Canada Olympic Team Beset by Hurdles
With the start of 2012 Olympic Games just days away, it has not been an easy journey for the Canadian Olympic team, with bad luck seeming to have cracked down on many athletes hoping to showcase their skills in London.
For instance, many of Canada's best hurdlers have failed to make the Canadian Olympic team, top triathlete Paula Findlay has been suffering from a hip injury, swimmer Alex Despatie smacked his head badly on a diving board, and equestrian champ Eric Lamaze's had to endure the death of his top horse in a recent competition.
And the list goes on - top Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal almost saw his Olympic dreams go up in smoke after he was involved in a nasty pile up in the recent Tour de France, while champion boxer Mary Spencer seems to have just made into the 2012 Canadian Olympic team by the skin of her teeth.
Canada's Olympians Have Endured Many Setbacks
For the superstitious, its seems almost as if the stars are rooting against Canada this year, given the high number of injuries and setbacks Canada's 2012 Olympians have had to endure in the lead up to the Games.
On the bright side, Canadians are renowned for their resilience, and despite the 'bumpy road' many of the nation's top athletes and sportsmen have had to endure so far, those fortunate enough to be competing in London will no doubt put their respective woes behind them, and concentrate instead on bringing home medals.
The opening ceremony on Friday will see Simon Whitfield, winner of a gold medal in 2000 and silver medal four years later in the triathlon, lead the team of 277 Canadians into the main stadium, with the Olympic hopes and dreams of Canada rested firmly on their shoulders.
Canada Not Expected to Rate Against top Nations
And although realistically Canada is not expected to rate against top countries such as the United States, China, the UK and others, its objective is to finish within the top 12 countries. To achieve this goal, Canada needs to win around 25 medals, three more than its current record of 22 which it brought home back in 1996.
However, many critics feel that this is a bridge too far considering that in the 2008 Beijing Olympics the Canadian contingent only managed 18 medals, and a mere 12 in the 2004 Athens Olympics. That said, supporters of the team feel that 25 medals is within the country's grasp this year, despite its recent run of bad luck.
In terms of Canadian Olympic team betting, one sport where Canada has a better than good shot of winning gold is the 1000m kayaking event, with reigning world champion Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, Ontario expected to do his country proud. Online sportsbook Bodog has the latest betting odds for this event:
Olympic Men's Kayaking 1000m Odds
Max Hoff (GER) - 2/1
Adam Van Koeverden (CAN) - 9/4
Aleh Yurenia (BLR) - 6/1
Eirik Veraas Larsen (NOR) - 7/1
Anders Gustafsson (SWE) - 8/1
Rene Holten Poulsen (DEN) - 8/1
Tim Brabants (GBR) - 12/1
Murray Stewart (AUS) - 14/1
Miroslav Kirchev (BUL) - 28/1
Marko Tomiczevic (SRB) - 33/1
Fernando Pimenta (POR) - 40/1