What do we do with the Olympic feel-good factor?

The Beijing Olympics end on Sunday and the final medal tally is nearly complete. China is the obvious winner – not just in terms of gold medals, but also given the huge boost to its national pride and prestige.

But there are other less obvious winners. An alternative medals table per head of population would show Slovenia, Armenia and of course Jamaica all scoring highly.

On Saturday, as the athletes prepare to leave for home, Newshour‘s Julian Marshall will be asking how long the feel-good factor will last and can it be turned into something positive back home.

Do you think Olympic success can make up for your country’s problems, be they economic, political or social? And can you see it feeding into greater investment into sports and sporting facilities? And is that a good thing?

And with the 2012 Olympics happening in London, should the British government be capitalising on the success of Team GB and increasing its funding both of the Games and its Olympic
Leave a comment on the blog or email us at worldhaveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.


8 Responses to “What do we do with the Olympic feel-good factor?”

  1. August 21, 2008 at 19:16

    Hi WHYSers!

    My answer to this question is, undoubtedly, yes! The exploits of the Jamaicans on the track at the Bird’s Nest has certainly caused, if even momentarilly, a sense of unity unlike anything I have seen before in my short time on the planet in this country. What I also know is that it has also caused us to become more aware of country above self, not a very popular rhetoric for some people here, sadly. What that now means is that, there is evidence of our successes as a united front than apart.

    Indeed, in terms of the active development of sports as a critical part of the education focus of the nation, there are definite plusses for us coming out of Beijing!

  2. August 21, 2008 at 19:20

    Hi WHYSers,

    Not sure if my original comment went through. So, let’s have a second go at it. Short answer? Yes! The euphoria can be translated into something tangible. National pride has been on overdrive here since our victories on the track in Beijing! Everyone is waving a flag, even my neighbours have them displayed on cars on their doors. That is a sign of kind of unity and nationalistic vision which we often do not always see.

    Certainly, in terms of using that as an example, there is room to truly cement sports as an important platform of the education transformation currently on in Jamaica. Link academics to sports and ensure that the sponsors of the Olympic Team recognise their investments in education as a real investment in another dominant Jamaican display at the world level. That is one place to start, in my view.

  3. 3 Vijay
    August 22, 2008 at 02:40

    What feel good factor?Sold out?Athens and Beijing have seen empty arenas,hopefully London 2012 will put bums on the seats.
    The British government should initiate a comprehensive sports policy that identifies talent at an early age and then nutures and develops the athlete through the state education system,at the moment the private sector(public schools) and sports clubs have prominence,most kids get ignored.

    In the USA high school and College sport are huge in the UK these sectors are virtually non existent(for most),Australia has a sporting culture,too much is left to chance in the UK,somehow an individual will emerge and then might get lottery funding.

    The sports infrastructure is poor in Great Britain, more stadia ,sports centres,running tracks and swimming pools etc are required.

    Government funding of sports has to be 50/50 vis a vis men and women.(like Title IX in the USA)

  4. 4 steve
    August 22, 2008 at 03:02

    China is the obvious winner? The US has more medals, that’s what counts.

  5. 5 parth guragain
    August 22, 2008 at 13:46

    what i think that this olympics will have tremendeous affect in china.china supremecy in this olympics have been established.this organization will be example of how a country can showcase itself.it will further increase investment oppurtunity in china and tourism boost in coming days can be unimanigable.as more eyes will be in china in coming days.it will further open up china.china now can’t be secrective state in days to come as much as it tries.

  6. August 22, 2008 at 13:49

    Personally, I think the Beijing Olympics has been a success for the People’s Republic of China. In spite of the attempts of the negative people to use the age factor, lip sync factor, and pollution; the Beijing Olympics have seen people feel good about themselves. This was the game where people felt like family and poor sportsmanship was not tolerated. I saw this during my trip to the People’s Republic of China in June/July 2008. I will be missing the talk of brotherhood after the Olympics. I challenge people to feel good about themselves every day. I also challenge the governments of the world to stop funding wars and start funding athletes.

  7. 7 Tom D Ford
    August 22, 2008 at 17:51

    @ rawpoliticsjamaicastyle.wordpress.com August 21, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Congratulations to you Jamaicans!

    But what bothers me is that US sports businesses have a record of essentially buying the best athletes from foreign countries with sponsorship contracts, setting them up with US citizenship, and then racing them as US Americans in the Olympics and other world competitions.

    I hope that Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, and your other athletes can work that out and keep competing as Proud Jamaicans.

    The way US businesses buy foreign athletes undercuts the development programs for kids in the US and I’d like to see something better set up so that Olympic athletes have to compete for the original countries they were born in or at least spent the most of their lives growing up in.

    That said, I’d like the US to learn from Jamaica how to develop better sprinters.

  8. 8 Emile Barre
    August 23, 2008 at 12:39

    The “winners” and second and thirds are two-week-wonders with gongs. If they or anybody else thinks they are more than that, they are deluding themselves.

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