In the middle of Olympic fever last week, I was intrigued to read that 26 sports were played in London with medals awarded in 302 events. To my amazement, The New Yorker went on to inform me that the majority of those medals were given in sports that originated, in their modern form, in the UK. Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Badminton, Field Hockey, Soccer, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, Water Polo, Table Tennis and Tennis were all born in the UK. As, of course, was Rugby, my own passion, which is scheduled to become an Olympic sport again in 2016. No other country comes close. Three Olympic sports originated in the US (Basketball, Volleyball, Triathlon) and two (Handball, Gymnastics) originated in Germany. And for once, Britain did not live up to its reputation of inventing the sport and then losing leadership in it at these Olympics. Their athletes and their development programs did them proud, and as I write this, the UK were #3 in the medal table behind the US and China and level with Russia.
It’s been a great Olympiad; brilliantly organized, brilliantly executed and full of outstanding performances. In what I now realize must be the true home of sport.