Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 03.07.05
Quebec City


Grinning for the Gold

Okay, the Olympics are over and Canada had its best showing ever.

But why?

Some people are suggesting it's simply a matter of cold, hard cash.

You put more money in, you get more medals out.

But if that were the case the Americans would win hands down. And as we know this wasn't the case.

The Yanks spent about a gazillion dollars on these games and picked up just one medal more than Canada.

Maybe it's because Canada's generation Xers or Yers, or what ever they're called now, are a race of super athletes.

But once again this isn't likely since our scientists are only too happy to tell us the latest generation is generally a bunch of fatter, slower couch potatoes.

So what is it?

My suggestion is the teeth.

Don't ask me to explain. I dumped biology right after we did the thing with the fetal pig in high school.

So I'm just working on intuition.

But just take a look…

The Globe and Mail had a full-page spread the other day of head shots of our happy warriors.

There wasn't a buck tooth or an over bite amongst the lot.

The world has never seen such a display of dental perfection. It was dazzling!

Remember your first gold?

The TV cameras focused in on the world's best women's mogul skier and the glare from her grin caused TV reporters to avert their eyes and the cameramen to dim their lights.

It was like the "after" photo in a Crest Whitener commercial.

When the post-race shots of our four-woman short-track speed skaters were taken it looked like one hundred and twenty-eight bicuspids and canines wearing toques,

It has to be the teeth,

The Canadian team was voted by the other athletes as the best looking group at the Olympics. And it wasn't because of their Hudson Bay-designed outfits.

I reckon when the penny finally drops, every nation on earth will start emulating Canada.

Gone will be the sports psychologists replaced by entire teams of dental experts.

To catch the glint that drove Canada to the gold in everything from skeleton to speed skating, other nations will be brushing, flossing, and capping in a massive dental catch-up the likes of which hasn't been seen since the advent of fluoridation.

Dick Pound will have to institute a whole new series of anti-doping tests this time focusing on peppermint flavouring instead of blood doping. By the time the Vancouver Olympics roll around in 2010 the only Russian cross-country skiers stripped of their medals will be the ones tossed out for wearing dentures.

"Own the podium!" as a slogan it might work after all. We've finally got an edge on the competition.

And that old Canadian grin-and-bear-it attitude keeps paying off in spades.