Great Britain during the 2012 London Olympics earned a very impressive 65 medals. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics they had earned 47 medals. Why did they earn 27.7% more medals when playing in their own country? Did pride have something to do with it? I'm sure that was some kind of a factor. Home field advantage must factor into some of the judges decisions. It's hard to ignore the roaring fans. Let's take a closer look at some facts.
    Great Britain is giving over £20m to five of their sports between 2009 and 2013. Take a look at the figures:
£27,287,600 to rowing. 9 total medals.
£26m to cycling. 12 total medals.
£25,144,600 to swimming. 3 total medals.
£25m to athletics. 6 total medals.
£22m to sailing. 5 total medals.
£16m to canoeing. 4 total medals.
£6.5m to diving. 1 total medal.
Total spent on 7 sports = £147,932,200 for 40 of their total medals.
    What hope do poor countries have at competing against other countries willing to spend that kind of money? That money gets their athletes the best training, facilities and equipment. How many countries can afford to build their own velodrome to compete at cycling? How many countries have state of the art swimming pools for their swimmers?
    I'm not just trying to signal out Great Britain either. I was simply using them as an example. In 2004 Canada started up a program called "Own The Podium." It cost $117 million and $66 million of that came from the tax payers. That $117 million earned Canada 2 more medals in 2010 over their performance in 2006. The Australian government in 2010 committed to investing $1.2 billion over a four year period.
    I wouldn't call the Olympics an even playing field. Some countries literally have no hope at winning a single medal. The fact that they can even get to the Olympics is a miracle. Sure, even the wealthy countries have exceptional athletes worthy of our praise but will we ever know if they were the best?

11/17/2013 08:23:14 pm

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