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Author Topic:   2012 Olympics
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 115 of 181 (670461)
08-15-2012 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by New Cat's Eye
08-15-2012 11:05 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
CS writes:
Not because of our culture itself, but since we so awesome in the other regards that we were victorious, then that kinda creates its own culture... of winning.
You seem to be missing Bluegenes point that for your size the amount of 'winning' you are doing isn't all that great.
Bluegenes writes:
Could the U.S. possibly get 320 medals in a modern Olympics? Hypothetically, yes. It's the "size" equivalent of Britain's 65. Wealth is certainly no problem, so the factors preventing it would have to fit into the broad category of culture.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-15-2012 11:05 AM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by onifre, posted 08-16-2012 1:47 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 126 of 181 (670539)
08-16-2012 8:44 AM
Reply to: Message 120 by onifre
08-16-2012 1:47 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
Unless you are suggesting that the US had a load of athletes sitting at home who could have beaten the rest of the world if only they had been at the London Olympics I’m not sure how having a bigger team would have helped you.
If the entire population of America had taken part and the US team had consisted of 300 million people I still don’t see how this would have made any difference to the eventual winners of individual events.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by onifre, posted 08-16-2012 1:47 AM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by caffeine, posted 08-16-2012 9:13 AM Straggler has replied
 Message 132 by onifre, posted 08-16-2012 11:36 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 128 of 181 (670553)
08-16-2012 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by caffeine
08-16-2012 9:13 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
So you are saying that the US had a load of elite level olympic athletes (that could have beaten the medalists of other countries if they had been there) sitting at home?
Bluegenes writes:
Could the U.S. possibly get 320 medals in a modern Olympics? Hypothetically, yes. It's the "size" equivalent of Britain's 65. Wealth is certainly no problem, so the factors preventing it would have to fit into the broad category of culture.
Do you think that the reason the US didn't do the "size equivalent of Britain" that Bluegenes talks about was because it didn't send as many athletes as it had available?
Surely, in terms of medal winning, the issue is how good the athletes are rather than how many you send?
Caf writes:
If 70% of the competing hockey teams were American, their chance of winning medals would be vastly increased just because of the hugely increased number of chances for an American team to fluke a lucky win.
Lets say that the US can enter 4 hockey teams and all the other countries can enter just one. How does this change which country has the best team?
Men's Hockey Results
Germany - Gold
Netherlands - Silver
Australia - Bronze
(Britain came 4th losing to Aus in the bronze medal playoff)
I still don't see how the US having 4 inferior teams somehow gets it a medal here? Please explain.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by caffeine, posted 08-16-2012 9:13 AM caffeine has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by caffeine, posted 08-16-2012 9:59 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 134 of 181 (670580)
08-16-2012 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 132 by onifre
08-16-2012 11:36 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
The US came 5th in Olympic wrestling. The very best US wrestlers weren’t as good as those from other countries so the claim that the second tier US wrestlers would have mopped up the remaining medal positions away from other countries seems a bit optimistic to me. But lets say our hypothetical extended US team gets a couple more in the wrestling. And basketball I will give the hypothetical extended US team all three medal positions in.
It still doesn’t really equate to a dynamic per-capita performance does it?
Any more US medal winners sitting at home because there wasn’t room on the plane?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by onifre, posted 08-16-2012 11:36 AM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by onifre, posted 08-16-2012 12:22 PM Straggler has not replied
 Message 138 by NoNukes, posted 08-16-2012 12:35 PM Straggler has not replied
 Message 148 by Blue Jay, posted 08-16-2012 10:30 PM Straggler has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 136 of 181 (670587)
08-16-2012 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by caffeine
08-16-2012 9:59 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
Caf writes:
The more teams you have, the more chance you have to win. I'm not sure what's difficult to understand about this. Would it help to provide a list of thousands of sporting fictures won by an inferior team?
Look I could get as many pub football teams together as is humanly possible and I can pretty much guarantee that the only way any of them will beat the Spanish national football team is by causing the Spaniards to fall apart laughing.
The idea that simply turning up in numbers equates to sporting success by virtue of statistics is silly.
Caf writes:
There is no way to objectively determine the 'best' team. If we could replay the Germany-Holland final a thousand times, do you think Germany would win it a thousand times? Of course not. We don't know what the final outcome would be, but Germany would certainly lose several matches.
Of course. Because both are evenly matched enough to make that the case. But some teams are better than others and the better teams win more matches overall.
If this wasn't the case there wouldn't be any point in all that training and improving that goes on would there.......?
Caf writes:
As for whether the US had athletes at home who could have beaten other country's medallists, of course they did. So did several other countries. Olympic events typically allow between one and three entrants per country. In some of the events where more than one is allowed, we can see that the same country wins two or three medals.
Sure in a few cases a nation might have such a wealth of talent in one discipline that a truly world class performer gets left out because only one or two are allowed to compete per nation.
But I seriously question the idea that the US had this mass of world class athletes sitting at home who would have won the medals that other countries won if the US team had been larger. That is just nonsense.
Aside from basketball what disciplines could the US reserve team beat all other nations at?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by caffeine, posted 08-16-2012 9:59 AM caffeine has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by Modulous, posted 08-16-2012 2:27 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 150 of 181 (670674)
08-17-2012 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 149 by caffeine
08-17-2012 4:00 AM


Re: Removing restrictions
Caf writes:
However, when arguing with Straggler, I was coming from a position of it only being the US that sent more athletes, because of his bizarre refusal to accept the obvious fact that more entrants means more chance of winning.
My point is that simply throwing numbers at an event isn’t how medals are won. Getting medals at an event requires being good at that event, Specifically it involves being better than the other competitors from other nations also competing in that event at that point in time.
If the US wants to win the 100 metres gold medal then entering 300 million Americans in the US sprint team and saying Well we have maximised our statistical chances of winning isn’t the way to go. The way to win the 100 metre sprint gold medal is (in the short term) to persuade Usain Bolt to change nationality or (in the long term) to find and train someone who can run even more ridiculously fast than he can.
It is you who seems to be making the rather bizarre claim that just entering lots of people (or teams) in an event is some sort of statistical route to success because actually being good at that event doesn’t really count for much in terms of winning. This is patently not how competitive sport works.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by caffeine, posted 08-17-2012 4:00 AM caffeine has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 152 by NoNukes, posted 08-17-2012 8:41 AM Straggler has replied
 Message 157 by caffeine, posted 08-17-2012 10:47 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 151 of 181 (670675)
08-17-2012 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 139 by Modulous
08-16-2012 2:27 PM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
Mod writes:
We'd have arguably won even more medals had they not put those limits on the entries.
I am not saying that the restrictions make no difference at all to any country or any event. I am saying that the idea that the US specifically is being woefully disadvantaged in terms of per-capita medal position because it has a huge swathe of world beating athletes sitting at home as a result of those pesky restrictions just doesn't appear to be true.
They presumably sent the best they have and they got the medal tally they got. Would sending the second tier of athletes as well really have elevated them to a significantly better per-capita position?
Bluegenes writes:
Could the U.S. possibly get 320 medals in a modern Olympics? Hypothetically, yes. It's the "size" equivalent of Britain's 65. Wealth is certainly no problem, so the factors preventing it would have to fit into the broad category of culture.
I am essentially agreeing with Bluegens analysis above. That is what I am referring to here when disputing those (Oni and Caf) who seem to be arguing that the US specifically is somehow at a great disadvantage because of the participation limitations in individual events.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by Modulous, posted 08-16-2012 2:27 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by Modulous, posted 08-17-2012 8:54 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 153 of 181 (670679)
08-17-2012 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 152 by NoNukes
08-17-2012 8:41 AM


