When the 2010 Olympics open in exactly one year’s time, my hope is that our athletes will be viewed in much the same manner our soldiers are.

No matter what your stance on the conflict overseas or the Olympics coming to Vancouver, the men and women who represent our country deserve your support.

Based on recent results, there should be plenty for Canadians to cheer about at the Games. This past weekend, Canada racked up 30 medals in winter sports competition around the planet, including right here in the lower mainland.

Though the system is far from perfect, the Own the Podium initiative appears to be on track as the spotlight quickly approaches. It seemed like a fantasy when it was introduced earlier this decade, but our athletes have made it a distinct reality with just 365 days to go.

• You won’t see throngs of Alex Burrows’ jerseys in the crowd at GM Place, but there are virtually no detractors of his work amongst Canucks’ fans. He epitomizes the “team first” attitude with his tireless resolve to do whatever is asked of him, and he’s now reaping the rewards.

After scoring his career-high 13th goal against the Blues on Tuesday, Burrows has been granted interim status among Vancouver’s top six forwards, evidenced by his spot alongside the Sedins at practice yesterday.

Though the promotion is likely temporary, Burrows’ ascension is yet another chapter in a career built on elbow grease. The undrafted forward is the poster boy for dreamers in the ECHL, a league that is generally considered limbo for players who will never make it to “the show.”

Burrows is the rare exception, and his subsequent rise to the AHL and NHL is nothing short of remarkable. He never complains about his ice time, his role or his linemates, choosing instead to play each shift like it’s his last.

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