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Losing to the Brits

Nick Bryant | 23:59 UK time, Monday, 18 August 2008

Britain Tops Australia in gold medals.

Not my headline, but the words of the Sydney Morning Herald.

It's an Olympic story that is getting quite a bit of play here - it got second billing on the SMH website, nudged off the top of the online podium by the resignation of the leader of a nuclear-armed country in one of the most troubled corners of the world.

So, yep, it must have been a close call.

And there was me thinking we'd have to wait for the Ashes next year for a good, old-fashioned Anglo-Australian stoush.

The last time Britain out-medalled Australia, Bob Hawke and Margaret Thatcher occupied The Lodge and Number Ten, and Rebecca Adlington and Stephanie Rice had not even entered the world let alone leapt into an Olympics-sized swimming pool.

Seoul 1988 - the Brits got 5, while the Aussies got 3. Thereafter, the Aussies have always ended up on top.

• 17/9 in Athens
• 16/11 in Sydney
• 9/1 in Atlanta
• 7/5 in Barcelona

That may happen at Beijing, too - although the failure of Australian men's swimming team to win a single gold (it's the first time that's happened since the Aussie annus horribilis of 1976 in Montreal) and the British domination in cycling makes it tough.

Even John Coates, the head of Australian Olympic Committee, has conceded publicly that the Poms might edge out the Aussies. "Not bad for a country that has no swimming pools and very little soap," as he himself would doubtless put it.

Meanwhile, the Australian sports minister, Kate Ellis, has been reminded that a week is a long time in sporting politics. Before the Olympics started, when she entered into her now famous wager with the British sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, she called the Poms a bunch of "serial chokers". This morning she was quoted in The Australian saying that the Aussies had become complacent. To rub salt into her self-inflicted wounds, she quoted from Tony Blair, who had told her that long-term investment produced long-distance pedal power.
Australia's 200m freestyle relay gold medal winners
To tread the dark path of sporting cliché - or to retread it - Australia has been a victim of its own success. The Australian Institute of Sport, established in the wake of the disastrous Montreal Games, set the gold standard - and has since been copied all over the world.

Then there's what might be called the "Troy Cooley syndrome". Troy Cooley is the Australian bowling coach nabbed by England who helped mastermind the Ashes victory in 2005 (when he returned to the Australian fold, he helped coach Ricky Ponting's men to the 5-0 whitewash).

The British cycling coach Shane Sutton won gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games for - wait for it, Australia. Top quality coaches can reportedly earn five times as much in Britain than in Australia.

An Australian coached the Brazilian winner of the 50 metres freestyle, who edged out the pre-games favourite, Eamon Sullivan. The legendary Aussie swim coach, Ken Wood, openly sold his training techniques to the Chinese, which might have cost his protégé, Jessica Schipper, a gold (she was beaten by a Chinese swimmer).

Anyway, here are a few other quick thoughts, which will hopefully undermine a few dog-eared stereotypes rather than reinforce them:

• Are the Aussies win-at-all-costs competitors? Among others, the swimmers Libby Trickett, Grant Hackett and Leisel Jones showed themselves to be champions both in victory and defeat.
• Are the Aussies nerveless performers, athletic robots who can turn it on every time, as the Brits often appear to think and fear? The world record-holding swimmer Eamon Sullivan produced an under-par performance.
• The notion that Australian sports stars regard success as a platform rather than a peak, as the Brits are sometimes accused of doing ("open-top bus syndrome"), also fell apart a bit at this games. Libby Trickett and Leisel Jones both fell off a little after early golds (although they did make a great comeback in the relay), and Sullivan had set a couple of world records in the heats.

Who knows whether the Brits will ultimately beat the Aussies. But goodness me, the next few days are going to be close and fun.

Thanks, as ever, for your comments on the divisive nature, or otherwise, of Aussie sport. Summer unites and winter divides. Dare I say it, but I think BryantObsessed got it pretty much spot on, even if he did get sent to the comment "sin bin" for a later remark (I don't get to the see the ones that are blocked or held up, by the way).

And, as a few of you wrote, I should have spent a lot more time talking about that great summertime national sport: cricket (good to see the "Sheffield Shield" make a comeback?). And soccer, if you go by attendances, is definitely starting to challenge it, as MoMcCackie pointed out.

Comments

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  • 1. At 01:54am on 19 Aug 2008, Bill wrote:

    What irks me is that you think that behind the Australian/British rivalry is a deep rooted affection. My grandfather detested the poms and took every opportunity to instill this in his grandchildren. There was no affection in his deeply felt sense of treachery by Churchill and and the rest of the British ruling class. I don't hate the British; they are just another foreign country in far away Europe who are living on the memories of the past. I don't care if the poms win more medals than us; just don't try to lump us with that poor cousin 12000 miles away.

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  • 2. At 01:58am on 19 Aug 2008, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    The Australians are also being sidelined by China in swimming, where Australia is the 'traditional' rival to the United States. Normally, Australia would have won more medals in that sport, but now there's no longer a type of duopoly.

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  • 3. At 02:50am on 19 Aug 2008, snowwidget wrote:

    wjburt says "I don't hate the British; they are just another foreign country....." blah blah blah. First off, I think you DO hate the British, actually - based on this and some of your other blog comments. Secondly, just because you or your grandfather "detested the poms", doesn't mean that all Australians do. Some of my best friends are Australians, you know. Seriously. Doesnt' that blow your angry little mind? Thirdly, calling British people 'poms', particularly in the context of a generally bitter-toned blog comment, is kind of racist. Lastly... sour grapes! Britain are beating Australia, for once! Boo hoo. Get over it!

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  • 4. At 03:27am on 19 Aug 2008, w3stie wrote:

    I don't think it will last. The Brits just aren't comfortable with success ;)

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  • 5. At 04:01am on 19 Aug 2008, the-kman wrote:

    Now then, I'm a Brit living and working in Perth, Australia. While I don't have a competitive bone in my body.... seeing this intense rivalry is not only highly amusing, rather petty and quite frankly childish - I can't help but smile at the fact we're beating the Aussies. The total lack of coverage on TV of anything other than Australian is somewhat bemusing after the slightly more balanced broadcasting in the UK, but much more interesting is how sore people can be about losing.
    Sure call us Poms, go ahead and say that we're rubbish at every sport, diss the weather the food etc etc... the thing is we KNOW! And that's the fun, we can take the mick out of ourselves better than anyone! We can lose, smile and give it another go next time. It's not a big deal.
    But isn't it nice to win every now and then?!
    And as for the rather xenophobic 'just another foreign country' comment! Come on please, re-read what you put about gramps instilling hate and then the 'living in the past' line..... jeeeeeeez!

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  • 6. At 04:23am on 19 Aug 2008, ThePursuader wrote:

    My wife (Australian) has resorted to replying to my comments regarding the relative medal count with "well all the British medals were won whilst sitting on their arse!" Not strictly true, but close enough to raise a chuckle...

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  • 7. At 04:29am on 19 Aug 2008, BrisbaneexPom wrote:

    Nick Bryant's comments about what the SMH reports should be taken in context. The ruling government in NSW, the ALP, is in such a mess, and has been supported in the past by the SMH, that any news other than state politics is reported. Hence the interest in Team GB. It keeps the SMH's favourite political party off the front page.
    However, as an ex Pom living in Brisbane for over 40 years my retort to any sporting sarcasm from the Aussies, my children included, is simple. Talk to the Aussies about the Nobel prizes they've won, or should I say failed to win. That usually shuts them up.

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  • 8. At 04:43am on 19 Aug 2008, Dave_Shepau wrote:

    Despite the recent drop in the Australian team’s usual standard this Games, it’s easy to forget that standard has been incredibly high for a long time. While this no doubt reflects the heavy focus and substantial public funding this country invests in sport, the fact remains that for a country of 21 million, it has dug up and developed some pretty decent athletes.

    When the Ashes finally went in 2005, sure I didn’t enjoy it but I could hardly begrudge the outpouring of national pride that followed. A generation of English sports fans had grown up knowing the Ashes as a bi-annual cricket belting by a team of rare quality that contained some of the finest players in the history of the game. Balance of power keeps the contest interesting and while I hated to see the boys lose, at least the bragging rights were up for grabs again. In a similar vein, the Beijing 2008 result will make matching it with you in London 2012 a tasty prospect- though hopefully the contest a little more competitive than the Ashes rematch.

    When my football team misses the finals, I can usually find it in my heart to be happy for the fans of those that make it, and that is definitely the case here. As many Aussies have learned in recent years, the reflected glory of sporting triumph is a fine escape from the daily grind, even if it doesn’t change that grind one iota. See you in 2012 :-)


    PS. please remember: no matter what happens, we love your bands, increasingly dig your films and watch loads of your telly. Sorry we only have Neighbours and Home and Away to give back but for some reason you seem to like them.

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  • 9. At 04:44am on 19 Aug 2008, paulcrossley wrote:

    well put number 5, couldn't agree more, it is rather touching just how seriously this is being taken here in Australia. My workmates have gone strangely quiet, this time last week they were asking me if the Brits were good at ANY Olympic sports.
    Listening to a radio 4 programme the other day, it seems to me that we have learnt a thing or two from the Aussies and the Americans, especially when it comes to mental attitude in sports. Maybe we are becoming a little more unphased by success and by being the favourites - a little less likely to crumble under pressure. Would be nice to see it transferred to some other team sports.
    As for number 1, you can't ignore just how many poms are over here, and in general how welcome they're made to feel. I'm trying hard to see past the stereotypes about Australia, maybe you should try the same with 'tired old Europe', have you been there recently?
    Finally, I'd recommend the Aussie TV hockey commentary to anyone. The female commentator is your stereotypical "Aussies do no wrong" biased type while the other guy goes out of his way to be fair to all taking part. It's great to hear them talking to each other about seemingly different matches.

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  • 10. At 05:08am on 19 Aug 2008, masneetu wrote:

    As a proud Australian I am an avid sports watcher and no doubt overly competitive where England are concerned. I love to hate English sports teams and I hope that never changes. What concerns me here is that we are talking about Great Britain - NOT England. Correct me if I'm wrong but does that not constitute 4 countries? Why not enter a Lions squad in the next rugby world cup? Or create a Lions cricket team? Because it would be ridiculously unfair. Can someone please explain to me why this has been allowed on the largest of sporting stages? Please refrain from pointing out the obvious - I am acutely aware that I am a sore loser...But 4 v 1 is something worth complaining about.

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  • 11. At 05:15am on 19 Aug 2008, GreatResolver wrote:

    Australia endlessly proclaims the virtues of a 'fair go' and the Gallipoli spirit as national mantras. Australians can, however, be horrendously ungracious in defeat, particularly in sport. For one thing, the scything of tall poppies regularly afflicts not only foreign sportsmen but also Australia's own.


    Just this morning in the early hours, I was listening to the car radio, which was tuned in to the news broadcast of a Cairns radio station. Whilst I missed the title of the event in question, what was clear was that Australia had lost the event to China. The news item referred to Australia's hopes ending on a "sour note".


    Had I wielded the editorial blue pencil, I would have replaced the epithet "sour" with the far more gracious and neutral "disappointing". This would have given credit where it was due and avoided 'sour' grapes.


    Buck up your ideas, guys. Just like the rest of us, you are not invincible.

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  • 12. At 05:20am on 19 Aug 2008, Carltonblue wrote:

    A lot seems to be made of Aussies being quiet because we've fallen behind the Brits in the gold medal tally.
    This assumes that Aussies are watching the Olympics. A lot aren't keeping interest in the games because it's full of usually boring sports like swimming, rowing and gymnastics and its hard to keep track of what's happening due to Channel Seven's bi-polar coverage from Beijing.
    I live in Victoria where the footy is still king, even if it's off the front page of both major papers. (Yes, I was glad channel seven stuck to its contractual arrangements and showed North Melbourne and Carlton live, even if the Blues were pumped)
    While the Olympics is creating interest, more people than not are not turning on to channel seven to watch the Olympics.
    It hasn't seemed to have captured the imagination as other games have.
    That's not to say people aren't keeping at least an eye on the games, it's just that they aren't glued to their sets.
    While it's good to have a win, they aren't THAT important!
    And all that's being made of Kate Ellis' wager. It was a case of a minor politician trying to make a headline of herself.
    PS I like the 'drop in usual standards' for blokes like Eamon Sullivan. Being beaten by less than an inch in the pool by a competitor who a day earlier held the record doesn't sound like he dropped his bundle.
    But that's high standards, I suppose.

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  • 13. At 05:20am on 19 Aug 2008, smilingbobjohn wrote:

    Outside of the US, you won't find a more biased, jingoistic national broadcaster than Channel Seven. Their constant flag-waving is borish, their punditry amateurish and their objectivity non-existant. They've turned the Olympics, a fantastic global sporting event, into a nationalistic jamboree.
    I'm not British, but to have a country vilified for being underachievers leap-frog Australia in the gold medal table is, well, for wont of a better phrase - pure gold. Just brace yourself for the 'per capita' comeback.

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  • 14. At 05:24am on 19 Aug 2008, downsunder wrote:

    Being a Brit who's lived for twenty years in Australia, I've heard many curious excuses when Australia loses. The latest on ABC radio was that 'Great Britain' is really four and a half countries. Aside from the suposition that someone at the ABC thinks Ireland is part of Great Britain, it's a misplaced hope that if GB was broken down to the individual countries (as in soccer) England (the real enemy of Aussies) would have a fraction of GB's medals. I haven't yet checked, but I suspect most of GB's medals have been won by English-born competitors. Can someone tell me if 'England' is on track to beat Australia at the Beijing Olympics?

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  • 15. At 05:26am on 19 Aug 2008, Spacemen1 wrote:

    I can't believe how bad the local media coverage is here in Australia, shame channel 7. I moved over to London just before the Sydney games and can't remember the BBC being anywhere near as one sided. Naturally we're going to show more Australian events but you'd be forgiven for thinking it was just a swim meet.

    And while I'm sure UK fans are enjoying their teams success if you asked the majority of people it's only something to watch until the football season stated (well if my old colleagues are any indication). We really place a disproportionate amount of emphasis on Olympic success and it results in petty war of words..

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  • 16. At 05:27am on 19 Aug 2008, thenewvoice8 wrote:

    I am a Scotsman living in Melbourne and have been following the olympics. Watching it on Australian TV reminds you, again, of just how superior the UK coverage is - for starters we show events that don't have people from Team GB in it! The Aussies do not.

    The English, as any Scotsman, Welshman or Irishman will tell you are dreadful when it comes to blowing their own trumpet (1966 anyone!) but the Australians take this to a new level!! (with channel 7 doing a 'per capita' tally to show that the Aussies are the best now!, come on!!!)

    The Australians also fail to realise that back in blighty no one really thinks of any Aussie/England rivalry - except in Cricket. (not even in Rugby where you have NZ, SA, France etc and in 'football' the aussies are nothing compared to England (or Scotland) on Fifa's ranking!)

    Australia, despite its claims still measures itself against their "poor cousins 12000 miles away"!!

    I have to confess to going from not caring who had the most medals to now really wanting Team GB to win - just to see what spin the Aussie TV puts on that!! (no doubt swimming, female swimming at that, will become the only sport with note!)

    Australians reactionary behaviour and their one sided rivalry was highlighted during the previous ashes when their press asked an English cricketer what he thought of Bondi Beach (which to be honest may be a nice beach but you can't see the sand for the people - and Bondi itself is a bit of a toilet) but when the cricketer replied he'd rather be on Blackpool Beach the Aussies went daft!! Indeed the amount of people on phone in's saying that "although I don't know blackpool beach how can he say that, Bondi is one of the best beaches in the world!"

    Aussies are a great people - until they get on TV - where they then become xenophobic loudmouths!

    Oh, dont you know they invented such things as water, air and indeed people!!! struth!

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  • 17. At 05:46am on 19 Aug 2008, echunter wrote:

    I am a pom in Brisbane and swim at my local pool to relentless jibes and teasing from the locals. Yes it is great to smile at the medal tables and fill with pride.

    I have not really been able to watch any coverage live of UK athletes due to gold and green coverage.

    The Aussies are great sports people and are passionate about winning. I think they are doing far too much soul searching. I actually really felt for Hackett and Tricket as they are great Australians who have represented their country and swam brilliantly in these games but as they do not carry gold they were grilled by the Australian press as if they had come in last!

    The Australians have done very well in these games and should feel proud. Perhaps if Britain were France or Germany it would not hurt so much.


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  • 18. At 06:06am on 19 Aug 2008, Hibou wrote:

    I don't know about medals, but many of Nick's blogs get barely a dozen comments, and several zero ! I guess he needs to stir a bit to get his own medal count up.

    Last time I looked, Australia had a total of (33) medals, much the same as the UK (27), Germany (23) and France (28). Is Nick really making a fuss over the UK currently having 12 golds to Australia's 11 ? As for Australian newspapers, they do much the same as UK newspapers - stir for 'news'. After all, they are mostly owned by the same Murdoch people.

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  • 19. At 06:12am on 19 Aug 2008, SussexVictorian wrote:

    Australian men are taught three important lessons from their fathers (baby boomers) while growing up: 1. Cats are evil and cruelty to them will not be frowned upon by anyone other than the RPSCA; 2. The only greater man than Robert Menzies is John Howard; 3. Hate the Poms for everything except ABC programs (and we will keep the Queen).

    My father will be a little disappointed, I moved to England for 7 years, own 2 cats, didn't vote conservative and enjoyed watching the rugby and Ashes with all the ribbing that went with it at my local in Sussex (while drinking ale would you believe).

    Good to see that our sporting hierarchy led by J. Coates have not forgotten these important lessons.

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  • 20. At 06:13am on 19 Aug 2008, Fallonator wrote:

    I'm a Londoner who has now been living in Sydney for 3 and a half years. Let me tell you I love this country, I truly do.

    Having worked and made friends with a good deal of Australians back in the UK I had been subjected to huge amounts of abuse over Australia's dominance of Cricket and the Olympics. In true Brit style I took it all in good humour and gave plenty of banter back. What has genuinely shocked me about the Australian mentality is that they simply cannot take what they dish out.

    I can assure you some of the abuse directed to UK nationals (particularly the English) living in Aus borders on the genuinely hate-filled, vitriolic type. Following the Ashes win in '05 and of course the latest win over Aus in the Rugby World Cup I gave plenty of stick in a humorous way. The response both times was appalling! The same is true now that Team GB are enjoying success in the Olympics. A few simple comedic group emails to Aussie colleagues showing the medals table and they have gone nuts!

    This is a young upstart of a country that is desperate to forget it's roots and gain some sort of an identity however it can. They have adopted a sly approach of throwing citizenship at anyone who is particularly talented at sport...such as dinkie dye 'Aussie' pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva. Tatiana still to this day struggles to speak English with any degree of fluency. Some of Team GB's athletes may well have odd surnames but they were at least born in Britain with highly infrequent exceptions such as Zola Budd.

    You can't win all the time Australia, not even the US or China can. Get a sense of humour and learn to laugh at yourself, it'll do your nation some serious good

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  • 21. At 06:16am on 19 Aug 2008, Dave_Shepau wrote:

    re. "drop in usual standards": if the swim team continually missing out by a fingernail doesn't constitute a drop, see another of Australia's supposed strenghs, cycling. Unless Anna Meares powers on, I'd say going from several medals to zero constitutes a pretty significant drop away?

    In any case, it isn't a judgemental statement, it's an observation. If you don't like "standards", how about "results"? I feel as sorry as anyone for Eamon- two world records in qualifying would kinda get your hopes up- but all going well, he'll get another shot in 2012.

    Fact is, this time around we are being pipped in sports we previously performed strongly in, yet are still doing pretty well anyway. It's just the rub of the green.

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  • 22. At 06:20am on 19 Aug 2008, Nick Sweeney wrote:

    It was Roy and HG who came up with Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat, the 'Battler's Prince', as the unofficial mascot of Sydney 2000.

    They're Aussies. (The podcast is recommended, btw.) They offer up (and satirise) the mixture of intense pride and respect and irrationality and parochialism and magnanimity and sour-grapes that makes up the great tapestry of sporting culture in Australia.

    So let's push past the cliches, make a date for London in 2012, and redirect our common scorn towards the Americans, their all-beach-volleyball coverage, and their wonky US-at-the-top medal tables.

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  • 23. At 06:31am on 19 Aug 2008, Boganthe3rd wrote:

    Hey there I lived in London for 15 yrs and love the UK and the brits (Tony Blair excepted) It is still slightly off putting to see how one eyed we can be in this country but that has a lot to do with our small size and isolation I feel. We do have great sportsman who are also great sports. To all the people complaining about C7 coverage which is complete Garbage tune into to SBS as they have a lot of sports not covered by C7 I am surprized you havent worked that out yourselves maybe you local brits arent that bright after all????

    Cheers

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  • 24. At 06:39am on 19 Aug 2008, SussexVictorian wrote:

    Your choice of language, Fallonator, makes me suspicious of you giving "stick in a humorous way". Both countries fall into the trap of giving what they consider some harmless banter, but actually going way over the top.

    The fact that you call Australia a "young upstart of a country that is desperate to forget its roots" gives us an idea of your office email tone. I think this is tantamount to an Aussie starting off a sporting conversation in London with something like; "if you Poms didn't whinge so much". I am also yet to see anything that comes close to genuine hate-filled vitriolic behaviour as Saturday afternoon Premiership Football action.

    Good luck with your office banter.

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  • 25. At 07:11am on 19 Aug 2008, bromley72 wrote:

    Further to the Nobel Prize argument, it is always good to ask an Aussie how they rate culturally. Take pop music, for example. If they start getting at you about Ashes victories, etc, ask them for their three top Aussie bands. Wait for them to mention Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil and Mental As Anything. Or something like it. Then reply with the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. If they mention another band - say, Wolfmother - reply with the original and best, Black Sabbath. The Who, the Kinks, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and countless others also represent good staples so that you can truly crush your adversary, much like the Don did to us with his double centuries. If you get bored of this, start on the literary canon... Another whitewash!

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  • 26. At 07:41am on 19 Aug 2008, Fallonator wrote:

    You're perfectly entitled to your suspicions Suusexvic. I am equally entitled to the opinion I have formed after several years living in the wonderful country that is Australia.

    By way of example yesterday my stick was both simple and harmless...an email containing the medals table and the subject line "Boom! We've got more Golds than you". It was greeted with personal insults and the obligatory "If you don't like it here why don't you f... off home". I love it here, and I'm staying...what does that have to do with GB's success in the Olympics and what does the Premiership have to do with this topic??? A classic case of Aussies' changing the subject when they don't like what they're hearing!!

    Whingeing Poms...I've always enoyed that one Sussexvic...we take the mick out ourselves...it is the Aussies that whinge (for evidence see response numbers 1, 10, and 12). A great example is the Aussie public and media's response to Hackett's loss to a Tunisian in the pool (might I add Hackett was truly gracious in defeat and a marvellous example for the youth of Australia) which was nothing short of offensive. Yes, the Tunisian who won has only just completed a ban for drugs. HOWEVER, everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt and said Tunisian was tried, judged and executed accross the board from the moment the race had finished...I mean how could he beat your very own Hackett if not???...you'll always find something to whinge about...

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  • 27. At 07:50am on 19 Aug 2008, oioioi2 wrote:

    Fallanator the recent immigrants comments' that the pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva had citizenship given to here because of her sporting talents is like calling the pot calling the kettle black, how many of Fallanators fellow countrymen have been allowed into this country and their only skill is that they speak english. At least Tatiana is now bilingual and bicultural and comes from a country that will be a lot more relevant to our future than the mid sized european one located on the other side of the planet that fallanator comes from.

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  • 28. At 08:10am on 19 Aug 2008, Dave_Shepau wrote:

    A flipside to the generation of English sportsfans who saw the Ashes as a biannual flogging is that a generation of Australian sportsfans have grown up knowing only dominance and outperformance. Sadly for them, they are only starting to learn the art of humility and humour in 'defeat' (as if 11 gold medals could ever be characterised as such).

    Once upon a time we lost a lot- I remember the 80's, painful sporting times indeed. As a nation we took it in, knuckled down and worked to get better.

    Personally, I'm hoping that we strike a happy medium of reasonable success, coupled with a sense of proportion. A few more dodgy results and I'm sure as a nation we'll get there :-)

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  • 29. At 08:14am on 19 Aug 2008, Fallonator wrote:

    Bless you oioioi2;

    A) you're whingeing
    B) lighten up and get over it, us "poms" bear you Aussies no ill will
    C) we're all over this wonderful country and there's a whole lot more on their way due to something you may not know about...it's called a skills shortage...a fundamental one that is severely limiting Austraya's growth

    Enjoy watching the Olympics this evening my friend...GB currently 2 Gold medals ahead of Aus and by morning I expect we'll be 5 ahead

    Cheerio

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  • 30. At 08:15am on 19 Aug 2008, neorimmer123 wrote:

    i had no idea aussies were so obsessed with beating GB? i am not a fan of cricket so the only time i ever think of your country is when my wife plays her kylie CDs.... while watching team GB i am always happy for them at their sucess and not obsessed that Aussies have not won. please please get over this obsessive ''pommie'' bashing and think about the sport for sports sake....and remember us pommies dont 'bash' you all the time we somtimes just dont even think about you

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  • 31. At 08:21am on 19 Aug 2008, SussexVictorian wrote:

    Touche, Fallonator!

    btw, I have always considered the term pom inflammatory let alone pre-empting it with whinging. It was to illustrate a point.

