Monday, August 25, 2008

Canada comes 19th at the 2008 games

Canada finished the 2008 Olympic games with 18 medals, three gold, nine silver and six bronze. This placed Canada 19th overall in the standings.

I can understand placing behind the other G8 countries and China, but Canada was beaten out by Australia, Netherlands, Jamaica, Ukraine, Belarus, Kenya and Ethiopia. Hardly a stellar result from a nation that likes to think more of itself.

Admittedly this is better result for Canada than has often happened at the summer games - the nation's fifth best medal count of all time, but this ignores the fact that the country has put a lot more effort into the games in the last 20 years. The games have also seen an increase in the number of medals - there were 61 more golds in 2008 than in 1988, a 25% increase.

1988 - 19th
1992 - 11th
1996 - 21st
2000 - 24th
2004 - 21st
2008 - 19th

Placing in and around 20th seems to be the fate of Canada. Interestingly, if the Canadians had managed to get an even distribution of medals, the nation would have placed 13th. That is a question I still have, why in the summer games do the Canadians manage to win a lot more sliver and bronze medals?

Traditionally Canada was a much better summer games country than winter games nation. In 2006 Canada won a lot more medals in Turin with the much smaller winter team than the summer team - and the winter team included two hockey teams. It is only in the four games that Canada has become a power in the winter games, the same timeframe that a lot of money has gone into all Olympic athletes. Canada has come in the top five in each of the last winter games and had an even distribution of medals. Why the differences?

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