Sunday, August 24, 2008

Queen wins Olympics!

While Team GB did well in the "sitting down sports" at the Olympics (sailing, kayaking, biking, rowing etc) it didn't even put a team for the national game of football.

The reason is that despite the name "United Kingdom" there are separate football teams for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The background and issues are debated here at this article again from the BBC.

It all seems a bit parochial to me - I can't see the point of putting a Welsh football team into the World Cup unless you like loosing. In some quarters its related to a negative attitude towards Britain as a whole - such as the Scottish National Party's target of independence.

That attitude makes me uncomfortable as we can and do have multiple identities. I'm a Londoner, Englander and Scottish, British, member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and European amongst others.

And its interesting to see what the medal table would look like with the alternative associations. For example the Queen would win the Olympics if the Commonwealth of Nations were an entrant with 54 golds, 54 silvers and 57 bronzes making 165 in total.

Pretty impressive! But the EU would beat that easily - winning 83 golds 97 silvers 89 bronzes making a grand total of 269.

Now Boris has waved the Olympic flag and the games are coming to London.

Which leaves just one question to answer: why is it that America, a country where winning is everything and coming second nothing, uses total medal count, given that would imply that a third is as good as coming first?


Tillerman said...

Where did you get the idea that coming second counts for nothing in America? George Bush came second in the popular vote for president in 2000 which means that, under the US constitution, he won.

JP said...

Ah, so its a national tradition, like the royals for us!