    I equally hold no love for the Australian media, particularly since my recent return which is why I use the BBC for most of my Olympic updates. Channel 7's coverage is utterly appalling. One comment above points out SBS's coverage as much better, which is all well and good, but I'm not a massive fan of handball or women's football.

    Bromley72, you missed AC/DC!! Come on, give us a little credit. 42 million albums, only Thriller sold more. You see, once we beat England at something we move on... we just need about another 100 Nobel Prize winners and that will be done and dusted on that front... now I really am getting off track.

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  • 32. At 08:35am on 19 Aug 2008, lebesset wrote:

    the truth of the matter is that australia was first out of the blocks to copy the communist countries in selecting kids for early athletic training , and very well it did in consequence

    in the USA they have the scholarship system so that college places are given to talented youngsters in certain sports , which gives them great success in certain areas

    however the united kingdom introduced the lottery , and a proportion of funds from that now supports athletes in team GB [ wonder why it isn't called team UK ?] and this is starting to produce results ; don't know who is in charge of track and field though ...they look to have received a lot of money to little effect ; anyway , the days when only the better off could afford to participate look to be over

    incidentally , the major american news agency , Associated Press , instead of giving the results based on events won ,now issue the medals table on the basis of total medals won , in order to disguise the fact that they are being easily beaten by the chinese ....how sad is that
    looks like australia isn't winning the chauvinism race either

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  • 33. At 08:36am on 19 Aug 2008, joe_ryan wrote:

    Getting more medals than Australia may be a great performance, but Oz is on the other side of the world. What about the UK's close neighbours, France ? They are not even in the Top 10 of the medal table ! I can assure you, that sticks in a few Gallic throats, especially when the UK is 3rd or 4th. Moreover, the UK is stealing medals in cycling !! All we need now is for the UK to train-up a decent fencing team for 2012 and France will figure down in 20th place.

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  • 34. At 08:36am on 19 Aug 2008, james wrote:

    bromley72

    You mentioned all the greatest British bands and left out Pink Floyd, what were you thinking?

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  • 35. At 08:48am on 19 Aug 2008, neorimmer123 wrote:

    that would be with a lead singer who is english then....

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  • 36. At 08:51am on 19 Aug 2008, The Ballon d'or Identity wrote:

    Hi pommies and aussies. Froggy speaking.

    First of all, congrats to team Great Britain for what they're doing. Only about eight golds away from the US ( courtesy of the chinese ), is quite an achievement.
    Well done but don't do that too often ok, it's quite upsetting seeing you winning so many medals in such little time.

    I will seize the occasion also to say to the australians that i admire them, yes admire because what they do olypics after olympics with a nation of only 20 million is nothing short than extraordinary.

    My question now : when australians talk about pommies, who do they refer to ? English or people from great Britain ?
    Cause i always had the sense it was the english it refered to.
    Therefore, i don't see why australians are upset by the poms performances cause it's not only the english who are making the numbers of team Great Britain.

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  • 37. At 09:13am on 19 Aug 2008, Bren54 wrote:

    As an Australian living in Scotland, I applaud Nick's balanced coverage. It doesn't particularly bother me that Team GB is doing better than Australia at the moment. (and for the English person who doesn't know how many of the GB medal winners are English - perhaps your wonderfully unbiased media has forgotten to say? I can assure you the Scots can tell you!) I can remember when Australia didn't always do that well.

    Ch7 are rubbish - no argument from me there, but it makes no sense at all to compare the BBC's superb, licence payer-funded multichannel coverage with Ch7, a relatively small commercial channel. (Imagine if Ch5 had the UK coverage!) They have to book which events they will show beforehand, in order to sell to advertisers, and those will be the events that Australians are expected to feature in. If the BBC had stuck to events that only GB would do well in, they wouldn't have had much to show in the past, and even in the 2008 games, would not fill multi-channels. A truer comparison would be SBS, which I hear is doing not a bad job with a tiny fraction of the BBC's resources.

    Having endured many years of English "banter" I can't say they're particularly good at "taking it" in return either. In fact they're usually outraged, being used the position of "big frogs" in the UK puddle, surrounded by "Funny foreigners". It's only when they find themselves as a minority in another English-speaking country that plays the same sports, that they really know what it's like to be on the receiving end, and as you can see above, they don't like it up 'em at all

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  • 38. At 09:14am on 19 Aug 2008, Bren54 wrote:

    Much like Australians when they first go abroad, I hasten to add!

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  • 39. At 09:19am on 19 Aug 2008, mittheimp wrote:

    You wouldnt think Australian TV's coverage was bad if you compared it with Korean! I don't get to watch any athletics, just endless re-runs of Park Tae Wan winning his swimming race again and again.. and a bit of archery and judo!

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  • 40. At 09:21am on 19 Aug 2008, The Notting Hill Hammer wrote:

    WJBurt Wrote:

    What irks me is that you think that behind the Australian/British rivalry is a deep rooted affection. My grandfather detested the poms and took every opportunity to instill this in his grandchildren. There was no affection in his deeply felt sense of treachery by Churchill and and the rest of the British ruling class. I don't hate the British; they are just another foreign country in far away Europe who are living on the memories of the past. I don't care if the poms win more medals than us; just don't try to lump us with that poor cousin 12000 miles away.


    Oh, dear. Somewhat of a chip on your shoulder? Living in the past? Your comments about Churchill show just how much you are doing that yourself.

    For many Australians and Brits it is a friendly rivalry. As for poor cousins, The UK is the world's 4th richest economy. Australia is not in the top 10.

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  • 41. At 09:23am on 19 Aug 2008, James Poisson wrote:

    Australians taking about sporting stars choking? Do they forget how many times Greg Norman snatched defeat from the jaws of victory?

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  • 42. At 09:25am on 19 Aug 2008, SydneyKate wrote:

    Brisbaneexpom, comment 7, you do realise that per capita Australia has won more Nobel Prizes than any other nation including your own?
    Which brings us to my excellent point, you have 3 times our population and any economy within the largest 8 in the world. The real issue here is not that you're finally doing admirably, but that for ages you've been absolutely hopeless.
    You're ahead by 1 gold at the moment despite having - is it 67 million people to draw from? And billions more to put into funding and development?
    We're not even in your league economically, historically or in terms of population size, so why aren't you leaving us for dead? Why is it that this is the first time you've been competitive since big hair and leg warmers were all the rage.
    You might enjoy your inaccurate Nobel prize joke, I'll just think of the ONE gold you got at Atlanta and laugh quietly.

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  • 43. At 09:47am on 19 Aug 2008, Bren54 wrote:

    People , usually the least cultured types, who try to bring cultural arguments into sporting banter should be forced to dress up as Nobel laureates and slug it out in the ring.
    We could start with a science grudge match of Howard Florey (Aus ) vs Alexander Fleming ( UK) (Chain to be the ref) and finish with a Literature tag team match of Patrick White/JM Coetzee (Aus) vs Wm Golding/Harold Pinter (UK)

    Then we'd give up and accept that the USA, with most Nobel prizes, must surely be the most cultured country of all

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  • 44. At 09:52am on 19 Aug 2008, Rich Indeed wrote:

    If there was a gold medal for having a chip on your shoulder the Aussies would win it by a mile.

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  • 45. At 10:03am on 19 Aug 2008, stroudgreenman wrote:

    The British cycling coach Shane Sutton won gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games for - wait for it, Australia. Top quality coaches can reportedly earn five times as much in Britain than in Australia.

    Sorry, call me an old moan but it would be nice if you could write correct English and use punctuation properly.

    -......, ??!!


    as much in....than ?!!

    This person is on the BBC payroll? It's enough to make you watch ITV!!

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  • 46. At 10:16am on 19 Aug 2008, David Horton wrote:

    I don't think that there is anyone more experienced at laughing at themselves that the British. We have had plenty of practice. We don't even normally mind losing as long as everyone has done their best.

    However when it comes to sport, we do get quite narked when one of our teams does not do as well as it ought to. Below par perfomances in Football (proper footy not that silly throwing game you Aussies play), Cricket and Rugby Union are unforgiveable.

    Conversely, when a team does far better that expectation, we go absolutely mental. So, I have to say from reading the blog and checking out the online newspapers in Oz, I think that this is more your problem than ours.

    We aren't looking at the medal table and saying "wow, look, we are higher than Australia."

    You lot are looking at it and saying "Jeez, we're lower than the bloody Poms."

    Whose problem is that? Yours or ours!

    When it comes to Brit/Eng - Aus sport, the only sport that there is an intense rivalry is the Ashes. If we get a series as exciting as 2005, then I won't care if we lose because that was without doubt the most exciting sproting event for years.

    Have to say that the Aussies I know are fantastic people, proud of their nation, good humoured and great fun. But they do have a complex about having someone getting one over on them. Any joke as long as they aren't the butt of it.

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  • 47. At 10:17am on 19 Aug 2008, prestondownunder wrote:

    I have only read post number one so far but had to make comment that after being in Aus for 11 years i can confidently state that there are thousands, if not millions of people here with the same opinion as post number one. Unless you live here you will not realise that the supposed banter is mostly filled with a very strange bitterness.
    Needless to say, i am loving the Olympics at the moment.

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  • 48. At 10:17am on 19 Aug 2008, thegurge wrote:

    I agree the Channel 7 coverage is pretty bad, but they are a commercial broadcaster who have paid too much for the rights and so have to appeal beyond the normal sports fan who just likes to watch sport for sports sake. And inevitably that means patriotism and jingoism come to the fore, there's always $s there. I dare say that is the case for many TV stations around the world. NBC have paid so much money for the rights that they have the power to change the timing of the swimming finals from night to morning. I read that Channel 7 is going to lose millions from this broadcast. I really hope that is true. This may in the long run result in more balanced broadcasts.

    And SBS is good as people have said for seeing Sweden vs Norway in Handball or Brazil vs Japan in Volleyball or Singapore vs Korea in Badminton.

    The BBC have a different focus and mandate so comparing them with Australian TV serves little purpose.

    Also, I'm a vociferous Australian supporter and I do agree that we (fans not the sportspeople themselves) aren't good at accepting defeat. I won't give any pop psychology reasons as for why but it always makes me cringe, as does the excessive jingoistic ra-ra-ing that surrounds the Olympics.

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  • 49. At 10:18am on 19 Aug 2008, scot1123 wrote:

    SussexVictorian - I wasnt planning to get involved in this discussion but you picked a great example of Australian talent with AC/DC. The great Bon Scott was originally from Kirriemuir Scotland and the Youngs - Angus and Malcolm - emigrated from Glasgow. A truly great rock band and seen by the world as Australian - and I think thats how these native Scots saw themselves, having been raised in Australia. Then there is Brian Johnson who took on the lead singing role after Bon died - Brian being from near Newcastle, England.

    In general - to you and your fellow Australians please allow us a little fun for another couple of days. I really do not expect the GB Team will end the Olympics with more Golds than you guys - it just does not feel right. And at the risk of repeating what others have said, dont take any comments too seriously. I am absolutely sure the vast majority of Brits have huge respect for you guys.

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  • 50. At 10:22am on 19 Aug 2008, RockingCopseCorner wrote:

    Sydney Kate.....I bet it galls you Australia was primarily founded by the British. Laugh all you like about Atlanta I don't think anybody cares!!

    What we do care about though is the fantastic success our British team has achieved, made all the sweeter by the 'favourite' countries taking a severe thrashing time after time.

    Bottom line is when most people in the UK think about 'Oz' it's mostly Kylie, Fosters, and BBQ's. Hardly remembered for culture, inventions, history, etc. Besides most people prefer New Zealand :-)

    Sore loosers the Aussies.........shame

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  • 51. At 10:22am on 19 Aug 2008, Technopeasant wrote:

    Merely winning a quantity of medals and sporting competitions is, it seems, all that is important to some. Perhaps what irritates all the more is the fact that we British invented the majority of the sports in the first place - and then, magnanimously, gave them to the world. The way some other (immature) nations behave is so ungracious!
    Remember: the first Olympics of the modern era were in Much Wenlock in Shropshire.

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  • 52. At 10:29am on 19 Aug 2008, aznaussie wrote:

    Like most aussies, I take a great pride in how our team is doing, and love to hate the other side while the competition goes on then applaud the winners when it all ends. I'm also chinese so there is double the pride for these games. I served as a volunteer at the Sydney games and that was one of the best choices I've ever made in my life. I made many friends while there few of whom were of anglo saxon descent. Of the closest, 2 are chinese, 1 is filipino and another is middle eastern. This is the reason why I think the Sydney games were so successful, it was thoroughly all inclusive.

    I might also point out that Australia holds the highest number of medals won/capita of any nation in the world.

    Also, hopefully Pieterson will be able to lead a team that will give the Aussies at least a hint of a challenge in the next Ashes series.

    To SydneyKate, I should add that economically, Australia is still outperforming most OECD nations. The UK is expected to see 5% inflation by the end of the year according to the Bank of England.

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  • 53. At 10:32am on 19 Aug 2008, RockingCopseCorner wrote:

    Sydney Kate.......

    One small point, we don't invest 'billions' into our sports especially athletics etc. It's paid for mostly by the national lottery. Our DOUBLE gold medalist Adlington gets roughly £10,000 per year. An unemployed Australian migrant over here would recieve nearly double that in state benefits. Maybe when you actually understand how our sports are funded then you can comment correctly.

    If you ever actually looked into our sports funding you'd see general widespread dismay from our population that the goverment gives it so little priority and is building over sports parks and green spaces weekly. Unless you involved in football, rugby, or cricket forget any kind of support from our goverment.

    Please get your facts right first.

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  • 54. At 10:34am on 19 Aug 2008, SirHealy wrote:

    Say what you like about the Aussies, but let's not pretend that deep down we don't actually admire them.

    So GB are now ahead of Australia in the medals table for the 1st time in 20 years? Big deal. The UK has about 4 times the population of Oz, we should be outperforming them every time.

    Australia is a sports-mad nation. The UK is a work-mad nation. Tell me which one you'd rather live in ...

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  • 55. At 10:40am on 19 Aug 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    What a lark! It just goes to show what happens when you stake your entire national identity on just one cultural area i.e. sport. When things don't go right, there's nowhere to hide! Mind you, I can't think that Australia's medal haul is bad by anyone's standards so why the great act of self-flagellation?

    The GB/Aussie rivalry is a bit like the UK's special relationship with the US...it is only important to one side.

    Get over it guys, it doesn't really matter at all unless you are one of those hypertensive bigots whose "rivalry" disguises something much more sinister (all countries have them). Just remember that when handing out all the mick-taking for years... what goes around comes around.

    Go team GB!

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  • 56. At 10:44am on 19 Aug 2008, CardiffBornAndBred wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 57. At 10:53am on 19 Aug 2008, peterdough wrote:

    Wow 50+ comments posted and counting, but a bit alarming all the axe grinding here. As an Aussie, if Britain Tops Australia in gold medals, I say good on them and well done. It's not whether you win or lose,..

    P.S. Thanks Nick, re my last post, the Sheffield Shield "comeback". The "Shield" is the first class cricket competition in Australia (along with the one-day competition), in spite of the Weet-Bix plastered over it and the last sponsorship renaming to the Pura Milk Cup (a brand name of a wholly owned subsidiary of the Philippines based San Miguel Corporation). Or should I now say the "Sheffield Shield presented by Weet-Bix"?

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  • 58. At 10:56am on 19 Aug 2008, alanbloggz wrote:

    Never mind Oz types I read that your recession is currently bigger than the Brits some consolation eh!

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  • 59. At 10:57am on 19 Aug 2008, TartanTantrum wrote:

    Regarding AC/DC, as the Young brothers, the creative force of the band, were born in Scotland and emigrated to Australia, I don't think they can be classified as an Australian band. The same can be said of Men at Work - Colin Hay also being born in Scotland. BTW, are Scots poms or is it really a term for the English?

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  • 60. At 10:57am on 19 Aug 2008, Belmons wrote:

    When Aussies are having a go at the UK, it's pretty standard for our weather to be mentioned. Let me speak up for the British climate, even if most fellow Brits won't! I've been to Australia (during their summer, heaven help me) and I wouldn't live there for anything. When the sun's out you have to plaster yourself with sun-block to avoid skin cancer. When the sun goes down you have to plaster yourself with repellent to avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes. That's supposed to be good? Then, again, we don't have a whole lot of bush-fires in the UK, and they are presumably a consequence of the climate of Oz (except when they've been deliberately started by loonies, who seem just as common there as here). Ask all the farmers being ruined by drought what they think of the Australian climate.

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  • 61. At 11:01am on 19 Aug 2008, Shackson wrote:

    It is a lasting cultural hang-up of the colonial relationship that Australia sees an intense rivalry with GB. The original term "Test Match" was coined to describe when a colonial team got to take on a British team which was seen as the ultimate "test" of their ability.

    In a way, given the Aussie dominance in sport of more recent history, it is interesting to see the situation reversed with UK media highlighting being ahead of Australia as a litmus test of success.

    It is all harmless fun.

    Oh... and sign me up for the 7 coverage being crap campaign. Wish I could get the BBC coverage in Australia, it is always superior.

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  • 62. At 11:11am on 19 Aug 2008, kickedoutof chatroomsoonestchamp2006 wrote:

    Who in GB cares who gets most gold? Nobody I know gives a stuff about a distant island with tedious landscapes and even more tedious inhabitants. sport? I suppose Australians have to be good at something.

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  • 63. At 11:16am on 19 Aug 2008, ChirnsideAussies wrote:

    Who are you Nick?? Never heard of you.

    I live in Melbourne, the real Capital of Australia! Aussie Rules is all that counts down here! In summer (yes we have one) the Cricket is of some interest. Our recent migrants take an interest in the Soccer.

    Swimming - that's what you teach your children to do so that they can keep ahead of the sharks! That's all that matters.

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  • 64. At 11:32am on 19 Aug 2008, Ian-in-Bangkok wrote:

    WHOAAA !!!

    60 plus posts and has NO ONE yet mentioned the last two Rugby World Cups?

    But seriously, I watched the rowing and cycling on Saturday in an Aussie sports bar in Bangkok. I was the only Brit in there.

    And the Aussie blokes couldn't have been more complementary on the performance of the Brits ...and everyone else who played well. Fair do's to them all. They even sang "Lay Down Sally" so yes they can take the pee out of their own rowers.

    The majority of us in the bar had at some point in our past played team sports. Once a sportsman always a sportsman.

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  • 65. At 11:43am on 19 Aug 2008, Howardddddddd wrote:

    How utterly pathetic. What hope is there of bridging gaps between countries, races, religions and cultures when even two rather similar countries like the UK and Australia can't even get along without the petty comments?

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  • 66. At 11:46am on 19 Aug 2008, fiji1974 wrote:

    Gold medal to Nick for delivering the most commented on Blog since being appointed the BBC's Sydney correspondent. Our friends (half Aussie, half English) have been enjoying similar banter today via email. Whilst it's mostly good natured, there's always an edge to the chat. But frankly, anybody taking it too seriously deserves to be ridiculed. It's just a game(s)! Anyway, got to go, Team GB about to win another cycling Gold.

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  • 67. At 11:46am on 19 Aug 2008, CharlesStrickland wrote:

    I've been scrolling through this blog with some amusement and surprise that Australia really does take this 'rivalry' so seriously. As other posters have pointed out this is one-way traffic. Very few people in England (Britain?) think about Australia very much at all. If we do it is in a slightly affectionate way and so it always comes as slightly off-putting how bitter and resentful our antipodean cousins still feel. I guess it's similar to our own relationship with the U.S.

    Anyway, try not to take it all too serious. We're rubbish at sport really (considering our population and financial resources) and we've had to get used to losing most of the time. But it's nice to enjoy a little success now and again, even if we know that, like the weather, it won't last.




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  • 68. At 11:46am on 19 Aug 2008, The_Big_T wrote:

    I think that it's a bit of a cheek to comment like this about the (usually justified) national sporting pride of Australians when in this article "Britain Tops Australia in gold medals" becomes, within 4 sentences, the basis for "a good, old-fashioned Anglo-Australian stoush".

    ANGLO?

    Suddenly the Celtic nations of Great Britain aren't counted?

    It's the same old story - British successes get translated into English successes, and English failures get translated into British failures.

    I wonder how long I'll have to wait before someone English dismisses this as a comment from a Celt or an Aussie with a chip on their shoulder, rather than deal with the actual original hypocrisy.

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  • 69. At 11:50am on 19 Aug 2008, clubrower wrote:

    Australia has done very well in sport for a number of years - and good luck to them. It's nice to see us doing so well at last, although I deplore 'medal tables' as they encourage governments to invest in ridiculous sports that no-one cares about just to get medals (did everyone realise that there are 12 fencing gold medals including team medals even though there are no team events).

    Could I point out that SydneyKate is wrong to say that Australia has more Nobel prizes per capita than Britain. Of all the sizeable nations, Britain has far more per head than any other country - over 5 times the number per head that Australia has.

    The UK also consumes (slightly) more soap per capita than Australia, but that Australian sports minister was right about the number of swimming pools!

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  • 70. At 11:57am on 19 Aug 2008, mynydderyri wrote:

    What irks me is the pure ignorance of so many in relation to Countries and their people.
    The Olympics is a classic example of misconstrued contesting Countries.
    Neither Wales or Scotland are individually represented but included under the banner of Britain which as everyone seem to understand is a representation of the Anglos.!!??
    Scotland does have their National banner entwined into the U.Jack BUT the banner of Cymru has no part in this flag of supposedly Unionism ?!
    It is about time that the Olympics painted a factual Country Representation.
    Accolades to Ms. Freeman a champion without equal and proud of her heritage in carrying the Aboriginal flag at the Sydney Olympics much to the distaste of the ignorant few.
    The question is whether Cymru has to become a Republic before her sport persons are able to compete under "Y Ddraig Goch".?
    To conclude it must be written that all participating athletes have given their all and I personally nominate the very young Chinese gymnasts amongst the elite of champions.
    The Chinese count of gold medals in total, speaks for itself !! and as the dragon is symbolic in China,the Red Dragon of Wales has a proud place in the history of Britain.
    It will be very interesting to observe what the Anglos come up with as London becomes the Olympics host for the next games ?? Probably a very boring and snobbish outlook.

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  • 71. At 12:00pm on 19 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    Nobody seems to have commented on the notion that we wouldn't be so carried away about being above Oz in the medals table if they weren't so hard to beat in the first place. Our bell-ringing is surely the greatest of compliments to the "vanquished". Rather than grumbling, I am sure they will be at the drawing boards laying plans for vengance before the dust has even settled. It behooves us to use this success to create momentum and inspire the next wave!

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  • 72. At 12:02pm on 19 Aug 2008, Londonrugbyboy wrote:

    Hi downsunder (no.14)

    You ask what the break-down of medals is amongst the constituent nations of "Great Britain". Just done some analysis via the BBC's fantastic Olympics website and, as of 12pm BST on 19/8/08, the breakdown is as follows:

    By medals won

    Gold

    N Ireland - 0
    Wales - 1
    Scotland - 1
    England - 8
    Joint England/Scotland - 1
    Joint England/Wales - 2

    Silver

    N Ireland - 1
    Wales - 0
    Scotland - 1
    England - 4
    Joint England/Scotland - 1
    Joint England/Wales - 0

    Bronze

    N Ireland - 0
    Wales - 0
    Scotland - 0
    England - 8
    Joint England/Scotland - 0
    Joint England/Wales - 0

    Here also is the breakdown of where the various medal winners reside (note: because some of the medals have been in team sports, so the total number of individuals listed will be greater than the number of medals won):

    Gold

    N Ireland - 0
    Wales - 3
    Scotland - 1
    England - 15

    Silver

    N Ireland - 1
    Wales - 0
    Scotland - 2
    England - 16

    Bronze

    N Ireland - 0
    Wales - 0
    Scotland - 0
    England - 14

    Make of this what you will, but it does appear that England (Australia's real "rival") is the dominant sporting nation within Team GB.

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  • 73. At 12:04pm on 19 Aug 2008, Bluewinter wrote:

    'wjburt' needs to go for a quiet lie down, I think.

    No-one in the United Kingdom (its real name) really cares about this phantom rivalry that supposedly exists between Australia and ourselves: apart from cricket, of course! As has been said, it was just a throwaway comment by a politician on the make, so please get over it.

    As regards the comments about your grandfather - well, you're just being pathetic. I thought the 'poms' were supposed to be the whiners?

    As an aside, Australia has a population of around 21.3 million - about a third that of the UK. I think they've done extremely well to achieve their standing in the medal table, so 'well done the Aussies'.

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  • 74. At 12:12pm on 19 Aug 2008, MaxamillionFedora wrote:

    SydneyKate, comment 42, "you do realise that per capita Australia has won more Nobel Prizes than any other nation including your own?"

    Umm no it hasn't - you have won 9 with a pop of about 21,370,000, so about 1 per 2374444 people. UK has has 114 with a pop of about 60,587,300 so about 1 per 531467 people, that's about 4.5 times better than Aus. At least if you are going to counter bad gags use real facts rather than making it up. Other than that you have a reasonable point.

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  • 75. At 12:30pm on 19 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    I'd love to keep politics out of this stream, but it does appear to have been high-jacked. Whether nationalists or anyone else likes it or not, we are there under one flag and as one nation. The athletes, whose success you are all bent on adopting to your own view-points, have accepted those terms. I would argue that their (the people who've actually put in the hard work) acceptance overrides your political issues. Can we leave them to another day, please? This debate reminds me of the Shakespearian scene in Henry IV, where the battle rages and is not yet won, but that doesn't stop the Scots, Welsh, English and Irish bickering. I am a Scot, myself, if it's worth noting. Can we not, for just one David-Bowie-type day, be "heroes" and bask in it?

