Posts Tagged ‘London 2012’

India tops the list of Olympics underachievers

August 14, 2012

London 2012  has been a fantastic Olympics – the Bolt Games – notwithstanding a fairly pathetic closing ceremony.

The BBC with the help of Meghan Busse from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the US has produced a table of the underachieving and overachieving nations (based on population and GDP).

The top-10 list of countries that won most Olympic medals barely changed between 2008 and 2012. The top four – US, China, Russia, UK – were identical. Just one country dropped out – Ukraine – which was replaced by Japan. But which countries did better or worse than we should have expected?

Before the Games started, BBC Radio’s More or Less programme decided to level the statistical playing field by working out how many medals nations could expect to win based on population and GDP alone.

“If you use those predictions as a kind of benchmark, then you can ask the question, who’s done well and not so well relative to that prediction – who won more medals than they should have, and who won fewer,” says Meghan Busse from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the US, who helped with the sums.


The Bolt Games are coming to an end …… and some events need to go

August 10, 2012

Three days of competition left and then I can get back to a normal routine again. But Usain Bolt and David Rudisha were well worth waiting for last night. And behind David Rudisha in the 800m came two unheralded teenagers. What is left to say about Usain Bolt? The sprint double at successive Games is unprecedented and will not be repeated for a long time. From day one – and long before the athletics had even begun – it has been the Usain Bolt show even if the Team GB performance has been quite remarkable. Almost a fairy tale for the host nation. The organisation of the games has – to all appearances – been a great success. Journalists still look for negative stories but London has coped and coped quite easily. But London 2012 will be – should be – known as the Bolt Games.

Of course Usain Bolt has the 4 x 100m relay yet to come but that does not carry the majesty that the 100m and the 200m does. Rudisha vs. Bolt at the compromise distance of 400m could be interesting.

But – and without any disrespect to the proponents – there are far too many events which just don’t feel Olympian to me. I think I would prefer to see the emphasis on the performance of individuals. Faster, higher, stronger. All team events then feel wrong. This would remove football and hockey and volleyball and handball and basketball and beach volleyball. Even the doubles events in the racquet games would go (and do we really need three racquet games?). Wrestling and boxing are surely enough of the “combat sports” without having to suffer the judo and Tae-kwon-do bouts. Even wrestling has become quite unintelligible for the uninitiated. Pairs and fours in rowing could go. Events where performance is entirely subjective have no place here I think. This would remove artistic gymnastics and synchronised diving for example. And synchronised swimming would die a natural death if it was not an Olympic event. The equestrian events are interesting and dressage is an equine ballet that can be a joy to watch. But for riders to be feted for the performance of their horses seems a little ridiculous.

The Olympics must be the celebration of individual performance – I think – rather than team performances (with their nationalistic overtones).

Faster, Higher and Stronger!

And Tae-kwon-do, Wrestling, Judo, Water polo and all team events would be the first to go if I could choose.

Olympics: OBS coverage is amateur and cycling road race graphics were pathetic

July 29, 2012

Maybe it’s just teething troubles on Day 1, but yesterday’s coverage of the cycling road race was pathetic. Coverage of the boxing was bad and the rowing and swimming graphics were amateur. Their choice of pictures generally from their many cameras managed to miss many of the critical moments.

Olympic Broadcasting Services – OBS – provides all pictures from the Olympics to broadcasters around the world.

Of course, OBS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Olympic Committee and hosts the broadcasting operation for several major sporting events.

The coverage was amateur rather than incompetent – but for the premier sporting event it needs to be at a different level. It certainly cannot get much worse.

The Guardian

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