olympics

U.S., China neck-and-neck in Olympic medals race

26 Comments

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It is time to count the medals of non-dream teams. Take away the professionals such as the USA basketball teams, for example, and see how many real amateurs have medals. The Olympic Games are just entertainment, nothing else.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Sour grapes anyone? The Olympic Games are in no way or form 'just' entertainment. It's years filled with hours and hours of dedicated training to excellence. Well done everyone who takes part, professionals and amateurs alike. Bravo to your strength of will to apply yourselves as you do.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

and the amazing team GB, wow! third place! great stuff!

2 ( +13 / -11 )

It's funny how USA persists in counting "total medals" but then when they are also leading the gold medal count it suddenly counts as well.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

China won't survive through track and field...

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Look at that Japan and Australia have over 20 medals each but just a few golds between them. What a bunch of chokers.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

All athletes know what all athletes know: greatness is earned not conferred. And it is taken for granted only by fools.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Just let it be between the athletes... There is too much focus on "nation" medals.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Professional basketball players playing is normal, many other countries use pro soccer player and pro hockey player and also pro basketball player themselves. A pro team can still lose just up your game. All the teams know what they are up against and its more difficult if your team consist of all pros seeing as its easier to see what everyone can do on tv. Where as amateurs can be kept a secret. So being a pro can be a big weakness. But its still up to the coaching

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The new Cold War begins.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

noriyosan73: Real amateurs? Professionals? Yes, some individuals in some sports, but the line was blurred many, many years ago. I hope you're just being naive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What does an over-sized, over paid millionaire who practices and plays basketball 12 months a year have to do with being an Olympian?

Actually, it is sour grapes, since the basketball gold as not even been awarded yet, and most of the top teams have players from the NBA. France, I believe, has six. But, more to the point, to diminish the accompishments of folks like Missy Franklin or Gabby Douglas, or Katie Ledecky simply because they happen to be from the same country as these millionaies you despise so much is insulting. If they were Japanese, you'd be hailing them as heroes and the essence of what the Olympics is supposed o be about.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Just what does the medal count mean? This argument will never end. However, it is most notable that even North Korea has taken home more gold medals than Japan! There is something to think about here.

No matter which way you measure advantage in sport (GDP, population, number of athletes, experience in international competition, sporting tradition, etc.), this should simply not happen.

Granted, the 2012 Summer Games are only at the halfway point. The medal count will change. Japan still has the opportunity to improve its performance on the world stage.

Here at the halfway point, perhaps the overall (under) performance of Japan's Olympians in London will serve as a wake-up call to this nation's attitude toward sport...

One can only hope for positive changes at both local and national levels...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

lostinnagoya:

What came to my mind is that there is some sort of undetected doping being used by the Chinese team.

If it's undetectable, then it's undetectable in every athlete. Two words for you - 'grapes' and 'sour'. I noticed there were no suspicions about Ledecky's performance in the pool. Oh, that's right - she's American.

zichi:

and the amazing team GB, wow! third place! great stuff!

At first, I thought GB would do better than their Beijing performance, then when the games actually started, the outlook was really bleak. But the past few days have seen a gold rush, so I go back to my previous opinion. Traditionally, host nations have done a lot batter than usual, which is why I don't see China beating USA in either golds or total medal count.

However, from now on (or rather from 4 years ago) USA will now have China breathing on their backs. The mere fact that another country (and one that is not seen as an ally to boot) has the audacity to do so will rile certain people and make them belittle others' achievements, as we have already witnessed.

Personally, I think sports like baseball (temporarily out) and football should be kept away from the Olympics because the major players just don't view them as important. Just look at the countries participating in football, especially the men's. Most big players aren't even there!

supermonk:

China won't survive through track and field...

I think you're right, but they can get a few medals here and there. And Liu Xiang is back, unless he injures himself again. But yes, a lot of great African-American athletes.

Daijoboots:

Look at that Japan and Australia have over 20 medals each but just a few golds between them. What a bunch of chokers.