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  • 76. At 12:31pm on 19 Aug 2008, Ian_the_chopper wrote:

    As both sailing and rowing are not included in the commonwealth games isn't it about time we got them added?

    Australia, New Zealand and Canada seem to do OK in the rowing so maybe an England , Wales and Scotland team might give them a chance to compete on a level playing field.

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  • 77. At 12:34pm on 19 Aug 2008, Soddball wrote:

    "mynydderyri wrote:

    What irks me is the pure ignorance of so many in relation to Countries and their people.
    The Olympics is a classic example of misconstrued contesting Countries.
    Neither Wales or Scotland are individually represented but included under the banner of Britain which as everyone seem to understand is a representation of the Anglos.!!??"

    Talking of 'pure ignorance', mynydderyi - were you aware of the reason that Wales isn't on the banner? It isn't a country. It never was a country. That's why it isn't on the coat of arms either.
    Wales is a nice place, but calling it a country would be as correct as calling Norfolk a country.

    On Topic - the Aussies seem to have nearly as large a chip on their shoulder about this as the Scots do. Why? Can't you just revel in the games? I find it tiresome and immature.

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  • 78. At 12:37pm on 19 Aug 2008, paulcrossley wrote:

    hey no17 (echunter) I too am a pom swimming in Brisbane - are you the guy who swims faster than me?

    without wishing to ignite the argument any further, there does seem to be some truth in Australians not been good at taking criticism, and they very rarely engage in self criticism. Default position is "I/we know best".
    We on the other hand go over the top sometimes! Showed my Aussie workmates the BBC news article on British Olympic success, which includes the line "for a national psyche more attuned to glorious defeat":
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7568033.stm
    their first comment was "wow, you guys take this p out of yourself so much".

    Despite the whinging comments on here ("British nations should compete seperately", "you guys have more money", "we're not even bothered about the olympics") we shouldn't forget just how well both nations are doing.

    It's understandable that the rivalry is so important when considered from the Aussies point of view. But suffice to say, most Brits dont think of Aus (or NZ for that matter) as a colony or anything like it. Sure we're over here in large numbers, but that's mainly because of the opportunities, the sights and the fact that our cultures aren't really that different.

    Finally, no60 Belmons,While I enjoy the Aussie weather a lot of the time I sure miss home too. You also forgot to mention that the only place you can really enjoy the climate here is the beach, sit down anywhere else and you'll be bitten, burnt or eaten in minutes! (whinge)

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  • 79. At 12:37pm on 19 Aug 2008, iaincmm wrote:

    Bluewater what makes you think people in the UK care about the cricket rivalry? Do you mean England? As a Scot I always find it difficult to understand why people can not make this distinction. Sooner we have our own team the better.

    As regards making a direct comparison it is irrelevant given the difference in population. The only reasonable way to do it would be on a per head of population criteria and even then this is probably worthless.

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  • 80. At 12:42pm on 19 Aug 2008, brightSharon wrote:

    Well GB, you have taken my daughters from me, who prefer to spend weekends in Paris and Brussels to Wollongong and Terrigal.
    So now you will take our gold medals too! And Nick, now you know that some people do read your blogs!

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  • 81. At 12:46pm on 19 Aug 2008, InstantPirate wrote:

    @ SydneyKate

    If you'd taken the 60 seconds that I did to check the Nobel Prize figures you'd have realised that while Australia may have won nine such prizes the UK has in fact won 114. On a per-capita basis that's, er, a very poor silver medal for you. Oh, by the way, of your nine, one was born in the UK and several of the others were educated in the UK.

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  • 82. At 12:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    I mean, honestly: medal breakdowns by home nation and then even another one residency. Is my license fee paying someone to produce this? And then Nobel prize per population capita comparisons. Everyone: get a grip: It's the Olympics - not a national chest-beating exercise, however much you may wish to beat your chest about someone else's achievements. The honour should go to the athletes, families and trainers who have sacrificed so much to win. Yes, we can be proud as compatriots - but it no more means the UK is better than Oz then claiming Marmite is better than Vegemite. A meaningless comparison, based on petty, prejudiced and subjective arguments.
    I am half-wondering if there isn't a BBC mole deliberately planting some of this outrageous nonsense to provoke otherwise sensible people into blogging!

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  • 83. At 12:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, citiboy wrote:

    It's a shame when jingoism and/or anti-British sentiment like that of wjburt's grandfather is passed down the generations. What we Brits have learned to be is self-deprecating. We like success but not at any price. We congratulate and celebrate worthy winners even when we're the runners up. It's pretty obvious from the string of emails here that Aussies struggle to do this. I'm not saying they're all bad losers but there's more than just a 12000 mile gulf in attitudes here towards victory/defeat in sport. What a shame - because sportsmanship (which Aussies supposedly care so much about) is about winning magnanimously AND losing gracefully.

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  • 84. At 12:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, citiboy wrote:

    And I'm not going to repeat the joke I've just heard about why Jesus wasn't born in Australia.

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  • 85. At 12:53pm on 19 Aug 2008, citiboy wrote:

    And how you can tell when a planeload of 'Poms' has arrived in Oz - because when the engines are turned off you can still hear whining.

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  • 86. At 12:58pm on 19 Aug 2008, Hockley Heat wrote:

    Nick Bryant said "old-fashioned Anglo-Australian stoush". Unfortunately, this is a typical comment from an Englishman who doesn't know that Anglo means English and not British. It is typical of a BBC person. Their commentators always talk about Anglo-American relations etc. It really does grate me and all the non-Anglos in the UK (any wonder the Scots want independence?). Of course, by perpetuating this myth, the BBC doesn't help the rest of the world to understand that being British and English is not the same thing. I once tried to explain to a US geography schoolteacher that the UK and England is not the same. Actually, it's only in the last few years that English fans have started waving the St. George's flag instead of the Union flag at sporting events.

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  • 87. At 12:59pm on 19 Aug 2008, bonetired wrote:

    Although the sporting rivalry is serious, I clearly remember the collective shudder that went through the UK at the time of the Bali bombings, given that there are very close family ties between people in the UK and Australia.

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  • 88. At 1:03pm on 19 Aug 2008, Alan wrote:

    You are right and if it makes you feel better about where you stand in the medals table, then I am more than happy to massage the Oz ego and say that, per capita, Australia has really done quite well. Probably the best in the World. Well done! Much better than GB with its tally of Nobel Prizes per capita.

    What a laugh!

    I do not give a monkey's about the Olympics (what a waste of money to see a bunch of drug-enhanced prima donnas pose in their pretty outfits), but it is worth every penny to read the contents of this blog thread. Hilarious!

    I guess this is why Australia is always referred to as a 'young nation' - because so many of her citizens behave like spoiled children.

    Perhaps it is time we took her back into direct rule? (Light blue touch-paper and retire....)





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  • 89. At 1:03pm on 19 Aug 2008, InstantPirate wrote:

    The argument about England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland competing as separate teams in the Olympics is moot - the UK is a nation state and that's it.

    Australia, on the other hand, is a commonwealth of states and territories most of which have their own parliaments. How about Aus competes on that basis in future? No? I thought not.

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  • 90. At 1:04pm on 19 Aug 2008, Hockley Heat wrote:

    Comment # 77. Soddball said that Wales 'isn't a country. It never was a country.' Only a mis-informed Englishman would make such a comment. It was made a Principality by the English against the wishes of the Welsh. To true Welsh people, it's a country. The Welsh don't really care if it's included in the Union Flag - it would be nice though. 'We know better'.

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  • 91. At 1:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, metallicBeckyboo wrote:

    How very sad if people do feel anoyed at another country's success. I'm English and very pleased and proud of team GB success. I'm the sort of person who feels that sports are not the most important thing in life if your country loses then hopefully they won't next time.
    My boyfriend is Austrailian and we haven't got any rivalry about this sports stuff the only thing we compete over is tickling each other. Come on all you grumpy people fighting about which country is better than the other, lighten up.... there's so much better things you could be worring about or spending precious time on. If you like sport so much then go play some!!!!!!

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  • 92. At 1:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, Eos wrote:

    Having spent some time living in Australia I've always found the maliciousness which goes with the so-called "friendly" banter towards the UK in terms of food/weather/sporting proficiency etc. highly unappealing.
    The Olympic ideals on the other hand, I find enormously appealing and am delighted to celebrate sporting success from any nation.
    Australia always performs above her size in the global sporting arena and that is indeed something of which to be proud. It would be great if she could also be genuinely impressed when competitors of other countries produce outstanding results. True sporting fans are able to do just that.

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  • 93. At 1:08pm on 19 Aug 2008, Joseph Postin wrote:

    Have to agree with CarltonBlue - Channel 7 has been attrocious.
    It's like watching a pop video of the games.

    I appreciate AFL is Australia's big interest game, but in the real global scale, it doesn't figure compared with the Olympics does it, unless of course you are channel 7.

    This is my first Olympics on Australian T.V and I don't wish to seem to be flogging the BBC because of the association with this forum, but, I do miss their coverage.

    I also (as a final and pom vs aussie note) I watch channel 10 and then from 7am each morning channel 9 whilst I wake with a cuppa. Every day during week one both channels proudly displayed the medals table highlighting China, USA, and proudly Australia. They would conclude the dialogue by indicating where Britain was (beneath them).
    Yesterday when GB overtook them the name 'Great Britain' wasn't mentioned. They went China, USA, and Australia in 4th (or was it 5th then).
    Today, they had obviously overcome the shock and horror, and did mention that GB was 3rd, followed by a round table discussion of changing the relative medal values to truly reflect that Australias total was understated and should rightly be in 3rd place (yes somewhat tongue in cheek, but, not without a modicum of honest agrievance).
    Might have to get foxtel (SKY equivalent) for the next games from London if we are still here.

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  • 94. At 1:09pm on 19 Aug 2008, stanilic wrote:

    All the usual tedious cliches are displayed here. It is all so dull and boring.

    Why do some Australians have such a hang-up about Britain and some Britons have such a hang-up about Oz?

    And why do they expect the well-adjusted to have to listen to their mutual whingeing? It is absurd.

    Maybe too many English people did settle in Australia.

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  • 95. At 1:13pm on 19 Aug 2008, metalhappyclappy wrote:

    having lived in australia for several years, as an ex pat englishman, i learned the only way to fit in was to praise all things Australian, inc the bathurst 1000 which makes formula 1 appear the most exciting car racing ever, Australian beef which is the toughest meat known to man, Bondi beach which is the size of a bathmat and that a nasal whine is the proper way to speak.
    Now Australia does have many things of which it should be justly proud, but this continuing lack of self confidence as a nation really it just makes you laugh..... a lot!
    Yes the Ashes are important to both nations but other than that, well gb is where thousands of Australian come to visit and stay (well London anyway) and Australia is popular with ex pats of the Northern persuasion...thats the only connection, stop comparing yourself with us were thousands of miles away and really we dont care.

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  • 96. At 1:15pm on 19 Aug 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    I can't believe that amidst this rare and enjoyable sucess by the GB Olympic team, in which all the home countries bar NI have struck gold...there are still voices of Celtic paranoia and anglo-bigotry out there.

    I have never once heard of any of the winning competitors being called "English" by anyone...any more than others are described as being Scots or Welsh. It's really sad that in this moment of triumph, the same old nationalists (plus a few inflammatory Little Englanders) see fit to trot out their tired old prejudices and misinformation.

    Perhaps it's worth mentioning that if the UK had the same population as China we would have a gazillion gold medals and no fresh water! These arguments are truly ridiculous...it's better to keep a dignified silence...and let the Aussies spontaneously combust if that's what they want.

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  • 97. At 1:19pm on 19 Aug 2008, scot1123 wrote:

    Londonrugbyboy - you are right - looks like English folks are winning most of the Team GB Golds. But you need to update your table since Chris Hoy - a Scot - became the first Brit to win 3 Golds at one Olympics for 100 years.

    And yes I am a Scot - and I dont think I have a chip on my shoulder - well not a big chip anyway.

    Comparisons with the Oz total are one thing - my wife is Russian and cannot believe they only have 9 Golds at the moment.

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  • 98. At 1:22pm on 19 Aug 2008, Fallonator wrote:

    Sydney Kate, re your "excellent point" on being more successful per capita...I was waiting for exactly that response (before continuing may I just suggest that everyone clicks on her name and then checks out her intensely anti-English blog on the recent World Youth Day here in Sydney. This is the type of bizarre hate-filled abuse us "poms" must expect from many Australians when in their land).

    You have space everywhere and very little people. We have people everywhere and very little space. I have been amazed at the sheer number of sports grounds and facilities all over Australia. Even rural and remote areas such as Wagga Wagga have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sports facilities. For decades in the UK school sports grounds, let alone public facilities have been sold off to build yet more housing for our overcrowded isle. Your point is pathetic and entirely without basis...far from excellent.

    At the time of writing Team GB now 4 Gold medals ahead of Austraya...Get in there!!!

    I...am...loving...it!!!

    See ya Kate...we must meet up for coffee in the CBD

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  • 99. At 1:27pm on 19 Aug 2008, InstantPirate wrote:

    @ aledhughes

    Nick Bryant is quite right in his use of an "old-fashioned Anglo-Australian stoush" because Australia is a very Celtic country. Tim Costello, the brother of the former Aus treasurer, was on TV a while back and claimed that 50% of Aussies are either of Irish descent or recent Irish immigrants.

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  • 100. At 1:30pm on 19 Aug 2008, andycmckay wrote:

    The second verse of Advance Australia Fair says it all:

    When gallant Cook from Albion sail'd,
    To trace wide oceans o'er,
    True British courage bore him on,
    Till he landed on our shore.
    Then here he raised Old England's flag,
    The standard of the brave;
    With all her faults we love her still,
    "Brittannia rules the wave!"

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  • 101. At 1:36pm on 19 Aug 2008, antoman69 wrote:

    Australians,
    A simple 'Well down Britain' would suffice.

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  • 102. At 1:39pm on 19 Aug 2008, thepomdownunder wrote:

    Just finished reading ALL this blog and not laughed so much for ages, THIS should be made an Olympic sport as I can see that there are some keyboards out there that are burning red hot in getting their blog to the editorial line.....!

    4 my 2 penny worth I have lived in Brisbane for 5 years now, made some great Ozzie mates, met more strange characters than a Charles Dickens novel and love living here.

    Did a proper Whinge when the visiting Poms were splintered all over the arena for the 1st test at the Gabba (What were they thinking..!) as did 100% of my Ozzie mates who had been looking 4ward to a major sing song battle, still haven't got over the trumpeter being ejected from the ground on day two by the Fun police..!

    As 4 the Olympics, can't really add to what has already been said except to say that there were huge gasps of breath earlier in our household when CH7 Actually showed the British flag raised to the national anthem for the women’s sprint medals presentation! So I guess that either a) They have got the message about coverage bias..! Or b) the crew were on a XXXX break!

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  • 103. At 1:40pm on 19 Aug 2008, RepoMonkey wrote:

    @ SussexVictorian - bad example considering most of the band was born in Scotland.

    @ SydneyKate - In Australia big hair and leg warmers just came *into* fashion.

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  • 104. At 1:43pm on 19 Aug 2008, Londonrugbyboy wrote:

    Hi Scott1123 (post 97)

    Re: Chris Hoy winning his third gold.

    Of course, I shall update the table and with great pleasure! Congrats to Chris Hoy and all our athletes for such a magnificent effort at this year's Olympics!

    Cheers

    ****

    UPDATED table - by medals won

    Gold

    N Ireland - 0
    Wales - 1
    Scotland - 2
    England - 9
    Joint England/Scotland - 1
    Joint England/Wales - 2

    Silver

    N Ireland - 1
    Wales - 0
    Scotland - 1
    England - 5
    Joint England/Scotland - 1
    Joint England/Wales - 0

    Bronze

    N Ireland - 0
    Wales - 0
    Scotland - 0
    England - 8
    Joint England/Scotland - 0
    Joint England/Wales - 0

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  • 105. At 1:46pm on 19 Aug 2008, paulcrossley wrote:

    thepomdownunder, I just saw the medal ceremony on Ch7 too. Think it was more to do with the Aussie silver than Ch7 producers reading a Beeb Blog!

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  • 106. At 1:48pm on 19 Aug 2008, Alasdair_McGray wrote:

    What is a Brit?

    I am Scottish first, then European!

    This GB, Great Britain and Brits are alien to my family, friends, colleagues and anyone else Scottish whom I know.

    I have no issues with Australian folk, have found them lovely people. Seems to me they are good sportsmen and women, very competitive, but know when to play to the spirit of the game. Sadly, the English / Brit media are nasty malevolent creatures. If they beat the Aussies at anything they want the world to know. When they loose, it's someone else's fault be that FIFA, UEFA or the referee.

    My deaest wish that Scotland will be free by 2012 to enter its own team, we may not win many medala, but we'd have the honour of competing for our nation, not some made up nation UK.

    Aladair McGray

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  • 107. At 1:49pm on 19 Aug 2008, telletubby wrote:

    I'm no sportsman but if we Brits are so good at cycling, why don't we walk the Tour de France?
    Conversely as the french are obsessed with cycling why don't they show better at the Olympics. Or is it a different sort of cycling?

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  • 108. At 1:59pm on 19 Aug 2008, aznaussie wrote:

    Australians love taking the p out of ppl, but not always do we like it when others take the p out of us, unless it's another australian in which case it's totally ok :p

    I am surprised that this has turned into such a nationality debate. If I had it in mind to add to it, I'd dredge up the outrages that were visited on china by the west, but that's neither here nor there.

    As for those who say that Australia is a vast country with vast space to do this and that, I add that most of our country is desert and you can't do much out there when it's 55 degrees celsius at 10am. The vast majority of the urban population crowds onto the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range. Much of our land is unusable, it's simply too inhospitable. Comparatively speaking the UK is able to make use of a large percentage of its land mass than australia.

    I should also hasten to add that it is worthwhile to consider what defines an australian considering how wide ranging the cultures that fall within the boundaries of home.

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  • 109. At 2:01pm on 19 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    What's with the term Anglo? It is a term commonly used to mean English but also commonly used to mean English-speaking. Literally taken, it excludes all English people of non Angle-descent, which means excluding the Danes, Normans, Saxons, original pre-Roman British, Pakistanis, etc. What I am saying is that if Scots can take offence at the use of the term, then so can any almost all the people currently living in England! (I speak as a non-offended Scot). What term do you propose as a viable, inoffensive alternative? Britos? Brillis? Greatos? Biffos? Hellos?
    Some of you have offense-seeking minds - and such as you will always find what you seek.

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  • 110. At 2:09pm on 19 Aug 2008, Alan wrote:

    Oho! I wondered how long it would be before a Scottish Nationalist raised his head? What's up, Jock? It's oor oil!

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  • 111. At 2:12pm on 19 Aug 2008, ruggedtoast wrote:

    What a lot of Aussie whingeing!

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  • 112. At 2:15pm on 19 Aug 2008, paulcrossley wrote:

    youngerap, you'll probably get some angry responses for that one.

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  • 113. At 2:16pm on 19 Aug 2008, PACSYIP wrote:


    Who cares about the Aussie? We should congratulate our team, not mourn the other teams for not winning.

    Forget the Ashes which is next year, we should celebrate our success while it lasts.

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  • 114. At 2:23pm on 19 Aug 2008, BaselBob wrote:

    So the Brits have won all there medals sitting down, eh?
    Having just looked at the results thus far, of the 34 medal tally for Australia, how many of those have been won by athletes standing on their feet?
    Answer one and one-third (the 20Km Walk, and the Triathlon)

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  • 115. At 2:26pm on 19 Aug 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    99 Instant Pirate

    This is of course no place for this type of thing but I did enjoy the piece about 50% of Australians being Irish and other Celtic descent. Presumably all the land-grabbing, aborigine shooting, rare species exterminating stuff was done by English emigrants? It's the only possible explanation, otherwise a whole raft of cherished national myths of victimisation and suffering will have to be re-examined.

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  • 116. At 2:26pm on 19 Aug 2008, Alan wrote:

    Paulcrossley, we have heard here about about the Aussie attitude to losing. It pales into insignificance against the whining of the Scottish Nationalists. On any matters that involve Great Britain, there is always the whining Nationalist pops up to spoil the fun with the 'I am not British - the English stole our oil' line. Can almost hear the Gordon Brown accent. Ugh!

    Give me a patriotic Aussie any time. And I am a Scot!

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  • 117. At 2:56pm on 19 Aug 2008, roy wrote:

    For me the epitome of sour grapes was and is the vision of the Australian Priminister handing out the winners medals to a victorious British Rugby team. As my old mum would say "He had a face as long as a gas-mans mack"

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  • 118. At 2:57pm on 19 Aug 2008, JessinEpsom wrote:

    Hi to The Big T

    I found that comment about an 'Anglo-Aus' stoush strange too, but I think it might be because there are other (non-Olympic) rivalries specifically between the Aussies and English, ie in the cricket.
    I don't think it was meant to be dismissive of the Celtic contribution to GB's success - at least that's my reading of it.
    Cheers.

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  • 119. At 3:10pm on 19 Aug 2008, Mangoed6 wrote:

    I'm an expat Aussie living in London. The other day whilst my English flatmate and I were watching the (excellent) BBC coverage she gave me her thoughts on the Australian attitude to winning, losing and the English. Australians all think they have the right to win, she argued, we look down on those who lose and we're extraordinarily arrogant.

    I thought she was making too broad a sweep with her statement but in the spirit of co-habiting harmony I took the high road, agreed that some Australians can be rather narrowminded in their support of their countrymen and then spent the next two days thinking of all the witty retorts I could have made. Clearly despite my appearance of neutrality - she'd hit a nerve.

    However having read some of the press and the comments made here perhaps she's got a point!
    Sydney Kate, why waste time laughing at Team GB's performance in Atlanta why not admire the improvement they've made? I note that you've gone back far enough to choose a games where they performed particularly poorly, the same could be said of us in Montreal when we came in at number 32. The guy who had the bigotted Grandfather, don't pass on the same views to your children, please!

    At Atlanta, Australia was looking forward to hosting the 2000 games and gave performances indicative of a country gearing up to do well on the home turf. The same is happening with Team GB in Beijing, they are looking forward to London 2012, giving their young talent the experience of a games and some of them are pulling out outstanding performances as a result. Team GB should be applauded for how it's turned it's fortunes around, and the British should be justifyably proud.

    Come on Aussies, Australians of all people should understand the interest in the underdog. We embrace Tall Poppy Syndrome, we want to see the little battler come out on top. Or do we just want that to happen if we're the little battler.... Well for the last decade or so Australia's been on top when it comes to many of the sports in which both the Aussies and Brits take an interest, it's only fair the Lions should start to roar once the field evens out. Doesn't it make sporting contests a bit more exciting?

    I love the Olympics, it's a wonderful celebration of human endeavour and success and the one time when the whole world really does come together to play by the same rules and cheer each other on. There's nothing like a good sporting rivalry to fuel debate and a flurry of clever emails and gags once the game is over. However in the spirit of sport and in the spirit of the Games this rivalry is only fun when both sides are willing to salute the victor no matter which side they're on. If you can't bring yourself to raise your glass to a good performance from your opponent then you need to take a good hard look at yourself. If you can't do that take a look at the athletes. At the end of the race you'll see the competitors hug, cry, commiserate and congratulate. Why can't the great mass of couch potato commentators do the same?

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  • 120. At 3:15pm on 19 Aug 2008, Soddball wrote:

    "aledlhughes wrote:

    Only a mis-informed Englishman would make such a comment. It was made a Principality by the English against the wishes of the Welsh. To true Welsh people, it's a country. The Welsh don't really care if it's included in the Union Flag - it would be nice though. 'We know better'. "

    AledHughes - I'm Welsh by birth and went to university at Lampeter, so can the jingoism.

    Wales was NEVER a country. Ever. It was never united. It was never ruled by a King or Queen like Scotland was. You can't go around claiming you've got some residual racial memory that makes Wales a country and that makes you a 'true Welsh' person. It's the sort of sad attempt at nationalism that has no place in a modern world.

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  • 121. At 3:19pm on 19 Aug 2008, gull wrote:

    I spent 4 lovely years living in Oz and put up with plenty of 'pommy bashing'. As someone else stated, they can give it but aren't so good at taking it...

    The trouble is Australia has dominated various sports for so long that they are sure to bounce back - probably at the London Olympics, so I suggest we just enjoy it quietly.

    We've just won another gold medal, sorry Australia!

    400m this time so we were definitely not sitting down :)

    My come back at being called a POM was this - "so what does that stand for?"

    "Errr... people of mother England, err prisoner of mother England? I dunno mate!"

    Most Australians haven't got a clue.

    Try it next time you're being 'pommy bashed'


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  • 122. At 3:23pm on 19 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    Re comment 120. How right you are. And did you also notice the other little slip of the knife? "true Welsh". Inferring you can't be "true" Welsh if you don't agree!

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  • 123. At 3:24pm on 19 Aug 2008, greatsage25 wrote:

    As an Australian that has been living in london i am appalled at previous comments on this blog by obviously disgruntled expat english residing in Australia and abroad. Mainly regarding our (Australia's) attitude towards losing and the coverage of the olympics in Australia being Australian biast. Firstly your in Australia what do you expect them to telecast when Australians are competing?? I've spent the last week and half watching the BBC coverage and the only heats and finals shown of most events were predominantly featuring GB competitors at the expense of showing many of the heats featuring the worlds elite sports people. Obviously some of these expats have been away from their home country from way too long and don't realise it works both ways. Also, as for Australian's calling the English 'Poms' is no different from the English regarding the Australian people as 'convicts'!

