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Author Topic:   2012 Olympics
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 45 of 181 (669595)
07-31-2012 11:21 AM


Super-shot (and some local cultural history).
Basketball: France 65, Australia 62; 3 seconds on the clock, and France have a free throw. So, it's lost for Australia, right? Or is it?
Actually, France did go on to win in overtime.
Less directly on topic, I grew up in the East End of London, not far from where all this is going on. Here's what we're like:
Well, not really, but it's a great little video.

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 52 of 181 (669745)
08-02-2012 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by frako
08-02-2012 5:55 AM


Well, that puts you ahead of China and the U.S., and ensures that you'll beat them at the end.
Adjusted for population, the Chinese require about 750 golds to equal you, and the U.S. would need about 150.
Looking at tables that take population into account gives some interesting information. For example, there's a Canada vs. U.S. subtitle further up the thread. The Canadians have actually outperformed the Americans in the 3 Olympics of this millennium. Sticking to the English speaking world, the U.K. has beaten both of them, but we're still pretty average. The real star performers are the Jamaicans with their small population and brilliant sprinting, and the Australians, consistently the best all round sporting culture in the world.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(5)
Message 57 of 181 (669777)
08-02-2012 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Tangle
08-02-2012 4:55 AM


Tangle writes:
The Brits won gold in rowing and cycling yesterday prompting an Australian wit (oxymoron?) to comment that we're good at the sitting down sports.
I looked at the news earlier, and saw that we'd won another couple of medals while sitting in kayaks, one more for sitting in a rowing boat, and several more for sitting on bicycles.
Looking back, I could only think of one medal we'd won without being seated on bikes, boats or horses, and that winner was lying down (swimming). It occurred to me that maybe this was all a grand conspiracy to appear cool. Our team could get to the end of the games and say: "look, we've won a good quota of medals without even having to bother to stand up. Beat that!"
However, I then saw that we'd won a judo medal. While judo presumably involves being in a number of positions, the contestants are surely standing for at least part of the time. Progress, but I couldn't really see this as a true standing medal, which surely should involve being upright through the entire process of winning.
Finally, a gold in rifle shooting. Hurrah! It seemed that the point had been proven that the modern British athlete could manage to win a medal while remaining in an upright position for the duration of the event. Then doubt crept in. It occurred to me that they must take several shots in the final, and they quite likely spend far more their time sitting down between shots than actually shooting. So in some ways this seems the ideal sport for the relaxed modern British sitter.
What's happened? We've known for a while that we're pretty much a nation of armchair sportsmen, but has the armchair mentality now invaded the field? Are the British, inventors of so many sports, now leading the world into a new exciting era in which pretty much everything will be achieved whilst sitting on our arses? At this rate, you might see me medal in a future Olympics (gold for speed reading novels whilst lounging on a chaise longue).

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 63 of 181 (669805)
08-03-2012 4:44 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by caffeine
08-03-2012 4:22 AM


Re: Sitting Down and Beach Volleyball
caffiene writes:
Allow me to assuage your fears. I watched some of the shooting final, and they all stayed erect whilst waiting their turn to shoot. They actually all stand in a line, with the previous shooter walking to the back. It reminded me of school PE lessons for some reason.
That's a relief. I was beginning to think that our track and field athletes might skip next week and turn up in wheelchairs at the Paralympics.
As for the beach volleyball, I can't help you on the scoring, but free points or not, we seem to have been knocked out (no doubt due to the rather excessive standing requirements and absence of deckchairs in the playing area).
Edited by bluegenes, : No reason given.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 98 of 181 (670351)
08-13-2012 7:40 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by onifre
08-13-2012 1:53 AM


Re: USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!
onifre writes:
USA wins the Olympics!
You came 50th in total medals; 42nd in medals scored at 4,2,1 for gold, silver, bronze; and 28th in golds alone.
Britain? 21st; 16th; 10th by the same measures, well ahead of China, the USA and Russia (who were better than the U.S., as usual, like most European countries).
Lists here
Still, never mind, you make the top 20 on this weighty list.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 111 of 181 (670446)
08-15-2012 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by onifre
08-13-2012 5:00 PM


Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
onifre writes:
They give out silver and bronze too, if they were irrelevant why have them at all? I'm just counting up the sum total of all the medals won. That spells victory to me.
Taking the values of the medals into account makes sense, with a 3,2,1 scoring method probably the most accurate indicator. That works to your advantage in this Olympics.
So, the U.S. is very pleased to have pulled back ahead of China in the modern superpower competition, but what does the 104 medals really tell you?
There are three main factors that seem to determine the Olympic performances: wealth, size, and culture/ethnicity. All countries with high per. capita incomes do well in relation to their size, and the U.S. and U.K. are no exceptions. China's size related portion of the 900 total medals given would be about 160, the U.S. about 40, and the U.K. just 8! India's a good example of size alone counting for little when a country is low in per. capita wealth and the culture sectors.
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.
One of the ways of eliminating the wealth and size factors to answer the question I put in the post title is to create an imaginary United States of Western Europe, limiting it to the U.S. population of 310 million. Putting together the 5 largest countries (Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Spain) gives us about that. Medals? Total 188. Gold 62 Silver 66 Bronze 60. (U.S. 46, 29, 29 =104).
Immediately, the U.S. performance looks ordinary. Is it a disadvantage participating as a larger unit? It should actually be a slight advantage (more chance of the depth to win team events, including relays).
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. But most Brits are realistic about our sporting prowess. As we have close traditional cultural/sporting relationships with countries like Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica which really do have impressive sporting cultures, and delight in demonstrating how they've left the mother country far behind, it's hard for us to lose touch with reality in this respect.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 116 of 181 (670476)
08-15-2012 3:31 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?
Catholic Scientist writes:
That's all we needed to hear.
Why would you need to hear what you already know? And why would that knowledge be reason for celebration after the Olympics any more than before?
Catholic Scientist writes:
Why would we want to measure our victory of the game by ignoring the major contributing factors and focusing on the least?
In a way, I'm suggesting that that's exactly what you are doing when you regard the results as a "victory".
Catholic Scientist writes:
Are you trying to tell us that we are so awesome that if we could get our culture right then we could make a huge joke of the whole games like that?
I'm pointing out that you're anything but awesome when it comes to sport. That's not to take anything away from the excellent individuals who did get medals. But there's no point in Americans seeing the team performance as a point of national pride or "victory" when average European standards would mean about another 70 or so medals from a population like yours.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 130 of 181 (670564)
08-16-2012 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by Blue Jay
08-15-2012 11:22 PM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
Blue Jay writes:
Whether or not this would have translated into more medals for the USA is obviously uncertain, but the possibility exists.
I agree, and I'd thought of that. But the occasions on which the "fourth person", the fourth choice would medal would be rare. I reckon that it might cost you about one bronze medal per. Olympics at most in all events, and this would be outweighed by the disadvantage of splitting up your relay teams.
In the examples you give, the 3rd choice in the 100 metres is already an outsider, as are the second choice and above in the 200 (going by their times).
As for the beach volleyball, I've just had a look at it. The fact that only two teams go through does deny the big countries an (unlikely) clean sweep, but this is easily counterbalanced by the ability of big countries like Brazil, the USA and Germany to put together more than one top 5 or top 10 pairing. Latvia sneaked in for the men's bronze, but all other medals went to those big countries.
Still, I agree with your point, and limited entry could cost you the occasional bronze.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 135 of 181 (670582)
08-16-2012 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by caffeine
08-16-2012 10:36 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
caffiene writes:
If we changed the athletics conditions to one athlete per country, this year it would have cost the US 4 silvers and 4 bronzes this year. That's just athletics. If we did the same with all disciplines in all events, it would lose the US a further four silver and three bronze - so eight silvers and seven bronzes in total.
Yes, but we haven't. As three medals are on offer it makes sense that countries can enter three individuals in the individual events.
In team events, you suggested above that the U.S. might theoretically have a second women's rowing eight that could medal. They haven't. With that depth, they could have stopped our women rowers from picking up three golds! But if they had been allowed a second eight, they'd have missed out on their bronze in the quadruple sculls, and weakened any other teams in the fours, double sculls etc. (none of which they medalled in). They are a traditional rowing country, but only picked up that gold and two bronzes. None of the successful rowing countries would argue for doubling up in specific events, because none of them can achieve medals in all the existing ones.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 143 of 181 (670635)
08-16-2012 5:52 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Modulous
08-16-2012 3:14 PM


United States of western Europe vs. the Dream Team.
Modulous writes:
Marina Yannakoudakis is a moron,....
I heartily agree. And why would someone with a name like that object to being European, FFS!
More to the point, there's nothing wrong with the EU pointing out that the Europeans are the most successful Olympians, because it's true, and it's what I've been pointing out on this thread. The EU could split itself into two parts, and take the first two slots on the medal table.
Further up the thread, I suggested a United States of Western Europe, comprising the 5 largest countries, because that happens to give the same population as the U.S., which it would easily out-medal. Putting one team rather than 5 into the team sports would be no disadvantage at all, as there were probably few events in which more than one of the five got a medal. Instead, the combined teams would be much more likely to win golds in a few sports (the soccer should be nearly unbeatable).
I was interested in a comment that Onifre made about the U.S. putting in extra basketball teams to get extra medals, and it's true that basketball is an American speciality, and their best is hard to beat.
But what about having to compete with another population catchment of 310, 000,000 and the players that might be produced from that? Well, basketball is still a minor sport in much of the United States of Western Europe, but let's have a look at what Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Britain could offer combined.
For a start, to shake Onifre's confidence, there are five seven footers playing in the NBA, four of them very good. In addition to the Spanish Gasol brothers, who were impressive in the final, there's German superstar Dirk Nowitzki and Italian Andrea Bargnani.
There are also smaller forwards, like Britain's Luol Deng, and starting guards in the NBA as well.
So, would the U.S. be so sure of the gold every four years, even in an all American sport like basketball, if it had to compete against another "United States" of its own size?
Edited by bluegenes, : No reason given.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 146 of 181 (670647)
08-16-2012 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by NoNukes
08-16-2012 6:19 PM


Re: United States of western Europe vs. the Dream Team.
NoNukes writes:
Are the two parts going to give up all of the extra event entries they get by being actually multiple countries?
Certainly.
NoNukes writes:
I note that the Gasol Brothers were beaten by an American team whose only seven footer was Tyson Chandler.
I note that a country of 40,000,000 people was beaten by one of 310,000,000 people.
NoNukes writes:
In other words, more of the same guys that LeBron and Durant punk on a nightly basis already. Sorry, but now that the NBA's opened up to international players, I'm just not all that willing to believe that there are a bunch of Dirk Nowitzkis hanging around in European leagues (which have a sizeable number of American players who cannot make an NBA roster).
I didn't suggest that there were a bunch of Dirk Nowitzkis hanging around in European leagues, did I? I was pointing out that a group of Europeans as numerous as you are would have far greater resources than the Spanish on their own.
I don't think the Spanish, without the help from players from the other four countries I mentioned, really got "punked". They certainly lacked depth, and they were certainly weaker in some areas than the Americans. But the game was hardly one sided.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 156 of 181 (670683)
08-17-2012 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by Blue Jay
08-16-2012 10:30 PM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
Bluejay writes:
As a counterexample, the US women placed 3rd, 4th and 5th in qualifying for the individual all-around in gymnastics, but only two were allowed to compete. So, the 23rd and 24th best women got to compete, but the 4th best (who had a real shot at a medal) didn't.
In beach volleyball, USA had 3 men's teams in qualifying position, but only two were allowed to compete. Both won their groups, but were upset early in the tournament. Without the entry restrictions, the Italian team that beat Dallhauser and Rogers wouldn't have qualified, and it's a whole different tournament with three US teams that all have a reasonable chance of medaling.
I give the 5th ranked gymnast a 1 in 3 chance of medalling, the 7th ranked men's BVB team a 1 in 4, and the 13th ranked women's team 1 in 20. That does mean that, with the three combined, it's odds on (about 60/40) that you would have collected another medal, so we'll give you a bronze. Look carefully through all the games, and we might find a few other reasonable "maybes". So, I'm happy to up my estimate from one to 2 to 4 medals per. games.
Those examples come about from not allowing a third contestant (or pairing) in 3 medal events, not from the "fourth person" situation. I stick to my view that a fourth choice runner or swimmer from any country medalling would be so rare as to make no real difference to national tallies.

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