Friday, August 3, 2012

No Luck Of the Irish

In what's turning out to be a time-honored tradition at the Olympics, Ireland has not won anything yet. This is really pathetic. You expect a country to suck at one sport or another - say, the United States with table tennis and team handball. But why should a single country suck at practically everything?  Here's a list of the countries that have gotten on the medal scoreboard by winning at least one bronze each: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Greece, India, Moldova, Qatar, Serbia, Singapore and Uzbekistan.  Even four former Soviet and Yugoslav republics are Ireland's superiors in international athletics.   
As I wrote in this post from 2004 during the Athens Olympics (written a few days before they won an equestrian gold medal there), the Irish have had their moment of glory - note the singular person - in Olympic competition.  Specifically, it was a single swimmer (Michelle Smith) who won three gold medals and a bronze in Atlanta.  And as I wrote in that same post, the Irish let themselves think it was an encouraging sign of things to come, only to set themselves up for bitter disappointment. Suffice to say, they bought into a (very fleeting) moment.  Kind of like their land speculation of the past decade.
Look, I know the Irish have a lot more important things to worry about at this moment, what with their economy invested in bad banks and bad land deals and all that (understanding the details hurts my head and accepting the reality of a broken Ireland hurts my heart), but it would be nice to see them win a medal in something, if only to lift the nation's spirit and to win something in the Olympics on English soil.
As of today, the hosting Brits have fifteen Olympic medals: five gold, six silver, four bronze.  If you had the luck of the Irish, you'd wish you were English instead.
Oh, well, the equestrian events aren't done yet . . .    

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