Category mistake

by John Quiggin on March 21, 2006

According to my local suburban paper, Western Brisbane has won more gold medals at the Commonwealth Games than either Canada or New Zealand. I’m sure Doreen Root would have something to say about this.

Although I’ve contributed nothing to this outcome beyond some desultory cheering at the TV set, and have never previously considered Western Brisbane as a distinct entity, I am, of course, filled with patriotic pride at this glorious victory.



Tracy W 03.21.06 at 10:53 pm

Meanwhile I’m depressed at the soon-to-come calls in NZ for more government spending on sports which are all too likely to be listened to.

Because of course such a valid use for tax money is to spend it on such zero-sum games as winning Commonwealth or Olympic gold medals. (And of course, if such expenditure was successful, it would never be the case that Oz or the US would just raise their own expenditure.)


reuben 03.22.06 at 4:38 am

As an immigrant to the UK who passes the Tebbit test, I have to say that, much to my surprise, I’m absolutely loving the Commonwealth Games. It’s so fun to hear Brits (of various nations) actually winning something – particularly after the Athens Olympics, when most events were followed by a BBC comentator saying, “And now we’re here with Great Britain’s valiant X, who finished a gutsy seventeenth.”


Simstim 03.22.06 at 11:17 am

Every Olympics someone runs a “so who’s the greatest Olympic nation” piece that reveals it’s not the USA but some tiddly little Pacific or Carribbean island nation. They are, of course, looking at the medal table on a per capita basis and so strangely enough the most populous nations lose out to the one out of a couple of dozen micro-nations who managed to snag a gold or silver medal.


Tracy W 03.22.06 at 5:31 pm

More fun. The head of SPARC announced on TV that it was important to determine where to distribute sports money so that they could “guarantee results”.

Since even the best athlete in the world can fall over and break an ankle, I wonder if by “guaranteeing results” he’s considering bribing judges.

Of course our news media did not pick up on this minor detail.

God, sometimes I wish I was back in Britain where they have newspapers written by people who occasionally show evidence of having more than one brain cell.

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