Monday, 11 August 2008

Beijing 08

O-RingsFor reasons that make me sound particularly curmudgeonly, I don't pay any attention to the Olympics. It's nothing to do with China, I haven't watched any games since at least Barcelona (1992) or perhaps Seoul (1988). It's a shame because I applaud the individual sporting excellence but cannot abide the rampant nationalism and commercialism. Thus, my knowledge so far of the Beijing games is limited to the terrorism, crime and ridiculous re-education of the populace stories.

Singapore have a small team (26 Olympians) at the games and have declared they expect to win 1 medal, which is either over or under ambitious, depending upon your perspective. Singapore has yet to win a gold in any games with Howe-Liang Tan's silver in the 77kg weightlifting at the 1960 Rome Games the country's only Olympic medal to date. Table tennis star Li Jia-Wei, placed fourth in Athens, is the top local medal prospect.

If underdogs are your thing, you could try rooting for the countries with only one athlete such as the Republic of Nauru, the world’s smallest island nation at only 8.1 square miles. It is located northeast of Australia in the Micronesian South Pacific. Their sole Olympic participant is Itte Detenamo in the weightlifting competition. Go Nauru!