If you're a "glass is half full" type of person, you'll probably be pretty happy with Canada's performance at the London Games. Canada finished 13th in the overall medal standings with 18. It's the same number of medals as the Beijing Games four years ago.
If you're a "glass is half empty" type of person, you'll note that Canada won one gold medal. In the gold medal standings (regarded by many countries as the true medal standings), Canada finished tied for 36th, behind powerhouses such Azerbaijan.
Reality check: Canada's overall medal haul was adequate for the Summer Games. There were some Olympians who delivered unexpected medals, and athletes who had disappointing results. We expected to win somewhere between 16 and 20 medals, so 18 medals for the third time in six Summer Games should be expected.
It would have been nice to win a couple more gold. Canada had won three gold medals in four of the last five Summer Olympics. (The 1992 Barcelona Games was the exception. We won seven gold medals – our best result ever in a non-boycotted Summer Games).
Winning gold could be getting more difficult for Canadians. Canadians can talk about owning the podium. But with the Americans investing so much into their sports programs, the Russians remaining a force, the Chinese using sport as a Communist propaganda tool and the British pushing hard for results as the host nation, there weren't many gold medal opportunities for Canada.
You can be sure that Brazil will be gunning for an outstanding performance when they host the Games in 2016, and so Canada will face one more hurdle for gold.
The 2012 Games might be Summer Olympic foreshadowing for Canada. Canada tied for the seventh-most bronze medals in London. A bronze-heavy medal performance could become the norm. I love it when my country wins gold medals and we get to hear our national anthem at a medal ceremony. There might be fewer of those moments going forward.
Canada has moved past the days when we were just happy if an athlete had a great effort, recorded a personal best, finished 11th and didn't reach the final round. We now expect something a little bit more. Thankfully, we don't have a "medal or bust mentality," but our expectations are higher for our athletes than they were 25 years ago.
To advance higher in the medal standings, in terms of overall medals and especially gold medals, Canada will have to spend more money on its athletic programs. But with the state of the economy, and the budget cuts being implemented by the federal government earlier this year, it'll be difficult for governments to justify throwing more money at athletics programs.
And so we should probably expect more results like London, with a lot of summer bronze.