    From the 2 years i have resided here i have seen the World Cup football which was preceded by documentary's themed 'what went wrong' and Who to blame' for the last 30 odd years of not winning followed massive media fallouts and coach sackings. This sort of media barrage continued into the 2007 ashes serious where after the first match excuse and injuries were already starting to be blamed for one lose in a five match series. Finally after two test the media coverage virtually came to a stand still and many newspapers went from two or three pages spreads to a foot note on a final page. Then of course the fallout from the rugby world cup where both coaches and players (Wilkinson) were blamed for the defeat to South Africa not the fact that they were clearly beating at the own kicking game by a superb springbok team.
    Beside the above, Bad sportsmanship can be seen locally every sat and sun in the areas of english premier league teams before, after and during matchs where drunken louts win or lose yell, scream, fight, urinate on property and generally intimidate people of the opposition colours as well as people not supporting any colours and going about their daily business.

    As for the olympics many of the early heats of riddled with comments such as they were ' dragged through to the next round' and 'best of the losers'! We australian's are continuelly ridiculed for our apparent arogance when it comes to sports. Arrogance or confidence is usually the outcome of a competitve nation that expects the best out itself rather than expects the worse as many people have commented to me before the olympics. Now, doing so well many have jumped on the bandwagon of patriotism and decided to write their jibes and comments as many reporters have done so after previous unlikely performances.

    Yes we lose and get upset but thats because we are upset at ourselves for not giving our best for our country not being beaten. Good on Great Britain anyway, your atheletes have done excellently and will hopefully inspire the youth of the UK to strive for something that betters themselves and their nation for a positive future. England is beautiful country and it's people can be the most friendly i have ever met. The media is mainly to be blamed but it undoubtedly influences peoples' opinions somewhat but nonetheless I look forward to returning.

    On a last note we Australians will continue to take pride in our nation and will expect the best out of ourselves in all aspects of life not just sport. If people chose to see this as arrogance I'm quite happy to be arrogant, positive and happy rather than insecure, pessimistic and gloomy.....

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  • 124. At 3:40pm on 19 Aug 2008, Gloops wrote:

    77. At 12:34pm on 19 Aug 2008, Soddball wrote:
    "Talking of 'pure ignorance', mynydderyi - were you aware of the reason that Wales isn't on the banner? It isn't a country. It never was a country. That's why it isn't on the coat of arms either.
    Wales is a nice place, but calling it a country would be as correct as calling Norfolk a country."

    I'm going to have to take issue with that my ignorant friend. Wales most definitely IS and was a country. The reason it isn't represented on the Union flag is because it was annexed by Edward I and was then incorporated with England in 1536 Act of Union.

    And 3 golds for a population of 3 million ain't bad.

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  • 125. At 3:40pm on 19 Aug 2008, DoctorBelly wrote:

    I am completely perplexed by all this British/Australian rivalry. I think it mainly stems from English/Australian rivalry via the sport of cricket (which us Scots are rubbish at, although there are more fans up here than you might think).

    Looking at the medals table I am amazed at Great Britain's performance, especially when this is balanced against the populations of the countries above us. My delight has been tempered somewhat when looking at the Australian total (especially when they overtook us) and realising that Australia has a population about one third of Britain's.

    Whoever comes out on top of this pointless sideshow to the main event, I think both countries can be very proud of punching above their weight in sporting terms.

    As an aside, the positive "can-do" attitude of the British media in these Olympics has been in stark contrast to previous Games and the British people's enthusiasm for sports not normally televised (such as cycling and rowing) can only lead to more participation in these and other media-starved sports. If we keep the momentum going (and with the obvious morale boost that a home crowd brings) London 2012 should blow the present British medal tally in Beijing out of the water.

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  • 126. At 3:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, lpankhurst wrote:

    Nick, the word 'medal' is a noun not a verb.

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  • 127. At 3:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, Hockley Heat wrote:

    Soddball:
    Your ignorance is quite astounding. 'Wales was NEVER a country. Ever. It was never united. It was never ruled by a King or Queen like Scotland was.'
    Argenita, Chile, and Peru were never 'countries' by your definition.
    Anyway, apart from the fact that you spent time in Lampeter what has all this to do with 'Anglo' deifining Britishness? If you have Welsh heritage, don't deny it.

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  • 128. At 3:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, Alan wrote:

    One thing is for sure, the Aussie government will see this as a wake up call and will undoubtedly trigger a renewed investment in Australia's sporting facilities and approach to getting kids involved.

    I doubt that there is the political will here in the UK to see such spending as an investment (the Government is too busy selling off school sports grounds for development).

    2012 should be interesting from a GB vs Australia perspective.

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  • 129. At 3:53pm on 19 Aug 2008, bioRich1 wrote:

    Australians are insecure and unhappy people who suffer from a massive inferiority complex towards the British, due to their history as a former British prison colony. In addition to this, they lack any culture other than a sporting one which is therefore the only way they can judge national success. When Britain beats Australia at sport they suffer a kind of existential crisis which results in constant whinging, moaning and general unpleasantness. It's not their fault though - the best way to look at is like a kind of younger brother who will someday grow up and become comfortable in his own skin.

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  • 130. At 3:56pm on 19 Aug 2008, raabot wrote:

    #31 SussexVictorian
    AC/DC were all pretty much from Scotland, and moved to Aussie land :D! Brian Johnson is a geordie, the lead singer for their biggest selling album.

    None the less, all this makes me laugh. I love seeing the people that are best at their sport play, whoever they may be. The name calling and biased reports are simply stupid. I love Britain and what its done for the world, and I see no reason why we should squabble over sports!

    Be a sportsman about it! And may the best man win, whoever and wherever they are from!

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  • 131. At 4:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, uk_fan wrote:

    what's wrong with enjoying the success of the British Olympic team?
    this country has down played the importance of winning, instead we get the "every one is a winner" rubbish.

    that's why we get a stuffing at most sports, because we seem to be embarrassed to win.
    i am really happy that our athletes-even the ones that sit on their arses-are putting us firmly on the map,no matter which one of the home nations they hail from.

    as for the Aussies- see you next year for the Ashes-we're waiting for you.






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  • 132. At 4:20pm on 19 Aug 2008, Ian_the_chopper wrote:

    I assume the medal totals detailed above were made up before English athletes won a gold and silver in the athletics.

    I assume if Scotland is allowed a referendum over independence that us English can be allowed a referendum over declaring independence from the rest of the UK?

    I shall call it the Sutton Coldfield question after Jeremy Paxman's famous comment re the Conservatives being able to put up a monkey and still win Sutton Coldfield.

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  • 133. At 4:24pm on 19 Aug 2008, kwsignal wrote:

    If the Aussies look down on us Brits, why is it that their companies consistantly advertise here in the UK for engineers and other skilled persons? I work in the rail industry and UK signal engineers are very much wanted down under. Are they too concerned about sport to have any time to do any work?

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  • 134. At 4:42pm on 19 Aug 2008, dontomas wrote:


    Ozzies who visit Britain are popular wherever they go, by and large.
    Of more concern is the fact that the BBC employs a journalist who is unable to distinguish between Britain and England.
    Often the Scots, Irish and Welsh have stronger links with Australia than with England. The English and their obsession with the Ashes is totally meaningless to many Brits. One would surmise that it would be a fundamental qualification for BBC employees to understand what Britain is.
    Perhaps the Celtic areas of Britain should strengthen their links with Australia as the one thing we have in common with the Ozzies is that we too are often on the receiving end of the nationalistic arrogance of the English.

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  • 135. At 4:43pm on 19 Aug 2008, dwells3 wrote:

    Aled Hughes, please stop embarassing yourself with such weak arguments!!

    with comments such as 'to true welsh people, its a country' and the baffling 'we know better' (how?) to the ludicrous presumption that saying Wales doesnt exist as a country is like saying Argentina isn't a country is ridiculous! Get over your inferiority complex! There are ways to be proud about your heritage (note I say heritage and not country) without resorting to putting down others!

    Anyway, that was totally off topic, In my view, I love the Anglo-Australian rivalry as it stems from our two cultures sharing the same humour. On my brief visit to Australia I found the rivalry was actually quite charming and made me realise there was a bond between us.

    I'm just glad both countries are near the top of the table and long for the day we can actually rival the Americans and Chinese who repeatedly cruise through the Olympics!

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  • 136. At 4:46pm on 19 Aug 2008, dualFraser wrote:

    As an Australian I am absolutely disgusted with the fact that Britain has the audacity to even equal our total never mind pass us on the Medal Tally. As for letting Britain win gold medals in the swimming I mean the shame of it, how could we let this happen.

    Im outraged by the poor performances of some of our teams particularly the Australian Mens Swimming team who flopped when it most counted. The cycling performance has been nothing short of dismal.

    We need an immediate inquiry as to why this happened and how it can be turned around. A repeat performance of this debacle in London must not be allowed to happen at any cost.

    I could not bear to see happy Brits celebrating at home while we languish...stop the rot, declare all out sporting war.

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  • 137. At 5:04pm on 19 Aug 2008, hurrahfornorwich wrote:

    '84. At 12:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, citiboy wrote:

    And I'm not going to repeat the joke I've just heard about why Jesus wasn't born in Australia. '




    A. Because they couldnt find any wise men

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  • 138. At 5:09pm on 19 Aug 2008, David Jones wrote:

    I love comment 136.

    If you replace Australian with British and Britain with any country you like you would get every comment every posted after England/UK has failed to do well at a sporting event.

    I nearly wet myself with the line "We need an immediate inquiry". It sounds so British.

    BTW the whole topic should be renamed "The Olympics, bringing countries together" - lol.

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  • 139. At 5:15pm on 19 Aug 2008, orlatse wrote:

    Political correctness - to which Australia is a keen subscriber - is suspended when it comes to racial slurs on the Brits. John Coates, the Aussie chef de mission in Beijing felt perfectly comfortable referring to Brits as
    ".. having few swimming pools and even less soap.."
    Had he made similar comments on Italians, Greeks, Turks, Slavs or any other racial component of his country, he would have lost his job. Why is it that Aussies believe it's ok to racially vilify the English while maintaining it is illegal to slag other races?

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  • 140. At 5:19pm on 19 Aug 2008, David Jones wrote:

    BTW.

    I think it is great we entered a UK team. We should do this in all sports. We have the same money (Pound Sterling), the same passports, We even drive on the same side of the road.

    Can you imagine if Scotland and England supporters could put their feelings to one side and we had a UK football team? It would be amazing.


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  • 141. At 5:27pm on 19 Aug 2008, RetiredRay wrote:

    What a laugh! I am really enjoying this "friendly" rivalry but then I'm only a poor old "Pom".

    And guess what; when we hold the Olympics in 2012 I have heard there will be some new competitions where we really do excell "conkers", 100 yards "pancake tossing", 100 yrds beer barrel rolling. That should stack the odds in our favour a bit.

    Come on you lot... loosen up a bit

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  • 142. At 5:39pm on 19 Aug 2008, geomians wrote:

    18. At 06:06am on 19 Aug 2008, hiboutoo wrote:I don't know about medals, but many of Nick's blogs get barely a dozen comments, and several zero ! I guess he needs to stir a bit to get his own medal count up.

    Last time I looked, Australia had a total of (33) medals, much the same as the UK (27), Germany (23) and France (28). Is Nick really making a fuss over the UK currently having 12 golds to Australia's 11 ? As for Australian newspapers, they do much the same as UK newspapers - stir for 'news'. After all, they are mostly owned by the same Murdoch people.

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

    And a mere 12 hours later it's 16 golds GB - 11 golds (still) Aussie whingers.

    I was reading a blog on the Sydney paper in question and the Aussie whingers were going out of their way to mention 4 v 1 nations, 23 million v 60 million population, more medals won in all categories (difference of 2 now... 33-35), winning per capita, etc, etc, yawn... I wondered if they always bleated like that or if this is the start of a new milestone in bad sportsmanship?

    At the end of the day there are more Aussie competitors at the Olympics then there are British, so on that (per) capita ratio we'd be whipping their beaten butts a little more!

    Sorry I love rivalry and added impetus for the pride of beating another nation. The Scots do it with the English, the Aussies do it with us, it adds to the excitement and the bragging rights, whoever comes out on top. Someone said on here that at least we understand our limitations on this humble island (plus NI) and at least we can shrug our shoulders and put a brave face on yet another sporting defeat. Safe to say the Aussies may have to learn the hard way, whilst we mock them, not for losing but for their outrageously poor sportsmanship.

    As Corporal Jones would have said, "They don't like it up 'em you know" ...

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  • 143. At 5:41pm on 19 Aug 2008, MicCalder wrote:

    Can I just point out Nick, painful as this is for me since many of the British gold came from here, that britain ISN'T England; and the "Anglo-Australian" (sic) disagreement doesn't stretch to this side of the border. We don't care about cricket (though we managed a score this week which against any other opponent of England's would have been called a draw - God bless the Jock weather!) so please don't forget that the more important bits of Britain are in the less densely populated bits North of Carlisle and West of Bristol and Liverpool...

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  • 144. At 5:47pm on 19 Aug 2008, PinkPorky wrote:

    What depressing reading.

    It's amazing - and sad - that despite being so "good" at sports, some Australians are so disgustingly poor at sportmanship.

    I thought the Poms were meant to be the whingers?

    It is, after all, 2008. Maybe it's time to get rid of the inferiority complex that seems to manifest itself in a lust for sporting excellence (and inability to handle any lack of it)

    Here's the news - we don't take sport that seriously! So while you're left depressed for weeks months or even years, we'll not care one way or the other the very next day.

    And doesn't that just drive you mad! A country with NOTHING else to offer but sport and you can no longer pull that off!

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  • 145. At 6:25pm on 19 Aug 2008, steltz wrote:

    Like most Australians I hate losing at any sport but am absolutely loving this resurgence by team GB. Its has given this Olympics an extra spark and London 2012 will provide the fireworks.

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  • 146. At 7:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, Wascallywabbit wrote:

    This is a very funny blog. I assume most of the chest-beating cra..., I mean comments from either side are wind-ups?

    C'mon, I'm an Ozzie but the most moving moment for me of the whole games so far was a Tunisian winning against Grant Hackett.

    Go the one medal nations!

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  • 147. At 7:51pm on 19 Aug 2008, RetiredRay wrote:

    @ 145; Steltz:

    Fireworks at the 2012 Olympics ! You must be joking mate. We can't afford fireworks .... they will quite definately be austerity Olympics .... a bit like during the war. And if our government has its way it will be Tin Medals not Gold.

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  • 148. At 7:55pm on 19 Aug 2008, eyeswiredopen wrote:

    How was Christine Ohuruogu allowed to compete, as some commentators have mentioned that she deliberately missed some drug tests by misleading the testers about her intended whereabouts. Those two Greek Medal winners were barred for simalar offences
    Eyeswiredopen New Zealand

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  • 149. At 8:18pm on 19 Aug 2008, thomaslundqvist wrote:

    The Australian media is so bitter and twisted about Britain it makes you wonder if they feed the Australian public more propaganda than the Pyongyang Daily in North Korea!

    Every time the Poms win, every time a Royal is in town, every time a Brit says something about the "Lucky Country" it will get twisted and turned.

    I've seen one report debating if GB is a even a country, along with should the medal table be done according to overall medals won.

    France is a big rival, maybe even more so than Australia, yet read Le Monde and the coverage of Team GB's endevours is met with more praise than propaganda.

    Ironic considering you would presume France to have more sour grapes than Australia.




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  • 150. At 8:45pm on 19 Aug 2008, DCHeretic wrote:

    I'm surprised by the venom in the UK/Australia rivalry. It makes the former USA/USSR rivalry tame in comparison.

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  • 151. At 8:58pm on 19 Aug 2008, BryantObsessed wrote:

    At sport, we are better than the British. At everything. Fullstop.

    The Brits know it. And we know it.

    The odd blip like Ashes 2005 just keeps the rivalry alive.

    Let their four nations stand together and beat our little one in Beijing. Far dues to the Scots, Welsh, English and Irish, good effort.

    But London 2012 is ours.

    Bring It.


    PS: we've won 8 nobel prizes and more for medicine that the Brits. Oi. Oi. Oi.

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  • 152. At 9:48pm on 19 Aug 2008, Brendo_in_Britain wrote:

    I'm getting tired of all this childish behaviour...now why don't we all go to the pub, have a few pints (now there's a wholesome mutual interest!) and talk about sabotaging the American 2012 campaign?

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  • 153. At 9:51pm on 19 Aug 2008, Soothseeker wrote:

    The comments here throw an astonishing spotlight on the bitter, resentful, xenophobic and racist mindset which modern Australians think of as 'sportsmanship'.

    Having read through all the posts, it's clear that this ghastly worldview, far from being a minority affliction, is held by a clear majority of Australians contributing to this thread.

    How did such a great country, and one that has produced so many great sportsman and sportswomen, come to embrace this truly horrible outlook?

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  • 154. At 10:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, Daz@Oz wrote:

    I'm an Aussie living in Melbourne. Great job UK... To be honest I wish the Olympic coverage in every country wasn't so 'country centric'. I'm sure if I was in the USA now all I would be hearing about is their event and their wins. It's a little tiring.

    It's actually nice to get coverage of other sports and events on SBS here.

    Daz

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  • 155. At 10:56pm on 19 Aug 2008, loosefire wrote:

    136. dualfraser:

    ....I could not bear to see happy Brits celebrating at home while we languish...stop the rot, declare all out sporting war.

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

    As the Aussies are usually so strong in the pool could this be the start of an Australian 'War of the l'eau'?


    Could it?? Could it??


    ok, I'll get my coat

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  • 156. At 11:12pm on 19 Aug 2008, bromley72 wrote:

    Further to earlier cultural arguments (although maybe we won't need them anymore, now we are so dominant in sport!) I am reminded of a wonderful photo and caption on the Beeb website during the Germany World Cup. There was a picture of Les Murray - the SBS sports anchorman, "soccer guru" and subject of a song by TISM (another of those world-beating Aussie rock bands) entitled "What Nationality Is Les Murray?" (the answer, by the way, is Hungarian) - being mobbed by Aussie football fans at the game against Brazil. The caption read "The poet Les Murray is mobbed by Australian football fans." I've never laughed so much in my life! The reporter was clearly thinking of the other famous Les Murray, the poet from the NSW bush (who, incidentally, is not that bad, but who can be easily dealt with in any cultural argument with the words Wordsworth, Keats or Shelley). Never has a nation been so misrepresented by a typo! I love the incongruous idea of Aussie sports fans mobbing a poet. If that was the case, then they really might be able to shake off some of those pot of yoghurt having more culture than your average Australian jibes...

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  • 157. At 00:39am on 20 Aug 2008, yoboverthetop wrote:

    I'm an Aussie. But, what I love about the Barmy Army is their blind enthusiasm for their team and country. A lot of my mates are the same way about football. It's brilliant. And, as long as no-one loses as eye, what's the harm?

    Understand that Aussies tend to be just as fanatical with pretty much any sport Australia participates in. So, if you see a long face or two right now over Beijing Gold, rest-assured it'll disappear right before they have the next opportunity to support anything Aussie.

    One interesting note though...it does appear that, as of this moment, Australia holds more overall medals than GB. Furthermore, if you look at the frequency of olympic champions in Australia versus GB, based on the current medal tally, an Aussie is much more likely to be a chamion than a Brit!!! Based on 35 medals for Oz and 33 for GB and populations of 60,587,300 and 21,394,309, respectively, the likelihood that the citizen living next door to you is 1 in 611, 266 for Australia and 1 in 1, 835, 979. The random Aussie living next door is 3 times more likely to be a winner than the random Brit! An olympic-bloody-medal-winner!! You beauty!!

    Aussie Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi.

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  • 158. At 01:02am on 20 Aug 2008, Jeunes wrote:

    Honestly how can you brits even gloat about this result????

    You have to merge four countries into one to compete against us. What happened to nationalistic pride? Why do England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compete as separate countries in other sports ie football, cricket, rugby union and the commonwealth games?

    The latest joke going around Australia is
    Question: how do you ensure a Brit wins a gold?
    Answer: Hire an aussie coach.

    Our population is almost 10% of your population but yet we compete with the ig boys. Have a look at the top 10 countries in the gold medal tally and compare the populations?

    Go the aussies!!!! But well done to you too, the Brits.

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  • 159. At 01:35am on 20 Aug 2008, totallyaussie wrote:

    Calm down everyone. As an Aussie living in Vancouver and trying to cope with the deluge of 'uncultured imperialism' from south of the border, I have come to adore the Brits, oh.... and love the Kiwis, and respect the South Africans.

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  • 160. At 01:39am on 20 Aug 2008, JohnB wrote:

    As a 4th generation Anglo-Celtic Australian I get sick of this furious competition and national slanging match between chip-on-their-shoulder Australians and one eyed Brits.
    Personally I would prefer Australia to come out on top of the Olympic medal count, beat England in Cricket and Rugby but do so in a sporting and good natured way.
    However,when Australian cricket and rugby teams get too cocky, then I am quite happy for them to learn a little lesson in humility.
    If our Australian Olympic team is unable to beat the bigger performers, then we should be quite happy for our British, New Zealand and Canadian cousins to do well, with our best wishes and support.
    The difference is, while I'd prefer Britain to be beaten by Australia, she should be humiliated by no one.

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  • 161. At 02:45am on 20 Aug 2008, alphabobjohn wrote:

    Anyone who lived here during the RWC 2003 (and 2007) and the Ashes 2005, will know that the Australians still look on these victories more as an abberation than a sign that the auld enemy had picked it's game up. Good to see the British Olympians ramming it home.

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  • 162. At 03:05am on 20 Aug 2008, smegforbrains wrote:

    I can buy into this - - I can do maffs me :-

    Australia 20 million => 10 million men - 3 gold medals.

    GB 60 million => 30 million men - 11 gold medals.

    Aus men 1 in 3.3 chance of a gold.
    GB men 1 in 3 chance of a gold.

    As for the women no need to do the sums - Aus women more likely to win a gold by a long shot ....... the Aussie men though cant even get up on a per capita basis !


    As for the Cardiff boyo who can keep his messages posted - - off back to Neanderthal Park for another season outside the Prem ?

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  • 163. At 03:18am on 20 Aug 2008, dualFraser wrote:

    Well that's it, the British now have 16 gold medals and we have just 11. There is now no possible way we can catch them.

    With just our Men's Hockey Team and Women's Basketball team as realistic chances in the next few days, it's well over. Britain still have chances in athletics, to add more salt to the painful wound.

    And it appears Britain will now officially become the world's 3rd most powerful sporting nation behind giants China and the US.

    As a fifth generation Australian with a recently arrived English wife, I can honestly say the last week or so has been unbearable. I have had to endure the most humiliating and unsuitable gloating from my wife in my very own living room.

    It's just not right, I mean it just does not suit British people to be winners in sport. I even had to teach my wife how to cheer properly!

    I mean honestly the situation is beyond the pale.

    Under no circumstances must this happen in London 2012.

    But I must say as an Australian of mixed British stock, I do always like the Olympics for the fact that Britain competes as a unified nation under the one flag. There is greater strength in unity chaps..Oh and just on that, interesting to see how powerful Commonwealth sport has been, Britain, Australia, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand all doing well, Jolly good show.



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  • 164. At 03:29am on 20 Aug 2008, alphabobjohn wrote:

    Australians have no excuse for blaming their smaller population for underachieving in the Olympics - maybe they should increase the baby bonus, or start picking up the immigration intake - they've probably got a huge pool of Olympic track talent locked up in one of their detention centres... failing that, maybe they should start investing seriously in Aboriginal sport, instead of shelling out cash to their elite sporting institutes. How many black Australians competed in Beijing again?

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  • 165. At 03:43am on 20 Aug 2008, jtdhstky wrote:

    The cultural cringe is alive and well…

    There is a sibling rivalry between Australia and the UK.

    The main thing that Australians have over the Brits are the weather and sport. These lie at the cornerstone of the Australian (male?) ego. Brits speak nicer, are more sophisticated, have more cultural depth and more history - at least, that’s the Australian perception as per the cultural cringe (The reality is, of course, often very different!)

    So when the Poms are demonstrably superior at sports, one of Australia’s cultural bastions, it evidently hurts! Otherwise, it wouldn’t be in the newspaper headlines…

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  • 166. At 03:45am on 20 Aug 2008, Teshster wrote:

    Australia's population is vastly smaller than Britain's. The fact that Australia even rivals and often beats Britain in medal count is a testament to the great dedication of Australians to sport.

    A more equal rival in population might be Canada which gets far fewer medals in the summer Olympics- two golds so far. Go Canada!

    You're doing brilliantly, Australia. You clearly love and value sport. Even if you cling to this rather amusing rivalry, you're not losers unless your ratio drops below Britain's which it obviously hasn't. Taking into account *all* medals (are gold and silver any different in this world of 1 one hundreth of a second making the difference?), you actually have, in total, more medals. Doesn't sound like you have much to mope about at all.

    Cheer up.

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  • 167. At 03:54am on 20 Aug 2008, Teshster wrote:

    In fact, it seems highly likely that by ratio Australia is by far the top nation in the world for sport. Rounding the answer very roughly, and going from 2007 populations as per Google:

    China has one medal to every 17 million people.

    The US has one medal to every 4 million people.

    Britain has one medal to every 2 million.

    Canada has one medal to every 3 million.

    Russia has one medal to every 3 million.

    Australia has one medal to every 580000.

    Feeling better yet?

    (It would be interesting to do an entire breakdown of the world, see who comes out on top. I would guess that Australia is near if not at the very top.)

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  • 168. At 04:41am on 20 Aug 2008, paulcrossleyII wrote:

    We appear to have competed as GB at every single modern Olympics, so why start complaining now that it's not Scotland, Wales, N Ireland and England?

    Maybe we'll get to see Queensland v Wales in the hockey or Tasmania - England in the woodchop. I know who'd win that one!

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  • 169. At 04:42am on 20 Aug 2008, SussexVictorian wrote:

    After my early comments I just wanted to say two final things:

    1. AC/DC: a few posts have pointed out their Scottish roots. My son was born in Sussex and I expect he will always cherish the link (especially the passport). Will those of southern England claim him as one of their own when he lines up on the wing for Oz in the rugby world cup? Ok, I am putting a little too much pressure on him. But the point is that although AC/DC produce their albums in London, I think you would get a pretty short reply from them to the question of their nationality.

    2. Regardless of our rivalry, I have enjoyed watching G.B. do well at these Games as they will clearly do again in London. Many Aussies that spend significant time in England will generally enjoy seeing British success - cricket and rugby excepted (let's not go there). It is fair to say that those who don't enjoy seeing British success at any sport are the slightly bitter and twisted Aussies that a few comments above consider mainstream. I mean c'mon, who is going to go for the US or China over either of our proud nations? As a friend of mine from Brighton mentioned to me yesterday; it is great to see football knocked off the back pages for a change.

    I truly believe that Paula Radcliffe is the single most impressive sportsperson from either country in recent years. Amazing athlete and competitor and I was disappointed that she was unable to prepare properly this time round. I would rank Cathy Freeman next. You should have seen her run at Stawell about 10 years ago (professional foot running on grass in country Victoria), the handicap that she overcame reminded me of Eric Liddell's infamous 400m run in Scotland. A true champion.

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  • 170. At 06:00am on 20 Aug 2008, jon106 wrote:

    Am I alone in thinking that everything that was great about the Olympics is being lost in this tide of nationalism and medal counts?

    Whatever happened to celebrating individuals' outstanding achievements?

    (And by the way I'm British and living in Australia for a while, so this is not motivated by any kind of sour grapes.)

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  • 171. At 08:44am on 20 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    Let's not here any more rubbish from anyonee about per capita medal counts: after 2 minutes intensive research I can announce that this puts Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Bahrain on top of the sporting World. Well done to them!

    Take it like a man, Oz!

    2012 will be all the more keenly anticipated for these results. Who knows, we might even delay the sale of a few kids' sports grounds to celebrate!

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  • 172. At 10:07am on 20 Aug 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    158 Jeunes

    "Our population is almost 10% of yours yet we compete with the ig (sic) boys"

    I'm really sorry to do this but UK c. 60 million, Australia c.21 million????

    Has basic maths been set aside as well in the magnificent obsession with sport?

    Why don't we all just agree to have a pint and enjoy the show?

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  • 173. At 10:18am on 20 Aug 2008, woolloomoolooinoz wrote:

    Poster number "50"
    you DON'T thrash your favourite countries time after time as you tried to point out. A bit of an exaggeration there, I think.
    I am an aussie and appear to be in a minority where it comes to admiring the British for your stupendous medal tally so far. Those wonderful cycling results and I was thrilled when Rebeccah Adlington not only won the 800 metres freestyle but broke the longest standing swimming record left. I really do not see the point of dissing each other like this. Great britain has been down the medal tally for a lot of olympics and I am very pleased to see you come up and yes, over us. It will boost the interest for 2012 and it will make us Aussies and our government realise that if much the same result as what the Aussies have acheived in Beijing or better will need one hell of a lot more injection of money.

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  • 174. At 10:37am on 20 Aug 2008, tapemonkey___ wrote:

    1. Great Britain is the Countries Scotland, England and the territory of Wales. (Wales is not a country, whatever they think). No Irish represent Great Britain. The Northern Irish are represented in The United Kingdom (as in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).
    2. Population of Great Britain is approximately 58 million. Population of Australia is approximately 19 million. Population of England is 50 million. The vast majority of taxes and national lottery funds are created by the English. So as an Englishman I'm feeling very happy with the return there thank you very much.
    3. It doesn't really matter where the coaches come from, it's how the coaching is applied by the athletes. England (sorry GB) is doing better than the Aussies and the Germans and the French and that's just fantastic. We love our sport over here, depsite what some of you aussies believe, we love winning and considering our long and illustrious (as well as embaressing) history we have quite a few rivalries to keep us busy.
    4. As someone who's been to Australia, has Australian family connections, been in relationships with aussies and lives in london; i can quite honestly say that the ones who travel and are interested in the world are some of the nicest people you can meet, despite being a bit blinkered when it comes to sport. most of the ones who stay in their country are absurdly and dangerously insular, this however is true of 100% of the rest of the world, especially all us brits.

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  • 175. At 10:38am on 20 Aug 2008, london_2009 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 176. At 10:42am on 20 Aug 2008, wiremu5 wrote:

    Golly; as a New Zealander in the UK on and off, long term, may I say congratulations to the England team. I think the UK needed this success badly and deserves it thoroughly.

    As we all try to survive this moribund "summer", a crunch of credit, and the huge number of politicians stabbing each other in squalid and deprived city streets, the whole sporty thing must bring some relief, at least to those that care.

    But the attitude of Australians comes as a depressing reminder of small minded, parochial attitudes...how boring.
    The Australian sense of social inferiority and some imagined historical grievance imbue games with disproportionate weight and importance.

    So well done England, fantastic!

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  • 177. At 11:04am on 20 Aug 2008, Trojan67 wrote:

    Getting a bit fed up with Aussies bitching constantly about the English and given they are a country of immigrants with a very small percentage of native Australians it means a fair few of them originate from THESE shores in the first place!!
    If it wasn't for thier swimming team in the past they would be nowhere on the medal tables and the current table in my opinion is a true reflection of where the two countries stand across a number of sports.
    Australia are just bad losers but I can understand thier frustration given that inside every one of them is an Englishman trying to break out!!! ;)

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  • 178. At 11:13am on 20 Aug 2008, NewmanNoggs wrote:

    Am a Brit living in Germany, and the Germans too are a bit piqued at being currently behind the Brits in the medal table. Actually, they cannot quite fathom it out as they've always been way ahead of us at this stage in previous Olympics. Their rowing people face a ferocious inquest no doubt, and their swimming association was saved from a total catastrophe by just one girl! They'll sort it out, don't you worry, so watch out for Germany in the London Olympics; they will be on fire!

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  • 179. At 11:16am on 20 Aug 2008, nationalgolf wrote:

    Having watched the ‘Pommie’ video regarding the medal tally, it should be made clear that the medals are not all ‘English’ and that Britain’s greatest ever Olympian is in fact a Scotsman, Chris Hoy, who collected the 3 gold medals that pushed GB ahead of OZ!

    Bob McIntyre

    Ex Glasgow, Australia

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  • 180. At 11:22am on 20 Aug 2008, James wrote:

    I love the comment that all GB medals are won sitting down....so lets have a look at the Aussie godls so far shall we:

    Rowing: Men's Double Sculls: sitting down
    Rowing: Men's Pair: sitting down
    Sailing: 470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy: sitting down
    Swimming: Women's 100m Breaststroke
    Swimming: Women's 100m Butterfly
    Swimming: Women's 200m Individual Medley
    Swimming: Women's 400m Individual Medley
    Swimming: Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay
    Swimming: Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Rel
    Triathlon: Women: has an element of sitting down in it

    As Becky Adlingston cancels out 2 of the Aussie swimming golds and the womens 400M cancels out the triathalon it seems that they're griping about 4 gold medals difference.

    Bad losers...don't you just love them?Reminds me of the time England beat Australia in a certain Rugby final a few years back and the Aussie PM hated giving the cup to Jonno.

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  • 181. At 11:23am on 20 Aug 2008, James wrote:

    Bob...thats why the team is called Great Britain not England...didn't you notice that?

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  • 182. At 11:28am on 20 Aug 2008, McBilty wrote:

    Notice that tiny Union Jack on the corner of the Australian flag.

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  • 183. At 11:32am on 20 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    I have to admit that perhaps 50% (is it more?) of the joy of winning is how much it gets up the noses of rivals like the Germans, Ozzies, etc. It's even sweeter bearing in mind some of the pre-games sneers like the French cyclists' remarks. Is it perhaps worth considering that these very snubs may motivate the individual athletes that much more? If so, then lets encourage the colonists (USA included) and European "partners" (as politicians call them when they really mean "rivals") to keep on whining, insulting, excuse-making and number-massaging - it will help us to stay where we now are but have always belonged.

    Why are the journos all saying we can't beat the 1908 tally of 56 golds? Surely we can add a few British-assured events by 2012 : I'm thinking of cheese-chasing, caber-tossing, tea-drinking: anyone else got good ideas?

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  • 184. At 11:32am on 20 Aug 2008, donprestoni wrote:

    @79. Scotland do have their own "international" cricket team. Its usually found propping up the county championship :)

    All in the name of friendly banter of course ;)

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  • 185. At 11:33am on 20 Aug 2008, tway47 wrote:

    Remind me. Who is it that calls us 'Whinging Poms'? Maybe it should now be Whining Sheilas@

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  • 186. At 11:37am on 20 Aug 2008, mohammertime wrote:

    Bob McIntyre - Greatest ever? I think you're forgetting about a certain Sir Redgrave but that's not the issue here.

    The whole 'Britain is 4.5 countries' argument is clearly the most pathetic attempt fathomable of trying to defecate on the success of Team GB. Though for those petty enough not to see it for what it is, I'll indulge you

    Remove the 3 golds by Hoy (I'm being nice to you and including his team event) and the Welsh Nicole Cooke and Team GB is still beating Australia.
    (Note that those are the only Non-English medalists I can think of off the top of my head but I don't think I've missed any).

    That said - the flowering of these sour grapes reflects negatively only on you who exhibit it and doesn't come close to detracting from the success we've seen over the past four days. So you're actually losing? Get over it!

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  • 187. At 11:38am on 20 Aug 2008, TheMightyRover wrote:

    While it is great to see the British Olympic team do so well, beating the Australians in the meddle table makes a nice change... For many English people the great saddness, the festering sore is the continued failure of the football team in international competition. The Olympics is a nice distraction but the World Cup is what is most important and sadly it still looks as far away as ever.

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  • 188. At 11:43am on 20 Aug 2008, Mangoed6 wrote:

    Of course Australians can make the whole per capita argument. However another poster made the very good point that for much of GB they don't have the same access to sporting facilities.

    Australia - big country, small population, loads of sporting facilities
    England - tiny country, huge population, smaller number of sporting facilities.

    Surely it sort of evens out in the wash?

    And enough with the sterotypes. Not all Australians are arrogant sore losers. Not all English are whiny. Sheesh. But then that would make a pretty boring story...

    Come on people like I said before if you can't find it in yourselves to congratulate the victor take a look at the athletes. They manage to do it, why can't we?

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  • 189. At 11:43am on 20 Aug 2008, David_Wyn_Davies wrote:

    I'm not entirely sure what the Aussies are whingeing about (makes a change from 'whingeing Poms'). The countries competing the olympics are all those with autonomous governments. Although we have devolution, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are not autonomous nations. If they want to complain about Team GB being made up of four countries, what about the Russian Federation? How many countries is that made of? Russia itself is only a small part of it and there's no Team Chechnya, for instance ;)

    Regardless of whether we beat the Aussies, we still need to recognise that we're beating them by a few golds despite having a population of more than twice that of Australia. We have constantly punched under our weight whereas the Aussies have regularly punched above theirs.

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  • 190. At 11:44am on 20 Aug 2008, Ormondo_99 wrote:

    This is to "national golf".

    Britain’s greatest Olympian was Steve Redgrave with 5 Gold medals over 5 Olympics and 1 Bronze. English to Boot!

    However Hoy is great and I hope he smashes Redgrave’s total in the future.

    As for the Aussies, well Woodward said attitude won the Rugby world Cup in Australia against Australia in 2003. Woodward is now part of the Olympic team.

    They really must hate the guy! the fact his role has only just started and he's in the management team for 2012 can only be a good thing.

    BUT! the Olympics aren’t over yet and I do believe the aussies will take more gold’s on the track. Somewhere Britain needs to improve.

    I love aussie banter, so easy to wind them up!!

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  • 191. At 11:54am on 20 Aug 2008, geomians wrote:

    I'm trying to remember the last time the Aussies were whinging about the GB Rugby League team? Hmmm let me think, they usually beat the RL lads, so no sour grapes needed there! Although I'm sure a reversal would bring their 'sportsmanship' back out of the cupboard.

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  • 192. At 11:54am on 20 Aug 2008, nationalgolf wrote:

    Dear 'jimmyflem' (181). Read the final words of comment number 176 from "wiremu5'

    QED!


    Bob McIntye
    Ex Glasgow, Australia

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  • 193. At 12:01pm on 20 Aug 2008, super pig sufc wrote:

    i don't give a monkeys what the aussies are up to.. its a bit like the supposed rivalry between leeds and man utd.. leeds think its a big deal but they aren't even on man utds radar

    yeah that churchill.. right plonker.. hold on .. didn't have something to do with saving the free world or something?

    the aussies are always prattling on about gallipoli.. they should do some research on british losses at suvla bay and cape helles..
    we were there as well you know.

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  • 194. At 12:01pm on 20 Aug 2008, BigChiefSittingDown wrote:

    I used to support countries like Australia (as they are a Commenwealth country) if us Brits had no contenders left, especially if it was just the US or France against an Ozzie.

    However, in the last few years, I have realised that the Ozzies do nothing but whinge at other people's success, and think they have the God-given right to be number one in every sport there is.

    To accuse the GB team of only winning at sports where the competitors 'sit down' or 'go backwards' is just pure hypocrisy - because every single 'sit down' sport they are whinging about (and losing admirably!) are ones that they also compete in.

    If they really think that these sports are for wussies, then why did they bother sending their own 'athletes' [sic] into those events, e.g. cycling, rowing, sailing.

    It seems that once they start losing, they then start blubbing like kids who lose on sports day and then cry sour grapes... total hypocrites.

    As to the comments about some GB team members being born in other countries so shouldn't be in the team, that just makes their argument fall further into the abyss of lunacy. Coming from a country that adopts poeple from all over the place (if it's in their national sproting interest to do so), I take those Ozzie comments with a lorry-load of salt.

    I think it's even funnier that the Ozzies are the ones who persistently call us 'whinging Poms' yet, in reality, they are actually the biggest whingers there are.

    The GB team has put in 12 years of hard planning and training to put Atlanta to rest, whilst Australia has just sat back and assumed it would be given a top five place by mere reputation.

    And by the way, you can't sit down if you expect to win a medal at 400m, gymnastics, swimming, wind surfing, boxing, high jump, etc.... just to really put the nail in their argument.

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  • 195. At 12:01pm on 20 Aug 2008, Steve_HMFC_CF wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 196. At 12:02pm on 20 Aug 2008, clearWonder wrote:

    Now that NZ has won it's 3rd gold medal that would put it above Australia on a per-capita basis (about 5:1 population ratio). If there is one thing that comes close to their dislike of being beaten by the Poms it's being beaten by the Kiwis!


    TH - part-Pom part-Kiwi

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  • 197. At 12:07pm on 20 Aug 2008, HungryMeerkat wrote:

    What is wrong with everybody, I'm a Brit or should I say English living in England.
    It's great when we win a medal, it's great when any country wins a medal just to see the pride on there faces.
    Just enjoy whats left of the games, enjoy the sportsmanship, enjoy the quality of what has come out of these games.
    Competition is healthy but let it be amongst those that have dedicated there lives to being and competing at these events not those that sit on there backsides with a beer in there hand watching and moaning when they don't perform.

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  • 198. At 12:12pm on 20 Aug 2008, andy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 199. At 12:17pm on 20 Aug 2008, nationalgolf wrote:

    I really should make it clear that I am an ex SNP activist, thrown out of politics in 1980 in a Labour landslide, hence the Australian address.
    Anyway, this dialogue is easier than fishing in a trout farm!

    Bob McIntyre

    Ex Glasgow, Australia

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  • 200. At 12:17pm on 20 Aug 2008, proudtobehere wrote:

    I think that the British are great - the rest of the world doesn't realise that the Brits just want to take part and don't really expect to win, but are delighted when they do. This laid-back attitude is wonderful (I wasn't born in the UK, but it is something I do appreciate). Good competitive spirit between the UK and Australia is important - but shouldn't be taken too seriously. Perhaps the Aussies should not feel too self-important, and take a leaf out of the Brits' book. On another tack, has anyone seen the disgraceful way in which the US media is reporting the medal tables. All the news services have listed the tables in order of the TOTAL NUMBER of medals won, rather than the correct way, which assigns points to gold, silver and bronze. This way, they can pretend that they are top of the tables! Shame on you America. Please can all responsible media services revert to the correct way of tabling the medal results, so that the American people can realise that other countries are good at sport too!!! Fancy thinking that, for example, 10 bronze medals are better than 9 golds... which is what the American league would have you think....

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  • 201. At 12:21pm on 20 Aug 2008, cantalach wrote:

    @masneetu - You are confusing Great Britain with the United Kingdom. GB is an island comprising of England, Scotland and Wales. The UK is a nation state comprising of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Team GB therefore represents just the three mainland countries of the UK.

    The island of Ireland comprises of Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and Ireland (an independent republic). The International Olympic Committee see the entire island of Ireland as one country, with a single accredited 'national' committee, represented by Team Ireland at the games.

    Please note that I'm not making a political point here, and I do have a lot of sympathy for unionists who feel that there should be a Team UK rather than a Team GB.

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  • 202. At 12:26pm on 20 Aug 2008, cdee24 wrote:

    to Londonrugbyboy

    I think you need to re-check your figures

    Welsh medals:

    Nicole Cooke - Gold in Road race
    Tom James - Gold in coxless four rowing
    Thomas Geraint - Gold in Team pursuit cycling

    Tom Lucy - Silver in eight man rowing

    If you're going to get petty about which medals are from which British region at least get it right.

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  • 203. At 12:27pm on 20 Aug 2008, quickmelvinudall wrote:

    As a proud British sports fan, i think its fair to say that there are plenty of examples of true Aussie sporting greats being extremely gracious in defeat (eg - Ricky Ponting - 2005 Ashes defeat, Grant Hackett - Beijing 2008 etc). I think its easy for us Brits to pore scorn on the Australian media for their coverage of these games and the obviously ungracious attitude of some sections of Australian society. I think we should also remember how our own press can occasionally wield up a jingoistic fury (anyone remember the headline from The Daily Mirror 'Achtung! Surrender' when England played Germany in the semi-finals of Euro 96?).

    Also, is it not fair to say that not least in the sporting arena, both Great Britain (all 4.5 bits of us!) and Australia have enormously benefitted from continuous cultural diversification which does make the old adage of 'unfairly' making use of 'foreigners' to improve the nations sporting chances something of an anathema.

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  • 204. At 12:34pm on 20 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    Purlease can we stop with the per capita medal counts? On that basis India is a complete sporting desert and Bahrain rules the world.

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  • 205. At 12:35pm on 20 Aug 2008, bondigeoff wrote:

    As an Englishment living in Oz for the past 7 years i have learnt to be a very good loser, as most English people have. What I LOVE about the current olympics medal table is the average Australian really doesn't handle losing well. The athletes have been gracious in their losses, particularly Grant Hackett, but with jingoistic, amatuer reporting such as Channel 7's high school coverage and idiots such as Koch spouting his anti british rubbish every morning, I';m not surprised the Australians just do not know how to handle it. Take a leaf from the Barmy Army - if your team is losing sing louder and be funnier.......not leave the stadium before the game is over. I suppose its a bit much to ask the Aussies to employ humour to get over losses when they just aren't funny

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  • 206. At 12:44pm on 20 Aug 2008, oioioi2 wrote:

    comments like we aussies are all englishman waiting to burst out and the fact that we have to suffer the indignity of not having our own head of state and flag ...is all due to 200 years of race based immigration policies overseen by anglophille politicians and bureaucrats who have deliberately flooded the country with poms and south seas poms (kiwis), in fact to put all this anglo-ness into perspective there are more english immigrants in australia than the significantly closer and larger countries/economies of the Canada and US combined. The bulk of our immigrants should not only be skilled but from countries relevant to our future, only then will we end the indignity of being one of the very few former european colonies who wears it's colonialism on its sleeve's...grow up australia, everyone else thinks its a joke.

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  • 207. At 12:59pm on 20 Aug 2008, mercia02476 wrote:

    Dear Australia,
    Your banter investment in the UK has produce a whopping return even in this economic climate! Keep it coming.......
    ......sore, oh you sound so very sore......!

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  • 208. At 1:07pm on 20 Aug 2008, ElvisBish wrote:


    The bottom line is that sport is the one area that Australia can compete in on the world stage. Take that away and it's just another country a long way away from Europe and North America. That's why they care so much about winning, it puts them up there in the same bracket with the major countries.

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  • 209. At 1:08pm on 20 Aug 2008, Teshster wrote:

    "Purlease can we stop with the per capita medal counts? On that basis India is a complete sporting desert and Bahrain rules the world."

    Looking at some of the other numbers, you're right; there does need to be some kind of multiplier that balances smaller countries with larger ones, the amount of potential Olympians available with children and adults to old to compete in most events, etc. Even so- yes, India is doing poorly for its size (you can get rid of the multiplier by comparing it with China) and Australia exceptionally well.

    I'm not exactly sure why this kind of analysis is so unwelcome. You have a smaller population, you have a smaller pool of potential athletes. If you're producing more athletes of exceptional skill from a smaller pool, your interest in sport and your training facilities are obviously better.

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  • 210. At 1:11pm on 20 Aug 2008, Trojan67 wrote:

    To cdee24..

    On that basis you mean that Wales have:

    Nicole Cooke - Gold in Road race = 1 Gold
    Tom James - Gold in coxless four rowing = A quarter of a Gold
    Thomas Geraint - Gold in Team pursuit cycling =A quarter of a Gold
    Tom Lucy - Silver in eight man rowing = An eighth of a Gold.

    The table only shows the 1 gold for the winner of any event and not for the number of winners involved in each event!!

    That's if you want to be really petty about it, but well done to them anyway!!! ;)

    You have to laugh at some of the comments on here as it has lifted my day but may I suggest that Australia only send a team of Aborigine's to the 2012 games and see how well they do then, as they are being so petty about all of this.....yet again!! ;)

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  • 211. At 1:11pm on 20 Aug 2008, U12753066 wrote:

    The fact that there are so many postings on this subject suggests to me that the rivalry is a little bit more serious than just banter.

    I recall my own experiences of Australians I have met.

    I have known from my profession numerous Aussies, most of whom are very likeable people and why shouldn't they be.

    A few, however, have, over the years, taken great delight in rubbing my face in how good is their prowess at sport and how my country is a bunch of feeble losers. Sometimes that's been true but good winners are magnanimous in victory.

    This kind of rubbishing was never delivered in the good humoured way some writers have related their experiences. It was always in those cases done with spite.

    Therefore, to those Aussies who do have a chip on their shoulder I point to the success of Team GB and am presently enjoying every minute of lording it over Australia. To those who do not have a grudge against us, the Games haven't finished and anyway, knowing the steely grit of your country you will undoubtedly come good again and see you all in 2012.

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  • 212. At 1:16pm on 20 Aug 2008, ElvisBish wrote:


    re. 201, strictly speaking the United Kingdom is the union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland (Acts of Union 1707). Wales is a Principality not a kingdom and Northern Ireland is a province.

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  • 213. At 1:18pm on 20 Aug 2008, nationalgolf wrote:

    Dear oioioi2,

    This forum is about sport, not about politics.
    You seem to have forgotten, that Australia and New Zealand are the last bastions of Western democracy in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Let us all rejoice in the success of our athletes and those of the mother country.
    We are a product of the British Empire and should be proud to admit it.
    We are not part of Asia, nor can we pretend to be!


    Bob McIntyre

    Ex Glasgow, Australia

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  • 214. At 1:21pm on 20 Aug 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    206 oioioi2

    Sorry...just can't let that one go. How do you square all this "anglo-ness" caused by English immigrants with the comments earlier about most Australians being of Celtic descent?

    If you're worried about the diversity of the Australian population and its relevance to countries that will shape Australia's future...well...have you considered emigrating;-)

    Just lie down in a darkened room until the feelings go away...or alternatively just enjoy the sport. One of our "dead-cert" medal prospects has just come in 7th in the BMX contest (what kind of sport is that?). If only I had some toys to throw out my XXXL pram!

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  • 215. At 1:37pm on 20 Aug 2008, bernardsmithson wrote:

    Please! We're all members of the British Commonwealth. Can someone please just end all this by adding a table showing the Commonwealth countries medals all added together...including Australia, then we'll all be heading the table - everybody's happy!

    I don't like all Australians any more than I like all Britons, but I proudly accept that we DO have something in common. Our nations are friends, so let's enjoy the banter and remember that when the chips are down we will, as always, stand together.

    Have I ever been to Australia? Yep, four times and it's a GREAT country with GREAT people, all of whom made me feel nothing but welcome. Consider yourself hugged Australia!

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  • 216. At 1:54pm on 20 Aug 2008, twoapenny wrote:

    "What concerns me here is that we are talking about Great Britain - NOT England. Correct me if I'm wrong but does that not constitute 4 countries?" - Masneetu

    Currently the countries of England, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland constitute a single sovereign nation and as such it's arguably more reasonable for us to have one team than 4 as we do in other sports. The alternative is chaos as where in history would you draw the boundaries? Do you propose that the Basques field a separate team rather than being in the Spanish team? Or maybe Aquitaine should have a separate team from France? The more you go into it the more meaningless it becomes. I would personally argue that the idea of a single sportsman representing a country is pretty meaningless anyway, since their nation contributes nothing to the incredible personal commitment they put into reaching the tops of their respective sports.

