Canadian athletes proved one thing in Beijing: Money can buy happiness.
With hopes of rising to the top of the medal table at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, more money than ever is being spent to train athletes, provide better coaching, better facilities and provide them with enough funding so that healthy dining consists of more than having wieners to go with the cheese and macaroni.
The previous federal budget alone set aside $24 million in funding. The Harper government is committed to spending a record $166 million on summer and winter sport in 2008-09. And Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty is backing a bid that could bring the Pan Am Games and desperately needed Olympic sports facilities.
The payoff already is becoming evident. Canadian athletes won three gold, nine silver and six bronze for a total of 18 medals in Beijing. It ties Canada's second-best performance ever at a non-boycotted Olympics.