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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:54 am 
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Yeah, I meant to have Adrian's win on mine,,, I said I'd forget some :D I kind of got caught up in all the world records the women had on that medley relay :D

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:56 am 
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WampusCat wrote:
I haven't participated much in this discussion, but I've truly enjoyed reading everyone's comments almost as much as I've enjoyed immersing myself in the Games.

Thank you.


Glad you were here :)

:playful:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:14 am 
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And I read this thread INSTEAD of watching the Olympics, and enjoyed it all mightily, so thanks from me, too!
:love:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:06 am 
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And just to add an exclamation point to their own stupidity, trying to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt how bad they are at broadcasting the olympics, NBC has inserted an hour of programming (a new show and the local news!) at the exact climax of the closing ceremonies... which will finish being shown in an hour...

:bang:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:37 am 
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Soooo stupid. Staying up that late on a work night is not going to happen, so we will catch The Who tomorrow, if we're in the mood.

I thought the closing ceremony was a ton of fun. Bizarre and goofy and rousing and fun. The giant octopus was a fave at our house, as well as "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." The glimpse of Prince Harry singing and whistling along was amusing.

The opening ceremony will stick with me, though. So interesting, all the way through, with so many surprises. Beijing's opening ceremony was astonishing, but London's was astonishingly human.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:14 am 
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To watch it live I would have had to get up just before 6. That isn't all that early, and I would have if I hadn't had to come into work and miss out on quite a bit anyway.

So, instead, we taped it - the live broadcast, without any commercial interruptions. We'll watch it tonight instead of the repeat broadcast, which WILL be interrupted with advertising.

Looking forward to it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:22 am 
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halplm wrote:
And just to add an exclamation point to their own stupidity, trying to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt how bad they are at broadcasting the olympics, NBC has inserted an hour of programming (a new show and the local news!) at the exact climax of the closing ceremonies... which will finish being shown in an hour...

:bang:


Unbelievable.... :nono:

Great reaction to the whole fortnight from around the world, confirming Seb Coe's words "When our time came, Britain, we did it right" : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19238284

Summed up in the Daily Express:
Quote:
A Great British celebration crowned a magnificent fortnight which has put a proud host nation on top of the world. Our greatest team of athletes led from the front, winning an astonishing 29 gold medals - Britain's biggest haul in more than 100 years. But it was ordinary British people who turned London 2012 into an unprecedented spectacle with their passion and generosity of spirit


an achievement put into perspective by the Washington Post -
Quote:
At these Games, the United States and China might be coming home with more gold, but this country of 62 million roughly the size of Michigan reminded itself of its uncanny ability to punch above its weight.


For those who enjoy such trivia, the county of Yorkshire won 7 Gold medals - the same number as Australia!!!!

For me the highlights are almost too numerous to list, but the achievements of Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, David Rudisha, Jessica Ennis, the GB Cycling, Men's gymnasts and Equestrian teams will be near the top. And of course, Michael Phelps, (though the charming Ian "Thorpedo" Thorpe, commentating on the swimming for the BBC, still does it for me!)

Top quote of the Games, from sailor Ben Ainslie regarding his Danish and Dutch rivals who spurred him onto his 4th Gold:
Quote:
'They've made me angry and you don't want to make me angry.'


All in all, I reckon it has been everything we hoped for and dreamt of after winning the bid...let us hope that we have indeed "inspired a generation" of future athletes - far better role models for young and old in this age of instant celebrity...

And now it's all over! Fabulous Olympics after-show party last night to celebrate a Games for the people, by the people... and who didn't have a lump in their throat over the "Imagine" sequence... :cry:

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Last edited by Elentári on Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:09 am 
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Interesting point Elen. I went looking to see what the medal count per Capita was and it was illuminating to say the least. I guess its only logical that such a large country as the US would have a huge medal tally, but taking their population into consideration its less impressive.

According to this site: http://www.medalspercapita.com/

Grenada with 1 medal from a population of 110,821 is the top scorer. New Zealand are at 4th, Ireland at 22nd, UK at 23rd, US at 49th and China at 74th


Even more telling is what happens when you measure against GDP, since more wealthy countries have more money to invest in athlete training. Not what you would expect!

http://www.medalspercapita.com/#medals-by-gdp:2012

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:30 pm 
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And if you look at Gold medals per capita,the Caribbean and NZ still do well, but the surprise is Hungary at 5th place. GB shoots up to 11th with USA in 28th place and China at 48!


