caption: Andrew Gower,Wedler Engineering

The Olympics were sure exciting, weren’t they?! And right now, the Paralympics are keeping everyone’s “stoke” revved to the max. During these games every 4 years, heroes are made, hopes are dashed, and dreams can be realized or ended.

The whole world pays attention with media covering every event in sometimes excruciating detail.

While it is great that these sports get attention during the 4 week span of the Olympics and Paralympics, doesn’t anyone wonder what all of these athletes are doing for the 3 or so years from the end of one set of games to the next?

As it happens — the level of competition that the world sees during the Olympics and Paralympics is happening on a regular basis all the time, we just don’t see it on our TV sets.

While it is great that these sports and athletes get all of the attention the games bring, it is also sad that all of the other work they do goes largely unnoticed. Imagine if you are that athlete who has one bad day at the Olympics — this forms the world’s opinion of you (and potential sponsors).

It doesn’t matter that you may have been dominating the wold cup circuit for the past 3-4 years – the media, and most of the world, only see that one event.

Please, please, continue to watch the Olympics and Paralympics, but when you do keep in mind all of the competitions and work you don’t see. All of those athletes compete year round — all the time — just to get a chance to make it to the Olympics. You can even watch the start of that process at your local ski hill, hockey rink, or curling rink. Our own Cassie Sharpe got her start on Mount Washington competing in the “Timber Tour” series of freestyle events.

By the way, there is one coming up here — March 29 to April 1st at Mount Washington — everyone’s chance to see, up close and live, the next round of Olympians get their start!

Andrew Gower is a partner and Courtenay branch manager of Wedler Engineering. He volunteers with several local non-profits and is passionate about the Comox Valley’s sustainable future. He can be reached at 250.334.3263 or

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