Gideon Polya, “No Gold Medals for War, Occupation & Genocide. Olympic Medal Tally Analyzed”, MWC News, 26 August 2008.
No Gold Medals for War, Occupation & Genocide. Olympic Medal Tally Analyzed
The top dozen countries in terms of 5 or more Gold medals were the host nation China (#1, 51 Gold medals), the US (#2, 36), Russia (#3, 23), the UK (#4; 19; the next Olympic host nation), Germany (#5, 16), Australia (#6, 14), South Korea (#7, 13), Japan (#8, 9), Italy (#9, 8), France (#10, 7), Ukraine (#11, 7), the Netherlands (#12, 7), Jamaica (#13, 6), Spain (#14, 5) and Kenya (#15, 5).
The outcome of the Olympic Games as measured by the Olympic Medal Tally of the marvellous athletes involved is heavily determined by a number of major factors as briefly set out below.
1. Wealth i.e. how much countries invest in particular sports. This is best illustrated the remarkable success of China (#1 for Gold medals), as well as that of the US (#2), UK (#4) and Australia (# 6). China invested billions in the Olympic Games and both the UK (the next host) and China made intelligent “investment decisions” that are reflected in their Success. Australia did disproportionately well in terms of population size due to its sports-mad culture and massive investment in science-based sports training through the Australian Institute of Sport.
2. Population i.e. the size of the genetic pool from which the athletes are drawn. The biggest gene pools in the top dozen are those of China (#1, 2005 population 1.3 billion), the US (#2, 300 million) and Russia (#3, 140 million).
3. Population genetic factors. Thus West African or West African-derived people (notably from the Caribbean and the Americas e.g. Jamaica, #13) do very well at short-term endurance events such as boxing and short-distance running while East African-derived people (notably from Ethiopia and Kenya, #15) do very well at long-term endurance events such as long distance running. However the bell-shaped curve of “numbers” versus “attainment” for each country for particular sports means that many other countries and regions can also deliver athletics champions.
4. Sports culture and “cultural sport” are extremely important. Thus Australia (#6) is sports-mad with a high level of participation. China (#1) has stepped up participation in sports. As indicated under population genetic factors above, particular populations go for what they are good at (e.g. long-distance running for East Africans). While most countries have joined the “World Game” of football (soccer), the “top 15” at Beijing included 8 top football countries, namely Russia (#3 in the Gold Medal Tally), the UK (#4), Germany (#5), Italy (#9), France (#10), the Ukraine (#11), the Netherlands (#12) and Spain (#14). Wrestling and weightlifting are major “cultural sports” in a swathe of Middle East and Asian countries from Turkey to Mongolia. In contrast, cricket was not an official Olympic event but is an extremely important sport in the UK (#4) and Australia (#6) as well as in countries not in the “top 15”, notably India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
5. Serendipity was important in many event outcomes. Thus astonishing baton-change failures by the Jamaican women and US men allowed lesser competitors to gain medals. Some swimming events were decided by as little as 0.01 second.
6. Socio-economic and geopolitical factors such as war, occupation, devastation and genocide were extremely important. Thus of the “top 15” countries only China (#1), Jamaica (#13) and Kenya (#15) were not involved in the invasion and occupation of other countries in the 21st century and Russia (#3) only recently invaded Georgia (and then mostly withdrew) in response to genocidal, civilian targeting, US- and Israeli-backed Georgian invasion of South Ossetia and destruction of the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. All 11 of the other “top 15” countries have been variously involved in the ongoing Iraqi Genocide (post-invasion excess deaths 2 million, refugees 4.5 million) and/or the ongoing Afghan Genocide (post-invasion excess deaths 3-6 million, 4 million refugees). In contrast, lack of performance at the Beijing Olympics can be directly related to colonial, neo-colonial or current devastation by imperialist powers. Thus Occupied Afghanistan and Mauritius (which hosts the poor people who were 100% ethnically cleansed from Diego Garcia by the UK and the US) each won a Bronze medal but Occupied Iraq (soccer Asian Cup winner in 2007), Occupied Haiti, Occupied Somalia, Occupied Palestine and Pakistan (whose Waziristan villages are being bombed by the US) gained no medals of any kind.
For a detailed breakdown of Beijing Olympics involvement by country see: http://au.sports.yahoo.com/olympics/countries/#K ; for the latest on the Beijing Olympics medal tally – subject to drug tests – see Yahoo: http://au.sports.yahoo.com/olympics/medal-tally .
The superb Beijing Olympics finished with China leading the World in the Olympic medal tally (51 Gold, 100 Total) over the US (36, 110), Russia (23, 72), the UK (19, 47), Germany (16, 41), Australia (14, 46), South Korea (13, 31), Japan (9, 25), Italy (8, 28), France (7, 40), the Ukraine (7, 27), Netherlands (7, 16), Jamaica (6, 11), Spain (5, 18), Kenya (5, 14), Belarus (4, 19), Romania (4, 8), Ethiopia (4, 7), Canada (3, 18), Poland (3, 10), Hungary (3,10), Norway (3, 10), Brazil (3, 15), Czech Republic (3, 6), Slovakia (3, 6), New Zealand (3, 9), Georgia (3, 6), Cuba (2, 24), Kazakhstan (2, 13), Denmark (2, 7), Mongolia (2, 4), Thailand (2, 4), North Korea (2, 6), Argentina (2, 6), Switzerland (2, 6), and Mexico (2, 3). I’ll call this Group A – the group of countries that generally includes the top past Olympics performers and all the countries we expect to score gold medals because of national wealth and size (China, the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, France and the Ukraine), wealth coupled with keen sporting traditions (Australia, Netherlands, Spain, Belarus, Romania, Canada, Poland, Hungary, Norway, Brazil, Czech Republic, Slovakia, New Zealand, Argentina and Switzerland) and much poorer countries with well-established track records in particular sports that relate to the genetic predispositions of their populations (e.g. Ethiopia and Kenya in long-distance running and Cuba and Jamaica in short-distance running).
