Duck! and Gather

Archive for August 19th, 2008

In the last post, in which I blogged about Olympic medal counts, I wrote:

That is, China celebrates the community, and discourages the individual, whereas the US celebrates the individual, and pretty much forgets about the community.

I concluded: “Canada will always suck at the Olympics. This is the price of a really nice place to grow up.”

If these observations are more or less correct, then I think the reason I can see this is that the first 25 years of my life were spent in Canada, the next 20 years in the US, with enough time spent elsewhere. Today, I am a citizen of three countries (Canada, the US, and Greece). I think this sort of background gives people like me a clearer perspective than most about the fault lines of cultures.

Anyway, along those lines I wanted to draw your attention to this “America champions the individual” dynamic. It is absolutely graphic right now in connection with the the US Olympics men’s basketball team. As I blogged about yesterday, this team of all-stars has learned the lesson of team play. Having learned this lesson, this team is almost unbelievable. They’re like a team of unbeatable comic superheroes

What’s amazing is that these same superheroes were bums two and four years ago. They didn’t play as a team, and so they were a joke. They were like the bully on the beach who was getting sand kicked in his eyes by the skinny kids.

But today, with team play, the bully is back.

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  • Comments Off on Gold Medals: China vs. USA vs. Canada

Forgive me if the following analysis is just too obvious to bother blogging about. But in case not, here goes ….

As I write this, China leads the Olympic medal race with 42 golds. The USA is second with 25 golds. Third place starts with Britain (15 golds), and drops pretty quickly from there. Down at position 17 is Canada, with a measly 2 golds. (Canada is a country with a population roughly the size of California. China’s population is about 4 times the size of the US.)

The big question about these relative numbers — 42, 25, and 2 — is: Why the differential? Here are my answers …

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for the money has gone too far

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