Amid the flurry of speculations, postponements, anger and fears over the hosting of the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 the coronavirus outbreak forced into 2021, the Tokyo games have become positive history.
It is possible Tokyo deliberately insisted on not having a negative hosting history the second time. The first Olympic hosting to be canceled was in 1944 due to the ravages of the World War II. It was unfortunately billed for Tokyo.
With all the fear, Japan proved its capability to manage bad situations proficiently by ensuring the games didn’t only hold, but never served as avenue for the escalation of the pandemic. That on its own is sign of strong leadership.
But most of all, once again, the Tokyo medals table proves further that global influence, world power and standing is defined in sports.
The world dominant forces took their rivalry to the sporting arena in Tokyo.
US as sustained over time, came top of the pack, closely followed by China, their major rival in economy and tech advancement.
The top two countries on the medals haul list are also world top two economies. On the fifth position on the table is host Japan, world’s third largest economy.
US and China grossed 201 medals splitting the figures at 113 for US and 88 for China with US having just one gold medal, 39, ahead of China’s 38. The medals grabbed by these two whose economies are 41.89% (nominal) and 34.75% (PPP) of global GDP as of 2021, according to statisticstimes.com are just one less than the total medals for Japan, Britain, Australia, and France who had 202.
Interestingly also, all these countries following China on the table are members of the Paris Club, the G20 and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) better known as the capital exporting economies.
It’s also important to note that the top four countries on the medals table are all members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which include – US, China, Russia (ROC) and Britain. France, the fifth of the UNSC states is number 10 on the list.
The host country showed her prowess by hauling 27 gold medals, far exceeding its target of 16 golds, a very big credit to the world’s third largest economic force.
Very importantly, whereas China is one country politically at the global sphere, there are three segments of China at the Olympics including Chinese Taipei with 22 medals and Hong Kong China with 19 medals.
On further observation, all the 12 African countries listed on the table got a total of 35 medals, one less than the 36 Netherlands hauled to take ninth position in the contest, and two medals less than Germany that picked 37.
Of all the African countries represented, Kenya came tops on the list, placing 25th on the table with 10 medals four gold, four silver and two bronze. So Kenya indisputably is champion among Africans. The country is also the engine of the East African economy and reputed as the most ICT-driven economy in Africa.
To make clearer the importance of sports in today’s world affairs, the Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett had to stop the state executive council meeting to personally call the state’s first winner of a gold medal at the event and congratulate him.
So, in case you had not known, the Olympic medals table is a reflection of world power, influence, advancement and economy. Those that have sound economic, political and leadership standing also harness the same potential to rule the world of sports, that is the reason about seven countries had athletes of Nigerian nativity that competed and also won medals for them.
Next time you hear of the Olympic Games, the World Cup etc, look beyond just some strong boned people playing, running and jumping around. It is the physical turf for world dominance and power.
See you in next three years at another world power battleground.