Medal Count

I haven’t been paying much attention to the Olympics, but is anyone else out there annoyed by the fixation on medal counts by nation? Sure, I can appreciate rooting for “our guys” (whoever those guys might be for the rooter), but once you start aggregating the results of individual efforts into some national scheme you lose sight of the triumphs and disappointments that are what sport is all about.

Yeah, I know, I’m old and grumpy. Next I’ll be asking for sportsmanship.

6 thoughts on “Medal Count

  1. Yeah, the whole nationalistic reporting, especially in individual events, is annoying but it has always been a part of the games as far back as this old squirrel can remember. Back in the old cold war days, it used to be reported on a east-west basis as well. But there I go reminiscing again.

    Ol’ Squirrely has been boycotting the olympics, but at a party Saturday I saw Phelps win #8 cause people HAD to see the race.

  2. What’s interesting is that the sportscasters preface the medal count by saying, “This doesn’t really mean anything, but here it is …”

  3. A german colleague claims the focus on American athletes (and by extension medal count) is peculiar to the U.S. and that in Europe it is a lot easier to see all athletes, and all competitions, even unusual sports, even if your country has no athlete competing. Perhaps.
    It might be that old bugaboo of paid advertising. American TV is not driven by state sponsorhip or mandate, but by GM saying, “Hey, NBC, we sell less cars when you are showing a bunch of Koreans in the archery competition. We want Phelps on, or we pull 1mil out of your pockets.”
    I enjoyed watching the jamaican Usian Bolt – he was just so dang far out in front. Sport Scientists are amazed because he is tall and big, and 99.99% of sprinters are only about 6 feet. They say in the 100m sprint his long legs took only 41 steps compared to the avg 47 steps of the other competitors. That is when sport transcends political boundaries and you just say, “Man.”

  4. But have you seen the German olympic women’s fund raising tactics? If not, try looking up Very, um, enlightening. And it’s really just about the articles.

  5. I think they haven’t gone far enough, really.
    I think they should also show ratios of medals won vs. population, and medals won vs. tax-payer expenditure on olympic athletes….

    oh, and hi.

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