On the Olympics medal table

So, the Olympics are over and Team GB (that’s the team of sportsmen and sportswomen from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Team UK would be so much better) has been placed third in the medal table according to the BBC (official broadcaster for the Olympics) – and I assume they get their information from the IOC.

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 46 29 29 104
2 China 38 27 22 87
3 Great Britain & N. Ireland 29 17 19 65
4 Russian Federation 24 25 33 82
5 South Korea 13 8 7 28
6 Germany 11 19 14 44
7 France 11 11 12 34
8 Italy 8 9 11 28
9 Hungary 8 4 5 17
10 Australia 7 16 12 35


I feel uncomfortable with this. The tabulation is determined by the number of gold medals awarded. What happens if you order it by total number of medals awarded?

Britain would move down to fourth, with the Russians taking their place at third. The Canadians, with 18 medals, would suddenly shift from 36th place to 13th. The top ten would look like this:

104 medals – United States
87 medals – China
82 medals – Russian Federation
65 medals – Team UK
44 medals – Germany
38 medals – Japan
35 medals – Australia
34 medals – France
28 medals – Italy
28 medals – South Korea


Surely, the best system would be to give points, three for gold, two for silver and one for bronze. Then you would get this:

225 points – United States
190 points – China
155 points – Russian Federation
140 points – Team UK
85 points – Germany
67 points – France
66 points – Japan
65 points – Australia
62 points – South Korea
53 points – Italy

Other idle thoughts:

USSR – 47 golds, 44 silver, 73 bronze (302 points).*

European Union – 92 golds, 104 silver, 107 bronze (591 points).**


* – I’ve included Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Latvia, Armenia, Estonia, Moldova and Tajikistan.

** – of the EU nations, only Austria, Luxembourg and Malta did not win any medal.

Of course, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania couldn’t be in both Team EU and Team USSR. Between them, they won three golds, two bronze and four silver (19 points). But, however you look at it, Team EU scored more than Team USSR and Team USA put together.


Oh yeah, this blog is still alive.

Just Raising Money

A little while ago, I linked on here to our JustGiving webpage. You see, Hels and I are going to walk 20km to raise money for the Parkinson’s Disease Society. That means we will be getting up very early, striding purposefully up Down and down Down, getting blisters, getting drenched, getting sunburn, getting achey and getting sore. But we are determined to do it because we think it is a very worthwhile cause.

We have exactly one month to go and we want to raise a lot more money yet. We’re only about one-third of the way to our modest target and really, truthfully, I’d like to reach double the target we have set. So, here’s how you can help:

  1. Give money. How do you do that? Easy! Go to our JustGiving page. Now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not after you’ve had a cuppa. I should say "please", but actually I feel a little like Bob Geldof, thumping my desk and shouting "give us the [expletive] money now!" – and, if you use the webpage and are a UK tax payer, the PDS gets the Gift Aid which adds quite a lot extra to your donation.
  2. Link us up. You have a website? Good! Then link to www.justgiving.com/grahamandhels – and tell your readers that we are awfully nice people and that this is a very good cause.
  3. Tell people. Know anyone who knows us? Tell them what we are doing and suggest that they give money. Or maybe they don’t know us – well, tell them anyway!
  4. Send encouragement. We know what we are doing might be small but is certainly worthwhile and we’d like others to encourage us. And you know what the best form of encouragement is? More money for the PDS!

If you do help with any of these things, then please email me because I’m a nice chap and want to thank you. But, please do help us – without your help, our walk won’t be worth much at all.

Now, back to sending pestering emails to people!

Another sporting ground crisis

With all the problems that Brighton and Hove Albion have had in securing a decent home for their team and fans in recent years, you’d think that the authorities in Brighton would have learned that they need to give more support to their local sports teams.

But it seems that that is not the case. Sussex County Cricket Club, a championship-winning team that is very active in the community, is having problems seeking permission to redevelop its Hove ground. Only the circumstances this time are slightly different. In the case of the football team, an asset-stripping owner and management sold off the family silver and nearly consigned the club to oblivion, leaving them desperate to obtain consent for a new out-of-town venue. In the case of the cricket club, the management are clearly keen to stay at their historic home in the centre of Hove, convenient for locals and public transport and an important part of the community. And yet the council seems reluctant to support them in this.

Ultimately, I think it quite possible that the cricket club will leave Hove. There has been talk of them moving to Crawley, which would certainly put them closer to visiting fans from Surrey, north Kent and Middlesex, whilst still being handy for trains from Brighton and Hove. Sale of the site in Hove would raise an enormous sum (and lead to not just redevelopment of part of the ground, but the entire ground). A new stadium in Crawley would be good for the club, but there would be one big loser – the city of Brighton and Hove.

It is time for the authorities to realise this and support their local sport teams.

Dick Knight irked by Rafa Benitez

Not interested in football? Look away now.

Dick Knight furious over Benitez comments about reserve football. Brighton has long had a strong reserve team that has been an important proving ground for new players and a good place for seasoned players to gain experience or get match time when, for example, returning from injury. Brighton also has strong youth teams too and uses the entire structure to develop new talent, which is useful when the purse for buying-in talent is small (both in terms of saving money by "growing your own" and by earning money by selling players on). Maybe Rafa needs to come and spend some time with some of the smaller clubs and see what real-world sport is about, and perhaps remember Liverpool’s history of transferring talented players developed by lower teams (think Mark Lawrenson).