Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Alternative medals tables ...

The EU has come in for a certain amount of teasing after someone sent out a tweet on behalf of the  European Parliament to congratulate all the medal winners from the current EU member states. It was probably meant harmlessly but perhaps it is not surprising that this graphic in the tweet

was taken as suggesting that the EU won the Rio Olympics.

The figure of 325 medals includes all the present member states, with the largest contingent being of course Team GB - and Britain has voted to leave the EU, although this has of course not yet come into effect.

The "Guido Fawkes" blog run by Paul Staines did a "Reductio ad Absurdam" parody of the EU tweet by suggesting here  what the figures would have been for the British Empire:

The Guardian and various other people who saw this retweeted (particularly by Heather Wheeler MP) and may not have seen the European parliament original made snooty comments about people who think Britain still has an Empire. That is of course the risk with using ironic humour - there is always someone stupid enough to think or unprincipled to argue that you mean it.

 (Of course, the British Commonwealth of Nations does still exist, and if you calculated the figures for the Commonwealth, which would be at least as legitimate as treating the EU as a unit, it would show about the countries which are members of the British Commonwealth of Nations as winning 166 medals, which represents an awful lot of sporting excellence.)

Of course, as the Telegraph points out here, you can come out with a whole raft of different rankings looking just at countries if you take medals per head of population, or per unit of GNP, or per competing athlete. The Bahamas and Grenada with one gold and one silver respectively still did best in terms of Gold or total medals per head of population. Jamaica, Grenada again, and Chinese Taipei do best in terms of medals per £100 million in annual GDP, and Azerbaijan won most medals per competing athlete.

But almost whichever measure you choose, Team GB did well.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Whoopie doo, now most of those sports can fall back into the category of "stuff we dont care about" for another 3 years and 50 weeks.