Team GB finally got medals

When I checked on 18 February, the Team GB had yet to win a single medal and not on the medal table.

However, the men’s curing team won silver on 19th and the women’s curling team won gold on 20th, the last day of the Winter Olympics 2022. They are now on the medal table. Despite the low medal tally, the national ranking is the same as in the previous three Olympics: 19th.

Even though Japan won more medals than ever, their national ranking was one place lower than previous one: 12th.

The Olympics 2022 ended with many stories.

One of those heartwarming stories is that of American athlete Lindsey Jacobellis who won her first gold medal on snowboard cross in her ‘fifth’ Olympics. In fact, in Turin 2006 game, she was so far ahead of the rest of athletes in the final race, she thought she would surely get the gold medal. When she jumped over the final obstacle; kicker, she was so happy to be the winner that she grabbed her board and lost her balance, resulting in falling just before the finish line. She quickly regained, but was overtaken by a competitor and missed the gold medal. It was like a story of ‘Hare and Tortoise’. She had been training ever since and finally won the gold medal. At the press conference after the award, she said that she would have quit snowboarding after Turin if she hadn’t made the mistake. She must be very happy to have won the gold after 16 years of trying. She also won another gold in the mixed team, so she won two medals at once.

I remembered that Noriaki Kasai, the Japanese ski jumper, had competed in 8 Olympics. He is already called a legend. He could not be qualified this time, but he said he would try again in 2026. He is, indeed, a great man.

There were many other heartwarming stories, but also sad ones. There was a doping problem. On top of that, one of Britain’s 400m relay runners, who contributed to bring silver to the team at last summer’s Olympics, was caught doping, and on 18th February, in the middle of the Winter Olympics, team GB was disqualified and the silver medal was stripped. Why did it take whole 6 months to decide whether or not someone is disqualified?

For many sports, the difference between third and forth place is huge, because only up to third place are allowed on the podium. However, up to eight place are considered as prize winners and their names are recorded and kept permanently, at least in Olympics. I have never known that the winners can get a certificate. So the difference between 8th and 9th place is also huge. In Japan, the Japanese Olympic Committee offers medals and certificates to up to the third place winners as well as a reward.

Unlike many other sports, there is not much news about the prize money, but it seems that besides the Olympic Committee, the medallists also receive rewards from each sorting organisation. The amount of money seems to be small compare to others, but many other sports with high prize money, the sponsors pay a large part of the prize money, hence everywhere you look, their is a storm of advertisements, and the athletes quite often wear clothes with the sponsors’ logos everywhere.

I sincerely hope the Olympics will continue to be a purely sporting event, without intervention by sponsors, state and politicians.

Photo by Alex Smith on Unsplash

Created: 21 February

References: Guardianganjin2021(Japanese)、