Canadian Olympic Athletes Supporting Right to Play, Which Was Cut From 2010 Vancouver Games

Jenn Heil with Right to Play

In Toronto, Randy Starkman writes that about 70 Canadian Olympic athletes “sent a message to the officials who booted the charity Right To Play out of the athletes’ village for the 2010 Winter Games: We still believe in doing the right thing, even if you don’t.”

The statement, which was released yesterday, stated in part: “As we, the athletes, have been talking to each other, we found something felt … violated by the IOC’s ruling.”

Rowing Gold Medalist Adam Kreek, a leader in the campaign, said, “We can communicate our sense of outrage and our disappointment and see if the IOC is up to living up to the ideals the athletes have committed to. We see this as something that is intuitively wrong, looks wrong, feels wrong and doesn’t sit right in our stomachs. As athletes, we want to stand up for what’s right.”

How It All Began: Starkman noted that the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) “made the original decision to bar Right To Play … because the charity’s sponsors conflicted with their own.” The IOC “later cut its ties to the humanitarian group.”

Gold Medal-winning moguls skier Jenn Heil: “It’s an amazing story how this organization was born from the Olympics with so much energy and power. It’s a success story and it’s important to make the organization accessible to athletes. It’s what’s made it successful in the past. It takes the Olympics further as a celebration of sport and what it can teach us all about sharing” (Randy Starkman, Toronto Star, 2/14). Read Starkman’s entire Toronto Star piece

Photo credit: Right to Play