Fiji rugby team won the country's first Olympic gold medal: are the odds stacked against small countries competing in the Olympics?

  • The odds are stacked against small nations in the Olympics

    For the most part, the the majority of the most effective nations around the world, when it comes to Olympic prizes walked away with, have also been a couple of the most significant nations when it comes to human population. This increasingly creates an unjust impression, any time you’re evaluating the achievements of nations.

  • Yes, they are.

    Not only do small coutries have fewer resouces to help their athelets train, but they also have a smaller pool of atheletes to pool from. Also because of limited resources and the expense of international travel, some of the poorer nations have never even participated in the Olympics, at least until recently.

  • Yes, a smaller talent pool is a huge disadvantage.

    Countries with large populations tend to dominate the Olympics. The United States, China, Great Britain, Russia and other countries with high populations usually win a majority of the medals. The reason is simple: the more people there are in a country, the more great athletes there will be from that country. Therefore, when countries like Fiji or Singapore win gold medals, it's an incredible accomplishment.

  • It is not fundamentally harder for smaller countries to earn olympic metals

    Having a more populous country does not guarantee any amount of success in the olympics. A more important factor in having top-notch athletes is the development status of a country. Great Britain has a large number of athletes compared to the size of its country, whereas some larger countries in Africa have a much smaller number of athletes, making it harder for them to compete.

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