LETTER: A costly Olympic journey for Kaetlyn Osmond

Bill Westcott
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Our hearts are pounding with the news Newfoundland's Kaetlyn Osmond, the darling of the Burin Peninsula, and indeed of all Canada, has won silver at the Sochi Olympics in Russia. It's like a fairy tale come true.

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But, the joy of victory doesn't come cheap. One has to wonder how much it cost young Kaetlyn to reach the podium, where that silver medal will be placed around her neck? And, what sort of drain all of it is for the family?

Kaetlyn, like other Olympians everywhere, has to rely on sponsors and local fundraisers, and of course family support to follow her Olympic ambitions.

One can only imagine her training expenses, travel and equipment costs, skates, costumes and many other incidental needs all of which are extremely expensive. I wonder how much one pair of figure skates of her choice cost? Obviously, she must have a number of pairs.

Asking people to help fund her dream, no doubt, is humbling for Kaetlyn. But, don't tell that to the hundreds of supporters who came forth with a passion and with financial donations to send her on her way. They will be there in thousands for her return.

It makes me wonder? Why doesn't government cover these costs, especially for Olympic contenders? Why is there no provincial-federal arrangement?

We are a wealthy province and a wealthy nation. So much is wasted on crazy schemes and ridiculously expensive useless programs we could all do without.

Kaetlyn Osmond is our pride and joy. She will be greeted like a rock star on her return. I can't wait to see it. But, will the premier have a cheque for her, or will the prime minister take care of some of her expenses?

Will ice on the gullies last until July?

— Bill Westcott is a resident of Clarke's Beach

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Recent comments

  • AB
    February 14, 2014 - 16:39

    Let me get this straight, now. I saw one of these so called model Olympians on T.V. the other day talking about his hours spent on his snowboard in Whistler. Doesn't have a clue what he is going to do with the rest of his life, and Mr. Westcott thinks that we should support THAT, when we have kids coming out of University carrying massive debt loads. Talk about your "crazy schemes and ridiculously expensive useless programs we could all do without". Give your heads a shake. We are talking about silly games here. If you want to play, pay.

  • laurie mcmurray
    February 11, 2014 - 08:26

    My gran-daughter is a competitive figure skater. She has had one and one dream only and that is to make it to the Olympics. She is Just11 years old and she has made the Ontario Hot Shots team. She has qualified for the upcoming All Ontario Winter Games in Orillia later this month. It takes everything we have to keep her going with ice fees, coaching fees, travel expenses......and the list goes on. We fundraise all the time. If the government would help somewhere along this journey it would be so wonderful.

    • Frank Westcott
      February 19, 2014 - 17:43

      My Facebook post a little while ago... before discovering your words:: "" The thing that gets me about the Olympics is that everybody and their pet poodle makes money off it/them/the athletes... be it making equipment, coaching, media, building sites, consulting, whatever... except the athletes themselves… sacrificing life/mega-dollars/and more... and the whole Olympic thing riding and existing solely on the backs of these athletes , the "true process obscurers" hoping the golden gleam of Olympic pursuit will blind athletes to the reality that they, the Olympians, are "really the chattels" in all of this… not the heroes... at its money grabbing root… It should be the other way around... The athletes should get a big slice of the Olympic dollar pie, nations should "pay them" and cover all costs in their pursuit besides. Reminds me of the old NHL days when owners made mega-dollars on the backs of hockey players...""

  • Annie
    February 10, 2014 - 21:19

    two approaches. Not ecryone can afford the sports. Not fair. #2 government is giving too much sponsorships to immigrants to support our own people. I had to move to make a living government didnt help me. Why should the immgigrants get funded. Our own people should be funded if the gov. Can afford to pay housing for immigrants.

  • Fred
    February 10, 2014 - 19:07

    Bill for once I agree with you 100%