Also forgot to mention about the Olympic flame - each nation gets to take a copper petal home with them as a momento...a rather nice touch! :)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:39 pm 
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That torch was a brilliant design. Just the conceit of a flame for every country, all burning together to make the Olympic flame, was perfect. And the way it could move meant that it could be lit and extinguished beautifully.

I'm glad your country is so proud of these Games, Elen. You should be. You've set a very high mark.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:01 pm 
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I just realised that we got 1 less medal than India. We have a population of around 4 million and got 5 medals. India has a population of 1.3 billion and got 6!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:10 pm 
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And four of them were for punching people. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Interesting point Elen. I went looking to see what the medal count per Capita was and it was illuminating to say the least. I guess its only logical that such a large country as the US would have a huge medal tally, but taking their population into consideration its less impressive.


As I started to explain on FB, you have to consider the fact that all countries are limited to the same number of entrants per event - for instance, in swimming it is two per individual event, in running it is three per individual event, and in women's gymnastics it is five per team and two per individual event and all-around. These restrictions mean that a "large country as the US" is prohibited from showcasing its depth; at least in swimming and gymnastics, we could easily put up many times the number of internationally competitive athletes as we are currently permitted to put up. Many of our athletes experience the heartache of being left home despite knowing that they are better than the best that most competitor countries can put up. In fact, in swimming many US Olympians report that Olympic Trials is a much more stressful meet than the Olympics - and it is much harder to make the US team than it is to make the Olympic finals, because the former effort requires faster times.

This is to ensure that smaller countries have a supposedly fair chance to compete - we can't bring our 20 international caliber athletes who are as good or better as country X's two athletes. So, after we have been subject to this restriction - at great personal cost to our international-caliber athletes who are excluded because they are of the wrong nationality for the IOC's purposes - please at least recognize that our medal count is not actually less impressive due to our population size. We were allowed the same number of competitors as every other country. Ours (and China's, using the same reasoning) were just consistently better than other countries'.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:05 pm 
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nerdanel wrote:
...we could easily put up many times the number of internationally competitive athletes as we are currently permitted to put up. Many of our athletes experience the heartache of being left home despite knowing that they are better than the best that most competitor countries can put up. This is to ensure that smaller countries have a supposedly fair chance to compete - we can't bring our 20 international caliber athletes who are as good or better as country X's two athletes. So, after we have been subject to this restriction - at great personal cost to our international-caliber athletes who are excluded because they are of the wrong nationality for the IOC's purposes - please don't additionally do us the discourtesy of claiming that our medal count is less impressive due to our population size. We were allowed the same number of competitors as every other country. Ours were just consistently better.

ETA ...and the same reasoning goes for China.


You're slightly missing the point here....nobody is claiming that China or USA's medal tally is not impressive, just that a much less-populated country's total is impressive, because they realistically can only produce a couple international calibre athletes every few years! Yes, everyone is allowed the same number of competitors, but some nations would not be able to fill that quota unless a ridiculously high proportion of that nation were world-class athletes!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Elentári wrote:
because they realistically can only produce a couple international calibre athletes every few years!


Why? I think that's an unrealistically pessimistic assessment. Given the very small number of exemplary athletes necessary to compete in the Olympics, countries with a fraction of the population can and do put up very impressive showings. As examples: the country second in swimming gold medals to the US is Australia, with 58 golds to the US's 217. Yet Australia has a population of only 20 million, the fifty-third highest population in the world.

Another example is the Romanian women's gymnastics team. Romania, a not-overly-wealthy country of 19 million people, has medaled in women's gymnastics every year beginning in 1976: gold (1984, 2000, 2004), silver (1976, 1980, 1988, 1992), and bronze (1996, 2008, 2012).

Things may be different if we're talking about countries with only a million people. But as for the more than 50 countries who have populations above 20 million people - which includes most of the wealthy and/or Western nations who are most competitive at the Olympics - I don't think that population can be cited as the reason for failing to produce adequate quantities of international caliber athletes. (Note: many countries with populations above 20 million have resource problems, a wholly different issue, and one that makes comparing a Western country's performance to the performance of a third-world nation like India a bit :scratch:)

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I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


Last edited by nerdanel on Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:28 pm 
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The problem is, it's a common tactic for people who DO want to diminish the accomplishments of some countries, and will find whatever statistical or anecdotal evidence they can to justify that position and argue it.

