It might be natural for a host country to want to win, but it's not natural for Canadians. "We're used to second place," Canada's Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, told NBC News last Sunday. "We're always living in the shadow of the United States." Which is why Canada introduced its "Own the Podium" program, an attempt to dominate the games on its home turf and beat back American hegemony. "We are the Master Olympic Race," said Trudeau. "And it is time we put aside our Canadian modesty and beat our hairless chests like Tarzan. We shall own the podium."
Canada's program has been frequently contrasted with the Baltic programs, namely Latvia's "Just Show Up" Olympic initiative and Lithuania's slightly more cumbersome "If We Do Win a Medal Let's Hope They Fly the Right Flag" program. Estonia's program is called "See Our Sausage" and pins its hopes on an unknown corporate sponsor rocketing to international recognition when Kristina Smigun wins Gold. "Everyone will know about Rakvere Meat Factory," said Rakvere Lihakombinaat's director, Lauri Liha. "Everyone will see our sausage."
Above: Canada PM Trudeau in typical modest pose.