February 06, 2014
In praise of medal tables
Posted by Erik Gerding

I can't resist medal tables.  No - not the top of the tables, where imperial sports machines duke it out.  I love the bottom of the tables.  More particularly, rooting for the tiniest of countries and particularly those countries that have never had a medal winning athlete.  My assumption: those athletes don't have a huge apparatus supporting them.  And one local medalist is more likely to generate dancing in the streets in Montenegro than Munich.

The assumption doesn't always hold.  Some big time athletes relocate to micronations to save on taxes (like Austrian skiier Marc Ghirardelli to Luxembourg in the '80s and '90s).  Some Gulf States have been on a spending spree to buy African athletes to win summer medals.

Even so, go Liechenstein!*

*    Liechenstein won skiing medals in the '70s and '80s thanks to two pairs of siblings. 

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