March 06, 2005

Less About Canada

I suppose it's natural that my thoughts and ideas would have a Canadian bias, but recently I've been on all-Canadian-sports-all-the-time. In the faint hope of attaining some balance, here are a few recent stories from around the world.

Insert Your Country Name Here
The Athens Review, a report into the success of Ireland at the 2004 games, called for substantial, sustained and targeted investment over many years to ensure Olympic and Paralympic success … It claimed Irish sport needed a restructuring of funding for top athletes and a more cohesive partnership between sporting bodies in order to compete at a higher level. — The Evening Echo, Cork, Ireland.

Except for the words "Ireland" and "Irish," this could have been written about any one of two dozen countries.

The Motivating Effect of Prizes

Many countries offer their Olympic athletes cash prizes for winning medals. It turns out India is one of those countries. Who knew?

I never really understood the theory behind this practice, anyway — are Olympic athletes suffering from a lack of motivation? It doesn't seem to be doing much for India, for sure … they've won a total of three Olympic medals since 1980.

Note: Rs 23 lakh is 2,300,000 rupees, or roughly $65,000 Canadian.

African Bid Intentions Announced

Well, the Kenyans are still promising that they are going to bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic games. No big news there, since they've made public noises about it before (post). More bizarre is this story that Ghana intends to bid for the Summer Olympics, too … in 2032. At least they won't be doing everything at the last minute …

Modern Greek Proverb: Haste Makes Waste

… which is something the Greeks are going to regret, apparently, according to these two (one, two) stories.

Also in Greece, the new president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee has had to abolish four "illegitimate" winter sports federations. The federations were allegedly invented just to create more puppet votes within the HOC.

Nobody Loves A Superpower

Finally, here's an interesting article about the US Olympic Committee, its budget, and what a mess the organization has been in the past. So not only have they been kicking everybody's butt at the Olympics, but they've been doing it with one hand tied behind their back. Typical, eh?

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