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What’s reason for the USA’s Olympic dominance?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-8-13 13:53:35 |Display all floors
The Olympics are over—noooooo!—and the United States led all nations in medals with 104, 17 more than second-place China. The London Games are the fifth straight Summer Olympics in which the USA has been at the top of the table. And after placing second in gold medals to the home-standing Chinese in 2008, the Americans regained the top spot with 46, the most for the United States in a non-boycotted Olympics since 1904. What’s the explanation for the USA’s Olympic dominance?



America is rich, which helps—the countries that are tops in GDP tend to rise to the top of the medal count. But from an athletic point of view, the USA’s success comes down to swimming and track and field. More than half of America’s medals this year—31 in swimming, 29 in track and field—came from those two sports. Since the modern Olympics began, the USA has won 520 swimming medals—342 more than its closest competitor, Australia—and 767 athletics medals, about four times as many as second place Great Britain.

Swimming is especially important to America’s medal ambitions: There were 34 swimming events at the London Games and the USA medaled in 27 of them. When it comes to nurturing and training top-level swimmers, America is the best nation in the world. Elite swimmers here come up through a network of private swim clubs and matriculate at top college programs. USA Swimming, the group that oversees America’s Olympic swimmers, is well-organized and well-funded—it pays athletes $75,000 for each gold medal plus an extra $50,000 for setting a new world record. Really, it would be a shock if the United States didn’t win so many swimming medals. And the gap between the USA and the rest of the world would be even bigger if foreign athletes didn’t also take advantage of the United States' swimming coaches and support infrastructure.


While American track athletes might not be as speedy as Usain Bolt or as hammer-tastic as Krisztián Pars, they’re still good enough to take home a decent haul. As long as the NBA and the NFL exist, American youth will spend their childhoods trying to run really fast, jump really high, and throw things really far. The big question is why China doesn’t do well in track and field. China only won five athletics medals this year, four in racewalking and one in women’s discus. If the Chinese start taking track as seriously as they take table tennis, America is in trouble.


To top things off, the United States is generally competent in all other sports. There are only three Summer Olympic events in which the USA has never medaled: badminton, team handball, and table tennis. And even with the stars-and-stripes-hating International Olympic Committee banishing baseball and softball from the games, there are still plenty of other sports that America almost always dominates, like basketball and volleyball.


It’s easy to say that American athletes are better than other countries’ athletes, or that America just cares more about sports than the rest of the world. But that’s not true. It’s pretty much just that there are a fat load of medals available in swimming and track. And lucky for the USA, the pool and the track are likely to be Olympic staples for as long as the games exist.



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Post time 2012-8-14 12:26:28 |Display all floors
It's too bad Americans can't uphold the Olympic spirit by being gracious toward their closest challengers.
They accused China of being obsessed with gold, insinuated Chinese athletes to be dopers, cheaters and liars. More recently, ABC world news and Yahoo asserts that China in planning to win every single medal in future Olympics.  It fits in with the cold war red scare mongering - after the world, commies take over the Olympics.

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Post time 2012-8-14 12:33:14 |Display all floors
msrong Post time: 2012-8-14 12:26
It's too bad Americans can't uphold the Olympic spirit by being gracious toward their closest challe ...

All of those unfortunate accusations aside, the fact that they assert China is planning to win every single medal must mean they expect rapid development of Chinese athletic prowess. Even if doping did occur, winning every medal would be quite the feat!

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Post time 2012-8-14 14:43:56 |Display all floors
US won 16 gold medals in swimming alone,
isn't there suspicion of doping here ?
Where are all other record holders in so many other countries ?

And the urine samples of their best swimmer had been tested positive of banned substances,
yet allowed to go free and win more medals !!

Please don't shoot, I'm just a babe.

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Post time 2012-8-14 14:50:59 |Display all floors
correction Post time: 2012-8-14 14:43
US won 16 gold medals in swimming alone,
isn't there suspicion of doping here ?
Where are all other  ...

be nice to others and others will treat you the same!

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Post time 2012-8-14 14:53:31 |Display all floors
Col Post time: 2012-8-14 12:33
All of those unfortunate accusations aside, the fact that they assert China is planning to win eve ...

  anyway, doping is inevitable since there is a will , there is a way!

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Post time 2012-8-14 15:57:31 |Display all floors
China can be number one by robbing golds from Team GB.....in cycling and rowing.

China has the bodies for that.

In swimming, China has shown it can compete in longer distance swimming  but up hill task all the way especially in shorter distances.....

China do not have the body types for swimming and athletic


The way for China to be number one is to monopolies the events it is good in and steal golds from Team Gb in rowing and cycling.
I've made my living, Mr. Thompson, in large part as a gambler. Some days I make twenty bets, some days I make none. There are weeks, sometimes months, in fact, when I don't make any bet at all because ...

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