Olympics Withdrawal

It seems to me….

I was obsessed with the Olympics. It’s so exciting to see that level of excellence and endurance.” ~ Lisa Bonet[1].

The Winter Olympics of 2018 are now over and it is somewhat difficult to realize that life for most people seemingly continued uninterrupted while many of us were engrossed in the games and not paying attention. Apparently not everyone finds them addictive.

Much of what actually transpired during that period of time was what generally seems to be considered “news” rather than actually being anything really new. It is unfortunate that those of us in the U.S. have become so inured to still another school mass murder incident that it no longer comes as a shock. There were new revelations in the real-life soap opera involving Trump and the ongoing investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 Presidential election. And so it goes.

There doesn’t seem to be any way to reduce the number of senseless deaths from guns – the spineless representatives we continually elect, regardless of their professed election campaign promises to do something, quickly sacrifice their basic moral principles in exchange for easy money from gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association. And the real tragedy is not the news-capturing event of another mass shooting, it is the needless 30,000 deaths each year that only rarely make the headlines.

With each subsequent announcement from Special Council Mueller, Trump should be feeling the inevitable tightening of the noose around him. Many politicians prior to him have been referred to as being “Teflon” but Trump previously always managed to escape conviction even though he frequently admitted or even bragged about his various nefarious activities: association with known Mafia and other underworld figures, employment and exploitation of undocumented workers, sexual aggression and promiscuity, intentionally cheating and defrauding contractors and employees….

Everyone must admit the achievements of the Olympic athletes were outstanding; each of them represented the best in the world competing in their specific event on that particular day. Many of them trained for years sacrificing time and money to reach goals unattainable by most other people. To the winner goes the glory and they rightly deserve the congratulatory admiration they earned. Still, it is somewhat unfortunate that all the others who also contended on that stage frequently go unacknowledged for they too put forth an equal amount of effort. On any other day, the results might have been different but that is not the way of life. They shall always remain “also rans”.

Here is the final medal count for each country at the 2018 Winter Olympics. It includes not only the number of medals but also the population of each country (in millions) winning a medal, the number of athletes from each that competed, but also the medals won as a percentage of each nation’s population and competing athletes.

Country            Total      Population  Athletes   Percent           Percent                                                        Medals  (millions)                       (population) (athletes)Norway                39                5.20                  64                  7.5                  60.9
Germany             31                81.41                392                38.1                     7.9
Canada                29               35.85                277               80.9                   10.5
United States     23            323.95                530                  7.1                     4.3
Netherlands       20               16.94                 178              118.1                   11.2
South Korea       17               50.62                 245               33.6                    7.0
OAR                     17             144.10                 436                11.8                    4.0
Switzerland        15                8.29                  102             180.9                 14.7
France                 15              66.81                  330               22.5                   4.6
Sweden               14                9.80                  134              142.9                10.5
Austria               14                8.61                    70              162.6                20.0
Japan                 13            126.96                   29                 10.2                  4.4
Italy                    10             60.80                284                 16.4                   3.5
China                   9         1370.00               380                  0.7                   3.0
Czech Republic  7              10.55                  133                66.4                  5.3
Finland                6               5.48                    55               109.5               10.9
Great Britain      5              64.11                    59                   7.8                 8.5
Belarus                3                9.51                  165                  31.5                 1.8
Slovakia              3                5.42                    65                  37.2                4.6
Australia             3                8.61                  410                 34.8                0.7
Poland                 2             38.00                 218                    5.3                0.0
Slovenia              2                2.06                   65                  97.1                3.1
Spain                   2              46.42                 282                   4.3                0.7
New Zealand      2                4.60                 184                 43.5                1.1
Hungary              1                9.84                 157                  10.2                0.6
Ukraine               1              45.20                 237                   2.2                0.4
Belgium               1               11.29                  115                  8.9                 0.9
Kazakhstan         1               17.54                 114                   5.7                 0.9
Latvia                   1                1.98                   46                   5.1                  2.2
Liechtenstein      1              37.53                     3                  2.7                33.3

The results are only somewhat surprising. The highest percentage of medals won by any country is not related to either its population base or how many athletes participated. While the cost of training and sending each athlete involved is impossible to estimate, it understandably is extremely high.

But not all examples of extreme athleticism took place in an official sports venue. Numerous previous personal records exemplifying extensive effort and endurance went unnoticed and unrecorded by officiating judges. 2,952 athletes participated in the games; while the majority were men, about 45 percent were women. There are many extremely interesting facts about the athletes but perhaps one most indicative of their extensive training and preparation is that they used 110,000 condoms during the 17 days of the games. You can do the math. That demonstrates real athleticism.

It isn’t that I’m callous or uncaring about needless deaths due to gun violence or that I have become totally inured to incompetent politics; I have been frustrated and angry too many times to expect any real change. I will continue to hope and speak of obvious wrongs but doubt there will be any substantial change.

I would be somewhat remiss if I failed to mention some good news: the 2020 Summer Olympics will take place in Tokyo, Japan, from 24 July to 9 August 2020. Then it is only another two additional years until the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, from 4 February to 20 February 2022. I’m already waiting.

That’s what I think, what about you?

[1] Lilakoi Moon, born and known professionally as Lisa Michelle Bonet, is an American actress.

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About lewbornmann

Lewis J. Bornmann has his doctorate in Computer Science. He became a volunteer for the American Red Cross following his retirement from teaching Computer Science, Mathematics, and Information Systems, at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO. He previously was on the staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, Stanford University, and several other universities. Dr. Bornmann has provided emergency assistance in areas devastated by hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. He has responded to emergencies on local Disaster Action Teams (DAT), assisted with Services to Armed Forces (SAF), and taught Disaster Services classes and Health & Safety classes. He and his wife, Barb, are certified operators of the American Red Cross Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV), a self-contained unit capable of providing satellite-based communications and technology-related assistance at disaster sites. He served on the governing board of a large international professional organization (ACM), was chair of a committee overseeing several hundred worldwide volunteer chapters, helped organize large international conferences, served on numerous technical committees, and presented technical papers at numerous symposiums and conferences. He has numerous Who’s Who citations for his technical and professional contributions and many years of management experience with major corporations including General Electric, Boeing, and as an independent contractor. He was a principal contributor on numerous large technology-related development projects, including having written the Systems Concepts for NASA’s largest supercomputing system at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. With over 40 years of experience in scientific and commercial computer systems management and development, he worked on a wide variety of computer-related systems from small single embedded microprocessor based applications to some of the largest distributed heterogeneous supercomputing systems ever planned.
This entry was posted in Athletes, Athletics, Australia, Austria, Beijing, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Canada, China, Condoms, Crime, Czech Republic, Election Interference, Entertainment, Entertainment, Finland, France, France, Germany, Germany, Great Britain, Great Britain, Gun, Hungary, Italy, Italy, Japan, Japan, Japan, Korea, Mafia, Mass Shooting, Mueller, Murder, National Rifle Association, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, NRA, Olympics, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sports, Sweden, Swizerland, Tokyo, Trump, Ukraine, United States, Weapon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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