If the limitations of athletes per country were eliminated, then the countries that are always up against those limits would win more medals. The US would win more in swimming, etc. The Chinese would win more in Diving, etc.

That smaller countries produce medalists is not a surprise, and is a great accomplishment for those athletes and countries. But because the rules limit the athletes, then a per capita comparison is irrelevant. It does more to highlight the unfairness of the rules than increase the accomplishment of the smaller country.

If there were no such rules, then it would be a valid comparison.

I think the per country limitation is very unfair to the top athletes that just miss out on their country's teams. They could be the 3rd best in the world and not even get to go to the olympics. That is just wrong.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:32 pm 
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halplm wrote:
I think the per country limitation is very unfair to the top athletes that just miss out on their country's teams. They could be the 3rd best in the world and not even get to go to the olympics. That is just wrong.


Agree fully. It is outrageous and immoral. As I'm in the middle of reading different swimmers' stories, I'm coming across stories of swimmers who came in third in the US Olympic Trials in times that would have allowed them to medal in the same event at the Olympics, but who were forced to stay home due to the two-per-country rule. After reading about the inhumane training through which they put themselves for years, only to be excluded because their country's program was disproportionately stronger than all the others, I feel such outrage and anger at the rules that unfairly excluded them. And the reason that rule is in place is so that people from other countries can't complain that they didn't have a "fair chance" to medal because there were too many good Americans (or Chinese, or previously Soviets.) So when I see people ignoring that rule in order to minimize the superlative achievements of the American Olympic program as a whole ... I'm not pleased.

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I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:49 pm 
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I think the population argument works like this: to rise to the top of a pile of 100 takes more talent than rising to the top of a pile of 10. The selection standards for a more populated country are therefore going to be more stringent and the ones that make it through are going to be more formidable and this isn't fair to those that rose to the tops of their piles of 10. Of course, that's not necessarily a universal truth. Jamaica's dominated the men's sprints for the past two Olympics. Despite the depth of talent in the US, we haven't put up anyone who can beat Bolt.

My general response to less populated countries whining that it's not fair: suck it up buttercups. Or make more babies. Your call.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:18 pm 
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River wrote:
I think the population argument works like this: to rise to the top of a pile of 100 takes more talent than rising to the top of a pile of 10. The selection standards for a more populated country are therefore going to be more stringent and the ones that make it through are going to be more formidable and this isn't fair to those that rose to the tops of their piles of 10. Of course, that's not necessarily a universal truth. Jamaica's dominated the men's sprints for the past two Olympics. Despite the depth of talent in the US, we haven't put up anyone who can beat Bolt.


I think that's close, but not quite it. It's "the selection standards for a country in which the sport in question is more populated" that are going to be more stringent. In those countries (which may not at all be the overall most populated), there will be intense internal competition which forces all serious competitors to train harder than their competitors in countries where the sport is less populated, simply in order to qualify for international competition.

Of course, this is not remotely unfair to those who have to compete in a "pile of 10." First, they face a less arduous qualification process for international competition - and that's the chief unfairness about the whole thing. Second, many of those competitors can move to a serious training country, anyway, to train directly alongside their competition. E.g., many European swimmers come to US universities to train. The Chinese send many of their top swimmers to train in Australia or the US. It was a really big deal when one of the South African gold medalists (I think it was le Clos) refused to move away from S. Africa to step up his training, because that's what most South African swimmers did to stay competitive. (I'm sorry for continuing to draw on swimming anecdotes, but I don't know other sports well enough to draw on as many of their anecdotes.) Third, all of the top competitors are racing each other in international meets every year, not just at the Olympics, so that puts the "pile of 10" athletes on notice of the standard of international competition and leaves them just as responsible for being prepared to meet that standard.

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:44 pm 
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So, if participation limits were lifted, the two largest populated countries would walk away with an even larger share of the medals than they already do at present.....

That is obvious. The point in question is why? Does population size play a part or is it irrelevant? Is it just because of better funding and investment in facilities and training, etc.?

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