Canada’s Role In Olympics 2012
Canada is a multicultural, multi-ethnic and bi lingual country where people from all parts of the world travel to in search of a new life, of better earning and educational opportunities. The state is a democracy or parliamentary democracy, as the people select the cabinet and the Prime Minister but it is still a colony of the British Empire as Queen Elizabeth is considered the actual head of the country. Area wise Canada is the second largest country and has a population of 33.4 million. Its average income places it at the ninth position, signifying wealthy, prosperous land and people. Canadians are avid sports fans and participate in a number of games. The most popular and official sports are: Ice Hockey and Lacrosse. Other sports played in the country include: Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, Canadian Football, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Snowshoeing, Gymnastics, Cricket etc. (West, J.T & Lindsay, P. L, 2012).
Canada has been a regular participant of the Olympics except for the 1896 Summer Olympics and 1980 Summer Olympics which they boycotted. The country has secured at least one medal per competition. It does not hold a lot of records but two important ones are: Cindy Klassen, Clara Hughes both won the greatest number of medals, six, for any Canadian. Clara Hughes is also the only sportsperson to secure medals in both seasons of the competition. She is still competing and is among the oldest contestants at sporting event (Campbell. D, 2012).
The 2012 Olympic campaign for Canada is the most detailed and elaborates campaign ever, for the country. The sports and Olympics board have labeled the campaign ‘Give your everything.’ The first source we will analyze is a video of the CNC World Channels interview of the Chief Marketing Officer of Canadian Olympic Committee. The video uses the slogan of the committee to attract the attention of the audience. It explains that the Canadian team is made up of 50 athletes and their coaches participating in some 8 sports. The video also tells that the Committee is working hard to promote their sports and athletes. For the first time the Canadian Olympics Committee has arranged a television spot and has used all types of media to introduce the sportsmen to their public. They have prepared short documentaries in which athletes tell their stories and talk about their routine. According to Chief Marketing Officer, Derek Kent, these will help to send a message to the public that competing at this level is not easy and that their sportsmen work very hard. He also professes that the campaign is mostly targeting the younger age group, teens and people in their 20s, because they are most avid sports fans (CNC World Channel, 2012).
It has very attractive few seconds of footage where different sportsmen are featured and director of these clips is interviewed. It implies that Canadians are an extremely hard working nation. The footage of athletes at work reflects their dedication to sports and their tireless efforts. It also is meant to send a message that sportsman spirit is important and is trying to engender it in the hot blooded youth. It is trying to convey to people that competing and putting in best efforts is more important than winning. Thus the sportsmen would not face a lot of criticism if they fail to win a medal. Another message is the general feeling of solidarity found in the country as the board is going out of the way to secure good will for its players. It sends a message that says ‘We take care of our own.’ It is also a tool for promoting a sense of belonging among people and athletes. The print ads, videos everything is meant to encourage the people to work together and help each other.
Next is a video from Hudson’s Bay Company featuring the newly designed apparel for the Olympians. It starts with a very catchy song and captures attention in the first frame with the Canadian Maple leaf and the Company’s logo shown together. It shows three female athletes wearing a variety of jackets in different material, colors and styles. This can be seen as a way to show that women are as important as men in Canada (Hudson Bay Co, 2011).
A member of the design team tells the audience that the uniforms reflect the various styles worn in Canada. It shows all kinds of clothes jersey track suits, lightweight jackets in Canada’s colors: red and white, and jeans jackets. All of them have the maple leaf, name of the country and other official symbols clearly and prominently featured. It also tells how the design team made a mix of Canadian tradition and the weather conditions of London, like a hood for the light weight jacket that would provide some protection from rain. Other clothes like the ladies track suit makes the wearer appear smart and stylish at the same time. The jeans jacket is to capture the younger audience and the designer claims that it is and will remain a ‘collecter’s item’ for many years. The jacket really does say youth and to model it they have used a young swimmer.
The video does reflect Canadian culture, as it shows that sweatshirt is a very popular clothing item in Canada. It also refers to the history as it mentions that in Olympics 2010, Canadian uniforms were very trendy and most sought out uniforms.
There are several implicit messages as well. For example, the video once again exhibits the Canadians’ love for sport. It reflects their excellent fashion sense and their intelligence as each clothing piece is a depiction of the lengthy and reflective thought process behind it. It clearly shows that they are people who don’t do anything by halves. A lot of detailing has gone into the video as one of the ladies is shown wearing a maple leaf locket, which is meant to exhibit as well as renew patriotism. The diverse ethnic backgrounds tell the world that Canada is a place of equal opportunity and does not support or practice gender or racial bias. The video also shows their wonderful sporting facilities, their pride in their homeland and solidarity with its people. The fencing related books seem to hint at a strong affability with books and education.
Both videos make use of players from genders, all sports and a variety of ethnic backgrounds. This is meant to show that all people are equal in the country. And the country is proud of all its athletes. They both exhibit how complex the world of sports is in Canada, due to its cultural diversity and enthusiasm for sports. They very excellently portray their solidarity, sense of pride in the cultural heritage and that Canada is a land of educated and hard working individuals.
CNC World Channel (2012). Team Canada’s Olympic Campaign. Retrieved July 22 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKBcVYYSyOE&feature=related
The Hudson Bay Co. (2011). Hudson’s Bay Company: Canadian Olympic Team London2012 Collection. Retrieved July 22, from, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MMpsGiDILU
Campbell, D. (2012). CTV Olympics: Chasing History. Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://www.ctvolympics.ca/news/chasing-history-hughes/index.html
West, J.T & Lindsay, P. L (2012) The Canadian Encyclopedia: Sports History. Retrieved July 22, 2012 from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/sports-history