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Should British Olympic athletes be born in the UK?

11:50 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011

British wrestlers are voicing frustration at seeing foreign training partners become members of the GB Olympic squad. Should only British born wrestlers be part of the squad?

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The training partners are brought in from other countries to share skills, they can also seek citizenship while they live and work in the UK. British wrestlers are saying that they should not be taking the place of native wrestlers.

British Olympic teams have benefitted from the addition of foreign talent in the past. Jurgen Grobler OBE lead the GB rowing team to gold. Double European champion athlete Mo Farah lives in the UK after fleeing Somalia as a child and now competes for Great Britain.

Could foreign wrestlers who take on British citizenship increase the chances of GB collecting more medals? Should we encourage sportsmen and women from other countries to compete for GB?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Well of course you should be born in Britain if you want to be in the British Olympic team. How can you be in the British team if you were born in Kenya or Russia?
    Its about time the UK concentrated on its indigenous population.

  • Comment number 2.

    why shoild it matter if there forgein if there the best for the job there the best for the job hasnt that been the argument all along?

  • Comment number 3.

    LIke most things in life, there are legalised cheats.

    Sport is no exception.

  • Comment number 4.

    why should athletes be any different to any other walk of life, this has been happening in industry for a while,its no different from saying that immigrants are taking jobs/houses etc

  • Comment number 5.

    It would be preferable to concentrate on just getting the 50 (or whatever number) best competitors in each sport to the Olympics.... or are we going to have the same dreary and purile reporting in 2012 as we did with Beijing? As soon as any 'British' competitors were eliminated, all reporting on that event ended, and it was hard to discover who did win.

    The Olympics ought to be about excellence, not which colour your tracksuit happens to be.

  • Comment number 6.

    ummm - it happens in other sports.

    Greg Rusedski, Kevin Pieterson - both foreign born but 2 examples of British representation in sport.

  • Comment number 7.

    I've often wondered why the England Football Team does not have any foreign players in it.

    I mean, the manager is foreign, the vast majority of players in the premiership ( and lower leagues ) are foreign, so why not have non-English players in the team ? That way they might win something.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm frankly sick of hearing this disingenuous rubbish. Its the standard wind up on 606 to accuse England of stuffing their sports teams full of foreign born players. If we are going to stop this happening then it has to be a world wide ban as we are far from the worst offenders. It comes to something when members of the largest migrant group in the UK complain about Kevin Peterson being born in South Africa.

    I struggle to see how anyone can justify banning immigrants from representing England without advocating a total ban on migrant workers.

    This has more to do with a wish to do down our sportsmen and women than genuine concern about nationality.

  • Comment number 9.

    These jonny foreigner wrestlers, coming over here, stealing our jobs and medals - send them back to where they came from, that's what I say !

  • Comment number 10.

    If it is good enough for the English football team to be managed by a foreigner, and most of the league teams to have foreigners playing for them, then why shouldn't the British Olympic wrestling team have foreigners help them in their training to be the best in the world. I think the key words here are "training partners", I don't read that as taking the place of the oringal team unless it is as a form of understudy (like in the theatre) where that understudy takes part if the main sports person can't.

  • Comment number 11.

    Why not. If at first you don't succeed ... cheat.

  • Comment number 12.

    6. At 12:46pm 12th Apr 2011, chezza100 wrote:

    Greg Rusedski, Kevin Pieterson - both foreign born but 2 examples of British representation in sport.
    ---------------------------------------------

    Have you noticed how the media report things like this ? Your two examples are always reported as being "British", but, take the American Astronaut Michael Foale for example; he's an American citizen, but the media refer to him as "British Born".

    Why is that then ?


  • Comment number 13.

    Absolutely, or else all you have is a competition of athletes from anywhere and everywhere. You may have a few athletes with dual citizenship, but if country of birth was the deciding factor, this little problem goes away.
    Speaking as a Canadian, when Canada wins a medal, I want the winner to have been born in Canada. There is an exception and that would be where the athelete was, for example, born in Russia, but only because his Canadian parents happened to be in Russia for some reason, and the little fellow is a Russian-Canadian.

  • Comment number 14.

    A few of our Ashes winning team weren't exactly English either. Does that matter?

    As to the Olympics who cares who wins anyway. It will all be forgotten about long before the bills for it have been paid off.

  • Comment number 15.

    I can't pass judgement as I have ancestors from all 4 home nations and follow Uruguay !!!

