Le seul médaillé

Après que la légende américaine de la natation, Michael Phelps a remporté ce nombre impressionnant de médailles olympiques, j’ai entendu et lu beaucoup de gens se demandant : “s’il était une nation à lui tout seul, à quel place apparaîtrait-il au tableau des médailles?”

Cette question sont assez facile à répondre, la “nation Michael Phelps” serait arrivée 16è en 2004 avec six médailles d’or et deux d’argent juste derrière les hôtes, les Grecs et juste devant les Brésiliens qui seront les hôtes en 2016.

A Pékin, où il a remporté huit médailles d’or il aurait été 10ème, et cette année avec quatre médailles d’or et deux médailles d’argent, il aurait terminé 20è.

En 2008 et 2012, ses résultats personnels n’ont pas changé la place de l’équipe américaine dans le tableau des médailles, mais en 2004, les Etats-Unis ont battu la Chine 35 médailles d’or à 32, ce qui signifie que ses médailles personnelles ont été déterminantes pour clamer la première place.

Mais malgré cette importante récolte de médailles, des dizaines d’autres athlètes étaient en compétition, de manière individuelle ou par équipe, et ils sont également essentiels à ce résultat. Mais que ressentirait-il si il avait relevé à lui seul la position de son pays au classement olympique ?

Eh bien, à Londres en 2012, un petit groupe d’athlètes a fait exactement cela. En remportant l’or ces athlètes, à eux seul, ont permis à leur pays de remonter de la dernière place à la 50ème au classement : Taoufik Makhloufi pour l’Algérie a remporté le 1500m,  l’Ougandais Stephen Kiprotich a remporté le marathon, Kirani James a décroché la seule médaille d’or de la Grenade (Antilles) dans les 400 mètres et Ruben Limardo Gascon est offert une médaille d’Or en escrime au Venezuela.

Je pense qu’une attention spéciale doit être accordée à l’unique médaille de l’Afghanistan, celle de Rohullah Nikpah médaille de bronze en taekwondo. Lorsqu’il avait réalisé cet exploit lors des Jeux olympiques de 2008 (Pékin), il fut accueilli en héros lors de son retour au pays. Le président afghan, Hamid Karzaï, lui a offert une voiture, une maison et d’autres biens de luxe aux frais du gouvernement, lui qui était devenu un symbole de paix pour son pays. J’imagine qu’il a de nouveau été récompensé pour lorsqu’il a réédité son exploit.

Dans les prochains jours, je vais essayer de contacter ces athlètes pour savoir comment toutes ces médailles ont pu changer leur vie.

Restez à l’écoute.


What if they were a nation?

When American swimming legend Michael Phelps won his astonishing number of Olympic medals I heard and read a lot of people asking: ‘if he were a nation on his own, where would he come in the medals table?”

This question quite easy to answer, the nation of Michael Phelps would have come 16th in 2004 with six golds and two silvers just behind the hosts, Greece and just ahead of next years hosts Brazil. In Beijing where he won eight gold medals he would have been 10th and this year with four golds and two silver medals he would have finished 20th.

In 2008 and 2012 his personal results didn’t change Team USA’s place in the medals table, but in 2004 the USA led China by 35 gold medals to 32, meaning that his personal medals were crucial to claim the top spot.

But with a medal haul like this, there were dozens of Athletes, competing individually or as part of teams who were also essential for this result. But how would it feel to single handedly raise your country’s position in the ranking in the Olympic games?

Well at London 2012 there were a small group of Athletes who did just that. By winning gold medals for their country these athletes single handedly took their country from dead last to 50th in the standings.

These were; Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria who won the 1500m and Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda, Men’s marathon champion. Kirani James won Grenada’s only medal with gold in the 400 metres and Ruben Limardo Gascon, who won a fencing gold for Venezuela.

I think special considerations have to be given to Rohullah Nikpah Afghanistan’s only medallist, who won Bronze in Taekwondo. When he achieved this feat at the 2008 games, he returned home to a heroes welcome. Also Afghan President, Hamid Karzai rewarded him with a car, a house and other luxuries at the government’s expense, as he stood as a symbol of peace in the country. I imagine he was similarly rewarded for achieving this feat a second time.

In the next few days I’m going to try to contact these athletes to see how their lives changed as a result of winning medals. Stay tuned.

Heartbreaking Olympic controversy

I have just heard this story about a women’s Olympic fencing competition and I just felt so sorry for the poor girl involved and had to share it. After four years of preparation, dedication and hard work Shin A Lam of South Korea is facing Britta Heidemann of Germany the women’s individual epee. With just one second to go she just has to hold off the German to go through to the gold medal fight. After a couple of doubles, the score stays the same, the clock stays at one second for another move and then down to zero 0. The Korean should go through but for some reason a full second is put back on the clock. They reset, the German manages to score and Shin is out of gold medal contention. Her hopes of gold gone in a split second, literally. Qfter this Shin staged a 75 minute sit down protest on the piste, for much of the time crying as she could not believe that victory had been snatched away from her in this way, but the result was unchanged. Shin went on to lose her bronze medal fight and Heidemann lost the gold. Thank you to hbuechel for posting the video youtube. What do you think about this? Comment below.

euronews perspectives: London Olympics

As the British capital geared up to host the Olympics, European TV channels gave their views. Working for euronews I took a look at RAI 2 from Italy, France 2, TVE from Spain and Russian RTR, to see how they’ve been covering the games. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Olympic Torch video

I had to go back to England for a few days and while I was there the Olympic torch was passing not too far from me. So I woke up nice and early and went to the town of Rugby, best known for its world famous school, which is the birthplace of Rugby Football and also known from books such as Tom Brown’s school days and Flashman.

While I was there I captured the event on my little camera. Take a look: