Conservative politics

Prime Minister Harper on Reach for the Top


From Ottawa Sun

He remembered a guy named Stephen Harper who played on Etobicoke, Ont.’s, Richview Collegiate’s Reach for the Top team, back in 1978.

That’s the year our high school, Vincent Massey Collegiate, played Richview in Reach for the Top — the television quiz show, matching high school students in a contest of knowledge and “quick recall.”

The Richview game was the first in the Etobicoke fight. Vincent Massey, led by Dino, went on to win the national championship in Charlottetown that year.

But Dino remembers every game vividly and the names of virtually all the opposing players, even though the games were played 33 years ago and the Massey team faced dozens of kids.

When the Conservatives won the federal election in ’06, with Stephen Harper as their leader, Dino remembered the kid by that name.

“I ran to my computer to confirm it was him, via Wikipedia,” Dino said from his home in Seguin, Tex., where he practises family medicine.

“I saw the year of birth, 1959, and high school Richview (and knew it was him).”

Unfortunately, the CBC has taped over the Richview-Massey game — Harper’s introduction to the mass media — but audio of the contest still exists and, well, let’s just say Harper didn’t embarrass himself.

He was, in fact, Richview’s best player.

Here is the Prime Minister recounting his time on reach for the top

from CBC

Harper ended up on the TV show Reach For The Top that year (Hello? CBC Archives?). But faced a toughie named Dino Zacconi who, as Harper puts it, “slaughtered” him.
Part of the reason for that, Harper said, was that (a) Zacconi was smarter than he was and (b) he was way faster on the button.

The Prime Minister and I share something in common . We have both been competitors in the Canadian-based quiz competition reach for the top. For the uninitiated reach for the top is a game that challenges a team of usually high school students on a variety of skill testing questions. Other famous Canadians connected to reach include Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek. 

About Jon Siemko

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