18 August 2008

Olympic glory for NZ and British athletes

Well it seemed bleak earlier on in the week, when Togo had a medal and New Zealand didn't, but now a more respectable 21st on the medal tally as of the time of this post shows there is some excellent talent in the NZ Olympic team. Having said that, it would be nice for them to beat North Korea which is at 20th! (Though North Korea might notice its compatriots in the south in 6th place).

The British is also doing well, now in third place! Ahead of team from Australia, Russia, Japan, Germany - all Olympic powerhouses. Quite something indeed, although the teams from USA and China remain far out ahead, and undoubtedly things could change in the week.

However one side of the Olympics I haven't missed is the inane sense of nationalism that TVNZ puts upon Olympic medals - the notion that "we won". What nonsense.

I agree with Oswald Bastable on this:

"there is the collectivist bullshit about NEW ZEALAND winning- like every fat prick in a Lazyboy had anything to do with it...It SHOULD be about individual excellence. The teams sports can generally sod off, although events like team rowing and relays should remain."

The victories are for individual athletes achieving outstanding results against the best in the world. They are not victories for nations, races, ethnic groups, states and least of all governments. New Zealanders can cheer the medalists for their success, be pleased for them and support them - but "we" did not win.

However, don't expect any politicians to understand that - expect almost all of them to want to bask in the glory that should be that of the individuals concerned. Notice the few who wont.


Andy said...

no, we won.

That's why they play the National Anthem, instead of that particular athlete's song of choice...

Libertyscott said...

Oh so your contribution to the win was what - and sitting on your arse watching doesn't count. How did YOU win? The wins are individuals on behalf of a team selected by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

Please outline the shareholding you have in this, if none of course you can celebrate their victory, but you didn't win. That's evading reality.

OECD rank 22 kiwi said...

I agree that the victories are totally individual. After all, Nike only sends the sponsorship cheques to the winning individuals they chose to support.

There is an argument that since the government sticks its hand in my pocket, liberates my money from me, then proceeds to spend it paying for the facilities, support staff and all the other costs that go into making these elite athletes win medals that a little of their victory belongs to me. Or that might just be me being churlish.