Monday, August 15, 2016

Britain's Olympic advance

At the moment Britain is still number two in the Olympic Medals table behind only the USA and slightly ahead of China.

But twenty years ago we were not even in the top ten. The rise of Team GB from 31st in Atlanta in 1996 to third in London 2012  and possible even better this time has been astonishing.

Of course, the main credit for the success of all Team GB's athletes go to the competitors themselves for their years of work and effort.

But the culture of sporting success does not arise from nothing, and includes inspiration from previous sporting heroes and - let's be honest - money and resources.

Hence Paul Goodman (here) and Tim Montgomerie are right to give Sir John Major and the National Lottery some of the credit for the incredible turnaround in Britain's sporting performance.

POSTSCRIPT added 16th August

Hat tip to John Rentoul of the Independent and Janan Ganesh of the FT who have made the same point, about a classic example of a government initiative actually working, as Ganesh writes here:

Meanwhile the egregious Kevin Maguire of the Mirror attacks the lottery funding of British sport, saying

"Loving Team GB's success but hate it's funded by what's effectively a lottery tax on poorer Brits. Nothing fair about that."

Frankly the fact that the policy is coming in from that kind of pathetic attack from the intellectually-challenged left makes me more inclined to support it - nobody forced anyone to buy a lottery ticket.

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