Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sporting excellence a sign of an emerging superpower

The Olympics for 2016 have been allotted to Brazil. Brazil has edged out established cities like Tokyo, Chicago ad Madrid.

Often, when a country is on its way to becoming a economic superpower, it is reflected in the Sports Arena. By this, I mean consistent performances, not a few flashes in the pan, moments of individual brilliance.

Lets take the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. During those games, Soviet Union was at the top with 45 golds followed by USA and Germany. China was just making a small splash in the pool with about 16 golds.

In the 2000 Games, USA had 36 golds, followed by Russia with 32 and China 28 golds. The gap between China and the the top powers was coming down.

Cut forward to the 2008 Games and the performance reflects the new order in the world. China has got 51 gold, USA 36 golds followed by Russia.

There are several reasons for sports mirroring the economic strength of a country. As a country grows prosperous, the surplus funds grow and its citizens get better facilities. Athletes and other sportsmen get world class facilities to practice and are taken care of by the corporates.

China hosted the 2008 Olympics and it was making a statement to the world. We have arrived. We have the best facilities in the world. Our Sportsmen are the best in the world.

As the economic clout of a country grows so do its allies. Brazil was able to edge out even the mighty Obama backed Chicago. Speaks a lot about where USA is heading.

We have the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Lets see what message we send out to the world.

ps: Sometimes, its fun to ignore the markets and look at other angles associated with economics.

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