How money buys medals
Poor countries cannot win at track cycling, nor swimming, nor rowing.
Rich countries have an advantage.
We have to temper our pride against the truth, which is that it's an unfair fight.
Marvellous though it is, it's only a small pool of countries prepared to spend the millions needed to win medals at expensive sports.
I write this having watched Sir Chris Hoy ride to glory in the Kierin final, but close your eyes - unless you are driving - and try to think of the most successful sports at the London 2012 games from a Team GB perspective.
Let me see. I'd go for rowing, cycling, swimming, sailing and athletics. And guess what?
That's the five sports funded to a far greater extent than most of the others - and one sport has received huge sums of cash but hasn't delivered the medals.
Put it this way. You'd have to be a fairly rich country to build indoor velodromes.
The tracks are built to fractions of an inch, the indoor climate is controlled, and the doors are air-sealed.
Then you'd have to invest in the most high-tech bikes in the world; so light you can pick them up between your fingers, so strong they don't fail, so fast they have no rolling or internal resistance, and so aerodynamic they cut through the air.
So, take a look at how much money UK Sport gives to some sports.
There are five sports getting more than £20m each between 2009 and 2013. And all the sports have agreed targets.
At the very top of the money list is Rowing.
Again, remember all the medals Team GB won in rowing, including Katherine Grainger in the double sculls and Heather Stanning in the rowing doubles.
Rowing is richer to the tune of £27,287,600.
Yes, a huge sum, and that buys the best sport physiotherapists, the sleekest boats, access to the best training, world travel and, well, the list goes on.
Rowing's performance target for London 2012 was six medals, it produced nine. A good return, but £3m per medal.
In second place in terms of funding from UK sport is cycling.
Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton are the top of the tree that shares £26m give or take a few pennies.
The first indoor velodrome in the UK was built for the Manchester Commonwealth Games of 2002, and at the moment there are only three in the UK.
The medal target agreed for that money was six to ten. As I write this cycling, both track and on the road, has won a combined total of nine medals.
Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford will be a happy man. Just.
He promised those medals.
Swimming is getting £25,144,600. State-of-the-art pools and training and science back up all cost money.
Their performance target was five to seven medals and they have failed to meet even the lower level of that deal as swimming sits at just the three medals.
Someone is in trouble, or should be given that massive investment.
The fourth richest sport is athletics with £25m, give or take a few pennies.
They promised five to eight medals and sit at four as I write with quite a few solid medal prospects.
Sailing is funded to the tune of £22m, has a performance target of three to five medals, and, even before Rhu's Luke Patience gets his guaranteed silver, sits on three medals.
These are huge sums of money. Swimming, obviously, has underperformed.
Other underperformers include canoeing, who get £16m but came up with two medals against a target of three to four.
Diving received £6.5m, had a performance target of one to three medals, but won none.
I could go through the list and pick the underperformers - whose directors of performance will have difficult interviews to come - and those who have done well.
But as I sit in the velodrome and, rightly, applaud Sir Chris Hoy and his team mates on their stunning success, it's worth remembering that, actually, it's not a fair fight.
Cycling's success cost millions and yet, as I write, there is no sign that the performance was vastly greater than what was promised.