I remember almost 4 years ago an Antipodean writer talking about how “the Aussies had knocked Team GBR off the Olympic pedestal.”
I also remember looking at the results in somewhat more depth as it is the medals that get all the headlines but sometimes without the detail. In every event Team GBR competed in the medal race. Can you imagine what the tabloids would have said if every track and field athlete (of any country) made their final?
Then I played around and using the low point scoring system gave a team score for the finish place of each competitor.
Well with around 3 weeks to go to the next games I took to wondering if I could find the info and check it out. The wonders of the internet mean you can find pretty much everything.
Well with the Olympic single handed classes currently dominated by the Brits with World Championship victories in Finn, Laser and Laser Radial, the two windsurfers in the hunt (always), the two 470 teams up around there and the 49ers hardly no hopers then perhaps the Aussies didn’t so much knock GBR off the pedestal as GBR just letting them borrow it for a while.
The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) and Steven (Sparky) Sparks, the team manager certainly appear to have the formula well and truly researched and operational.
Odds? Well I reckon that you would get similar odds of Giles Scott being beaten to those certain football fans from Leicester got when wishing their team success in the English Premier League.
Of course the Olympics are a different cauldron altogether and anything can happen but I bet Sparky isn’t suffering many sleepless nights right now other than mulling over what antibiotics to take with the team to Rio.
Will that Aussie journo be able to make his claim again in Rio?
Well one thing for sure, after denying the opportunity for some of their qualifying sailors to actually go and compete they certainly will not have a sailor in every medal race.
For Team GBR?
For sure, medals make the history books but to emulate the feat of their compatriots in 2012 (and 2008 by the way) and make EVERY medal race for a second – oops, sorry, third – Olympics would be without precedent. In fact I will stick my neck out and say I think I am right in saying there hasn’t ever been a medal race without a Team GBR sailor in it.
Now that’s a record worth extending, Mr Antipodean reporter.
– Shanghai Sailor