Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Are there any easy Olympic medal?

I have been enjoying the Olympics this week, its so nice to see some of the "lesser" sports like archery and canoeing before they get crowded out by the drug cheats and prima donnas of the athletics track.

Following Michael Phepl's fantastic successes in the pool, 5 Golds at the time of writing, BBC Radio 5 decided to have a phone in discussion about whether it is easier to win gold in some sports than others. Though they denied it the implication was that the prima donnas of athletics were somehow cheated of their right to be seen as the true Olympians.

I think they are all to be equally admired for their hard work and dedication in getting themselves to the very peak of their sports on that one day.

What they couldn't get their heads round was that if there is an easy medal it will soon attract more people to the sport in search of glory, thus making winning more difficult. Conversely, if a sport is really difficult to win fewer people will enter, making the winners task that much easier. Assuming this levelling takes place and leaving aside barriers to entry, being able to afford horses, for example, they all have to work equally hard and deserve all the glory they get.

On this basis Michael Phelps has to be one of the greatest Olympians, irrespective of the sport.

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