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It could be worse

Re: Olympian rationale (Letters, Aug. 14). Those disappointed with or critical of Canada's recent Olympics performance need to consider the results from other viewpoints.

The British publication The Guardian has listed several other criteria for determining the final standings. The first (a) is to use a 3-2-1 points formula for gold, silver and bronze. The second (b) is to divide a country's population by total medals. The third (c) is to divide national GDP by medals, while the last (d) is to divide team size by medals.

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Using these methods, Canada, which finished 13th in the final medal results, would slip to 19th in category (a), 45th in (b), 20th in (c) and 63rd in (d). So maybe we should all be satisfied with the current ranking system.




Gary Hook's remark about our athletes' "performance" in the Olympic Games not living up to his expectations is offensive to every athlete who represented Canada in London.

Yes, Canada does not do as well in the Summer Olympics as the Winter Olympics. This might be because of our climate or maybe just because our society puts more emphasis on winter sports and activities. Whatever the reason, it doesn't mean our athletes did not give their best in London. To even imply that they didn't is insulting to everything they have worked for.

Yes, it is wonderful to be able to brag to your American friends when Canada does well in the Olympics, and it gives you a sense of pride. But what really shows the world that we are a great nation is the support we show our athletes no matter their performance.

It sends a message to the world that Canadians are proud of those who represent them not only for their athletic ability but also for their strength of character, their perseverance and their determination.




Anyone who is shocked that Christine Sinclair was chosen to carry the Canadian flag because she criticized the officiating after losing to the Americans has obviously never participated in a serious competition.

As long as the media and viewers insist on athletes being interviewed right after a loss in an important game where an official's mistake probably made the difference, we have to expect that kind of reaction. Any athlete who would calmly accept that result in that situation and then speak nicely about everyone wouldn't be there in the first place because she is not competitive enough.

As for the critics of our Olympic athletes overall medal count, I would ask them if they have ever heard of a game called hockey. Ninety per cent of our best athletes concentrate on hockey and that's why it is our real national game and also why we could slap together 200 national teams that would kick the behinds of the Netherlands and the Koreas put together.


St. Laurent


Cycle of assistance

Re: Return of bicycle joyous for woman (Aug. 8). Gemma, Ted and I would like to extend our thanks for the courtesy and assistance given us in retrieving Gemma's specially made bike.

The makers of the bike -- Winnipeg's Freedom Concepts -- answered every question and have now taken the bike to reconstruction. Gemma hopes to ride it this week.

The Winnipeg Police Service supported us and kept us in the loop. If anyone can catch the culprits, I'd put my money on them. And, finally, the Winnipeg Free Press, I'm confident your story put the bike into tough territory for the pawnbrokers and helped ensure its return. Thanks, too, to the readers who offered their support.





In Lindor Reynolds' Aug. 11 article, The problems many neighbourhoods face seem overpowering, well-deserved recognition is given to Sister Geraldine MacNamara for her work in the establishment of Rossbrook House.

In no way do I wish to lessen recognition of Sister Gerrie's efforts, but it should be noted that, right from the beginning, she had a sister-in-arms, Sister Lesley Sacouman, who shared in this venture.

These two women, along with others from the orders of Sisters of the Holy Names and Sisters of Sion (and probably other orders), have passed along their love and compassion for all to the children with whom they have made contact.

As they say, these sisters have been "difference makers" for the many they have worked with.




Normal stop lights

The Aug. 11 letter from Andrew Chimko, Crossings are country-wide, is obviously a response to the letters of the day on the same topic of Aug. 4, one of which was written by me. I recommended normal stop lights at crosswalks, not a change to red from yellow overhead lights.

So every province uses similar crosswalk systems? Are we lemmings? Every province also uses similar traffic lights, so the installation of a normal stop light at a crosswalk would not confuse anyone.

Pedestrians may have the legal right of way at crosswalks, but there is such a thing as being "dead right." Chimko's statement that studies have found the frequency of pedestrian accidents is similar at both crosswalks and street intersections with stop lights is simply a case of twisting statistics to support the desired conclusion.

Pedestrian accidents at street intersections would include those caused by vehicles turning left or right into the path of pedestrians, not just those where a pedestrian is run down by a car going straight through on a red light.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2012 A12

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