These successful countries were followed by a number of countries (I’ll call this Group B) who only gained 1 gold medal, namely Turkey (1 Gold, 8 Total), Zimbabwe (1, 4), Azerbaijan (1, 7), Uzbekistan (1, 6), Slovenia (1, 5), Bulgaria (1, 5), Indonesia (1, 5), Finland (1, 4), Latvia (1, 3), Belgium (1, 2), Dominican Republic (1, 2), Estonia (1, 2), Portugal (1, 2), India (1, 2), and Iran (1, 2). Group B contains many countries that don’t lead the world in general sporting prowess but which are both very keen about and very good at particular sports such as football (Turkey, Belgium, Portugal and Iran), weightlifting and wrestling (Turkey and Iran) and cricket (Zimbabwe and India).
My Group C contains countries that obtained no Gold medals but which nevertheless scored Bronze and/or Silver medals, namely Armenia (6 non-Gold medals), Sweden (5 non-Gold medals), Croatia (5), Lithuania (5), Chinese Taipei (4), Greece (4), Nigeria (4), Austria (3), Ireland (3), Serbia (3), Algeria (2), Bahamas (2), Trinidad and Tobago (2), Colombia (2), Kyrgyzstan (2), Morocco (2), Tajikistan (2), Chile (1), Ecuador, (1), Iceland (1), Malaysia (1), Netherlands Antilles (1), Singapore (1), South Africa (1), Sudan (1), Vietnam (1), Afghanistan (1), Egypt (1), Israel (1), Mauritius (1), Moldova (1), Venezuela (1), and Togo (1).
Group C is similar to Group B in that it contains some countries with well-known expertise in particular sports notably short-distance running (Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, and Bahamas), long-distance running (Algeria), tennis (Croatia, Serbia, Sweden, and Austria), football (Sweden, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Nigeria, Columbia), weightlifting (Armenia), wrestling (Armenia, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) and winter sports (Sweden and Austria).
Finally, my Group D contains countries who sent athletes to the Beijing Olympics but which gained no medals at all, namely Albania, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Antigua/Barbuda, Aruba, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darusallam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iraq, Jordan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYROM), Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Rwanda, St Kitts/Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands, Yemen and Zambia.
All the Group D countries (with the exception of Peru and Saudi Arabia and the tiny European principalities of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco and San Marino) have been subject to European colonial occupation and its horrendous consequences in the post-war era.
For a detailed history of the US contribution to this carnage see William Blum’s “Rogue State”. For a detailed history and “body count” of this horrendous burden of war, occupation, devastation and genocide imposed by the “democratic Nazi” imperialist powers since 1945 see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1905”: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya . 1990-2005 avoidable deaths (excess deaths,deaths that should not have happened) in non-European countries total 1.2 billion, this including a Muslim Holocaust involving 0.6 billion avoidable deaths.
It is useful to sum the 1950-2005 excess deaths in all the countries occupied by foreign occupiers in the post-war era – for a country-by-country analysis see: http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/2008/08/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality.html . Most of the perpetrators have been European countries and are listed below alphabetically with both their number of Gold Medals from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and their “body count” of 1990-2005 excess deaths in the countries they occupied as major occupiers for some time in the post-war era (excluding Germany and Japan as occupied countries): Australia (14 Gold, 2.1 million in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands); Belgium (1 Gold, 36.0 million); Ethiopia (4 Gold, 1.8 million in Eritrea); France (7 Gold, 142.3 million); Indonesia (1 Gold, 0.694 million in Timor Leste); Iraq (0 Gold, 0.1 million in Kuwait); Israel (0 Gold, 23.9 million); Netherlands (7 Gold, 71.6 million); New Zealand (3 Gold, 0.04 million in Samoa); Pakistan (0 Gold, 52.2 million in Bangladesh); Portugal (1 Gold, 23.5 million); Russia (23 Gold, 37.1 million); South Africa (0.7 million in Namibia); Spain (5 Gold, 8.6 million); Turkey (1 Gold, 0.05 million in Cyprus); the UK (19 Gold, 727.4 million); and the US (36 Gold, 82.2 million).
For the record, neither China (51 Gold medals, Iran (1 Gold medal) nor India (1 Gold medal) have occupied any other country over the last few centuries.
If there were Gold Medals for War, Occupation and Genocide, the leading Gold medallists scoring over 1 million on this 1990-2005 excess mortality score would be, in descending order, the UK, France, the US, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Belgium, Israel, Portugal and Spain … or if Gold, Silver and Bronze were given for “total body count” the UK would get Gold, France the Silver and the US the Bronze.