Re: Removing restrictions
Straggler writes:
My point is that simply throwing numbers at an event isn’t how medals are won. Getting medals at an event requires being good at that event, Specifically it involves being better than the other competitors from other nations also competing in that event at that point in time.
NN writes:
It seems a bit inconsistent, in my opinion, to acknowledge this, and then to insist on evaluating medal count on a per capita basis.
Winning a medal for a nation in an event is about having one of the best three competitors in that event in the competition at that point. This is dependent on a number of factors. The wealth of the nation certainly seems relevant. The "sporting culture" is being put forward as a point of discussion. And the pool of people to pick your competitors from obviously is of significant consequence.
But that is very different to the idea that simply turning up in numbers is some sort of route to sporting success in the way that Caf suggested.
Caf writes:
The more teams you have, the more chance you have to win. I'm not sure what's difficult to understand about this.
It is the quality of athletes representing a nation rather than how many of them that will ultimately determine medal count.
If Kiribati (population 100,000) had entered a 1000 athletes it still almost certainly wouldn't have won any Olympic medals would it?
NN writes:
Further Onifre has clarified what he was talking out re the US wrestling team.
Sure. So my question to both you and him is this - Do you really think that the inclusion of a bunch of second tier US athletes would have sent the US medal tally rocketing up the per-capita medal table?
If not - What is your point?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by NoNukes, posted 08-17-2012 8:41 AM NoNukes has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 155 of 181 (670681)
08-17-2012 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by Modulous
08-17-2012 8:54 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
mOD writes:
But where luck plays a significant role (ball games spring to mind, but gymnastics too), sending more competitors could make a difference.
Sure. It is for this reason that I think many have reservations about team-ball sports in particular being included in the Olympics.
Mod writes:
But there is a disadvantage to being a large individual country as opposed to a collection of smaller ones, however small. If the US could send three competitors/teams per state I expect they'd do a bit better.
Sure. A bit. As would China, Russia etc. But those who are putting this forward as the reason for the relatively low US per-capita position are fooling themselves.
The question posed is about the culture of sport in the US and what (if anything) the US medal tally tells us about that. Those blathering on about the exclusion of second tier wrestlers and suchlike as some sort of reason for the US per-capita position are missing the point Bluegenes is making IMHO.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 154 by Modulous, posted 08-17-2012 8:54 AM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 159 of 181 (670704)
08-17-2012 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by caffeine
08-17-2012 10:47 AM


Re: Removing restrictions
Caf writes:
Having more entrants gives you more chance of winning.
And my point is that the number of entrants is almost entirely irrelevant compared to the quality of entrants. No amount of additional team members will make any difference to medal haul unless those additional members are of sufficient quality to make a difference to the result. Quality of competitor not number of competitors in a particular event is what counts in Olympic medal terms.
Caf writes:
Having more entrants gives you more chance of winning.
Like I said above - Kiribati (population 100,000) could be allowed an Olympic team 4 times the size of everyone else's and still not expect a single medal. Why? Because the number of entrants allowed per team is of little consequence when the population from which it is picked is so small.
Caf writes:
Like I said, overall, I think it would add a few medals to the US' count.
OK. If you don't think that that the inclusion of a bunch of second tier US athletes would have sent the US medal tally rocketing up the per-capita medal table either then why are you disagreeing with me rather than Oni?
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by caffeine, posted 08-17-2012 10:47 AM caffeine has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by Blue Jay, posted 08-17-2012 2:04 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 160 of 181 (670706)
08-17-2012 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Blue Jay
08-17-2012 11:57 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
BluJ writes:
Although, if, instead of weighting by population or GDP, you weighted by average health and fitness of the country's population, I bet you would find that the USA performs very high for its level of obesity and heart disease.
Indeed!! So does this provide us with an answer to the qustion: "Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by Blue Jay, posted 08-17-2012 11:57 AM Blue Jay has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 162 of 181 (670849)
08-20-2012 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 161 by Blue Jay
08-17-2012 2:04 PM


