olympics, she probably does know V/M. My other sister-in-law I would classify as an "avid casual" fan. She records and watches all figure skating competitions on TV, but does not visit figure skating boards on the internet. She would know many of the top figure skaters names, but likely does not know bio details except what may be gleaned from commentator reports during competition broadcasts (some of which is likely later forgotten). Last year, I managed to convince her to attend SCI with me. She enjoyed herself, and asked me to let her know if there is ever another major competition organized in our area (I'll make an avid fan out of her yet ). As luck would have it, the Canadian Championships will be held in January at the same rink and we have our tickets ordered . Lastly comes the avid fans (of varying degrees), who do visit FS boards, and know bio information about the skaters. I would now classify myself in that category. However unlike others, I don't go to Worlds even if it is held in my area (too expensive), or typically travel great distances to attend an event. I guess I am at the lower end of the "avid fan" category.
I have attended SCI in Kingston and Mississauga, but I do not recall if they had announced the skater's coaches during the warmup. Obviously, it is not something I pay attention to. If I am average, I would guess the same may hold true for the casual fans in attendance.
ETA: Re-watched some of the competition. They only announced the skaters names during the warmup.
P.S. My sister-in-law is a fan of Patrick, but at the Mississauga SCI event she also became a fan of Javier. I guess she likes his skating and on-ice personality. I think Kaetlyn also has that type of on-ice personality. I noticed the NBC commentators seemed to be taken with her.
Last edited by rvi5; 11-03-2012 at 12:29 PM.