02/11/2014 06:16 EST | Updated 04/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Canadian Olympians Get $23-Million Boost In Annual Sports Funding

OTTAWA - Canadian athletes keep racking up medals at the Sochi Olympics, and now more money is coming their way to keep them on the podium.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's latest budget — released Tuesday while many Canadians were likely more interested on the Winter Games — includes a $23-million annual boost in sports funding, starting next year.

Of that, $11 million will be set aside for winter sports through Own the Podium, a not-for-profit group created to boost Canada's Olympic performances.

The goal of Own the Podium is to prioritize funding on the Olympic and Paralympic sports in which Canada has the best shot at winning medals.

It was born from the country's crushing disappointment at failing to win gold medals on home turf at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and then again at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Canada went on to win a record 14 gold medals at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and a total of 18 medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

The Canadian Olympic Committee's goal for the Sochi Games is to improve on Vancouver's medal haul and finish at the top of the table for overall medals. So far, Canada has four more medals than at this point at the 2010 Games.

On Tuesday, Canada trailed only Norway in the standings.

Freestyle skier Dara Howell won Canada's fourth gold of the Sochi Games in the women's slopestyle event, while her teammate Kim Lamarre won the bronze.

That brought Canada's medal count to nine — four gold, three silver and two bronze. Only Norway, with 11 medals, has won more medals in Sochi.

The rest of the $23 million in Flaherty's budget will be divvied up between team sports, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Special Olympics Canada.

In addition to that money, Special Olympics Canada is getting another $10.8-million spread over four years.

"All Canadians are cheering on our Canadian athletes and coaches and celebrating their outstanding accomplishments at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia," the budget says.

Also included in the budget is a measure aimed at retirement savings for amateur athletes.

The measure would allow any income amateur athletes contributes to a trust to count as earned income for the purpose of determining their annual RRSP limit.

Right now, any income contributed to an amateur athlete trust doesn't count as earned income, which limits the amount they can contribute to an RRSP.

Follow @steve_rennie on Twitter

Like this article? Follow our Facebook page

Or follow us on Twitter

Also on HuffPost

Dara Howell Wins Gold