Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 11: The Medal Count

So I had the following exchange with a German friend of mine:
Me: Have you noticed the Olympic medal count, my German friend? USA 20- Germany 13. Plus, two of your medals are for something called "Skeleton." That sounds made up. Anyway, U.S.A.! U.S.A!

The German: Hey buddy, did you notice that given that the USA has 3.8 times more inhabitants than Germany your 20 medals are quite lousy? The average German was so far on average 2.4 times more likely to win an Olympic medal than his hard-trying US equivalent. And now please do not start to blame your public health system…

Me: You make a good point [The German]. I should have know better than to challenge an Economist with numbers. Nevertheless, we are still ahead. And sports, like capitalism, is a zero-sum game.

The German: We seem to be closing the gap (I am now referring to your preferred absolute terms :-) ... USA: 24 vs. Germany: 19

Me: True enough [The German], but you are quickly running out of arcane European sports. You know, the ones were you ski around, shoot something, and then make cheese.
This has "international incident" written all over it.

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