Aug 08

Olympic Avoidance Log 2008: Day 8 – Of Tables

FT + TMFD/16 comments • 345 views

STOP WINNING MEDALS so called Team GB (so British to invent a teamname which tries not to actually say the contentious British word). Its relatively easy to avoid the Olympics when your radar is set for the BBC with extra Clare Balding alerts. But win medals, (or lose medals with Paula Radcliffe) and the games make the news. And I want to watch the news, as Georgia is on my mind. And whilst sports commentators can be banal, add BBC news teams to this and you could end up with some sort of explosion of idiocy.

So it appears that the “GOLD RUSH” means we are third in the Medals Table, a table where it is mainly about the number of golds (silver and bronze columns see to be there for goal difference purposes). Which, incase you can’t see it with your eyes when they put the medal table up, means we are above Australia and Germany – which some people seem to think is significant. What I would also like to see is an actual medal table, of the actual number of gold medals we will be taking hime, bearing in mind that a few of ours would be in team sports. This would also make sense for those teams taking part in football, hockey and handball – where only one medal is available. It means we’d have six golds in the rowing, four in the sailing so far. It may also skew the other most ridiculous stat that is starting to be bandied around…

In a talkie bit on News 24 with the sports guy, the following assertation was made: “If you take out the achievements of Michael Phelps the UK has the same number of golds as the USA. Indeed if Michael Phelps was a country he would be fifth in the medals table”.

IF MICHAEL PHELPS WAS A COUNTRY? How would this work exactly? Can you be granted membership of the UN just because you are quite good at swimming. The GDP of Phelpsland one assumes would be from the sale of gold medals, which would need regular top ups every four years. And if Russia are so gung ho to go into Georgia, I think they would see an opportunity to regain their Olympic golory days and instantly send a tank in to Phelps to annexe him. Nevertheless feel free to send in what you think the flag if this autonomous, fast swimming nation would look like, so he can hoist it up his flagpole.



  1. 1
    byebyepride on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Who is Michael Phelps? Clearly my avoidance is going better than yours!

  2. 2
    Tom on 18 Aug 2008 #

    If Michael Phelps was a country it would spoil* one of my favourite pub quiz questions: what is the only country named after its ruler?

    *unless he called himself Swimistan or something.

  3. 3
    Tom on 18 Aug 2008 #

    & for some reason the Americans use a different version of the medal table: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/olympics/2008/medals/tracker/

  4. 4
    vinylscot on 18 Aug 2008 #

    re this Team GB nonsense. If you were of a mind to care about these things, and if you were from Northern Ireland, would you not be a bit pissed off that you had been excluded from the United Kingdom team?

    I don’t know if there are any Northern Irish in the team, or reading this, but I’d be interested to hear their views, while remaining as ignorant as possible regarding the actual events in Beijing.

  5. 5
    CarsmileSteve on 18 Aug 2008 #

    certainly one of the republic of ireland’s boxers was described as “a belfast boy” the other day, but according to the Team GB website there are only three athletes from Northern Ireland in the team…

  6. 6
    CarsmileSteve on 18 Aug 2008 #

    i understand the Americans use that version of the medal table so that they are top of it…

  7. 7
    Tom on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Pete in a fifteen minute browse of the BBC this lunchtime I spotted two more variants on the if it were a country:

    – If Britain’s cyclists were a country…

    and the, erm, highly abstract

    – If Team GB’s weekend were a country…

  8. 8
    Erithian on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Wendy Houvenaghel, silver behind Rebecca Romero in the women’s pursuit cycling, is apparently the first Northern Irish Olympian to win a medal since Mary Peters in 1972. GB is generally considered shorthand for “Great Britain and Northern Ireland” which would be tricky to put on the tracksuits (but not that tricky).

  9. 9
    CarsmileSteve on 18 Aug 2008 #

    yes, most of the stuff i googled seemed to suggest it was an IOC thing, in that we are GBR and not UKI (UNK?), which i guess goes back 112 years and it’s too late to change it nao…

  10. 10
    lex on 18 Aug 2008 #

    what is the only country named after its ruler?


  11. 11
    Pete on 18 Aug 2008 #

    India, named after Indi(r)a Ghandhi.

  12. 12
    Pete Baran on 19 Aug 2008 #

    Oh why does the BBC nick our ideas and then have nitwits actually respond. Here are fourteen BBC Online viewers designs for a flag for this Michael Phelps country… Some are staggeringly poor, some have a little flair and one appears to be the Ukrainian flag with michael Phelps on it.

  13. 13
    Tom on 19 Aug 2008 #

    To be fair Pete – though of course as an Olympic Avoider you would not have known this – they were asking for entries in this ‘competition’ several days ago live on air. I assume the usual channels – i.e. Blue Peter – wanted none of it.

  14. 14
    Pete on 19 Aug 2008 #

    I was disappointed not to see a goatse one.

  15. 15
    Борис on 24 Jun 2009 #

    Без преувеличения можно точно сказать, что пост тему раскрыл на все 100 процентов. :)

  16. 16
    Stas-11111 on 2 Sep 2009 #

    Thanks for article

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