  • Comment number 16.

    7. At 12:54pm 12th Apr 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    I've often wondered why the England Football Team does not have any foreign players in it.

    I mean, the manager is foreign, the vast majority of players in the premiership ( and lower leagues ) are foreign, so why not have non-English players in the team ? That way they might win something.


    ===============================

    I think you missed something, they are foreign, foreign to winning

  • Comment number 17.

    Who cares? I can have more in common with someone born on the other side of the world than with someone born in the same street.

  • Comment number 18.

    9. At 12:57pm 12th Apr 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    "These jonny foreigner wrestlers, coming over here, stealing our jobs and medals - send them back to where they came from, that's what I say !"
    -----
    You *have got that wrong* because they win the medal on merit. If they don't play for the UK, they UK gets no medal. Pretty obvious, really.

    "indigenous population" -- Tony of Britain is using laughable BNP-speak.

  • Comment number 19.

    6. At 12:46pm 12th avr. 2011, chezza100 wrote:

    ummm - it happens in other sports.

    Greg Rusedski, Kevin Pieterson - both foreign born but 2 examples of British representation in sport.

    ---------------------------------------

    Quite correct & there have been others - a certain South African barefoot runner who had a very fast British passport for example.

    Will it make a difference? Probably very little as the media tends to become hysterical if someone has the slightest chance of a medal & the pressure becomes enormous.
    After that a concerted effort by the same media to trash that person by any means possible.
    Winning carries personal intrusion - who would really, really want that?

  • Comment number 20.

    As usual ideals crash up against real life concerns. It's ridiculous to consider stopping someone like Mo Farah from competing for GB since he grew up here, but on the other end of the scale you have someone like Riki Flutey or Shontayne Hape [non-Olympic examples, admittedly] who have lived here for only three years before qualifying for international representation.

    So where should the line be drawn? Therein lies the problem, there have to be rules set somewhere and it sounds like for the Olympics the line is drawn at citizenship.

    Another issue it seems is switching allegiances, I prefer the rugby take on that since you're committed to a national team once you have a cap. It seems better than the cricket version where Ed Joyce has represented Ireland, England and then Ireland again [although with the distinction of wanting to play Test Cricket the move is understandable].

    As a multicultural society this is a fair discussion to have, but there is no easy answer and while rules are different between different sports there will always be disagreement.

  • Comment number 21.

    8. At 12:55pm 12th Apr 2011, PFC_Kent wrote:
    I'm frankly sick of hearing this disingenuous rubbish. Its the standard wind up on 606 to accuse England of stuffing their sports teams full of foreign born players. If we are going to stop this happening then it has to be a world wide ban as we are far from the worst offenders. It comes to something when members of the largest migrant group in the UK complain about Kevin Peterson being born in South Africa.

    I struggle to see how anyone can justify banning immigrants from representing England without advocating a total ban on migrant workers.

    This has more to do with a wish to do down our sportsmen and women than genuine concern about nationality.

    ========================

    It's trades description.

    Even a Cornish Pasty is now protected, moreso than a British Althlete.

    Says it all doesnt it when a meat & potatoe wedgy pies origination is more reliable than the description of a British athlete.

    Whenever a non UK born athlete wins something, you can bet your top/bottom dollar that other nations tv/radio commentrys & other media reports will mention the fact that they are not British born, hence it does nothing to maintain a sense of fair play, which we know from Maradona, a different form of cheating but equates to the same disgust and even hatred.

  • Comment number 22.

    18. At 13:18pm 12th Apr 2011, Phosgene wrote:
    9. At 12:57pm 12th Apr 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    "These jonny foreigner wrestlers, coming over here, stealing our jobs and medals - send them back to where they came from, that's what I say !"
    -----
    You *have got that wrong* because they win the medal on merit. If they don't play for the UK, they UK gets no medal. Pretty obvious, really.

    ------------
    Phosgene, not too hot on sarcasm then ?

  • Comment number 23.

    Unfortunately, like most things sport has to justify itself economically and as with the last Olympics our medal haul was talk of in terms of a good return on investment and it’s going to be worse for 2012 where the investment is billions not millions.

    I think it is time to clarify that to qualify as being British at least one parent must be born in Britain of another British parent.

  • Comment number 24.

    MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    I think you missed something, they are foreign, foreign to winning.

    ----------------------------------------

    Good point; I'd write more, but I only know 100 words of English.

  • Comment number 25.

    Common sense might suggest yes, but as we welcome the import all sorts of skills, including sports, from all the nations of the world. Now pushing our over populated island towards the 75m mark, why not import out Olymic athletes too for even greater success and cudos?

  • Comment number 26.

    Every other country does it, so stop complaining. Nearly every wrestler in the Aussie team is from Turkey.

  • Comment number 27.

    22. At 13:27pm 12th Apr 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:

    18. At 13:18pm 12th Apr 2011, Phosgene wrote:
    9. At 12:57pm 12th Apr 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    "These jonny foreigner wrestlers, coming over here, stealing our jobs and medals - send them back to where they came from, that's what I say !"
    -----
    You *have got that wrong* because they win the medal on merit. If they don't play for the UK, they UK gets no medal. Pretty obvious, really.

    ------------
    Phosgene, not too hot on sarcasm then ?

    ----------

    Perhaps not! We have waaaaay too many people who say things like this -- and mean it. It's like an AlfGarnettathon.

  • Comment number 28.

    Rulesets have loopholes and these get exploited. Clearly 'born here' would leave those who have found refuge and asylum here unable to compete anywhere. This seems dodgy though and most unfair to those who now will miss out on places. It appears to be passport in exchange for British medals and that just feels dirty. It certainly undermines the games yet again. There is however too much money in sport for it to be clean anymore.

  • Comment number 29.

    imagine you've trained all your life and are uo for selection to the 2012 olympic team then someone moves here, they are higher ranked than you and get picked.
    It's like your own country has slapped you in your face.
    I think there should be some sort of period before an immigrant can be considered for selection.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think it is fine provided the individual concerned has spent long enough living in the country they are going to represent. I'd suggest it should be five years, but certainly at least three to show real intent. At present in too many sports it is all too easy to be a mercenary and switch just to suit where someone might get selected or paid a bit more. The English cricket team is a standing joke on this (though at least that's not a proper sport), but it's been seen elsewhere in tennis, athletics and rugby to name a few. And it isn't just England; Qatar has in recent years fielded quite a few Kenyan athletes who have suddenly changed nationalities for all the wrong reasons, and it makes a mockery of the point of international sport.

  • Comment number 31.

    Well of course they should. Its this barmy country yet again.

  • Comment number 32.

    Sport as all become very pointless now.
    I believe I'm right in saying when Celtic won the European Cup, all their players came from a 16 mile radius.
    I don't support any England side now, and it all started to go wrong for me when Basil D'Oliveira was allowed to play for the English cricket Team.

  • Comment number 33.

    "26. At 13:36pm 12th Apr 2011, SimonBosman wrote:

    Every other country does it, so stop complaining. Nearly every wrestler in the Aussie team is from Turkey.
    "

    ----------------

    So because every country does it that makes it OK?

    What happened to representing your country?

    I'm surprised the athletes aren't confused by interviews -

    Interviewer asks "so how does it feel to have won a medal for your country?"
    Athlete - stares blankly wonder which country the interviewer is referring to.


    We should be promoting our own athletes that have been born here.


    ---------
    "29. At 13:49pm 12th Apr 2011, David Maginnis wrote:

    imagine you've trained all your life and are uo for selection to the 2012 olympic team then someone moves here, they are higher ranked than you and get picked.
    It's like your own country has slapped you in your face.
    I think there should be some sort of period before an immigrant can be considered for selection."

    ---

    Exactly. Spot on there.

    People say that it's ok because other countries do it and that people who complain about are Alf Garnetts but that is because they obviously don't like the truth.

    The truth being that immigrants do come over here and take resources away from those who are born here. How do you think they get by - by living in camps full of tents in the countryside, not working, not using the health service etc.?!

    The GB teams use of foreign athletes is just another example of a long line of examples of how people born in this country are sidelined for no real reason.

    It's about time that we collectively stood up and said "Enough!".

    Instead of showing the apathy that we do and saying "oh it's OK because most countries do it also"

  • Comment number 34.

    I can see the frustration of those athletes who miss out to others who aren't born in Britain. However, if someone is a British citizen then I think they should be able to compete, regardless of where they are born.

    I don't see why it's different from when players in football transfer between clubs. If you are part of the team then you are considered a member of that team.

    Any lack of British born representation is down to the abilities of our athletes, which is caused by lack of sports clubs and societies which attract children from a very young age. And of course the funding that goes behind it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Who are we kidding. Were it not for foreigners, whether fresh off the boat or descendant of immigrants, USA, Britain and increasingly western europe countries would be a laughing stock regarding sports - just looke at who wins the majority of medals for America, black athletes.

    There have been frequent complaints from Russian and Chinese analysts saying that treating a global sport where countries compete like a football transfer market is diluting the point of the games.

  • Comment number 36.

    What's the point? The way money and professional sport has destroyed sport just let anyone compete for wherever they want. Of course I think it's rediculous and I object to paying a coach as well. A national team must belong to the nation, that's why it's called a national team.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    First of All, it shouldn't be Team GB but 'Team UK'. Why are the Northern Irish not to be counted in. Yes, I know they are but if we insist on Team GB then the cross of St Patrick must be removed from the flag. As for the other question, if they are British by right, then they have the right to represent Britain.

  • Comment number 39.

    If you're going to have people representing a country when they weren't born there or have no ancestry there, what's the point of having nations compete at the Olympics?
    It then just becomes a bunch of individuals competing against each other with the relevant nations desperately trying to gain as much kudos as possible from the success of the individual. It's pathetic!

    Zola Budd anyone?

  • Comment number 40.

    Yes, absolutely.

  • Comment number 41.

    This smacks of hypocrisy. Christine Ohuruogu was born in London but could compete for Nigeria. When cuts to funding were being implemented she held the BOA to ransom, who caved. Now she's the country's darling and everyone forgets this.

    Essentially it shouldn't matter where you are born, only that you represent ONE country. Like any other sport once you represent a country at international level that is it, you can only ever represent that country. Athletics suffers from athletes being able to switch their allegiance.

  • Comment number 42.

    Why have British national teams if they're not composed of British nationals? That means primarily British born, but exceptions have to be made in some obvious cases. These might include someone who has become a British national through choice - for example whose parents came here when the athlete was a child carrying the nationality of the country of birth, but who has decided to live their life here and taken British nationality; or those who were born overseas to British expats doing an overseas tour of duty. There may be other deserving cases
    The rest are just mercenaries, and putting such people in the teams just degrades the whole thing. Remember the Zola Budd farce? Some people have referred tothe Premier League, and that's become a bore, about as exciting as watching Matsushita play Samsung, and wrecking the English national team in the process
    We've brought it on ourselves by a lunatic desire to stage the Olymics at any cost, with the consequent need to spend squillions on training the hopefuls. Money which can now apparently be mopped up by pretend-British. How feeble can a country get?

  • Comment number 43.

    No. The idea of representing your country is about national pride and being born there. I don't agree that citizenship should qualify a sportsperson to represent the country they've chosen to swear some beleaguered allegiance to.
    To say that it is about having the best chance to win is not really the point, especially with the all inclusive nature of the olympics and the whole ethos behind the simple pleasure of taking part.
    If the only people who participated were those who thought they had a chance of winning.... That would be 99% of the British women's team out of the competition straight away!

  • Comment number 44.

    39. At 15:05pm 12th Apr 2011, itsdavehere wrote:
    ...... It's pathetic! ...........Zola Budd anyone?
    -------
    Sorry, I really hadn't seen yours before I wrote my 42. Honest!
    Great minds obviously think alike -or nearly alike

  • Comment number 45.

    In order to represent a country at anything, you should have been born in that country, or be born abroad to a parent who is a citizen of that country, FULL STOP. And the "born abroad" bit is to cover when (for example) a Brit is working overseas and takes his/her family with him/her.
    An example of what is, in my opinion, cheating is when you read/hear the names of the Italian Rugby Team (I singlre them out because it is so obvious - they may well be no worse than others). The commentators are forever saying a player is "A Kiwi" or "Argentinian" etc.

  • Comment number 46.

    A person with British nationality is British irrespective of where he/she is born. There should not be any discrimination. I am surprised that this "Born in/out British Player" is debated as an issue here. Olympics is an honorable event played for bringing humanity together and not to segregate them. Britain should rather set an example.

  • Comment number 47.

    There are olympic nationality rules particularly
    Under Rule 42 of the Olympic Charter, a competitor must be a national of the country he or she is representing. Where an athlete holds more than one nationality, they can represent either. Under a bye-law to the rule, where the athlete has represented one country in regional or world competition, they have to wait three years thereafter before switching to the another.

    and in addition some sporting bodies have their own nationality rules

    Swimmers must have a year’s residence in the country they reperesent prior to the competition. Under rule H.2.3.3 of the internal regulations of the International Basketball Federation, national teams are limited to one player who acquired nationality through naturalization.
    Once you play for a national basketball team after the age of 17, you can’t switch to another. Same thing for table tennis, with 21 as the cutoff. Under articles 15-18 of FIFA’s Statutes, eligibility to play on a national soccer team requires 'Nottebohm principle' type links where the national must prove a meaningful connection to the state in question links (ancestry, birth, or residence) on top of formal citizenship.

    Personally I think there's a good case for the Nottebohm principle to be applied to the Olympics with a sensible period of residence included.


  • Comment number 48.

    Of course it is best if those chosen to represent GB at the Olympics were born here, though it most be apparent that there is a very strong precedent for allowing nationality change subject to residence qualifications across nearly all sports. The difficulty for the wrestlers is to demonstrate what merits special treatment about their sport when the truthful answer is probably nothing. Surely the solution has to apply equally to all sports rather than pandering purely to the self interest of a group of disgruntled wrestlers.

    Here's the hard truth. These wrestlers are probably of the belief that if they are the best of those qualified to represent GB then they get an Olympic spot. Realistically though , their quality in a world context has to count too. If they are the best in GB, but stand little chance, why should they appear in the Olympics? Indeed if those playing the "residence" card are not selected for the UK but appear instead in the teams of some other countries, does that not mean that those born in the UK should not be selected anyway because it is apparent that there are others who can beat them? Our track record in Olympic wrestling is not wonderful. "Best of a bad bunch" should not be acceptable as a criterion for selection. If they stand a reasonable chance of a medal, send them. otherwise they should miss out.

  • Comment number 49.

    Zola Budd - whatever happened to her? Does she still have a British passport?

    They've been manipulating the team for decades.

  • Comment number 50.

    Athletes like all sports people go to who pays the most money I remember a British female long jumper who now competes for Italy because they pay more. its all about money.

  • Comment number 51.

    46. At 15:41pm 12th Apr 2011, Shubham Agnihotri wrote: Olympics is an honorable event played for bringing humanity together and not to segregate
    ............................................................................................

    This is one of the most naive coments Ive ever seen. there is nothing honorable about a cash cow like the Olympics.

  • Comment number 52.

    Of course they should not represent Britain if they are not British born. The fact that they milk a living from British events should not qualify them as British. If they have no pride in their country of birth, how much pride can they possibly have for Britain. Traitors never give value.

  • Comment number 53.

    This issue is in the same vein as immigrants (cheap labour) taking jobs that could be filled by the ethnic British, it's about loyalty and respect to one's own. It's like the historic demise of UK grass roots football talent because the wealth in the game was not shared out and TV to some extent killed local match attendance, thus we now bring in talent from other countries.

    We should put home first and try and phase out the greed motivator.

  • Comment number 54.

    Judging by the sentiments expressed here, the only people who should be allowed to compete for Britain are those whose ancestors fought at the Battle of Hastings.

  • Comment number 55.

    "54. At 16:29pm 12th Apr 2011, MilwaukeeRay wrote:

    Judging by the sentiments expressed here, the only people who should be allowed to compete for Britain are those whose ancestors fought at the Battle of Hastings."

    ---

    What a ridiculous comment. Everyone knows it should only be those whose ancestors fought against the Roman invasion.

  • Comment number 56.

    no doubt come september we will have numerous more pointless OBE's and MBE's dished out to paid sportsmen who are doing what they are paid in fact to do, but this time they wont be british but given passport to compete ! !

  • Comment number 57.

    In theory one country can easily buy all the best athletes of a given sport and have them on their team. Makes no sense. There's no more national honour. It's just a farce. It's a joke that anyone can simply import a gold medal athlete. Completely defeats the point. The only people allowed to be in any British team should be Britons and the only people allowed in the England teams should be English. Same goes for any other country.

  • Comment number 58.

    One would have thought that the Olympic idea was Sport For Excellence, but from its inception it has been about one nation trying to prove itself better than the others, by winning more medals than the others. That has in the past been used for openly racist propaganda, but now it is win at any cost - we frown on the use of drugs but are happy that those with the best facilities or who can bribe the best athletes to become citizens win. The Olympic dream was sold out from the word go, from citizenship, to sponsorship, to bids to organize, not one part stands up to scrutiny.

  • Comment number 59.

    Of course they should be British born....silly question, really.....

  • Comment number 60.

    It's probably the only way to get some medals. I live in Canada, and the addition of a few foreigners might improve the normally dismal displays by Canadian competitors. After all, they're not amateurs anymore, so why can't they be signed/transferred/whaver like footballers?

  • Comment number 61.

    Further to my other message, I forgot to add that such a system would make dead sure the US swept the board every time.

  • Comment number 62.

    Should British Olympic athletes be born in the UK? Yes.

  • Comment number 63.

    I always thought that competing in the Olympic Games was about taking part not just winning.

  • Comment number 64.

    Does it really matter who represents a country?

    Here in the UK, we are over-run with people from different cultures, backgrounds and ethnic origins to the extent that a truly British resident is the exception rather than the norm. The Olympic Games needs to cast aside country versus country altogether, and reward the individual competitor rather than the accident of his/her birthplace.

  • Comment number 65.

    Should British Olympic athletes be born in the UK?

    No, so long as they have had British citizenship long before the Olympic games are held. Importing foreign athletes to represent a country simply to win isn't very sportsman-like.

    It's a reason why people tend to see sports such as football more as a money-making business as an actual sport in its own merit.

  • Comment number 66.

    62. At 18:07pm 12th Apr 2011, Green Future wrote:
    Should British Olympic athletes be born in the UK? Yes.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    What if you were born whilst your mother was on holiday abroad?

  • Comment number 67.

    The Olympics are such a joyless and corporate festival of elitism (the 1936 Berlin olympics being the paradigm) that it makes little difference what contortions are allowed in order to guarantee success. It merely serves to show the 'games' true face. Bring back amateurism (in the original sense of the word).

  • Comment number 68.

    For individuals winning medals it doesn’t matter but it’s a pretty meaningless inter-nation competition if anyone can represent any nation – how can that be helpful to weld a nation together?

  • Comment number 69.

    51. At 16:02pm 12th avr. 2011, frankiecrisp wrote:

    46. At 15:41pm 12th Apr 2011, Shubham Agnihotri wrote: Olympics is an honorable event played for bringing humanity together and not to segregate
    ............................................................................................

    This is one of the most naive coments Ive ever seen. there is nothing honorable about a cash cow like the Olympics.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Yours has to be one of the most cynical.....

    Yes there's money, in some cases politics & nationalism but for many of the athletes, a coming together of nations & to hell with the politics.
    Even a little nation like Jamaica for a couple of weeks actually becomes talked about - they can take on the might of the US,Russia & China & win. Makes me smile.



  • Comment number 70.

    If anyone can take part in the GB Team can we enlist Usain Bolt to run the 100 metres and some Chinese Gymnasts? This way we might not be quite so embarrassed at having very few medals.

    It's daft having non-nationals entering to represent GB. We should only have people born in the UK representing us in the Olympics. If you were born in Spain (or wherever) because your mother was on holiday at the time you were born then you represent that country if you turn out as a good athlete and not GB.

    If we don't do this we might as well dump national entry and just go in as Europe or 'Now Our Medals from Europe Do Amount to Lovely Symbols' (NO MEDALS).

  • Comment number 71.

    Should British Olympic athletes be born in the UK ?
    LOL
    What diffrence does it make ???? Britain in 2011 is just a corporate state, a business. a place, a collection of people being TOLD who they are, and what to think !
    Time to be HAPPY now we are told, and yep folks will comply with that, sheepie masses grazing retail parks RED NOSE DAY, etc
    Britain ???? what does that mean in 2011 NOTHING :(

  • Comment number 72.



    WHO CARES ??....

    I don't care where they're born, in hospital or public toilet, as long as they win medals that's good enough for me !!

  • Comment number 73.

    "Should British Olympic athletes be born in the UK?"

    I almost couldn't bring myself to answer this poorly worded question, which implies that athletes can be born in the UK post-hoc, but yes, they should all have been born in the UK!

  • Comment number 74.

    a double edged sword to encourage sport but at the same time rely on foreign athletes to win medals in exchange for their physical endurance,which seems to evade the british home bred athletes.The pride in winning a medal for the love of the sport should always be with the person,not the nation.In the early days of olympians the joy of winning was an honourable victory,nothing to do with national praise but everything to do with personal challenge,but the reality of getting a medal in any type of sport is the prize of being better than your nearest rival

  • Comment number 75.

    I’m surprise with HYS about what does this question means at first place. When we open the doors to immigrants and they get the same rights as any born citizen why then the 2 tier ethnicity? The immigrants work and pay taxes to the UK and they should compete for their adopted country no matter where they come from....on their passports it does say UK no?

  • Comment number 76.

    Firstly - yes, to compete for a country you must have to be born there. Secondly, once again on this website we have two dumbing down debates and not one debate on UK politics. Thanks for censoring our news and debate David Cameron !

  • Comment number 77.

    Meh? I just want to watch the swimming and gymnastics.

  • Comment number 78.

    Wow, with all that's going on in the world I wasn't expecting this HYS. I actually find it hard to opine on the subject of wrestler's nationalities. Does anyone know anyone who actually watches wrestling? If not, its fairly irrelavant what nationality the wrestlers in the wrestling match that no one's watching are.

  • Comment number 79.

    Sounds like an 11th hour attempt to buy Olympic medals before next summers games. So, a new "player" comes in and bumps a British citizen who has devoted his life to the sport? That's BS.

  • Comment number 80.

    I can't help but bring to people's attention to Mo Farah ,Somalian born if I remember correctly, but brought to this country as a child, who has won European gold for Great Britain at 5000 and 10000 metres on the track.There's nobody more proud to represent the country that gave him the opportunity to excel,plus I believe he was the team's captain at those championships too.He may not have been born here, but how many of us are 100% British ? What is 100% British ? I was born here but had an Irish father so technically I'm not 100% British.Nonetheless, I'd have been proud to have flown the British,or English flag for that matter, by representing us in any sport if I'd been good enough to do so.

  • Comment number 81.

    If you aren't born here in the UK then you should not be eligable to compete for team GB in any sport. If you have become a citizen after a 5 year qualifying period then that should be OK as you have shown commitment to this country.

  • Comment number 82.

    when they come here and they are better than the indigenous population then they should be taking part get rid of the no hoper's why spend all that money on training these people when they have no chance of reaching the 2nd round never mind the final all the world loves a winner nobody remembers who came 2nd

  • Comment number 83.

    "82. At 23:31pm 12th Apr 2011, billy wrote:

    when they come here and they are better than the indigenous population then they should be taking part get rid of the no hoper's why spend all that money on training these people when they have no chance of reaching the 2nd round never mind the final all the world loves a winner nobody remembers who came 2nd"

    ---

    Your attitude is short termist and short sighted.

    What happens when other countries start offering these athlete "guns for hire" leaving us with no suitable replacements?

    If we follow your logic to it's conclusion we wouldn't even stand a chance of finishing 2nd because we would be left with what you call no hoper's.

    The only way to improve our national sports is to fund it properly and train people from our own country, not import people on a temporary basis just so that we can win at a few sports in the short term.

  • Comment number 84.

    Ooops I made an error in my post above, as there is no edit function on this forum I shall correct myself as below -

    The 2nd sentence should read -

    What happens when other countries start offering more money than we can and these athlete "guns for hire" leaving us with no suitable replacements?

  • Comment number 85.

    Give them loads of money and they will bat for any country.

  • Comment number 86.

    I Canada and the US, professional Hockey players are drafted and traded between countries. Professional Football player from both these countries can choose to play in the CFL or NFL and then their is Baseball. Whats the difference as long as the player has the countries interest at heart, if he wins a gold for your country good for the country and the player. If the English native players are good enough to qualify for the Olympic Games then what's the issue. If nobody in the country qualifies for a certain sport then it better get somebody who does or else there would be some empty spots and no medals awarded.

  • Comment number 87.

    "indigenous"


    A bit of BNP-speak that we see more and more of on this site. I'll tell you where humans are indigenous to: a continent called Africa.
  • Comment number 88.

    29. At 13:49pm 12th Apr 2011, David Maginnis wrote:
    "imagine you've trained all your life and are uo for selection to the 2012 olympic team then someone moves here, they are higher ranked than you and get picked.
    It's like your own country has slapped you in your face.
    I think there should be some sort of period before an immigrant can be considered for selection."
    ----------
    Take a deep breath and wish that there was "some sort of period before an immigrant can be considered for selection". Now open your eyes: your wish has come true! It has been true for years.

  • Comment number 89.

    It should be mandatory to be either
    1. be born in uk 2. be a national citizen of UK

    Anyone joining UK now is probably a "European Citizen" rather than a "British Citizen".

    Persons immigrating UK on speculation that medals may be won is business.
    This would not be in the spirit of original Olympiad Rules.
    True Olympic Games are held upon the spirit of free competition and not capitalism.

    Medallists would also deprive their own home country of success.

  • Comment number 90.

    Yes. The whole point of the Olympics is for nations to compete against each other. Although if I had my way the Olympics would become a truly World activity; simply athlete against athlete with none of the ridiculous politically inspired, egocentric, stupid flag ceremonies.

  • Comment number 91.

    Yes they should, and that goes for members of all Britains teams, all this shipping in of athletes because their great grandparents were born here is nonsense, and just fuels the feeling that sports is just one big con. I have great difficulty in expressing my support for a team that has bent the rules, as is common in sport, in order to try and get a few medals, at the expense of those athletes who my not be as good but have trained for years for the chance. As with everything that gets too big and out of hand, money always talks.

  • Comment number 92.

    So I suppose that if my parents were abroad on official government business and I was born there I wouldn't be able to represent GB. what a load of nonsense.
    Anyone who comes to live in GB, (or for that matter any other country) and becomes a citizen should/must be allowed to represent that country.

  • Comment number 93.

    I'm off to change my nationality to Ethiopian. It's the only way I will ever win a Marathon!

  • Comment number 94.

    Its a sign of the times that people are saying "Why not ?" etc etc. Why not is because the Olympics is about Britain as a sporting nation and what we achieve with British born atheletes. If we accept "Why not?" then the olympics becomes another meaningless TV extravaganzer for the arm chair brigade where atheletes are simply bought and sold and we'll have to put up with headlines about 'Britain signing up a leading Russian/American/Whereever olympic prospect for £100m' instead of investing that cash in our own facilities and sportsmen.
    Football's lost its soul to cash (the FA Cup being a vitally important trophy and the likes of Derby Ipswich Forest Burnley-even Wolves-winning the league are restricted to the memories of the over 45's) so 'Why not' sell the olympics down that same Mississippi river?

  • Comment number 95.

    Its been this way for years so can't see it changing now just because it has ruffled some feathers.

    Ryan Giggs was given the choice of playing for England or Wales and he chose Wales (I believe his Mother is Welsh). Some may argue it was because he wanted to guarantee a team place but the rules said he could choose and the olympic athletes have the right to choose too.

  • Comment number 96.

    79. At 22:22pm 12th Apr 2011, Eastvillage wrote:
    Sounds like an 11th hour attempt to buy Olympic medals before next summers games.
    -------------------
    Yes, panic may be setting in because they'll have to maximise the medal count to try and justify the billions that have been wasted on having 2 weeks worth of international sport here.

  • Comment number 97.

    I can`t see it making any difference whatsoever. Who cares if they are not born in Britain.
    It seems that everything is being done to undermine being British. Our values are being swept under the carpet by the presnt and past governments.
    I worry that Britain is being led by anti-British idiots.

  • Comment number 98.

    Who on earth cares. Typical British attitude, and hypocrisy. Out of our so called British football teams, how many players were born in this country?

    It is just a sporting together designed to try and unite people together for sport, nothing more. It's not about race, money, or power, well at least it shouln't be. However, selling out to Visa and private development agencies, the way tickets are sold and making false promises that the London underground will be able to cope, i'm not sure that we have quite understood what the Olympics is for.

    The Olympics are not a status Symbol, just try to enjoy the games and the brief time where everyone from each corner of planet can be in the same place at the same time without fighting eachother (hopefully).

    I personally think the Olympics should of been held in the north of country. They need the work, investment and tourism far more than we do in London.

    Just waiting for Boris Johnson to commission a statue of himself and put in front of the stadium. Not sure why, but he seems to think he created the Olympics all by himself!

  • Comment number 99.

    "Should only British born athletes compete for team GB?"

    Of course - otherwise NATIONAL accomplishment is NOT achieved for the UK - we are merely 'hiring mercenaries' - that may give us only False pride...

  • Comment number 100.

    Of course All English entrants in the Olympics must have been born here. The Olympics is fast becoming a political farce instead of a worldwide competition between like minded atheletes. It is heading in the same direction that modern day football League has gone.

 

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