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Friday, August 20, 2004

All about the medal count: The Coalition of the Willing vs. the Unwilling 

Brendan having a life and TigerHawk, er, not having a life, I decided to build on last night and post tonight's medal count sorted by "willingness," as in "Coalition of" and "Not." Here we go:

Coalition of the Willing:
United States - 40
Japan - 19
Australia - 21
Ukraine - 8
Italy - 14
South Korea - 15
Netherlands - 12
Romania - 4
Turkey - 4
Hungary - 6
Poland - 4
Slovakia - 5
Georgia - 2
Bulgaria - 3
Great Britain - 9
Czech Republic - 3
Portugal - 1
Spain - 2
Azerbaijan - 2
Colombia - 1
Denmark - 2
Mongolia - 1
Estonia - 1
TOTAL - 179

The Unwilling:
China - 36
Russia - 28
France - 16
Germany - 19
Greece - 3
South Africa - 3
Thailand - 4
Switzerland - 2
United Arab Emirates - 1
North Korea - 3
Cuba - 7
Belarus - 5
Zimbabwe - 3
India - 1
Indonesia - 2
Serbia - 1
Belgium - 2
Brazil - 2
Argentina - 1
Canada - 2
Spain - 2
Croatia - 3
Slovenia - 1
Taiwan - 1
Trinadad and Tobago - 1
Israel - 1
Eritrea - 1
Kazakhstan - 1
TOTAL - 152

The Coalition still has a significant lead over the Unwilling, but it has closed in both absolute and percentage terms since last night. Since I am not following the Olympics closely enough to make any predictions about medals yet to be awarded, I invite all interested readers to speculate on Coalition vs. Unwilling trends over the next week.

I do have a few observations. First, two-thirds of the Coalition advantage is attributable to the dominating Australians, who are crushing their Unwilling opposites (the Canadians, duh!) 21-2. Yet another reason to love Australia.

Second, the list is a bit dated, insofar as it no longer makes sense to include post-Aznar Spain in the Coalition. Then again, nobody thinks Israel is Unwilling -- we just kept them out of the Coalition for the usual reasons. For medals count purposes, though, I'm willing to trade Spain for Israel if that makes the exercise more palatable to the flower and chivalry of TigerHawk's readership.

Third, can you believe how unathletic the Indians are? You'd think that a billion people could scrape up more than a single medal.

Finally, if you are one of those timid souls who agrees with Kofi Annan that the Olympic spirit requires that "no nation is greater or smaller, stronger or weaker than any other," you still might agree that some nations are hotter than others.

UPDATE: Iraq is in contention for its first medal since 1960. At the risk of drawing snarky fire from the Left, I will include that medal, if won, in the Coalition category.

6 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 21, 03:03:00 PM:

I was thinking about which side the Iraq team would be in after they beat Australia today and are closer to the medal round. I'm with you, they're with the Willing if only because they wouldn't be there without them.(us.)

Rob A.
(Fine?WhyFine?)  

By Blogger Tom Kessler, at Sat Aug 21, 03:53:00 PM:

I would describe the Iraqi soccer team as an unwilling member of the Coalition of the Willing, much like Spain before Aznar: the population might be slightly opposed to this designation, but its government embraces it, and its military forces support ours, hence they are, for all practical purposes, an ally, even as some of its citizenry chooses to earn our enmity.  

By Blogger Tom Kessler, at Sat Aug 21, 04:00:00 PM:

JMO, but Spain should definitely not be counted as a member of the C.O.T.W., given that they are no longer willing to support us in any substantive way. OTOH, Israel SHOULD be counted, as they are willing, though unable for political reasons, to render military aid.

Finally, Switzerland and Taiwan should be removed from the Unwilling, as Switzerland is neutral, and hence, not against us (unless you mean in the "you're either with us or against us" sense), and Taiwan is clearly on our side in all things, though unable to commit troops due to its near-superpower neighborhood bully, China. Thus, I think both of these countries could be better described as neutrals than Unwilling.  

By Blogger Patrick, at Sat Aug 21, 11:53:00 PM:

Shouldn't Israel be in C.O.T.W.? They are helping on the more covert ops type stuff.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Aug 21, 11:57:00 PM:

I included Israel in today's updating post.  

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