For once I cannot pin the blame of NBC. Everyone does it. The damn medal rankings. In my mind a Gold Medal has greater weight than a Silver, which in turn has more weight than a Bronze. Now to be fair, winning any of these medals is a lifetime achievement for any athlete. An Olympic medal is the sign of excellence in a sport.

The problem I have is how the successes are portrayed. We have the ‘jingoistic’ medal table. Early yesterday morning I checked the table.

med.jpg

There is much wrong with this picture. We all know that a gold indicates first. The athlete is the best of the best! This current (old) medal table tells a different story.

I think that Gold outweighs all else. In my mind, if you wish to produce a table showing rankings by country I would order it China (9 Gold), US (6 Gold), France (3 Gold), Italy (2 Gold), and Japan (1 Gold).

Of course there is the question of why even bother with tables at all? For the Olympics they have little meaning, almost always countries with the largest delegations of athletes will peculate to the top.  To me the importance of the Olympics is in the individual efforts of the athletes not the flag under which they operate.

Scrap the medal tables, scrap the biased TV coverage, scrap the tape delays, instead, concentrate on the athletes. Oh, and not the professional wonks that have invaded the games, but those young men and women that truly can call themselves amateurs.  Professional athletes have their own forums, the NBA, the NFL, etc, they have no business diluting the ideals behind the Olympics.

Simon Barrett

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