Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Bring back Team USSR?

The London Olympics are being touted sa a triumph for unionists, and a disaster for the Scottish independence movement.

In the Spectator, London mayor Boris Johnson :

"One of the many happy features of these wonderful Olympics is surely that they have retarded Alex Salmond in his campaign to end the union." Iain Martin, in the Telegraph, wrote: "One of the most powerful and pleasing images of the last week has been the omnipresence of the union flag. Winners have wrapped themselves in it and spectators have waved it proudly. For those of us who want the United Kingdom to survive the SNP's wrecking crew, this is a great sight."

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser added:

"We have seen a reclamation of British identity over the last year with the queen's jubilee and the passage of the Olympic torch."

Tory MEP Struan Stevenson:

 "Andy Murray, great Scot and Olympic champion, holding a gold medal and proudly draped in the union jack – eat your heart out Alex Salmond!"

Even Former Labour leader and part time MP Gordon Brown has weighed into the debate, arguing at the Edinburgh international book festival that

 the Olympics have shown that "pooling and sharing" of national resources worked out best for everyone

I can't argue that the Great Britain and Northern Ireland (It was never team GB) probably won more medals than the Nations competing separately.

And the argument that many of the Welsh and Scottish Medallists .Won Team thier medals as a result of being a Team consisting  member of other GB (and NI) Nations is a fact .

But what kind of  argument is it for for a Nations existence that it is now measured on how many medals you get at the Summer Olympics?

Before its dissolution the Soviet Union (USSR) was the dominant force at posy war Olympics and even the Unified Team in Barcelona  when Estonia,Latvia and Lithuania competed as Independent Nations saw the Russian dominated side topping the Table .

But since then the Russians have dropped somewhat in their Medal hauls.

Fourth in London however the former Soviet republics would have topped the Table if their totals had been combined.

It may have been larger in that Team sports would probably have seen more medals with the best of the other Athletes joined  the larger Russians as happened with Team GB and NI.) and if you include athletes from former Soviet Republics who failed to win Medals Turkmenistan,  Kyrgyzstan then it increases.

Is this an argument for the reconstruction  of the USSR ?
Of course not. Try telling all the Olympians from these countries they would be better of competing for the Hammer and Sickle.

There were 85 counties on the Medal Table at this years Olympics from  the USA 46 Gold 29 Silver 29 Bronze (total 104) to  Tajikistan (TJK) single Bronze 

But Tajikistan must be as proud of their Bronze as the USA their haul,

But 119 of the 204 counties taking part failed to win a single medal .

Should these counties look to merge with others to  get on the Medal Table ?

Or was the sight of their Nations Flag at the opening ceremony pride enough and any Medal after a terrific bonus and Gold even more precious?

Even if Scotland where to vote for Independence in 2014 Olympic rules might mean that they may not be able to compete in Rio in 2016.

But the future of Scotland will not be measured in Medals but in the welfare and prosperity of its people and that's where the true argument lies.


Anonymous said...

Exactly Glyn.

And what happened to the 'it's not the winning that's important, it's the taking part'?

It was £9bn spent to promote British nationalism. Simple.

Cibwr said...

Anyway I was under the impression that non "national" flags were banned - so you didn't have the option of also having the Welsh or Scottish or Cornish flags...