Sport games? Not only, geopolitical also.
Posted by: Massimo Merlino in geopolitic
Many econometric models try to forecast the number of Olympic medals for each country. Some are regression of population size,GDP per capita value, hosting of games, historical statistics. Some are more focused on sociocultural variables. Also the Banner’s one, quite famous, was not so much functioning for 2020 Olympic games.Let’s try a more synthetic geopolitical approach to results interpretation. First general observation:
“COVID impacted strongly on medals world distribution”
On the first 30 positions of country classification, only 12 are not European, it seems to be more similar to ‘800 Olympic games than to those of previous twenty years, where more than 20 non European countries were in the list of gold medals major winners. And the positioning in GDP per capita is not strictly correlated with results, so as the population size.
“USA is the first country, but with less total medals number than in the past and China, the second had not so brilliant results as in the past. Real winner is Great Britain with 60% of medals of the first and second, having about 15% population of USA and 3% of China, and given to Japan the advantage of hosting games.”
So the easy forecasting about new countries pushing back the oldest, formulated in previous Olympics, are completely rejected by facts. Europe remains the most strong area in sport results. Also institutional Europe (EU) concentrates the major number of medals if considered really united. Great Britain financial sport support system must be carefully considered in front of their results.
“Australia, Netherland and New Zealand obtain wonderful results, having a relatively small population compared with world and European major countries.”
These communities have in common a strong international culture, Commonwealth values and heritage, a sea connection orientation and courage, not a mountain isolation and mind closure, and are rich of entrepreneurship.
“From tenth position to thirty one, all Central Europe countries show the heritage of Communist central planning adopted also for sport in the past, so as Russia does in fifth position.”
In the Cold War times sport has been an arena of rivalry between democratic free economies and planned ones, and after 32 years of Berlin wall fall, this imprinting remains in people and also in young generations. Ideas are more strong and resistant than common people think.
“India quite zero results and islamic countries poor attendance to games demonstrate the importance of religious behaviours in not considering sport as a competitiveness arena.”
In the vaste multi-religious area of Southern Asia, sport is not considered a priority in improving knowledge and consciousness of an individual and in showing his competitiveness to other people. Exceptions for cultural and geopolitical conflicts remain Japan and South Korea.
“Major European countries positions testify a correlation with their GDP per capita positioning. Italy is the true exception.”
The tenth position of Italy, in the past normally between sixth and eighths, remains a positive exception very difficult to forecast through quantitative analysis. In fact Italy is today 27th in GDP per capita classification, 31st in WEF competitiveness list, after middle East states. But the sport management system in Italy is very similar to that of Soviet Union times, with State intervention and athletes public servants and this is a strong model following results of ex communist countries. Other strong sources are more psychological and historical ones. Italy arrived to unity very late, pushed by an aristocratic minority and turbulent young in love of Great Britain institution. So the process is the same in every field:to desire and looking to very noble and European objective, being very poor and near to Africa. Heritage of fascist Roman imperial vision is the substrate and people feel a lot of resentments and envoy toward Northern Europe rich nations. All this mix create a strong engagement also in sport fans, more evident in foot ball but very present in all sport disciplines.