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Which is more important, great beer or great rhythmic gymnastics?

August 25, 2008

The Games are over. The medals have been tallied. Back home people are putting their knowledge of lap times and balance beam routines into deep storage and brushing off their football statistics. Swapping Team USA chants for “Here we go Steelers, Here we go!”

Here in Belgium, well, I’m not sure there’s any gear switching. There was a lot of excitement over High Jumper Tia Hellebaut and the Belgian soccer football team’s advancing to the semi-finals but other than that… they kind of just laughed when the topic of the Olympics was raised. “Poor Belgium” was the general consensus by both Belgians and non-Belgians.

So. How did the “Poor Belgians” do? They got 2 medals. One gold (in women’s High Jump) and one bronze in a relay. However, with a country the size of Maryland is it really fair to compare it to giants like China or the US? Pat Ford of ESPN.com analyzed the results pretty nicely, looking at the number of medals each country won per competitor brought to Beijing:

(From ESPN.com)

Underachievers

Which countries won the least medals per competitor?

Gold: South Africa (4). One medal, 142 athletes.

Silver: Egypt (5). One medal, 104 athletes.

Bronze: Belgium (6). It brought 103 athletes to Beijing but won only two medals. Time to drink even more of that excellent Belgian beer.

Beer

Mark Renders/Getty Images

Belgians couldn’t win more than two medals in Beijing, but they still can make damn good beer.

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