The Canadian Olympic Committee unveils its blueprint for success at the 2010 Winter Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee unveils its blueprint for success at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver on Friday with the focus on smarter use of money and resources.

Don't be surprised to see hockey players competing in short-track speed skating.

Whatever works, is part of the strategy, which also calls for Canada's best athletes to get the best equipment and best training.

The COC will flesh out its Own the Podium program at news conferences in Toronto, Montreal and Whistler, B.C. It's a bold plan designed to see Canada win 35 medals at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and finish on top of the medal standings.

The blueprint calls for $110 million to be spent over the next five years, and borrows from the success of host countries in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The COC is asking Canadian athletes to bring home more than twice the 17 medals won at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, but COC officials believe its a reachable goal.

The idea is focus on the sports and athletes with the greatest chance of reaching the podium, and has identified sports with the potential for multi-medals.

"Other countries pick and choose sports where they're going to win medals, because it's important for them to do well at the Olympic Games," said Diane Jones-Konihowski, a COC board member and former Olympic track athlete. "That's what we're saying now, it's important for Canada, we want to win."

"It's so anti-Canadian, but I'm excited we're setting high standards."

There are 24 medals up for grabs in short-track speed-skating, for example, and short-track officials won't hesitate to recruit hockey players to compete.

"The short-track people said they need three years to get an athlete ready for an Olympic Games provided they're already a high-performance athlete," said Wayne Russell, CEO for the Own the Podium plan.

Ski jumping and Nordic combined already felt the effects of the new focus when the Calgary Olympic Development Association axed their funding.

According to COC chief executive officer Chris Rudge, the plan will take a cash injection of $110 million over five years - about double what the federal government already gives the 13 winter sports federations. They're hoping Ottawa will pitch in half, and has hired a lobbyist to help with the efforts. And Vancouver's Olympic organizing committee - VANOC - has committed to trying to find the other half through sponsorship.

The Own the Podium plan is the result of a study headed by Cathy Priestner-Allinger, an Olympic silver medallist for Canada in speed skating.

Priestner-Allinger worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee in its plan to put Americans on the podium in Salt Lake - a huge success story.

Russell said the plan will provide more funding for resources such as travel to international camps and competitions, equipment, and sport science. Too often in the past, he pointed out, Canadian skiers have shown up at the Olympics on last year's skis.

Priestner-Allinger said the COC looked specifically at Sydney and Salt Lake because of the ''really strong'' working relationship between the organizing committee, the national Olympic committee and the various sport groups for those Games.

The Americans won 34 medals in Salt Lake, shattering their previous record of 13. They finished second in medals, just one shy of Germany.

Australia had similar success when they hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics, although their plan was years in the making. Australia won 58 medals in Sydney, improving on their 41 medals four years earlier in Atlanta, and 27 in 1992 in Barcelona.

As part of its new lofty initiatives, the COC will also release the Fast Track to Turin plan.

The COC's goal for Turin, just 13 months from now, is a top-three finish and 25 medals. The target is 18 medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, up from the 12 Canadians brought home last summer from Athens.

Some Canadian athletes believe the COC's goal for Vancouver leaves too little room for chance and piles on too much pressure.

"In any race, step on a puck (corner marker) and it's all over," said Clara Hughes, who has won Olympic medals in both speed-skating in cycling. "You can prepare to the best of your abilities, but on the day, anything can happen. When you start making predictions, you take away the moment of the competition. And it sets the public up to be disappointed instead of just being inspired by the example they see, whether in success or failure."

"I hope people can see beyond (the medal goals) and not have these calculations in their heads and then say 'oh, we failed again,'" Hughes added. "As an athlete, you're not thinking about how many medals were predicted. That's way too much weight to carry around."

But while Canadian athletes may be wary, some sport officials are saying it's about time. The Canadian alpine ski team has already set its own goal of four gold medals in Vancouver.

"Why not be bold? Why not?" said Alpine Canada president Ken Read. "Why not step out and say, we can be first? We should not have to apologize for that."

"I never was prepared to apologize to the Austrians for winning (two World Cups) in Kitzbuhel. I absolutely loved sticking my finger in their eye, we revelled in it."

Read points to Canada's hockey teams, who swept gold in Salt Lake and would consider anything less a failure.

"We have an absolute expectation that of course we're going to win (in hockey). Why should we only feel that we can do that in one sport?" said Read.

"Nobody in this country ever wants to watch a bronze-medal hockey game again," added Rudge.