    As to the Australian v British medal count, I hadn't really noticed that we were ahead, but I suppose that we should be flattered that it's so important to you to beat us.

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  • 217. At 1:59pm on 20 Aug 2008, Paul Harper wrote:

    The Aussies are bad winners and bad losers. Manners are apparently too much to expect of the UK's flotsam.

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  • 218. At 2:04pm on 20 Aug 2008, fuzzotron wrote:

    Blimey!

    What a load of hot air and namby pamby tit for tat!

    Enter a competition in which you might not do as well as other teams?

    Shock horror probe.

    Lighten up people and careful with the racism!!!

    x
    fuzzy



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  • 219. At 2:08pm on 20 Aug 2008, Wheelerkid wrote:

    I have just watched the footage on the BBC website of different Aussie's in Britain commenting on the Olympics. Well is there not one Aussie out there who can just take their hat off and say 'well done' its all complaints and moaning. I know we have a rivalry with the Aussies when it comes to sport but I have many friends from down under and whenever they beat us we can usually admit that they won because they were the better team, simply because its all to often the truth. In general the Aussies in recent years have been better at sport than us, Rugby, Cricket, Tennis etc.. But they have really let them selves down by just being absolute awful losers - this is sport on the world stage surely they should try being more 'sporting' to the competeition. There were comments on this footage of the Aussies being 'better at everything we have taught them', well I say this - we obviously havent taught them any manners. Lets face it there is nothing worse than being a bad sport, everyone knows that, well its just not cricket is it?

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  • 220. At 2:09pm on 20 Aug 2008, Stevieswede (Göteborgs mest kända Bluebird) wrote:

    Sorry to revert away from the topic but Soddball (#77), please get your facts right before spouting off about something you know so very little about. Please read my paste from Wiki:-

    Wales (Welsh: Cymru) is a country which is part of the United Kingdom, bordering England to its east, and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It is also an elective region of the European Union. Wales has a population estimated at three million and is a bilingual country, with English spoken by the majority of the people, and Welsh by approximately 20%.

    Traditionally one of the six Celtic nations, a distinct Welsh national identity emerged in the early fifth century, after the Roman withdrawal from Britain.[2] The 13th-century defeat of Llewelyn by Edward I completed the Anglo-Norman conquest of Wales and brought about centuries of English occupation. Wales was subsequently annexed to England with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, creating the legal entity known today as England and Wales, However, Wales was deannexed from England in 1955, which led to Cardiff becoming the national capital of Wales, in the same year. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century eventually leading to devolution and the creation of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, which holds responsibility for a range of devolved matters.

    PS. I happen to be a proud Welshman and also a proud Brit. After all, the whole of Britain once spoke Welsh and was known as Brittannia even before our English neighbours arrived on these shores. Big up to our FOUR countries.

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  • 221. At 2:22pm on 20 Aug 2008, nationalgolf wrote:

    I can understand the bitterness of the English when the Australian Olympic Representative, John Coates, said to the world's press that England was short of Olympic size swimming pools as well as soap! (An old Aussie joke)

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  • 222. At 2:23pm on 20 Aug 2008, bernardsmithson wrote:

    ...bet my Dad's bigger than yours...

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  • 223. At 2:25pm on 20 Aug 2008, princeAndyD wrote:

    I can't believe how bitter and nasty the Aussie's are getting. I am so glad we are stuffing them!!

    I'd rather be a Brit any day than a sore loser of an Aussie!

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  • 224. At 2:26pm on 20 Aug 2008, marv wrote:

    Ah well, reality had to bite for the Aussies sometime. Aussie sport has become pretty complacent, hence the dappy bet by Kate Ellis. The brits know we have been rubbish at sport in the past and there really is nothing the aussie whingers can say that we didnt already know. What beggars belief is the miserly and bitter whinging from Aussies who have beaten us for years and then just once we beat them and instead of just saying "congrats well done" as we usually do, the Aussies start crying and throwing the toys out of the pram. A sad and disappointing attitude. Get some perspective and suck it up aussies!

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  • 225. At 2:29pm on 20 Aug 2008, Grant Fuller wrote:

    Frankly I'm impressed that Australians can do as well as they do, carrying that huge chip on their shoulders.

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  • 226. At 2:30pm on 20 Aug 2008, Dougall wrote:

    Point of info for 201. cantalach

    Not quite. The Olympic Council of Ireland and the "Ireland" Olympic team officially represents the Republic of Ireland although competitors from Northern Ireland may compete for the Irish Olympic team if they wish.

    Symmetrically the British Olympic Committee and the "Great Britain" Olympic team officially represents the whole of the UK but permits Northern Irish competitors to compete for Ireland, again subject to their personal preference.

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  • 227. At 2:34pm on 20 Aug 2008, nationalgolf wrote:

    Oh Yeah,

    The fish are still rising to the bait!

    Mac Aussie Bob.

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  • 228. At 2:36pm on 20 Aug 2008, helmutSchiner wrote:

    yawn, how predictable.

    Having just watched the video clip involving numerous aussies making yet more excuses for their countries failure, i'd like to point out that if we've won the majority of our medals sitting down, then using that same logic, they've won over 54% of their medals lying down, 25% sitting down and one standing completely still. No wonder this once great sporting nation is going to the dogs...

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  • 229. At 2:41pm on 20 Aug 2008, Elly wrote:

    I've seen Olympic TV coverage in the States and US and they are from the same mould. You would think no other countries were taking part, there is rarely any acknowledgement of the achievements of other countries. The only mention of Brits on Australian coverage is some backhanded embittered comment. Most of the comments from Australians are seething, whether they dress it up as friendly rivalry or disinterest in the games themselves. "Oh you won? Oh right, I wasn't watching, I was out weeding the garden." The Brits don’t give Aussie wins/defeats anywhere near the same amount of thought. Brits should feel lucky to have a much more balanced coverage; you get a real flavour of a global event with the TV coverage in the UK.

    Brits accept their defeats more graciously and most are genuinely pleased they gave it a shot, even if they did get their backside handed to them on a plate and they’re also gracious in victory. Because sport is so intrinsic to the Aussie’s identity, in a way it’s not in the UK, so much more is at stake for them. Losing in sport is a big a deal.

    I’m sure the Aussies will finish way above the UK in the medal table but if the Aussie’s can stop whinging for a second they may just enjoy the journey a bit more.

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  • 230. At 2:43pm on 20 Aug 2008, NewmanNoggs wrote:

    Bob McIntire: Am sure the Aussies are enjoying your company. Don't worry, you'll find something to moan about there, but keep cool and blow your bagpipes.

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  • 231. At 2:47pm on 20 Aug 2008, Blackadder wrote:

    The fact that the Australians can't take being positioned lower than Team GB, (or England or UK in any other sporting event) is actually highly amusing.

    What is even funnier is when some of the Scottish and Welsh posters (not all though, I admit) get on their high horses and start demanding independence and mentioning bad attitudes from the English. In my mind I just see a little terrier yapping away with a bad case of 'Little Dog syndrome'. The best way to deal with these little dogs is to pat them on the head and say 'Awwww Bless'. Like with the Australians, it's very much a case of a one-way rivalry.

    Being British, we can accept that this upturn in sporting prowess is likely to be short-lived so we should enjoy it whilst we can.

    Aussies, you clearly have a very good sporting nation but you really do need to grow up a little and be magnanamous in defeat when it does happen.

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  • 232. At 2:49pm on 20 Aug 2008, lordprocrastinator wrote:

    I've never understand the Aussies! I thought we were very respectful of each other!
    It's sad to see the comments made on the news by Aussies (many have some British connections, past and present).
    We in the UK have nothing but respect and admiration of Australia: I don't think I've ever heard anyone here say anything bad about them outside of a joke.
    There is a sense of pride here that we have a historical connection to you so why are you so vitriolic?
    There was a news article on the BBC showing Australians coming up with all sorts of weird and wonderful excuses why Britain was ahead in the medals table and to be honest they all sounded pathetic! Aren't we called winging Poms over there? I've never heard such sour grapes. Why don't you focus on your achievements rather than worry about everyone else. Less of the school playground excuses!

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  • 233. At 2:56pm on 20 Aug 2008, Londoneaglejon wrote:

    As far as I understand it TeamGB is made up of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - unless it's changed.

    Its interesting to see the Aus v GB, Scotland or Wales v England comments. It's entirely natural that it happens. I was watching The Footy Show last week and they were discussing whether Queensland or NSW had won the most medals so I guess it happens everywhere.

    The whole point of the Olympics is sport. The beauty of sport is that results aren't always as you expect them to be. Athletes perform or underperform and both GB and Aus have had competitors who fall on either side of that fence.

    As an Englishman I'm not really bothered about who finishes higher in the medal table between Aus and GB. I'm far more concerned over whether we finish as the best in Europe. Whatever happens GB have had a great Olympics results wise with (hopefully) a few more medals to come.
    If the Aussies are upset that they're losing out to us then they need to be looking at where their system may be failing. The problem with great athletes like Ian Thorpe is that there is a huge void when they're off the scene.

    I think we'll probably finish the games with around the same number of medals. Bearing in mind that Australia sent around 100 more competitors to the games than TeamGB I would be quite happy with that.

    And remember you Aussies out there, the Rugby League World Cup is just round the corner and the Ashes next year, so you wont have to wait too long to be able to gloat again...

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  • 234. At 3:12pm on 20 Aug 2008, The Realist wrote:

    The Australians really are the most bitter people towards Great Britian regarding anything.

    When I went to Australia I got off the plane in Sydney a gaurd asked if I had a criminal record... I thought I didn't need one anymore!

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  • 235. At 3:16pm on 20 Aug 2008, Steve wrote:

    i'm an Aussie whose lived in London for the past 20 years. I'll never pass the cricket test but the bitterness and sniping by so many small minded Aussies is sickening. Well done Great Britain, keep it up. Aussies - if you can't lose gracefully don't play.

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  • 236. At 3:19pm on 20 Aug 2008, mrrichardb wrote:

    The plain, and somewhat sad truth seems to be that the Austrailians are really, really, bad losers and they are pretty graceless winners too when you look at how many medals they have one.

    Seems a shame when you consider what a pleasant part of the world they live in. You'd think that it would make them a lot more chilled out, wouldn't you?

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  • 237. At 3:27pm on 20 Aug 2008, knowitall8 wrote:

    If it was not for us Brits, there would be no such thing as an Aussie. I suggest Australians should stop whining about their failures and do what they should have done decades ago. Join us, and become yet another country that is part of Team GB.

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  • 238. At 3:31pm on 20 Aug 2008, John McCormick wrote:

    As a Scottish Brit, I've had even more practice than the English at grinding my teeth while others walk over my sporting teams. I am interested in an aspect of this stream that has been repeated often: and it might contain a germ of another, important truth. The Brits, let's argue for now, are better, more gracious losers than the Aussies (They don't get a lot of practice, to be fair). Is it worth us considering that it might be this very unwillingness to concede that the other team is better that gives them a competitive edge? Equally, that our ability to lose gracefully is a self-fulfilling prophecy?
    It would be nice if everyone had the Corinthian spirit; but since they don't - perhaps we should face up to the reality that being "nice", like Tim Henman - don't get you no trophies; but raw determination and arrogance can get you to the podium; but not the popularity charts.

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  • 239. At 3:51pm on 20 Aug 2008, TrueCJMI wrote:

    It is awful to be a big loser isn't it. The shame Australia must feel in being destroyed by their evidently superior mother country must be gut wrenching.

    Fact 1: Australians cannot face any level of criticism of failure leveled at them.

    Fact 2: Is that the natural order has been restored in terms of the Olympics now that investment in our sportsmen and women has increased.

    Fact 3: Paul Hogan is not funny.

    Fact 4: AC/DC's best singer was Bon Scott, who despite this fact was Australian but couldn't take his drink.

    Fact 5: Koalas are not cute.

    Fact 6: The Aussie accent is awful, which raises the question how do the Yanks confused it with ours.

    Fact 7: Neighbours is not longer any good.

    Fact 8: Aussie rules is a cheap knock of Gallic Football and not as skilled.

    Fact 9 InXs or Men without Hats aren't very good.

    Fact 10. Mad Max is rubbish.



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  • 240. At 3:56pm on 20 Aug 2008, LiamCurran wrote:

    Wow! - 2012 is going to be fun!

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  • 241. At 4:10pm on 20 Aug 2008, kleida wrote:

    Great Britain's performances in the track cycling should tell you all you need to know about the Olympics' medal table: it's a measure of how seriously you take sport and how much cash you invest in it.

    You can now get back to squabbling over these important facets of national pride.

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  • 242. At 4:11pm on 20 Aug 2008, Blackadder wrote:

    Looks like we've got a Aussie blogger really riled! Haha

    http://blogs.smh.com.au/olympics/johnbirmingham/2008/08/20/thepomsareba.html?page=fullpage

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  • 243. At 4:11pm on 20 Aug 2008, danmcwilly wrote:

    Is Queen Elizabeth II still Head Of State in Australia?

    If so, then surely the Australian medals should be added to the GB total and it should be reclassified as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's British Empire.

    However, if Australians would prefer to be seperate, then may I be the first to congratulate them on their stirling tally of silver and bronze medals! (per capita)

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  • 244. At 4:16pm on 20 Aug 2008, mehmehmeh123 wrote:

    Competitiveness and the banter about sports are what make them exciting and without them a lot of interest would be lost. The Aussie comments about us winning in the 'sitting down' sports are most funny, as they have failed at the lying down in the water sports they usually excel at. As to the comment of having a GB team as being unfair, we still only have just over 60 million populating. China have 1.3 billion people. So if you are talking about the games being fair, due to the amount of athletes available for each team, shouldn't this mean China should be split up into different provinces. Anyway we are doing better in these Olympics and *cough* Rugby World Cup 2003 *cough*.

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  • 245. At 5:00pm on 20 Aug 2008, catullus13 wrote:

    I haven't been half as impressed by our performance as the BBC has, probably because we insist on looking only at the gold column (which always looks less depressing than the totals when you are a small country). Judging by our way of sorting the table, we were three times the sporting power that Russia was for almost the entire games. Proud as I am to be English, I don't suffer from that degree of denial! Medal totals are a much more accurate reflection of the depth and breadth of athletic dominance, and I wish the BBC would accept that. Having seen us pull ahead of the Aussies on the total count as well as the gold tally, however, I am very impressed indeed. It's remarkable what we have done primarily with lottery money when one compares the far stronger state support for athletics in Australia and China.

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  • 246. At 5:01pm on 20 Aug 2008, braveHoward wrote:

    I must say, it is about time we started to watch out here a bit. The poms in the last five years have won the rugby world cup (beating us in the final), beat us again the following world cup, won the ashes and then lost the ashes. Credit where it is due my fellow aussies, they are better then us at sport at the moment....we need to seriously re-think our sports methodolgy and put ourselves back as world leaders. Well done GB.....we needed teaching a lesson, AGAIN !

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  • 247. At 5:06pm on 20 Aug 2008, RankinDread wrote:

    I cannot believe that the convicts, I'm sorry after all i've read and heard recently I cannot bring myself to be polite about them. Still have the audacity to call us whinging poms. So what the British have won more medals, question what gives Australians the right to think they should when more medals than the Uk or anyone else for that matter? Who do they think they are?
    This hatred of the British and more specifically the English is begining to grow a bit thin. Ironically most of us couldn't care less about Australia, and with the expansion of the EU we have a new pool of bar staff to choose from. So really the colonials have become surplus to requirement. This constant and petulant pom bashing only serves to demonstrate that even in the 21st century they are stil suffering from an inferiority complex. As Fred Trueman once said "the Australians are very balanced people they have chips on both shoulders"
    I have to admit i'm surprised there haven't been more references to the English treachery at Gallipoli! The treachery that resulted in more British then ANZAC deaths!!Whatever happened to the so called Australian spririt that they bang on about, of giving everyone a fair go? Apart from the Aborigines obviously, whose only purpose seems to be over-representation in the prison system.

    I and many others are now begining to reciprocate the mindless (and it is mindless) dislike of Australians that they have for us.
    There have been plenty of comments from Brits about how much we admire and respect Australians and we have a great historical connection. The fact is that a lot of people in Britain are growing increasingly bored with Australia, not that many of us were that interested in the place anyway and have never admired them.

    So here's a suggestion for the convicts, hold another referendum on the Queen, vote to get rid of her and withdraw from the Commonwealth. Then we won't have to tolerate or put up with your constant whining, your petty jealousy. Or give you passports or easy access to the place you purport to hate so much.

    The British public by and large will be happy with Team GB's performance regardless of whether Australia win more medals or not. They've won more than us many times, but you don't hear us crying about. I wonder what they'll do when they are no longer the best cricket team in the world? Everything goes in cycles and it will be someone elses turn soon. They're not as hot at Rugby Union anymore either, pretty soon they'll have nothing to cheer about, shame that!

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  • 248. At 5:07pm on 20 Aug 2008, homercles wrote:

    Lets face it most Australians are just permanently frustrated at being tucked out of the way in a God forsaken corner of the world where nothing of any real interest happens. Its just a far flung country God obviously used to test out his darker side judging by the amount of poisonous critters there are there - and then theres all the snakes and insects!!

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  • 249. At 5:17pm on 20 Aug 2008, BarneyRumblefield wrote:

    I love the way the Aussies get so fired up when we beat them. It makes it even better when some arrogant half wit goes on TV before hand and says that they're going to destroy us and then we beat them. As for poor cousins, how's your GDP?? Stick to cricket, you can win at that.

    :-p

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  • 250. At 5:24pm on 20 Aug 2008, taffyles wrote:

    238- Scottish Brit. I've wondered the same thing. But the Americans explode this theory. They have stunning belief in themselves and yet they have been, without exception, gracious in defeat.

    Even the media are trying to be more unbiased. Christine Ohgururu's win trumped the American favourite but when she said she cramped in the final 100 of the race- they ran it in slow motion and Nope could find no sign of cramp, rather, as the American commentator said, it seems more like the Ohgururu's trademark very strong last 100 and her inability to hold her off.
    Wow! I'm impressed. As a Brit living in the US for 17 years, this is big! :) Now if they had only played her medal ceremony.......

    Oh boy do you appreciate the BBC when you live abroad.

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  • 251. At 5:27pm on 20 Aug 2008, Heartbreak Hotel wrote:

    Where has the verb to medal come from?
    We have out medalled?????????
    We have gained more medals ( a noun)
    There is no such verb as to medal, pleas stop corrupting the English language

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  • 252. At 5:29pm on 20 Aug 2008, Janabelle13 wrote:

    Poor Australia - it must be hard to accept you are no longer top dog at sports. Welcome to reality!

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  • 253. At 5:30pm on 20 Aug 2008, rollon2012 wrote:

    I can't believe i am actually bothered enough by some of the comments I have read on this blog to write my own, but I feel really quite sad having stumbled onto this forum!

    I have always thought the Australians to be fun loving, warm and admirably competitive people and rightly proud of their sporting achievements. However having travelled all over the world i am sorry to say it is the only place I have experienced racism. From landing at Sydney airport and being pulled to the front of the immigration queue (being fair skinned etc obviously I wasn't going to bring anything illegal into the country) don't get me wrong it was great getting to the front of the taxi queue but even so.... When some of the locals (most of them were lovely) realised I was British they launched into a verbal attack about POMS, the Queen, sport etc etc, (I think my accent gave it away when I was telling them what a wonderful time I was having in their lovely country) I was on a mini bus at one point when the driver made a hilarious comment about the British leaving all their best sportsmen in Australia and dared to comment that perhaps in that case our rugby team had come back (it was May 2003) I swear he nearly cried, he could dish it out but no way could he take any back, in fact he reminded me of my 3 year old having a chocolate bar taken away from him. Sydney is a beautiful city but I felt so ashamed when our (Australian) host at dinner one night loudly pointed that the next table contained Asian's, and heaven help you if you mention the indigenous population. I know the majority of Australian's (and obviously the UK is not exempt from racism - although I have never experienced it so blatantly) aren't like that but from reading these boards you would sometimes think they were.

    I have to say that I don't often think about Australians, (not because i don't care about them but because unless we are talking sport they don't often figure on the world stage) so was really surprised to experience that level of hostility, I -rather stupidly- had expected them mostly to be friendly and laid back. When I visit countries that are supposedly our great rivals (e.g France and Germany) I have never felt any hostility whatsoever, I think that could be because we British sometimes have a chip on our shoulder and they don't really care!

    I think it is wonderful that Team GB are doing so well, but the Aussies have some great athletes as well and yes they have less population to choose from, but lets get this in perspective friendly sporting rivalry is great but dragging rascism into it and being poor losers (on either side) isn't.

    Also why is it only (some) Scottish people who comment about Scottish medals, when the English seem to quite happily accept 'theirs' as GB. Scotland is a beautiful country and I can't understand why some Scottish seem to hate the English, OK historically maybe but it's 2008 it's just really sad, and thankfully you don't get great sportsmen like Chris Hoy spouting the same rubbish.

    Well done Team GB and well done Aussies!

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  • 254. At 5:33pm on 20 Aug 2008, Hadrians_wall wrote:

    Australia – A country of British origin. Everything an Aussie does at the olympics is a result of British heritage!
    Quit whining Aussie!

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  • 255. At 5:49pm on 20 Aug 2008, Disgustedmaldon wrote:

    I can see that a lot of hot air is coming from Australia, its no surprise then that us Brit,s are attempting a land speed record in Australia powered by wind only, it must be because 20 million Australians are all going exhaling streuth at the same time.

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  • 256. At 6:01pm on 20 Aug 2008, UKSKYLARK wrote:

    viewfrombay13 - no 235 - A round of applause for you! Well said.
    The problem is Great Britain are good losers, it seems to me alot of Austrialians arn't. We have had to put up with jibes for many years from the Aussie press and some big headed Aussie sportsmen and women - not nice when the boots on the other foot is it! Stop crying or your country will be as wet as ours!! Yes our magnificent team from the countries that make up Great Britain have made us proud and put the Great back into Great Britain and we should rightly celebrate their hard work and sacrifies they have made to represent our countries. Just deal with it and move on, no need to get so nasty - ie spare a thought for all those people killed in a plane crash in Madrid this afternoon, or the soldiers putting their lives at risk every day - perhaps that should put it into perspective.

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  • 257. At 6:15pm on 20 Aug 2008, aussiehater wrote:

    this is no surprise,that aussie's are crying.
    I lived Australia for 3 yrs and they just love themselves, they even hate the new zealander's.
    How can an aussie say some of our sports men and women are not british, when they are made up of asians,europeans etc.The only true aussie ever to win was Cathy Freeman?
    They say britain is made up of 3 countries and that's not fair ,well all the states in Australia have different rules for themselves, some states hate each other just the same as the english,scots,and welsh.
    The difference is we can take it on the chin, aussie's are like little children and have just thrown there rattle out the pram again.
    Long may this continue ah ah !

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  • 258. At 6:25pm on 20 Aug 2008, knowitall8 wrote:

    I'm Australian, and these comments are unfair of you silly little Brits (yes, little, your average height is 1.2" shorter than ours, probably due to all those greasy breakfasts weighing you down). And maybe you could stop attacking people in France and Germany? What about the racist John Cleese in Faulty Towers doing a Nazi march? That's beauty and honour? And how silly for you to say Australians would not exist if Britain had not populated us. Go a bit further back in time, and see where Brits came from! Get on your bikes and go back where you came from - India wasn't it? No wonder Brits like curry. So, to repeat, please get on your bikes and go back to India - but make them racing bikes so we get rid of your whinging quicker!

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  • 259. At 6:33pm on 20 Aug 2008, metalmisty wrote:

    There has always been oneupmanship from the Aussies. Basically they have a giant chip on their shoulders. They will not admit that the majority of them are expats whether recent or in the past. The only real Australians are the Aborigines and they have survived the climate for thousands of years without one complaint.
    In the past we never put enough money into any sport and that is why our performances were so dismal in the past, now with lottery money more has been invested and we are benefiting in China.

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  • 260. At 6:46pm on 20 Aug 2008, taffyles wrote:

    A country hasn't matured until it can laugh at itself- Grow up Australia.

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  • 261. At 7:00pm on 20 Aug 2008, aussiehater wrote:

    an aussie will not stop moaning even if they are wrong.
    i suggest all you aussie's go back to your poisinous country and poisinous attitude.
    no one will miss you, half the world still doesn't know where australia is, and don't care.
    You always found that thows who have less to crow about, always make the most noise?

    go home aussie we really don't care!

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  • 262. At 7:06pm on 20 Aug 2008, rollon2012 wrote:

    Re 258

    Another intelligent, well thought out and articulate Aussie comment! No wonder we're all laughing at you.

    Feeling a bit sore by any chance?

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  • 263. At 7:15pm on 20 Aug 2008, Harviej wrote:

    I love the subtext of racial perspective mixed with cultural hierarchy that most of these comments evince.

    When someone mentioned the "horrible" lack of gold medals in Montreal I thought you Aussies don't know pain. Canada was the first and remains the only country to fail to win a single gold at its own Olympics.

    Well I remember the talk in the lunch trailer at work. As a lowly apprentice I was forbidden to comment. As the only native born Canadian I was compelled to defend my nations efforts against Germans, Austrians, Scots and Irish, along with the odd Italian and Greek. The Jamaican was the only one to keep quiet. Turns out he was illegal.

