Jul 26, 2012

What price gold? Tallying up Olympic success

When your heart swells with pride as the canned anthem plays and the flag rises for a gold in London, that twitch in your back pocket is what that moment just cost you, writes Dr James Connor.

When your heart swells with pride as the canned anthem plays and the flag rises for a gold in London, that twitch in your back pocket is what that moment just cost you.


Leave a comment

16 thoughts on “What price gold? Tallying up Olympic success

  1. jj

    Worst of all – the Australian Olympic Committee claiming to represent the view of all Australians and beating the govt around the head for more dollars every time the budget allocation comes around- then the govt – any govt swallowing it hook line and sinker!!!

    A the very least introduce a HECS style payment method for the so called elite. I mean what really is the benefit of us winning gold medals – we feel good about it for 2 weeks and then move on – 588million ???? The games are corrupt anyway – usually leave cities broke eg Montreal Athens. Go to http://www.oobject.com/category/12-examples-of-decayed-olympic-sites/
    for a good look – and I like watching sport

  2. Paul Liddell

    It’s laying it on a bit thick when you state that as role models, all we get from our elite athletes are people who “Aspire to break another’s jaw, threaten officials, take drugs at the worst end of the spectrum and endanger their health through over-training at the best?”.

    I don’t disagree with the theme of the article, but to impugn our elite athletes as examples of “over-training” at best is a pretty emotive analysis. There are many great role-models in elite sport. Whether or not the money could be better spent is more the issue.

  3. puddleduck

    What proportion, if any, of their sometimes very lucrative sponsorships, do supported athletes return to the public coffers?

  4. donkeyotee

    Couldn’t agree more. It also wouldn’t bother me so much if the sports weren’t universally bloody tedious: Fifteen thousand minor variations on swimming, obscure track & field events like shotput that nobody in their right mind would care about apart from 2 weeks every 4 years. And all of the sports that people have a general interest in — golf, tennis, football etc — have their own non-olympic tournaments that carry far more cachet.

    But we’ll keep forking out billions, because “elite” is only a dirty word in Australia when it’s applied to intellectual pursuits, not sporty ones.

  5. Alank52

    These days sport (not religion) is the opiate of the masses.

  6. IC-1101

    I don’t like the tone of this article at all.

    The Olympics are one of a few outlets of peace and fairness in a very corrupt world. Poor countries even have the capacity to dominate particular sports, as they do quite often.

    The author suggests that “we buy into” the notion that elite sport encourages kids to get off their bum, despite no evidence to suggest as such. I recommend that Dr Connor’s look into soccer participation rates following Australia’s 2006 World Cup appearance.

    Generally, though, this article reflects an opinion of hostility towards wealth and the obvious “elitist” organisation of professional sports and competition.

    I look forward to the bombardment of similar articles by Crikey’s apparent intellectual elite.

    Sport brings people together.

  7. Samuel Pendergast

    Your argument implies that Olympic gold medals are the sole reason and outcome for investing in sport at any level above the grassroots.

    ‘What this figure does not take into account is the money spent at state level.’

    Of course it doesn’t, that’s money spent on amateur sporting participation which encourages confidence, cooperation, a healthy lifestyle and dear I say it competitiveness among a significant portion of the population.

    Don’t worry about the trickle-down argument, or connections between elite success and junior participation, it’s irrelevant. Participation at all levels costs and it’s worth investing in regardless of the medal count.

  8. zut alors

    Olympics, yawn… a patriotic beat-up. As for the AIS, too much funding for too few.

  9. michael crook

    Obesity “panic”, more kids running around, but, wait a moment, isn’t one of the main causes of kids obesity, McDonalds, a major sponsor?

  10. AR

    Is there any chance that this will the last Olympic article? No, i thought not. Oh well, it gives me more time to clean out the privy.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details