It seems to me….
“I was obsessed with the Olympics. It’s so exciting to see that level of excellence and endurance.” ~ Lisa Bonet.
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?
 Lilakoi Moon, born and known professionally as Lisa Michelle Bonet, is an American actress.