    Most frustrating was the German chap who kept a count of the combined total of the then east and west versions of his "Folk".

    He didn't get his come-upance until he picked on the British team which was withering on the vine until the eqestrian events.

    "Ja" he said, "und the english (he emphasized english for the benefit of the Scot and the Irishman) zey cannot win a medal - IT WAS ZA HORSE!!.

    That was enough for the Scotsman. Leaning over with his burly growl, he intoned "We British don't win at games - we just win wars"

    Ah. Olympic memories.

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  • 264. At 7:22pm on 20 Aug 2008, Elly wrote:

    @ braveHoward (Australian). It's good to see there are sporting Aussies. I always knew there was just wondered when one would have the stones to post in this thread.

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  • 265. At 7:29pm on 20 Aug 2008, southwestlondon wrote:

    What's all this "4 countries" nonsense?

    The last time I looked at my passport it said "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Maybe if we didn't split our country into separate parts for most sports we'd have a had a bit more success. Scot Chris Hoy wouldn't have won sprint gold against the French without his English team mates for instance.

    Going back to the passport thing above the UK it says "European Union". I think they should include the EU in the table as well as the constituent countries. That would remind the USA and China who the real sporting powerhouse is.

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  • 266. At 7:42pm on 20 Aug 2008, Kapsouri wrote:

    Good onya Brits or whatever country you are this week. It's you day in the sun, but don't accuse us next time about crowing - must be the anglo heritage. We're all as bad as each other.

    But one thing thats irksome is the "rulers" reference. Get over it... and you wander why most of us want to be a republic.

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  • 267. At 7:45pm on 20 Aug 2008, MJ wrote:

    It seems Australia has won the gold medal for whinging. I thought that was our job?

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  • 268. At 8:47pm on 20 Aug 2008, yuanjing wrote:

    i am chinese, just cannot understand why birts and aussies hate each other so much--according to my feeling. i am quite happy to see athletes from hongkong, taiwan and singapore to win medals, as i consider them as a member of chinese community. aren't aussies are a child of the british family? why not enjoy your brother, sister, or cousin's success?

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  • 269. At 8:51pm on 20 Aug 2008, Brendo_in_Britain wrote:

    I think there has been some very unfair generalizations on both sides here. Contrary to what some Brits on this thread believe, most Aussies are quite normal and well balanced people who don't really give a toss about sport that much - we're not the egotistical "xenophobic" and "racist" weirdos some people make us out to be. By the way, the person in a previous post who said that we were, - I feel its necessary to point out that Britain has a pretty shocking track record when it comes to intolerance in sport - as any hardcore Rangers or Celtic fan would attest. And another thing, who does this "aussiehater" bloke think he is? Who's the bloody "xenophobe" now?

    I am an Australian living in Britain and I have grown to really love this place and its people. No one I've met have drawn attention to my nationality nor have I done so. Why should we??? My English mates at work take the piss out of me and I dish it back, but its all taken in good humour - THE WAY IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE!

    I do love Australia and am looking forward to going home, but I will miss ol' Blightey - even the warm beer!

    I am quite embarrassed when Australian sporting teams show poor sportsmanship, whether we win or lose - I would rather be a good loser than a bad winner. A good example is the way Ricky Ponting's men behaved after winning a recent test match against India - completely disgusting. I think that was the first time I ever felt shame towards my beloved "baggy green". For me, it was a very sad day. I agree there are ALOT of bad sports in Australia, but they exist i the UK too...

    Please everyone, its only sport; something designed to entertain and divert us from our working lives, not something meant to divide us. Lets put this all into perspective. PS. anyone up for a pint? See post 152 :)

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  • 270. At 9:00pm on 20 Aug 2008, Brendo_in_Britain wrote:

    By the way, I forgot to say: CONGRATULATIONS TEAM GB!!!!!

    ***See you in 2012!***

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  • 271. At 9:03pm on 20 Aug 2008, hughlook wrote:

    I always wondered whether sport really did overcome national boundaries, create a spirit of brotherhood, bring people together in a shared endeavour. Well, now I know.

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  • 272. At 9:09pm on 20 Aug 2008, yuanjing wrote:

    god! a century ago i posted my coment and now i am still wating to see it displayed

    i do think british controls internet more strictly than chinese-- we dont have such moderation, although some naughtys are arrested for illegal comments

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  • 273. At 9:35pm on 20 Aug 2008, Flash1st wrote:

    I have always beleived in being magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat.

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  • 274. At 9:40pm on 20 Aug 2008, microingrid wrote:

    to the guy in the video, I think you'll find the French invented Tennis.

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  • 275. At 10:08pm on 20 Aug 2008, swearydad wrote:

    If I remember it was the mulletheads who introduced beach volleybore to the Sidney Olympics in 2000. Did they win it this time? I don't know and I don't care because it's NOT sport but we've got more gold gongs so maybe the next time the Olympics are in kangarooland the mulletheads can ask for another silly event to be introduced like who can insult the "pom" to his face and stay on his feet for the longest.

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  • 276. At 10:11pm on 20 Aug 2008, gloop87 wrote:

    Aussies are obsessed with Britain, or to be more exact, England. Everything they do, they compare with England. The Brits aren't bothered - they're not interested in what the Aussies think. The Aussies can't grow out of their inferiority complex. Just watch Australian TV news - its all Aussie sport stories. Unlike the UK, sport is just about all they've got.

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  • 277. At 10:19pm on 20 Aug 2008, Crackers-81 wrote:

    Don't worry, we might be ahead of the Australians now and enjoying all the glory, but come 2012, when Britain hosts the Olympics and it is a national embarassment compared to Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and the best of all Beijing 2008, then we won't be laughing. We'd have all died of embarassment because we will do a very poor job of it!

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  • 278. At 10:40pm on 20 Aug 2008, Jowelly wrote:

    Good on yah Poms. Enjoy it. I think it's great. After all, you have Gordon Brown........you have to have SOMETHING to make up for that!!!!!!!!

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  • 279. At 10:49pm on 20 Aug 2008, cyberparagon01 wrote:

    Oh get over it Australia, you know that you have been beaten fair and square. Just take it on the chin rather than whingeing about it. I have lived in Australia and I know that Australians can be very insecure about living in the shadow of the United Kingdom.

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  • 280. At 10:49pm on 20 Aug 2008, big_vernon wrote:

    To the tune of "the camptown races"......

    The union jacks on the aussie flag, doo dah, doo dah

    The union jacks on the aussie flag, oh de doo dah day!

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  • 281. At 10:53pm on 20 Aug 2008, cyberparagon01 wrote:

    Congratulations Team GB, looking forward to 2012. Poor losers and countries with inferiority complexes may be best staying at home so they don't get upset!

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  • 282. At 10:55pm on 20 Aug 2008, Sundazed wrote:

    Us Brits are better losers than the Aussies because we've had more practise. Now you'll be able to lose more gracefully next time!

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  • 283. At 10:56pm on 20 Aug 2008, nibbletnibbs wrote:

    wjburt (post 1), you claim to be an Australian with no 'racist hatred' of the "poms" yet refer to Great Britian as your "poor cousin 12,000 miles away"

    Strange!

    The UK may well be a very tiny dot on the Earth but it has one of the Top 5 biggest economies in the world, is arguably the 2nd biggest military power in the world, sits highly on the political world stage and has a popualtion that enjoys a higher economic capita per head than most other leading nations including Australia.

    Hardly a poor cousin!

    Why such hatred and resentment? It's quite tragic when you consider that it was not so long ago that Australia came to the aid of Great Britain in her 'darkest hour' against the evil of Nazism and Hitler.

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  • 284. At 11:05pm on 20 Aug 2008, emptythetill wrote:

    To be honest, with all the troubles we are facing in the world right now, complaining about sports is a tad pointless. I mean, the world is evolving. Who cares who can run faster or jump further? We hold these people is such high regard whilst ignoring science, maths, computing - the stuff that actually makes a difference. Crazy.

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  • 285. At 11:11pm on 20 Aug 2008, todgerbulge wrote:

    I am a Canadian living in London for 10 years , the one thing more than any i have come to realise is how petty , immature , tedious and innacurate (when it suits) the aussies are!!!

    You endlessy bleat on and on about the poms , what makes you think you are so special , after 10years i still dont get it , my only explanation is , has a young nation you have put all your eggs in 1 basket . ie sport! Thats wonderful and you have done a tremendous job but please grow up , we all lose from time to time , if you want people to take you seriously then take it on the gym,,,it never ceases to amaze me though the people on the video clip above look like real athletic experts dont they , there are no end of overweight , overmouthy aussie woman who will lecture me and the whole world on sport (and gallipoli , ive been there guys had the tour and know the real facts).

    4 countries v 1 , please , why not say USA is 20 countries and China 50!! One thing you need to realise the investment in UK sport only started 3 years ago , thats right , the "per capita" (favourite aussie word after Macquarie) has reached Aus , USA for only 3 years...hmmm....food for thought.

    Get off their backs , it makes you look so childish and daft! The saffa's and kiwis have no such problem with them.

    I see the poles are even leading the gold medal race for best barmen in London.

    Guys , seriously come on..The brit bashing is has tacky has it is dumb , there are idiots everywhere and after 10 years of living here i know for a fact people vote with their feet , think about that all of the 250,000 aussies in London...dont forget they didnt send invites out and London has 5 airports!

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  • 286. At 11:30pm on 20 Aug 2008, kinshaw wrote:

    Hey, well done to ALL the medal winners!
    Hard luck to the losers and better luck next time. The Olympics is all about personal triumph, and bringing the youth of the world together in a celebration of sporting excellence; not an excuse to have a go at the competitors' homelands. As far as I can see, the "Brits" and the "Aussies" are composed of as mixed a bunch of ethnic origins as you can find anywhere on this planet - just glance at their names. Am I missing the point somwhere?

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  • 287. At 00:11am on 21 Aug 2008, angelghost wrote:

    Sorry Australia, you are really bad losers.
    Snipeing at us Brit's really does not stand you in good sportmanship.
    Remember, all your ancesters originate from the UK and as much as you want to distance yourselves from us, you are one of us.

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  • 288. At 00:13am on 21 Aug 2008, TheHighburyHeroes wrote:

    Re. Aled, et al

    Too much disctinction is placed on the differences between 'Celtic' and 'Anglo' peoples from Wales, N. Ireland, Scotland and England, forgetting that in fact the genetics are much more intertwined.

    The genetic make-up of the UK is a combination of indigenous, Viking, Roman, Norman, Angle, Saxon, Jute, Celtic (and, more recently, Indian, Italian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, African, and Polish).. yet certain people seem to presume all the Celtic people stayed in the corners whilst the Angles occupied the middle. The possibility that there was inter-migration obviously never occured.

    Why pick at the word 'Anglo' as a derivative one, rather than recognising it as an umbrella term for English-speaking Brit?

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  • 289. At 00:37am on 21 Aug 2008, Dan wrote:

    I'm a Brit living in Australia at the moment. The coverage over he is incredible. Two of the five 'normal' channels show wall to wall Olympics. Fair play to them, they show their support and encourage their team. I wonder how much coverage the the Olympics is getting back home?

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  • 290. At 00:43am on 21 Aug 2008, angelica_1976uk wrote:

    Awww boooo hoooo,to that guy who said about Britain being four countries and Australia only being one.If you want to play it that way sunshine,look at the size of Australia compared to the UK.
    and they have the CHEEK to call us winging poms.

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  • 291. At 00:45am on 21 Aug 2008, AusCam67 wrote:

    @283

    Totally agree with your last point. Our grandfathers and great grandfathers died fighting side by side in France/ Turkey / Africa (and currently Iraq and Afghanistan) etc... I am at a loss to understand where all this is coming from. I am proud of our countries achievements whether it be sport or any other pursuit. Why does it seem we enjoy it more when we beat GB - its our history. This most probably stems back to the fact that we as the nation of Australia were started by the British. It most probably is the little brother versus the big brother syndrome.

    If the majority of comments on here reflect the wider views of the GB population, then maybe we as a nation have to seriously consider becoming a republic. Cut our ties with the monarchy and maybe the Commonwealth. Our flag has the Union Jack on it sybolising where we have come from as a nation - it means a hell of a lot to me.

    Well thats my diatribe, well done and I will see you for the Ashes next year.

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  • 292. At 00:55am on 21 Aug 2008, GREATBRITLAD wrote:

    I think some people have actually forgotten the reason why the olympics is held every 4 four years

    No not to whip the "Poms" Butts in the tables medal or visa versa, but for every nation to come together to for 16 days of true sportsmanship. Compete at the highest level and to represent with pride their country of origin.

    Is that too much to ask. Sit back, relax and watch, what is the greatest show on earth

    Way to much hatred in this world. Congratulate one onother, dont laugh at others misfortunes or lack of performance. I am very proud Welshman, but have sat at home clapping and applauding the Michael Phelps and Usain Bolts of this world. Give it a go, you may find you enjoy it

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  • 293. At 02:12am on 21 Aug 2008, gregg1010 wrote:

    Hang on a second here.

    Why is this a news story? Why is the BBC actively seeking out Australians on the street to interview, and selectively showing the results. Why do those edited results just happen to be the ones where 3 or so Australians (out of 20 million) are made to look bad terrible inferior people, apparently making comments that appear anything less than sporting?

    The vast majority of posts on this board are from British people saying Australians are sore losers. I see a lot less posts from the supposed sore losers, of either nation.

    When Australia "beat" Britain at the last four Olympics, or even in the first week of these Olympics, it just wasn't a story in Australia. Now you are ahead us, why the chippy triumpfulness?

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  • 294. At 03:14am on 21 Aug 2008, BrisbaneexPom wrote:

    SydneyKate, comment 42.

    I don't know where you got your info from regarding Nobel prizes (Ch7 I guess) but it's wrong.
    GB wins more Nobel prizes per capita - the US only wins more in total because of the overseas people it attracts to its universities.
    Last year GB shared in 2 prizes - how many have Australians won in the last 10 years? One is all I can think of.
    Intellectual achievement will always be superior to sporting achievement.
    However, forget the Atlanta games, how many did Australia win in 1976?
    But all joking aside both GB and Australia could be doing better in Olympic gold medals and Nobel prizes.


    Cheers.

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  • 295. At 03:14am on 21 Aug 2008, U3100604 wrote:

    Hey comment 31, AC/DC was surely a joint effort? Let's look at where the band members hailed from....

    Brian Johnson, b. 5/10/1947
    Dunston, Gateshead, England, UK

    Angus McKinnon Young b. 31/03/1955 Glasgow, Scotland, UK

    Malcolm Mitchell Young, b. 6/1/1953
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK

    Clifford Williams, b. 14/12 1949
    Romford, England, UK

    Phillip Hugh Norman Witschke Rudzevecuis
    b. 19/05/1954 in Melbourne, Australia

    Dave Evans, b. 20/7/1953
    Carmarthen, Wales, UK

    Mark Whitmore Evans b. 2/3/1956 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    Ronald Belford Scott, born July 9/7/1946
    Kirriemuir, Scotland, UK

    Simon Wright, b. 19/6/1963
    Manchester, England, UK

    Christopher Rees, b. 30/10/1946
    Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales, UK

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  • 296. At 03:53am on 21 Aug 2008, maireaddoyle wrote:

    SydneyKate - Aussies with more Nobel laureates than any other country per capita? I think not.

    Australia has nine (eight if you exclude the UK-born one), and a population of 20.5 million.

    Ireland has eight medals, and a population of 4.1 million.

    That took about three minutes to research...

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  • 297. At 05:45am on 21 Aug 2008, Ian wrote:

    Problem is that, quite rightly, the Australians are sick of the Brits banging on about it when they get a little bit of success. A little success really goes to the Brits' heads.
    And the way the BBC goes on about "Team GB" you'd think no one else was taking part in the games.

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  • 298. At 06:01am on 21 Aug 2008, woolloomoolooinoz wrote:

    Excuse me but can I shout????
    Again I will comment, as an aussie..Well done, Great Britain. I have noticed that not one British person has noted that there are Aussies who applaud your wins, admire the athletes who won gold silver and bronze medals for team GB, and have commented so here. Instead, these comments are overlooked in the eagerness to sling another insult about aussies. Just who are these whinging Aussies anyway!. The way the comments here are posted, one would think all 21 million of us are whining about losing.
    This isnt so.
    I have to wonder though about expats living here in OZ as they are the ones who cannot help snipe at us Aussies whenever they get a chance. I know as I have a number of them in my family and I found its just best to shut up around them, much as I love them.

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  • 299. At 06:37am on 21 Aug 2008, todgerbulge wrote:

    With ref to Greg1010 and ianamacl the problem is that aussies has well has being sore losers and unbearable when they win , and they have had a lot of success at that over last 10years....boy did they ever ram it downs peoples throat , if you met an aussie anywhere in the world no matter how fat and unatletic with no sporting knowledge at all , would go to great lengths to put everybody else down , so the reaction when they are losing , to me is very understandable.

    Has a kiwi told me several years ago , Aussies are they worlds worst losers , and they are even worse when they win!

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  • 300. At 06:49am on 21 Aug 2008, Paul Woodcock wrote:

    All power to Team GB for doing well at these Olympics, I must admit, I have been nicely surprised! Unfortunately for me, I now live in Japan, and the coverage here is ALL Japan, ALL the time! OK, not jingoistic nonsense, but unless Bolts running, then its all about the Japanese! No mention at all, ever, of other events!

    Just to comment a little on the whole Aussie/GB thing. Australia, for me, have done very well, but its gone to their collective head, and sat back a little on their laurels, and everyone else has caught up now, and in some cases, surpassed Australia. I think Australia will be doing some serious navel gazing, and looking to begin to turn the ship around in London, with an eye to 2016 to re-claim its dominance in its traditional spheres of excellence.

    Another point, on the whole Team GB v England/Scotland, etc. I think its great we all compete under 1 banner. For athletics, the funding, nor facilities are there to allow us to go it alone. Also, There is no internationally recognised England, Scotland, etc, only the UK. In Rugby, and Football its England and Scotland, basically because we got in there first! For the Olympics, its GB. I am quite happy for Chris Hoy to ride, representing me, even though I am English, and he is Scottish. We are both in the UK. Besides which, he may be Scottish, but he benefits from all the excellent facilities he can use for training, at the velodrome, in Manchester!

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  • 301. At 07:49am on 21 Aug 2008, SussexVictorian wrote:

    It's really difficult to work out which country is posting the most pathetic comments. From one of my fellow Aussies embarassingly telling the Brits to ride home to India (what the???) to the numerous Brit comments suggesting Australia is a far flung hole.

    Good to see the Aussie bogans and British chavs have all learnt how to operate a computer. For that we should all be proud!

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  • 302. At 08:04am on 21 Aug 2008, Yorkshireman wrote:

    Smelly, loudmouthed, arrogant,boring,ex convicts, love their country that much a hugh percentage of them are over here!. That's the aussies. They are racist in the extreme then they adopt an abo as a national hero. Where are they on the international stage - no where.

    Leave them where they are in their backwater and please take back Pat Cash a know of the first order and by the way what happened to Hewitt lol.

    We let you have your day now we slap you down and put you back in your place, below where you belong, you should not try to get above your station look what happens.

    Go back to sleep

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  • 303. At 08:06am on 21 Aug 2008, london_2009 wrote:

    Reading all the racist comments from the Australian clique above, I cannot help but feel sorry for them. Their bitterness, small-mindedness and antipathy have indeed been the experience I have had with many (though not all) Australians. Oh well, I guess I should not be surprised about it given how modern Australia is founded!

    Well done team GB, keep going and may you continue to thrash the snotty, bitter losers.

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  • 304. At 08:35am on 21 Aug 2008, JonnyMigrant wrote:

    As they say in Australia, "If you don't like it here, you know what to do!"

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  • 305. At 09:02am on 21 Aug 2008, Npd McNpd wrote:

    As a Scot I just don't recognise all this obsession about the Australians. It's an English thing - all their rivalry in rugby and the tedious Ashes is on events where England on their own are playing Australia. Strip out the medals with contributions from the other British countries and are England on their own still ahead of Australia?

    So English folk, quit trying to use us to piggy back and help in your own chippiness.

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  • 306. At 09:17am on 21 Aug 2008, Blackadder wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 307. At 10:42am on 21 Aug 2008, bernardsmithson wrote:

    What rubbish for anyone to keep harping back to times gone by and generalising so much about the Australian and British nations to such ridiculous degrees.

    Shame on anyone who has rashly generalised and over reacted to this whole discussion. The British are world famous for their humour, hospitality and steadfastness in the face of adversity - traits that I've also found to be strong in the Australian people. Let's not ruin it all by having a public slanging match.

    Australia is great, Britain is great.....possible why we prefix 'Britain' with 'Great'?!

    I have no doubt that Australia will one day be a Republic….just like your kids at home grow up and go out to make their own lives. I for one will be sad when that day comes, but will still feel a strong affinity to this wonderful nation and its people…..whether they do to me or not.

    My challenge to you all is to say something nice about Australia and its people rather than punching below the belt?


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  • 308. At 10:53am on 21 Aug 2008, ADSM wrote:

    In my opinion not many comments on this blog from either Brits or Aussies show their country in a good light. Lots of sore losing from the Aussies and ungracious winning from the Brits. Where's the sportsmanship?

    Friendly sporting banter is natural, but let's remember the two nations' common values and shared history, rather than resorting to stupid slanging matches. Comments such as 'Brits should get back to India'?????? or 'Aussies are all ex-convicts' (yawn) make both countries look bad and contribute to driving two sister nations apart.

    It's still a friendly rivalry, just about- let's keep it that way

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  • 309. At 11:22am on 21 Aug 2008, tomcrackers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 310. At 11:25am on 21 Aug 2008, bramathlete wrote:

    SydneyKate
    all this talk of sport is amusing but let's get a few facts straight about Nobel prizes. Australia has a total of twelve in all disciplines. UK has 114 second only to the Americans. Our population for your information is more like 60 million approximately three times yours so factored up you have an equivalent total of 36. I think I saw that febrile fantasy world article in the SMH declaring Aus the world's number one Nobel nation but they and you have been sadly misinformed. Trinity College Cambridge has more Nobel science prizes than Aus come to think of it, it has more than France. I yield to no one in my admiration of Aussie toughness on the playing field and the battlefield but let's not get too giddy.

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  • 311. At 11:28am on 21 Aug 2008, wonderRuthNewt wrote:

    Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear...How very sad that the Aussies are living up to their consistent reputation as Bad Losers AGAIN!
    As for the comment about putting ALL our little countries together..in other words i assume we were being accused of not being true British Winners..WELL lets say it how it really is eh...You Aussies who feel that way had better once again go back and look at your history books, as unless you are ALL Aborignes (and it dosn't quite look that way to me) then you are all decendants are you NOT of this Great British Nation and beyond..so please don't start that game silly little game of who's who and where from...cause you will ALL lose hands down EVERYTIME!
    How sad that the undoubted brilliance of this particular 2008 Olympic British Team should be overshadowed by such jealous and envious uncalled for comments!

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  • 312. At 11:31am on 21 Aug 2008, tomcrackers wrote:

    Please Scots, English, Welsh I so enjoy it when we come together under one sporting banner as Team GB. As an Englishman I feel so much pride when I see Scottish athletes such as Chris Hoy waving the Union Jack after giving their all on the greatest sporting platform of them all. When Nicole Cooke won I was so happy for her and enjoyed every moment of it. We are a nation, and we should compete as a nation....I mean, let's admit it, we're pretty good at it at the moment. I love our nation so much, I don't feel the same affection for England in any way. I love the fact that we can come together with such diversity in such a tiny country. Don't leave us Scotland :(

    Although it is rather nice to know that the gold tally of the English alone is still enough to beat the aussies.

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  • 313. At 11:35am on 21 Aug 2008, london_2009 wrote:

    JonnyMigrant

    Never mind what they say in Australia. May I remind you that you are speaking English. If you are so snotty and full of yourselves, invent your own language. Putting a silly accent on won't do!

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  • 314. At 11:39am on 21 Aug 2008, bornintaz wrote:

    Seems we Brits taught you something else well too, whingeing. What a beautiful summer morning, listening to the Australian whine.
    As for our medals in sitting down events (is swimming sitting down?), all yours are from swimming and sitting down too - apart from the triathlon, bit of running there, but not as good as the 400 metres. I'd say we're even.
    We'll also give you a friendly and generous welcome in four years. Your opening ceremony in Sydney was designed by a Brit, so we'll harness the Morris dancers and put on a show.

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  • 315. At 11:40am on 21 Aug 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    272 Yuanjing

    I think that you might be confusing moderation with censorship...the sort of thing that gets "naughty people" in trouble for saying "illegal things" in China. The moderation by the BBC is remove any offensive swearing or excessively racist comments.

    Let's see if the BBC is censored shall we?

    Gordon Brown is an unpopular idiot who is unfit to lead the nation. The British political system is riven with elitist corruption! Australia is a great sporting nation. I have no confidence whatsoever in the ability of the British political class to deliver a succesful 2012 Olympics. I could go on and on.

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  • 316. At 11:48am on 21 Aug 2008, atom_seb wrote:

    I feel very sorry for all the Australian Olympians having to carry the weight of all those chips on their shoulders....

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  • 317. At 11:59am on 21 Aug 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    This has gone way beyond a joke and the blog is now filling up with the comments of really nasty vindictive people on both sides of the argument.

    This may be the downside of cyber-democracy...it's just an intellectual race to the bottom. Perhaps that could be made into an Olympic sport with GB and Aus battling for gold.