Re: Removing restrictions
Bluejay writes:
It certainly isn't the reason why the USA is under-performing on Bluegenes' per-capita standards, but it is a good theoretical challenge to the appropriateness of the strictly per-capita standards.
I don't think anyone is insisting on "strict per capita standards". The point being made is that there are a number of factors which contribute to national sporting success (specifically Olympic medal success in this thread). Wealth is a factor. Population is a factor. And the point under discussion is the factor being called "sporting culture" (whatever exactly we mean by that).
Given it's population and wealth the US isn't performing particularly impressively. Unless this can be significantly attributed to participation restrictions (which you don't seem to think it can) this leaves "sporting culture" or some as yet unraised factor as the reason for this.
So I am not denying that the entry of three US basketball teams or the addition or of a wrestler here or there might up the US medal tally by a bit. What I am disputing is that this has any significant bearing on the per capita performance and the question being asked "Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?"
That others have seized upon participation restrictions seems to me to be a way of avoiding considering the factors that genuinely matter.
BluJ writes:
But, if we wanted a real measure of sporting success, some measure incorporating individual rankings would probably be more accurate than medal counts.
Medal counts are probably not a very reliable measure of "sporting culture" (which I think we probably need to define at least somewhat in order to answer questions about it) anyway. Britain is still basking in the glow of what has collectively been deemed a successful medal haul but as a nation we are increasingly going down the American lifestyle route of cars, malls and ever more sedentary lifestyles. I'm not sure that is symptomatic of or conducive to a "top sporting culture" whatever Olympic medals have been won recently.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by Blue Jay, posted 08-17-2012 2:04 PM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by NoNukes, posted 08-20-2012 10:48 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 164 of 181 (670867)
08-20-2012 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by NoNukes
08-20-2012 10:48 AM


Re: Removing restrictions
Given that wealth and population size seem to be the overriding factors in determining Olympic medal success the US coming top seems to be about par for the course (just to throw in some alternative sporting parlance)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by NoNukes, posted 08-20-2012 10:48 AM NoNukes has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 168 of 181 (670964)
08-21-2012 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by New Cat's Eye
08-21-2012 11:39 AM


Re: USA won... big deal, wanna fight about it?
CS writes:
And for bluegenes to come out saying that if you disregard the biggest factors in winning the Olympics (size and money) then the US doesn't look all that impressive in its last remaining stat just looks like poor loser talk to me.
The "poor loser talk" was being applied as much to the UK as the US. Read what Bluegenes wrote as the reason for raising these issues:
quote:
So, why mention all this? I get the impression from looking at the American media that many Americans won't realise that the U.S. performance was actually below average to "first world" (wealthy country) standards. (Also, to Eastern European standards). What the 104 medals tell you is what you already know: that you are by far the largest of the world's wealthy countries. But if you want to measure the "culture" aspect you are (like the U.K. - the last two Olympics were exceptions, not the rule!) pretty ordinary.
With all the excessive flag waving that's been going on here in the U.K., it's a good idea to bring Brits down to earth by pointing out that we only came about 21st, not 3rd or 4th, when population size is taken into account.

Message 111
It's a reality check.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 11:39 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 11:52 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 170 of 181 (670966)
08-21-2012 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by New Cat's Eye
08-21-2012 11:44 AM


Greatest Country In The World....
CS writes:
But really the point of our claim to winning the Olympics is really just acknowledging that we're the biggest and best country.
From the Newsroom:
"And you, Sorority Girl, just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there’s some things you should know. One of them is there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy. Twenty-seventh in math. Twenty-second in science. Forty-ninth in life expectancy. A hundred and seventy-eighth in infant mortality. Third in median household income. Number four in labor force and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies.
Now none of this is the fault of a twenty-year-old college student, but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period. So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I dunno what the fuck you’re talkin’ about. Yosemite?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 11:44 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 11:57 AM Straggler has replied

  
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