Canoe Club History- 1976 Dave Findlay

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Canoe Club History- 1976 Dave Findlay

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Jul 1976, Tue  •  Page 19

 Carleton Place’s Dave Findlay is fascinated by the Canadian amateur athletes’ drive for excellence. It explains his heavy involvement with the national paddling team and why he sought and was awarded the post of general manager for the Olympic team. “I admire those kids and what they give up to strive for that excellence,” explained Findlay. “That’s one of the reasons I’m in it and don’t think the average Canadian realizes how much these kids put into it and how much they sacrifice.

I know I never really appreciated it until about five years ago.” Findlay points out that some European nations, especially the Eastern Bloc communist countries, feel Canadian amateur athletes are hampered by the lack of financial support, although it hasn’t been a major factor this year. “The Europeans have difficulty understanding the double standard professional and amateur,” explained Findlay. “If a Canadian does well at the Olympics or any major international competition for that matter, the prestige and entertainment value is the same as if it was accomplished by a professional.”

Findlay agrees with that rationale and points out the reason for it is the preoccupation with professional sports. Unlike the Europeans, Canadians have not accepted sports as an important part of their culture. “In my opinion the definition of culture is very simple the drive for excellence, he explained. So why pQp shouldn’t our amateur athletes have the same status as those in the arts . . . artists, playwrights and performers. “Pro sports can’t reach that level because it’s big business, continued Findlay. “It’s also show business.”

The former commodore of the Canadian Canoe Association also feels amateur sport must accept some of the responsibility for its continual uphill struggle for recognition with the pros. “We haven’t been articulate enough in putting our point of view across to the media, but we’re gradually awakening. The Olympics could break it wide open for us. There’s been nothing like it in Canada.” Findlay believes the amateur athlete is often taken for granted despite the fact amateurs spend more time training and developing their skills. Although Findlay is criticial of the present situation, he also admits it’s improved significantly in recent years.

“Big industry is starting to get involved and our programs are getting better every year. There’s been a lot of improvement in a short time,” added Findlay. “While , the Americans have ample funds for some sports their paddling program is where ours was 10 years ago.” He considers travelling the biggest incentive amateur sport has to offer and he was overwhelmed by the hospitality the Czechoslovakians showed the Canadians at a recent pre-Olympic regatta. “They couldn’t do enough for us,” commented Findlay. “Canadians are something special in Czechoslovakia. They arranged special bus tours for us and provided us with ample food. They gave us tickets to the theatre and the Prague Music Festival. It was tremendous.”

The most challenging problem Findlay has encountered while on the road is finding extra food for the athletes. “Generally the food is good, but these kids need high protein diets and getting extra butter and milk can be a problem,” he explained. “Really it’s a minor complaint. I just hope we can be as good hosts to the Europeans as they’ve been to us.” He expects his prime responsibilities in Montreal will be to handle the day-today details. “Food shouldn’t be a problem, but 111 have to be sure the equipment is in good shape,” he said. “I think it’s very important to provide the athletes the best of equipment and have it in good shape. Technically, it may not mean anything it’s mental aspect which is just as important. The athlete thinks he’s got the best.”

The New Carleton Place Canoe Club 1955- 1957

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Carleton Place in 1907–Town Likely to Boom Once More

Know Your Carleton Place Olympians!

The Ministry of Propaganda in Carleton Place — Carleton Place Canoe Club

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Three Cheers for Dave Findlay –The Movie

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The Young Olympic Hopefuls-1970’s Carleton Place Canoe Club

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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