Japan has done worse than expected, but it's nowhere near as surprising as the Ozzies' performance - what is happening with them?! I have a feeling archery is going to become the next fad in Japan, as fencing disappears from the radar.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@ craig,

Actually tho only half way, the flagship of Jpns medal hopes, judo, has already sunk, so not so many more chances. Tho I don't know if N K has many more athletes either...

But N Korea, actually not that un-understandable, if you think about what a dictator can do: anything he wants!

Desptie ppl living in poverty, he can choose a certain number of individuals to train hard in some sports. Just like the USSR did despite being poor in many resources.

But I'm with bruinfan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

One thing that has amazed me is the stellar performances by the teenagers from the various countries. 15, 16, and 17 - year olds winning all kinds of medals! Kudos to them for their efforts

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's sad to see smaller countries with nary a chance of winning any medals against the bigger powers.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What's most amazing is North Korea having won four gold medals - more than most countries including Japan, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Ukraine, Spain, etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

daijoboots, did the Japanese men's 400m medley team "choke" by getting the silver medal? No, they did their best and the results were better than most expected. In order to get the gold they would have had to shave more than 2 seconds off the national record. Well done, Japanese swimmers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is time to count the medals of non-dream teams. Take away the professionals such as the USA basketball teams, for example, and see how many real amateurs have medals.

All the Olympic basketball teams are professionals. (Heck, all Olympic sports use professionals, i.e. they earn a living thru sponsors.) In fact, all except Tunisia have NBA players. Nevertheless, even if we take all the bball pros away from the Olympics including the non-US teams, the US team would still win it because the US amateur youth teams are currently the world champs.

Or how about count the medals of non-dream teams from China's diving, badminton, and table tennis? Any nation can have its own dream team in some sport.

It's funny how USA persists in counting "total medals" but then when they are also leading the gold medal count it suddenly counts as well.

When the US was leading in gold medals but China was leading in total medals, the USOC listed China #1 while USA #2.

Look at that Japan and Australia have over 20 medals each but just a few golds between them. What a bunch of chokers.

Is it better to develop only the few athletes who could win, or to develop as many athletes who could place in the podium? Is it better to win as many golds only, or as many medals?

At first, I thought GB would do better than their Beijing performance, then when the games actually started, the outlook was really bleak. But the past few days have seen a gold rush, so I go back to my previous opinion. Traditionally, host nations have done a lot batter than usual, which is why I don't see China beating USA in either golds or total medal count.

Yeah, by the first week, the Brits were having some self-deprecating humor about having yet no medals, like "Gold medal? No thanks, we're British":

http://www.theage.com.au/olympics/news-london-2012/gold-medal-no-thanks-were-british-20120801-23ec3.html

But now they're on a surge lately. And yeah, host nations always do better than usual because, in addition to the usual advantages of being the home team, a host nation automatically qualifies for all sports where it can field competitive teams - effectively a horse in every race, sometimes even 2 or 3 horses.

That's why it'd be hard for China to win the total medals since 4 years ago, when they were the host, they still couldn't win the total medals, even with all the host advantages. However, they still have a good chance with the gold count. (More on this story below..........)

However, from now on (or rather from 4 years ago) USA will now have China breathing on their backs. The mere fact that another country (and one that is not seen as an ally to boot) has the audacity to do so will rile certain people and make them belittle others' achievements, as we have already witnessed.

People forget that, before China, it was the USA vs USSR, so it's nothing new. The US always had a medals count adversary, but it has always been there to challenge, Games after Games.

Personally, I think sports like baseball (temporarily out) and football should be kept away from the Olympics because the major players just don't view them as important. Just look at the countries participating in football, especially the men's. Most big players aren't even there!

That's because FIFA bars the Olympics from using full national teams (instead Under-23 plus 3), except the women's. FIFA wants to keep the World Cup as the premiere football event that crowns the true champion.

