The TeamEU versus China debate
Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 8th August, 2012
There’s been a lot of chatter on twitter and elsewhere about the fact that were all 27 member states of the EU competing as TeamEU at London2012 then we’d be way ahead of China in the Olympics medals table. That is of course statistically true and it’s interesting to note that China’s population is more than twice that of the EU. However, it ain’t going to happen, at least for the foreseeable future, as the 27 EU member states are all sovereign states and the Olympics is one of the few occasions when their citizens can all get together and jump around waving their national flags. Besides, I think we should compare like with like. Thus is would be perfectly reasonable to compare TeamEU with TeamASEAN, as the 10 nations of South East Asia have also formed a regional organisation and coincidentally have a very similar combined population size to that of the EU. And if one does that then I’m sorry you guys from South East Asia, the Europeans have wiped the floor with you. But it’s important not to take that or any of this seriously. The Olympics are a time when normal life is put aside and we all get ino the spirit of things, with only mock national or regional rivalry. And of course, in ancient Greece, the athletes competing in the Games did not wear any identifying sign or indeed anything at all. And if they won, they were rewarded not with a ‘gold’ medal but an olive sprig. Amateurism rules, OK!