Last two days have been absolutely amazing for Latvia: our beach volleyball team (Pļaviņš and Smediņš) won
bronze and BMX cyclist Maris Strombers won gold!!!
For someone in UK or China this obviously would seem like nothing special as these countries are collecting several medals each day. USA, which has received almost 100 medals (!) so far, makes me even somewhat feel as if Latvia has been terribly under-performing.
However, if you really look at the results, the truth is:
- those countries which invest a lot of money (disregarding if they can or cant afford; f.e., China vs GB) in sports and nurturing of future Olympic medalists, also get good results; UK is spending around 100 million GBP per year to support Olympics and para-Olympics athletes!
- it has become more than clear that GB team had a great comparative advantage over other sportsmen because of having massive number of GB supporters around.
Therefore, in my opinion, the real talents and real champions are those, who manage to win despite coming from a small country (or with less financial/ prep support for Olympics) and without thousands of cheering supporters. Moreover, i think, the table of absolute number of medals per country is misleading; check this table of medals per capita – this one shows that the value of 1 Grenadian champion is greater than the value of almost 100 US champions.
Cheers to Latvian Olympic champions! I’m proud of you.