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Author Topic:   2012 Olympics
Straggler
Member (Idle past 143 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

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 3028 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 137 of 181 (670592)
08-16-2012 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by Straggler
08-16-2012 11:56 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
The US came 5th in Olympic wrestling.
Individually I mean, in their weight catagory. Jake Varner and Jordan Burroughs both took gold in their respective weight class, but there are many guys in the NCAA bracket that have out wrestled both those guys before, just not during the qualifying for the Olympics. But we could have loaded both of those weight classes with many more wrestlers and taken more medals.
You can surely recognize our ability to do that in basketball - but also in track and field, gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, etc.
My point being that, for many countries it's all they have to send. For us, it's only as SMALL percentage of the very capable athletes that quite frankly, yeah, just sit at home watching because of the numbers rule.
- Oni
Edited by onifre, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Straggler, posted 08-16-2012 11:56 AM Straggler has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 138 of 181 (670599)
08-16-2012 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by Straggler
08-16-2012 11:56 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
It still doesn’t really equate to a dynamic per-capita performance does it?
No, but for reasons that have already been expressed, per-capita performance is a nonsensical metric because of the entry limits in the events.
Are you seriously arguing that there is some size at which a country ought to ashamed at not being able to field an athlete faster than Usain Bolt? That argument is a non-starter. As I recall, the US 4x100 relay team matched the previous record in losing.
Essentially the only people who care about per-capital medal count are people in smaller countries. I would expect that small countries that are at least of a size where they can produce world class athletes in a few sports have a statistical advantage when they only need a few medals to achieve a high medal/head ratio.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.
Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. George Bernard Shaw

This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Straggler, posted 08-16-2012 11:56 AM Straggler has not replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 139 of 181 (670616)
08-16-2012 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Straggler
08-16-2012 12:12 PM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
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.
Well yes. But if you pitted your country's 100 top clubs against the Spaniards you have a better chance of someone from your country beating the Spaniards than if you fielded only your top club.
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.
Well, there was the controversy that Britain faced in the cycling. We'd have arguably won even more medals had they not put those limits on the entries.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Straggler, posted 08-16-2012 12:12 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by Straggler, posted 08-17-2012 8:32 AM Modulous has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 140 of 181 (670621)
08-16-2012 2:49 PM


EU Medal Count!!!
EU puts itself top of Olympic medal table...and Britain is nowhere to be seen | UK | News | Express.co.uk
"EU CLAIMS IT TOPPED THE OLYMPIC MEDAL TABLE...AND BRITAIN IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN"
quote:
On the agency's website EU Medal Tracker | The European Union in Olympics comparison, it combines the 27 members of the EU into one, meaning that - with 306 medals - it is placed above both the USA and China.
It states: "We count and compare how many medals the EU would win if it took part in the Olympic Games as one team. The European Union is the Winning Team."
Britain, who were in third position at the end of the OIympics with 65 medals in total and 29 golds no longer appear on the table at all. Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis spoke of her outrage at Brussels' attempt to impose a federal identity on nations.
Funniest part of the article...
quote:
The agency denied it was attempting to upset the people of the UK but then disparagingly referred to Britain as 'the island.'
A spokesman said: "We didn't do it just to annoy the Brits. But then we have already received tons of mail from the island."

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.
Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. George Bernard Shaw

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by Modulous, posted 08-16-2012 3:14 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 141 of 181 (670622)
08-16-2012 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Blue Jay
08-16-2012 11:40 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
Also, I've never quite understood the inclusiveness people use when talking about the Olympics. Americans are always so proud when we win a lot of medals. But, I didn't win any medals, and I'm pretty sure that nothing I did made any difference at all in the final medal count at the Olympics.
That's the way people talk about sports. You also didn't score a single bucket in the last NCAA basketball tournament. But I'll bet plenty of your neighbors, if not you yourself, feel proud of 'their' Wildcats.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.
Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. George Bernard Shaw

This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Blue Jay, posted 08-16-2012 11:40 AM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 142 of 181 (670623)
08-16-2012 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by NoNukes
08-16-2012 2:49 PM


Re: EU Medal Count!!!
The agency denied it was attempting to upset the people of the UK but then disparagingly referred to Britain as 'the island.'
A spokesman said: "We didn't do it just to annoy the Brits. But then we have already received tons of mail from the island."
I like the way the Express has to tell us it is disparaging - presumably because its a perfectly innocuous thing to say. Marina Yannakoudakis is a moron, is Britain alone in having so MEPs that get gripey at Europe at any opportunity? Since when is grouping all the EU countries together and counting the medal totals together 'imposing a federal identity on nations'? It's on the EU website, its not as if its a mandate or anything.
Some people...some tabloids.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by NoNukes, posted 08-16-2012 2:49 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by bluegenes, posted 08-16-2012 5:52 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2555 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.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by NoNukes, posted 08-16-2012 6:19 PM bluegenes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 144 of 181 (670637)
08-16-2012 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by bluegenes
08-16-2012 5:52 PM


Re: United States of western Europe vs. the Dream Team.
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.
Are the two parts going to give up all of the extra event entries they get by being actually multiple countries?
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
I note that the Gasol Brothers were beaten by an American team whose only seven footer was Tyson Chandler.
There are also smaller forwards, like Britain's Luol Deng, and starting guards in the NBA as well.
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).

