Of course there is something very enthralling about competition, especially if you are partial to one of the competitors, it's just that I am not sure that happening to come from the same country is sufficient reason to be partial. I don't see that I have any right to any reflected glory if the UK eight win the rowing, I have done nothing to help them, if a runner wins their race they do not win for Britain they for themselves, I may enjoy watching them win I may enjoy watching others simply competing, but the point surely of the Olympics is about the individual competitor, not the national team. I used to love the Olympic ideal of individual against individual, competing being more important than winning and amiable amateurism, all this seems to have gone by the board. There is a good reason why there is no official overall national prize or indeed any national prize per individual sport it is because it is meant to be about individuals meeting on an equal basis. As it happens the broadcasters and other observers feel the need to bang the national drum and so we get medal tables, team targets, and all the attendant jingoism.
|Zoe Smith, Olympic hope weightlifter|
I will watch some events simply because they are on, others I will watch because I have played that sport a bit. I would love to watch Olympic Tug-O War but there hasn't been a medal awarded for that since 1920. I used to do some competitive weights (mostly power lifting rather than straight lifts) and will now being watching it just to cheer on this girl as she competes today.