It's sad to see smaller countries with nary a chance of winning any medals against the bigger powers.

They just have to find their particular sport. For example, for Jamaica, it's the sprints.

Anyways, as we were saying, China only cares for gold. That has been their sports strategy for the last couple decades. Take their state-owned media for example:

http://www.china.org.cn/sports/2012londonolympics/2012-07/31/content_26072232.htm

To some extent, the media are partly responsible for the obsession with gold medals, Wu Zhilin said.

"You see so much media coverage of the gold medalists, from what food they like to revisiting the primary school they attended. The other athletes just fade into the background," he said.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympics--family-kept-grandparents--deaths-secret-from-chinese-diver-until-she-won-gold-medal.html

The Chinese government's attitude towards the performances of its athletes is now coming under greater scrutiny than ever before. Messages of congratulations from the government to athletes through the state news agency have been sent only to gold medalists, not those winning silver or bronze.

China's strategy is mainly to pour resources in sports where:

1.) they have a very good chance of winning gold

2.) sports where there are multiple golds available, like gymnastics (team, all-around, and 1 per each apparatus)

3.) female sports because many are relatively new so they're not so far behind in development, and many female sports are underdeveloped in many nations relative to men's, so they can exploit and dominate in that vacuum arena.

And so:

a.) Unless it's a sport where they actually have a good chance of winning, they won't care too much about it - they're not looking for silvers and bronzes. They don't value silver- or bronze-capable athletes - unless you're a gold-capable athlete, they won't pour resources towards you.

b.) Team sports are lower priority. Why invest so much resources on, say, an 18-member soccer team just for 1 gold? That's why China rarely is competitive in big teams sports. Plus, it's much harder to develop a whole team than just separate individuals. And as the 2004 US men's basketball team found out, team sports takes more than excellent individual pieces - it also takes developing teamwork and tactics.

(On that note, because of that greater difficulty, there are some proponents for giving worth more medals proportional to the team sport size. For example, a 5-starting-players team sport like basketball would be worth 5 medals, while an 11-starting-players team sport like soccer be awarded 11 medals. But limited to "true" team sports with minimum, say, 5 or more starting players. So doubles tennis or 4-member relays still count just 1 medal.)

c.) Chinese women's athletes are pretty good and tend to be better than their men's. The majority of their medals are earned by their women.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To clarify my earlier comment (6 thumbs down hey) I think all medal tally/'medal counts are stupid and meaningless. So I'm mocking both ways of counting/ranking the medals. Many athletes train overseas so how does their medal represent their home nation's sporting prowess?? Shouldn't the overseas coach/equipment/medical professionals/high calibre contribute just as much if not more than their early roots? Also many athletes have changed nationality just to get into the Olympics - how does their achievement reflect on their Represented country's greatness at sports? Confusing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I guess it's just human nature to keep a count and rank things. No different here...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It would be nice if these RICH countries getting so many medals for sports, stopped for a second to think of the MILLIONS and Billions of people all around the world that do not even have a tv/radio/computer to even KNOW about these olympics let alone send people from their poor countries to compete, and have these same RICH countries (the USA, etc..)start a new olympics, see who can help more and more poor people get out of poverty, etc..who can give some kind of support, $$, time etc..to the homeless etc..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just let it be between the athletes... There is too much focus on "nation" medals.

Because that isn't how the Olympics are organized. They are organized around national teams. If they get rid of the national Olympic organizations, flags, and teams and operate like an independent league of association then the focus would shift beyond nationality to the athletes themselves.

have these same RICH countries (the USA, etc..)start a new olympics, see who can help more and more poor people get out of poverty, etc..who can give some kind of support, $$, time etc..to the homeless etc..

You can't help people that live in anti-capitalist societies run by dictators... unless of course you use military force to overthrow their illegitimate governments and impose a new government based on a economic and social culture that is foreign to them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Go World, USA!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This link says it all: http://www.aneki.com/olympic.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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