Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I like Sport, but...

Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe has told the BBC "it is vital" that Team GB reaches the target of 41 medals from the Beijing Olympics.

Is it though? Is it really? Of course we want to do well and if we were to finish fourth it would be great for the country and the continued progress we are making in these areas. But it’s not ‘vital’ that we reach our target. It’s vital we curb knife crime, it’s vital we try and ensure a proper, rounded education for all, it’s vital we address the roots of international terrorism. But it's not vital we make sure we win a gold for sailing a boat around a pre-determined course of markers faster than someone else. Or that we jump further than someone else into a sandpit.

Isn’t this taking a large proportion of what makes sport the enigma it is away? The best thing about sport is its unpredictability. The greatest matches are so because you’re never sure of the outcome, or an under-dog comes from nowhere and produces a performance that defies expectation. You don’t want to just be crossing off medals as and when you’ve predicated them to come in.

And based on Lucca Barra’s (who forecasts the Olympic medal table using the results of recent world championships in each sport) Athens performance chart (in which he got 2 / 10) it’s clearly not the most exact science, despite him saying we will surpass our target.

1 comment:

Kristian Dando said...

I just.....like....sport.