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.
Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. George Bernard Shaw

This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by bluegenes, posted 08-16-2012 5:52 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by Modulous, posted 08-16-2012 6:55 PM NoNukes has not replied
 Message 146 by bluegenes, posted 08-16-2012 7:19 PM NoNukes has replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 145 of 181 (670643)
08-16-2012 6:55 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by NoNukes
08-16-2012 6:19 PM


Re: United States of western Europe vs. the Dream Team.
Are the two parts going to give up all of the extra event entries they get by being actually multiple countries?
Why would Europe need to send Lawrence Okoye? They could just send Robert Harting, Gerd Kanter and Virgilijus Alekna to pick 1st, 3rd and 4th in discus.
Why bother sending Daniele di Spigno when Europe could send Peter Robert Russell Wilson, Hakan Dahlby and Richard Bognar and secure 1st, 2nd and 6th in double trap shooting.
I think it wouldn't hurt our medal chances to lose Barbara Benko from the hypothetical European team if we just send for instance Julie Bresset, Sabine Spitz and Esther Suss to take another two medals for Europe.
Granted, it's not always the favourites that perform on the day, and currently Europe has the advantage of 'substitutes' essentially in the event of sub-par performances or bad luck or what have you, so the medal numbers would, I would guess, go down.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by NoNukes, posted 08-16-2012 6:19 PM NoNukes has not replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2555 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.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by NoNukes, posted 08-16-2012 6:19 PM NoNukes has replied

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 147 of 181 (670651)
08-16-2012 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by bluegenes
08-16-2012 7:19 PM


Re: United States of western Europe vs. the Dream Team.
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.
I did not say they did. I'm commenting on the people you've suggested augmenting the team with. I
I note that a country of 40,000,000 people was beaten by one of 310,000,000 people.
And I'm suggesting that there is not a single player in all of Europe (800,000,000+) the equal of Lebron, Durant, and Carnelo. And I haven't even raised the issue of the American bigs who were saddled with injuries and did not make the trip. Dirk's the best player in Europe and adding him to the Spaniards is a considerable upgrade. I'm not worried about the rest of those guys.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.
Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. George Bernard Shaw

This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by bluegenes, posted 08-16-2012 7:19 PM bluegenes has not replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2775 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 148 of 181 (670663)
08-16-2012 10:30 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by Straggler
08-16-2012 11:56 AM


Re: Is the U.S.A. a top sporting culture?
Hi, Straggler.
So, just to be clear, I don't believe relaxing entry restrictions would make the US suddenly dominate all the sports. I also think the entry restrictions are a good thing, because it gives smaller countries a better chance to compete, and broad participation, in my mind, is the most important part of the Olympics.
But just for the sake of friendly debate, I want to respond to you.
Straggler writes:
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.
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.
These are the kind of situations I'm talking about. I'm sure there are more situations in which entry restrictions wouldn't have made a difference for the USA's medal count, but, even so, there are situations in which legitimate contenders are restricted from competing, and this tends to effect larger countries more than smaller ones.
Straggler writes:
And basketball I will give the hypothetical extended US team all three medal positions in.
Yes, I believe the United States very likely could have swept the basketball medals if they had been allowed to make three teams. But, the fact that the final was so close probably means that the gap is closing.
But, I think it makes perfect sense in team sports to restrict a country to one team.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Straggler, posted 08-16-2012 11:56 AM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 156 by bluegenes, posted 08-17-2012 9:31 AM Blue Jay has replied

  
caffeine
Member (Idle past 1102 days)
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 149 of 181 (670670)
08-17-2012 4:00 AM


Removing restrictions
A few too many replies to reply to each one individually, so I thought I'd just bung a general reply in here.
On consideration, I'm still confident that an unrestricted Olympics would win the US more than just one extra bronze - they'd win quite a few more bronzes and silvers.
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. If all restrictions were removed, there's a good chance it could lose the US a few bronzes in the sports where other countries specialise. To grab one example, South Korea and China could probably field a few more Olympic quality archery teams, which would have made the USA's silver in that event harder to win.
I still think the USA would benefit overall, however, since most of the events I could think of in which the US couldn't field more competitive atheletes, like fencing and weightlifting, for example, they didn't get a single medal anyway.

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by Straggler, posted 08-17-2012 8:20 AM caffeine has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 143 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

  
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