Didn’t we do well

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

Many of New Zealand’s Com­mon­wealth Games team mem­bers ex­ceeded their own ex­pec­ta­tions, and pos­si­bly ours, and we are rightly proud of them.

While a num­ber didn’t quite achieve their goal at least they were there com­pet­ing. The whole thing was a great spec­ta­cle.

But the me­dia still seems un­able to go the ex­tra dis­tance in re­gard to the so-called ‘‘Medal Ta­ble’’, which ranks na­tions in or­der of gold medals won. This is a sim­plis­tic, con­ve­nient, though lazy, ap­proach.

There are huge dis­par­i­ties be­tween com­pet­ing na­tions in terms of size, pop­u­la­tion, re­sources (money, fa­cil­i­ties, etc), dis­ci­plines pur­sued, com­pet­ing ath­letes, etc. Fur­ther, if we must have ta­ble rank­ings, we should fac­tor in the worth of gold, sil­ver and bronze (say 3, 2 and 1 re­spec­tively).

So, based on medal worth and pop­u­la­tion, we did ex­ceed­ingly bet­ter than the four na­tions ahead of us: Australia, In­dia, Eng­land and Canada, but not as well as 10th-placed Cyprus, nor, for ex­am­ple, as well as 17th-placed Samoa.

For­mer Bri­tish prime min­is­ter Ben­jamin Dis­raeli was right when he said: ‘‘Lies, darned lies, and sta­tis­tics.’’ GARRY WHINCOP Napier

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