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posted on 24 August 2016

Rio Olympics 2016 and More

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Rio Olympics 2016 closed on August 21. I thoroughly enjoyed it by spending numerous hours watching it, just as I did with all the recent Olympics! What about you?

Because I wrote about the past two Olympics (Swimming, Olympics 2012, and More and The 2014 Sochi Olympics), I will continue the tradition by writing about this one. Very importantly, because the Summer Olympics always occur during an election year for the American President, I will briefly link them together again, just as I did in 2012 (Olympics 2012, Economies, and The Next American President).

1. The Olympics

I love the Olympics! I think the Olympic spirit represents the best of mankind: peace and the demonstration of excellence in athletic ability & beauty! This is particularly poignant today, as the world is so full of conflicts, with the Mideast and Europe in their worst shape since WWII!

The Olympics have always been a microcosm of the world, for bad (e.g. 1936 Summer Olympics) or good (e.g. 2008 Summer Olympics). This one was no exception in two major aspects, at least.

  1. In terms of the medal table, America continues to dominate, with China being a distant second.
  2. The rise of the rest, with several countries winning their first gold in the Olympics (e.g. Singapore in swimming, Vietnam in shooting, and Fiji in Rugby)!

Let me further elaborate on each ...

2. The medal table

One of the biggest deals for the Olympics is the medal table. Your country's rank in the medal table is far more than a bragging right - It actually reflects, largely, your country's economic standing in the world!

The two tables below highlight the medal winners for the past two Olympics.

2012 Olympics Medals

Rank Country Total Gold Silver Bronze
1 The U.S. 103 46 28 29
2 China 88 38 29 21
3 Russia 84 24 28 32
4 The U.K. 65 29 17 19

2016 Olympics Medals

Rank Country Total Gold Silver Bronze
1 The U.S. 121 46 37 38
2 China 70 26 18 26
3 The U.K. 67 27 23 17
4 Russia 56 19 18 19

As you can see, America did very well this time, while China did not. However, I stand by my prediction, made in 2012 (Olympics 2012, Economies, and The Next American President), that China will top the medal table by 2032, with the biggest difference coming from swimming!

The U.K. and Russia switched the positions on the medal table from 2012 to 2016 for one main reason: the Russian team was significantly downsized in 2016. For more, read: 119 Russian athletes banned from the Rio Olympics due to on-going doping scandal.

Will the U.K. or Russia ever threaten America to top the medal table? No, not in my life time, at least! So from now on until 2032, the race will be between the U.S. and China, just like in their economies!

3. The rise of the rest

In addition to Singapore, Vietnam, and Fiji, as highlighted earlier, the three BRICS countries (other than China and Russia) showed more promising signs:

  1. Brazil: The host country did very well, just like all the previous host countries (e.g. China in 2008 and the U.K. in 2012).
  2. South Africa: Wayde van Niekerk won 400m on track by breaking a long standing world record.
  3. India: An Indian woman placed the 4th in the vault of gymnastics! Indians being a factor in gymnastics on the world biggest stage? Wonderful to watch and totally unprecedented!

Any doubt about my claim that the Olympics and the world economy mirror each other?

4. The best in 2016 Olympics

To me, the best in the 2016 Olympics are the following three (in that order):

  1. Usain Bolt: His triple triple is definitely the greatest achievement in human athletics!
  2. Michael Phelps: He is definitely the best swimmer in human history!
  3. Simone Biles: She is definitely the best woman gymnast, ever!

More profoundly, first Gabby Douglas and now Simone Biles, I think that blacks will soon dominate gymnastics, women's first and in America first, but eventually in both men's and women's throughout the world, just as they have done in track & field!

It is also interesting to see Asians continually trying to find more niches, such as the 4 x 100m relay in track, with Japan placing 2nd and China 4th, while American men's team was disqualified again, for the same reason (i.e. bad baton passing), again (China vs. America: Passing the Baton).

5. Closing

The Olympic medal table is a big deal, but the economies behind it are far bigger deals. Amazingly, they seem to go hand in hand.

With American athletes dominating the Olympics with excellence, let's demand the same from the American President, shall we?

Give Donald Trump a chance to make America great again! For more, read: Donald Trump vs. Deng Xiaoping.

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