Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Anyone out there think this is worth it?

From the BBC:-
"When Great Britain went to Beijing, the team benefited from £235m investment in training programmes in the years running up to the Olympics - that's a fourfold increase on what was spent [in the run up to Athens]," says Prof David Forrest, a sports economist at the University of Salford.
"We spent an extra £165m and got 17 more medals, so that's about £10m a medal."

That's medals. Not necessarily even gold ones. Anyone out there think it's worth £10m for a canoeing bronze? And if so, name the winner of it.
About £7m also comes from money raised by Team 2012, mainly through corporate sponsors.
Which shows just how much all those medals and hopefuls are actually worth. Barclays pays £120m to sponsor the premiership.

In Beijing, the most successful sports were those that received the most funding. Between them, athletics, cycling, rowing, sailing and swimming accounted for half of all Olympic team funding. They also accounted for 36 of the 47 medals won.

Which is because lottery funding is based on predicted finishes. Not how globally significant the medals are. If you can win at one-footed monopoly, you'll get more funding than a 100m runner that won't.
In fact, there are some sports that are in effect closed to all but the most wealthy nations.
"We have identified four sports where there is virtually no chance that anyone from a poor country can win a medal - equestrian, sailing, cycling and swimming," says Prof Forrest.
He points to a study suggesting there is one swimming pool for every six million people in Ethiopia.
Wrestling, judo, weightlifting and gymnastics, he says, tend to be the best sports for developing nations.
For the majority of other disciplines, money is key.
At last, someone from academia backs what I've been saying all along: the medals we've won are in the easier medals, because they're the ones that a large part of the world doesn't take part in, can't afford to take part in and have no financial reward (which was the justification for lottery money).

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