Sure, they came 3rd with 29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze and 65 overall. Given that they’re the 22nd most populous country in the world they are clearly performing well above expectations. They are also the 22nd richest country. So, again, well done Great Britain!
However, let us not forget the incredible boost that the home country advantage gives you in the Olympics.
At the Sydney Olympics in 2000 Australia came 4th overall with 16 gold medals, 25 silver, 17 bronze, 58 in total.
For Great Britain to have surpassed Australia’s efforts at our home olympics they needed to do three times as well as we did, given that they have three times our population. We are the 52nd most populous country in the world.
They needed 48 gold, 75 silver, and 51 bronze.
What did they get? 29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze.
I’m sorry, Great Britain. Great effort but not quite good enough. I feel quite sure that you’ll get much closer to that total at your next home Olympics.
You were right. Maths1 is lots of fun!
In all seriousness: I think the true “victors” of the Olympics are all the countries who were able to have people compete despite having to get to London on the smell of an oily rag. And the women who competed despite insane pressures not to. Such as Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar of Saudia Arabia.
- Or arithmetic. Whatever. Numbers. I talked about numbers. [↩]