    I lived and worked in Perth for two years and found nearly all the Aussies I met to be friendly, open and very polite...with the exception of one taxi-driver, which goes to show that we are even more similar than we thought!

    Time for a change of blog subject I think!

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  • 318. At 12:07pm on 21 Aug 2008, lizpeters wrote:

    originally the Aussies wre all exported convicts, so it puts us all in the same team,stop whinging

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  • 319. At 12:36pm on 21 Aug 2008, lordtrubster wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 320. At 12:55pm on 21 Aug 2008, Davey Bones wrote:

    The Australians are bad winners as well as bad losers that's why there is so much satisfaction when we beat them. They brag about every win they get so when they lose we love it even more. There is no reason for us to have this intense rivalry with Australia, we don't have it with other commonwealth countries only them. Since sport is just about the only thing Australia has ever given to the world ( largely because of the climate and the money invested) when they fail they have nothing to fall back on, at least we have some of the greatest discoveries and inventions made to feel proud about alas for the Aussies they don't. Grow up Australia or we'll always look on you as a silly little country.

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  • 321. At 1:05pm on 21 Aug 2008, KayLincs wrote:

    Aren't people wonderful? So full of joy! Can't help but chuckle at some of the blogs but especially liked comment number 10. Ever compared the size of the UK with Australia? The UK (the last time I looked) was exactly that - the United Kingdom. Oh yes, I nearly forgot, if it's such a terrible place, how come so many Aussies live and work here?

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  • 322. At 2:20pm on 21 Aug 2008, nikkifinn wrote:

    Sad though it seems I have time to do some number crunching on this subject and it does appear that Australia would top GB at the Per Capita Medals Table:

    China has a gold medal per 29.3 mill and a total medal per 16.3 mill
    USA has 1.1 mill/0.3 mill
    GB has 3.5 mill/1.7mill
    Russia has 8.8 mill/2.7 mill
    Australia has 1.8 mill/0.5mill

    Well done Aussies! However lets pop the Champagne for the true heroes, the Jamaicans with 0.5mill/0.3 mill. Congratulations!!!

    BTW it really irks me that we are called Team GB. Our official team represents GB and Northern Ireland so why are we called Team UK?

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  • 323. At 2:43pm on 21 Aug 2008, nikkifinn wrote:

    oops, my comment should read 'Our official team represents GB and Northern Ireland so why aren't we called Team UK?'

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  • 324. At 3:07pm on 21 Aug 2008, KayLincs wrote:

    Agree with nikkifinn blog # 323. What exactly is wrong with Team UK?
    If rumours are correct about London 2012 and the attempt to erase anything that might offend (Red Arrows appearance) We will be calling our team 'Host Nation! You might scoff, but it seems to me that being British and proud (without being arrogant) is wrong with the PC brigade!

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  • 325. At 3:11pm on 21 Aug 2008, MUFC_DAVE wrote:

    How refreshing to read all the angry Aussies on here. I'm a Scotsman who is loving seeing the "BRITISH" success in this Olympic Games. Do Aussies actualy realise that they just have a major chip on there shoulders about anything BRITISH. We really don't care what they think and laugh at how excited and screwed up they get about anything involving beating the BRITS. I don't really care much about cricket but was overjoyed to see England win the Ashes in 2005. The state Ponting and Brett Lee got themselves in about being defeated was such a sight. Hilarious in fact. Aussies...Grow up and take your jealousy elsewhere. CONVICTS....LOL

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  • 326. At 3:56pm on 21 Aug 2008, theworldismad wrote:

    This sort of petty squabbling and 'name-calling' reminds me of my old school days. You remember those taunts "my dad's bigger than your dad", "my house is better than yours" etc, etc.

    I could, as I'm sure the rest of our country could, come up with many a biting comment that would no doubt cause uproar amongst the "residents" of Australia. However, I refrain and smugly sit here knowing Team GB have performed brilliantly and continue to do so.

    So you haven't achieved as many GOLD MEDALS as us. What's your point?

    The Olympics is a chance for the world to unite. Something we should all cling to in these turbulent times. I'm all for friendly rivalry and healthy competition but I am not willing to see the Olympic Games used an excuse to get dirty and personal and, let's face it - a little political.

    To the general public of Australia - I wish you well and hope your conduct is more sportsman like in the future - perhaps you could take a few tips from your athletes?

    See you in 2012

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  • 327. At 5:13pm on 21 Aug 2008, oilonwater wrote:

    Thank goodness for clear thinking moderates! As for you others, these petty prejudices are dangerous; there's a lot more going on the world for you to be worried about. There may be a time when we will need to stick together and all of these rantings will seem so insignificant.

    The Olympics are meant to bring nations together, of all persuasions. We should all be celebrating prowess at any sport, whomever wins. It is meant to be about human spirit - courage and determination.

    Anglo-
    prefix
    of or connected with Britain or England

    Folks - check your facts out before you blog!

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  • 328. At 5:29pm on 21 Aug 2008, jdempo wrote:

    I all you Aussies hate Britain so much, can we have Earls Court back, please?

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  • 329. At 5:36pm on 21 Aug 2008, Brendo_in_Britain wrote:

    I'm growing really tired of all this Aussie bashing, and for that matter, name calling. Poms, convicts whatever - its borish, stupid and arrogant. There are some really nice and encouraging comments in this thread but sadly, most are downright horrible and bigoted, borne from prejudice and indifference. Post 325, I'm referring to you and some of your other countrymen that are giving everyone else a bad name. There are some comments made by some Australians here too, if thats really what you call them, more like stupid, uneducated bogans, which are downright disgraceful...It makes me cringe and feel embarrassed to call myself Australian.

    Pathetic...you should all be ashamed of yourselves! How about putting an end to this blog, there's not much constructive being said here... and concentrate on getting along for once!

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  • 330. At 6:01pm on 21 Aug 2008, yuanjing wrote:

    this is such a hot atricle with intensive focus......i visited salt mill yesterday, a factory located in bradford and built in 1853--amazingly 155 yrs ago! it reminded me the glorious history of britain. i do hope you aussies and brits enjoy your brotherhood...... chinese has a tradition of endless quarrels during peace but uniting in war, and you actually share the same tradition with us, i think. is it a form of human nature? i do believe most people in the world, no matter where they come, share the same values--freedom ,equality, and love. Aren't these values more meaningful than your slobber? To get well along with people, it is important to think more about their merits.

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  • 331. At 6:11pm on 21 Aug 2008, yuanjing wrote:

    by the way, if this is not an online communication, but face to face, will some of you above to be so rude and impolite? i am pretty sure most of you are gentlemen or gentlewomen. british are quite famous for their kind manner, as well as their aussie cousins, i think. what drives you to lose your temper? rember you are talking to hman beings, not robots or laptops, although they might be "12000 miles" away.

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  • 332. At 7:21pm on 21 Aug 2008, stevie_dm wrote:

    My last post got sent mistakenly before I'd finished it.

    I was about to say that the Sydney Olympics were held just before the rugby league World Cup in England. I can remember Australia beating a team in a warm up game by a big margin and a television newsreader finishing off reporting it by saying "and the next lambs to the slaughter will be..." before naming the Aussie's next opponents. I couldn't believe the jingoism! That certainly would NEVER happen in Britain in a national news report!

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  • 333. At 9:31pm on 21 Aug 2008, jacquot wrote:

    One of the Aussies on the BBC short film complained that 'most of your competitors come to us from overseas'. And this was a white Australian speaking!

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  • 334. At 00:00am on 22 Aug 2008, Feelingrockie wrote:

    Euch

    Why do you all care anyway? The chances are you'll run away with the golds in 2012 anyway, and you're sure to kick everyones arses in 2014 in Glasgow.

    Australia v Scotland etc - No competition there

    Get over it and move on

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  • 335. At 01:37am on 22 Aug 2008, fingers2105 wrote:

    One medal the Aussies won't win is the one for humility. The best answer to sporting disappointment is to go out there and show that you are the best, rather than gracelessly moaning and trying to justify a supposedly God-given right to win everything all the time.

    The Olympics is the world's greatest celebration of sport, and in failing to be top of the pile, the Aussies have shown that they really don't understand the meaning of the word sporting. I mean, could things get much more childish and petty? The real loser of this particular battle is sport itself.

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  • 336. At 04:01am on 22 Aug 2008, harrisonray wrote:

    I watched the women’s diving today, it was great that the two British Girls got out the Pool after there dives and had a nice big smile for the cameras, out classed but just enjoying being there. Both Australia and Brits in the top five in a long list of countries and were bickering over bragging rights, shame on us both.
    Still got a few days to drop our lead but I’m proud we’ve done this well after the last two Olympics! Hope we have a good celebration for our athletes when they get back, they’ve done Britain proud.
    Well done to the Chinese by the way for the best opening event of any Olympics.

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  • 337. At 05:02am on 22 Aug 2008, Dave_Shepau wrote:

    I realise that sport is the domain of parochialism, but some of what I have read here irks me. If there was one gold medal to hand out to some of the posters in this thread, it would be for gross generalisation.

    So Australia have xenophobes and sore losers? Old news mate. Some of us figured that out the minute Pauline Hanson got elected, bounced out of parliament, sent to jail then brought back as a reality tv 'celebrity' (who incidentally doesn't know the meaning of the word ‘xenophobe’).

    Bigotry and sour grapes don't exactly separate us from any other country of the planet, but nor are they characteristics that define us. Not all Australians gather in loud, gaudily coloured cliques to inform the world of our magnificence. As if being born next to an ocean with a climate that suggests we should dive in, we are unique and somehow better. Some of us don't even think that because we are 4 gold medals shy of 'expectations'*, our lives will fall apart.

    Plenty of us are either happy to see athletes of all stripes do well (especially from less priveleged nations), or think sport gets too much of a run on the taxpayer’s dollar or just plain don't care. We don't travel to other countries to drink their beer, urinate on national monuments and announce to the world “it's not as good as back 'ome". We respect local customs, seek out different cultures and try to learn more about the world around us. You probably wouldn't notice us much, because we make an effort to fit in.

    And like it or not, any place where more than two people congregate for more than an hour develops a culture over time. It’s “the way we do things around here” Australian culture may be nascent, imperfect and lacking a distinctive heritage- gotta admit Europe and Asia, you have us there- but it exists, even if Aussies are the only ones who understand or care about it. This of course assumes you ignore the 50,000 year old culture that also lives here, but we can't really blame the Brits there- we frequently do and have far less excuse for it.

    I notice a few Australians in the culture wars up the page didn't think to mention another pertinent Antipodean 'gift' to the world: Rupert Murdoch. A man who built a media empire across three continents that has done more than anyone to sell out the role of the 4th estate and reduce it to the level of a cut-rate carnival barker. That the Australian rags supposedly competing with him (of which the SMH is one) choose to follow suit says a lot for the 'standards' of public discourse he helped to pioneer.

    To close with a generalisation of my own, it seems that a generation weaned on the oily jingoism of tabloid journalism has grown up... and discovered internet forums. Time to grow a little more kids.


    *an sad by-product of sporting professionalism. Once upon a time we went along, did our best and cheered those who made it. Now everyone is looking for ROI.

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  • 338. At 06:35am on 22 Aug 2008, imperialnastypasty wrote:

    The Australians, you just have to laugh at their win at all costs mentality, when they lose, you don't hear a dicky bird, it's as though the sporting event never happened.

    Over here in Brisbane, I have a healthy sporting rivalry with one of the locals. When England beat Astraya in the last Rugby World Cup, rather than come to work on the Monday to face the inevitable music he took not one, but two sick days off, something the Aussies would undoubtably win Gold in if it were an Olympic event. That and the Oscar for best supporting Sour Grapes.

    This hatred for the English/UK (most Australians think it's one and the same) is rediculous. Compounded by the Australian media and handed down, generation to generation from bitter parentage. Why? The pure brainwashing of all that is great with Australia is quite frankly sickening. From my observations it's extremely prevalent in the schooling. This attitude isn't apparent in the UK as we're already confident at a personal level and in our abilities so there's no need to keep harping on about it.

    Australia is like a rebellious teenager unsure of it's position in the world. Get out there Australians and discover it.

    Remember, Silver is the new Gold or so the News reporters keep telling me.

    Oggie, Oggie Oggie! (yes that's the correct chant).

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  • 339. At 09:51am on 22 Aug 2008, CrumlinT wrote:

    Typical English and Aussy self importance with all your bickering you have failed to acknowledge the feats of a country a quarter the size of you Australia with only a fraction of the money available then you Britain but with a huge amount in common with both of you.

    Well done New Zealand you have had a fantastic Olympic games the crowning moment for me being the bronze in the blue ribbon 1500meters. All of Ireland salutes you.

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  • 340. At 11:35am on 22 Aug 2008, rollon2012 wrote:

    Re 339

    Fair enough and well done New Zealand but the topic was about Australian reaction to 'Losing to the Brits' so probably there was no intention not to congratulate any other countries on their successes.

    Another thing is why when you are British (and especially English) are you often called arrogant when you celebrate your Teams success? But if you complain (usually justifiably) about say your football team you are called a nation of whingers and losers and if you don't show much interest at all then you are slated for that as well. Seems you can't win however you behave!

    Surely the best thing to do is celebrate your teams success, praise other teams success - there are some amazing sportsmen and women out there - and be a good loser when you are beaten but most importantly don't slag off everyone else, tell the world you are the best and that everyone else especially the British are rubbish and don't wash etc (where on earth did that one come from!) and then fall flat on your face.

    The Australians are unfortunately finding out that the behaviour of SOME (not all) of their sportsmen, general public and even their sports coaches and ministers mean that when they are not performing as well as usual then we (and not just the British) enjoy to see them fail, find their excuses hilarious and sadly realise that what we thought was friendly rivalry is not that at all in many cases but real bitter resentment of us. Because of this we forget to notice their successes which is surely not what they want.

    Lets stop rising to the bait, but then if we did that we would not have all these funny comments flying backwards and forwards!

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  • 341. At 1:27pm on 22 Aug 2008, andy567 wrote:

    Actually, constitutionally speaking, Great Britain is 3 countries (it is the UK that is 4) and if the Scotish Nationalist Party gets its way it may soon only be 2. But all that to a side, does it really matter? So what if GB or England or anybody else for that matter beats Australia or indeed if Australia beats GB or England or...? Truth is in this particular case, we were both thrashed by the USA and by China so can we not just celebrate our combined failures to win something for once rather than get involed in all this rather silly and childish rivalry and nationalism? :-)

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  • 342. At 3:18pm on 22 Aug 2008, andy339 wrote:

    What is all the fuss about Britain's different 'Nationalities', how many native Australian's are there competing?

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  • 343. At 5:15pm on 22 Aug 2008, london_2009 wrote:

    I sincerely hope the Australian media and Australians at large have witnessed the strength of feeling of most participants here. They should stop their arrogant ways and if they have so much to complain about the UK, they should all go home. Too many of them in London anyway!

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  • 344. At 6:27pm on 22 Aug 2008, zebede123 wrote:

    Firstly: If we work out the medal haul as a proportion of population, Australia beats UK, probably all.
    Secondly: Yes, I'd prefer to see the three nations of the Britain compete separately - - > they banned our flag!! - the Welsh Dragon.. >:o(
    Thirdly: Kindof hilarious that White Aussies use the term 'Pom' as a form of insult, when most of em go pink as a pomegranate just thinking about the sun, so you're only insulting yerselfs folks!
    Fourthly: It's only a games. Who cares?!?!

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  • 345. At 11:45pm on 22 Aug 2008, gregg1010 wrote:

    I've read most of the above, and comment 337 wins for me.

    Most of the rest is British people getting in a flap about nothing.

    I repeat my earlier question of why, if Australians are so unsporting, they did not crow like this when ahead of Britain in the last four olympic games, and in the first week of these games.

    Some British people are saying "we are the best" at 3rd on the table because no one can beat China and US given their populations. but equally, Aus is not in Britain's league population wise. imagine if US was so petulantly crowing about "beating" the UK in the table. Thats how foolish Britain looks right now, thanks to a minority of you.

    So if you think Australians are too annoying when it comes to sport; look in the mirror at some of your reactions here and post the 2005 Ashes.

    Underpinning all this seems to be a dislike by some (not all of course) Brits of anyone "getting above their station". Some of you really do believe you're better due to an accident of birth - a confident australian is as wrong as a chav telling a posh person to move over on the bus.

    the gaul!

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  • 346. At 00:00am on 23 Aug 2008, harrisonray wrote:

    Does any nation like us British anyway???
    And especially if your English!!!
    Is there a more disliked country???

    Your a long way from our home Australia, join the back of the queue of British intolerant nations.
    Must grieve the Aussies to have the Union Jack on their flag.
    I'm proud to be English, GB and UK, especially when were winning.
    GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

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  • 347. At 02:07am on 23 Aug 2008, gregg1010 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 348. At 02:44am on 23 Aug 2008, bushlover wrote:

    One thing that i find very odd about Aussies over here is why on earth do you walk around Shepherds Bush with out any shoes on!! (i've seen you in Sainsbury's, Uxbridge road - on the pavement and crossing it too, Morrison's, outside the empire and Walkabout). You are defo Aussies as i saw you go into the flat about the butchers with Aussie flags as curtains.

    It baffles me!

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  • 349. At 08:41am on 23 Aug 2008, Ed Blain wrote:

    Who called us 'wingeing poms', boy we could learn something about it from the Aussies

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  • 350. At 10:19pm on 23 Aug 2008, roger1987 wrote:

    It's undoubtedly true that Australia edges 'The United Kingdom' in terms of sport, especially given the size of its population. However, it can't be denied that the Aussies are acting like small children in the wake of our success in Beijing. So what if we've won more medals? I didn't see any British papers declaring 'we've beaten the Aussies'. Why do the Australians seem to give us loads of stick, when frankly, we've got bigger age-old rivalries on our doorstep in Europe (France, Germany etc). I have to tell you Australia, we're not really that bothered whether we beat you or not. We don't gauge our sucess or failures by comparing ourselves to Australias success. Also, to cap it off, a lot of you are showing complete naivity by claiming that the United Kingdom is 4 countries. England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales aren't countries. We have British citizenship, British passports, a British Army etc. The reason we maintain separate football teams/rugby/cricket teams etc is because we invented the sports so managed to enshrine our rights to separate teams.

    The whole scenario is just a little too reminiscent of John Howards face after we won the Rugby World Cup. Bitter.

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  • 351. At 00:04am on 24 Aug 2008, NomotheticFallacy wrote:

    I've got to agree with the guy who said that it's a mistake to think this rivalry is rooted in deep-rooted affection. It isn't. The Brits might feel patronising affection for the Aussies, but they certainly don't return the favour. Forget all your preconceived ideas or what you see on holiday because that is not the real picture. There is really strong and very real resentment and even hatred over there for England (not Scotland, Wales or Ireland, just England). I've known English people getting beaten up over there and even murdered in racist attacks. It's a very parochial place.

    The irony of it is that most of the young ones come here to work because it's obviously so much better than there.

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  • 352. At 00:48am on 24 Aug 2008, Twonko wrote:

    As a regular visitor to Australia, I can safely say that most Aussies don't hate the poms any more than we hate them. I am getting a little depressed by the minority of whinging Aussies who find fault in everytthing but themselves though. The poms win but they're still rubbish? Yeah right. Take it and move on losers. Your time will come. Maybe next year unless Super Fred and his mates get their fingers out. Oh sorry I forgot that Peterson isn't really English. Funny how that didn't matter with Kepler Wessels.

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  • 353. At 12:00pm on 24 Aug 2008, ruhavinalaugh wrote:

    If England is such a bad place for you Aussies why do you come over here and take all the bar jobs?
    Why is there a big Aus community in our wet little country, sitting in "Walkabout" pubs talking of the homeland?
    How many descendants of the criminal fraternity we "exported" to Aus a few centuries ago have gone on to become established sportsmen?
    A more rascist country you cannot imagine!! Up until the 70's wasn't it still legal to kill an aboriginal?? And didn't some Aussies excel at this?

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  • 354. At 7:34pm on 24 Aug 2008, Parmjack wrote:

    In the banter flying about (and also in some of the childish comments), many English and Australians are overlooking the fact that Great Britain is a different national entity and sporting concept to England. In the Olympics, what is called 'Team GB' really represents theUK (which is Great Britain and Northern Ireland). For some sports, e.g. Association Football, there is no concept of GB/the UK. 4 separate non-sovereign states compete (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales). In Rugby Union, 3 of the non-sovereign states – England, Scotland and Wales compete and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (not part of the UK) compete as one team. In cricket, England and Wales (usually referred to as 'England') compete against Australia for the Ashes. In rugby union football there is no sense of 'British identity'. Indeed, in the 6 Nations Italy, being the underdog, is most people's second favourite team and it is quite normal for a Scot, say, to want them to win against Wales. Some English people (usually not rugby fans) do get offended if a Welsh person wants France to win against England, (because “England are a British team, like Wales”) failing to understand that it is exactly the same as an English football fan wanting France, for example to win against Italy in football since the concept of “Britain” does not exist in these sports. Given the above, journalists and commentators (both Australian and English) who see the UK's slightly superior performance in the Olympics as some sort of revenge for the Ashes or a extension of the rivalry between England and Australia in Rugby Union are missing the point. Since the Uk does not compete in the Rugby World Cup or in Cricket test matches, bragging rights are 'non-transferable'.

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  • 355. At 11:58pm on 24 Aug 2008, ruhavinalaugh wrote:

    Olympic size swimming pools??
    Who needs 'em??

    Just 2 words. Rebecca Adlington

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  • 356. At 01:08am on 25 Aug 2008, jordilass wrote:

    I have lived in Australia for 26 years and class myself as an Aussie. I was wearing the Green and Gold for Australia and hoped they would do really well at the Olympics but the end of the Olympics I was hoping that GB topped Australia in the medal count due to the narrow minded, bitter and biased unsportsmanlike behaviour from the majority of Australians. How sad for these bitter people. They obviously didn't enjoy the games at all.
    When the Australian guy won the gold in the Kayaking the British competitor was the first one over to him to congratulate him. That is what sport is all about. Not all of this rubbish that John Coates and the Aussies are going on with.
    It is true what thay say: Australians are so well balanced because they have a chip on both shoulders!

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  • 357. At 05:18am on 25 Aug 2008, NETCRUSHER wrote:

    I find the rivalry so intense at times because of the distinct separate way Australia has gone in their mentality. It is in complete contrast to the English. Note I say English not British because I find the Welsh and Scottish separate in my conclusions. The main problem is and I’ve said before - England is stuck in the past with the " snob mentality and emphasise on class structure" I do not like using generic terms to paintbrush a nations mentality, but when I played cricket in the Uk against an upper-class bunch of snobbery posh $)()$( it made my blood boil. This mentality needs to be left in the past. This mentality was showcased in WW1 when the British generals thought the convicts were disposable while zipping their tea and eating cucumber sandwiches. Get over the past? The past is what makes us. It is why the present rivalry makes sense. Our cities are voted most liveable in the world over and over again, our vast land is not that vast as Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world with most of population living in Melbourne and Sydney so the argument that more land = more sport is not really valid. It is all about mentality and giving people a fair go not based on class and if their parents were landlords. Egalitarian society mixed with capitalism work ethic is why this country is going forward ahead of the UK. Australia in the Olympics has done so well considering most of the population are obsessed with sports that are not relevant to the Olympics (Rugby, Cricket and offcourse the aussie rules) I guarantee that when the day British mentality escapes from pompous $#*(#$*(3 the Aussie-English relationship will improve and not be so serious as showcased in these posts. PS When I was on the rock beach in Brighton I found it sad that a group of English guys around my age were drinking FOSTERS thinking it was Australian. SAAAAAAD when they will get it that it is not Australian and no-one drinks that piss here. It is worst then XXXX. Cascade Green is the way 2 go. CHEERS

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  • 358. At 10:38am on 25 Aug 2008, paulcrossleyII wrote:

    Ah, Netcrusher, another high quality post.

    "England is stuck in the past with the " snob mentality and emphasise on class structure" I do not like using generic terms to paintbrush a nations mentality"

    Are you sure, you seem to like it a lot?

    As you pointed out: "This mentality was showcased in WW1". this was the past. it doesen't sound like the Britain I left 9 months ago. Maybe you confused the home counties English accent with being posh, the same way many Brits might confuse the Aussie accent with certain stereotypes.

    Australia IS vast - it's a continent! Your cities are spacious (becoming less so). Surely this is something to be proud of, you have great facilities for sports, it's not an excuse but a good thing!

    Not quite sure about the giving people a "fair go" thing. I see no more evidence of that here than anywhere else, and it certainly doesen't seem to apply to overseas sports teams/competitors. Incidentally could you tell me what class I'm from so that when back in the UK I can apply for appropriate jobs? They left it off my passport/birth certificate.

    Re: your Brighton friends, maybe they were were drinking FOSTERS because it was cheap, not because it was Aussie? Don't get me started on the p1ss you guys do drink (Squires, Coopers excepted).

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  • 359. At 9:14pm on 25 Aug 2008, archleftback wrote:

    I've ben reading 'The Australian and 'Sydney Morning Herald' online and have been struck by the comments of journalists and readers regarding Australia's failure to keep pace with Britain on the medals table at Beijing.

    The point of course is,that once the British decided to take sport seriously and began to fund it appropriately,Australia was bound to be eclipsed,even though the latter continues to channel a significant percentage of its GDp into sport.

    What is truley impressive about Britain's performance is that it overtook all its west European neighbours,including Germany with its population of 80 million,as well as Japan with its population of 100millions

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  • 360. At 01:35am on 26 Aug 2008, andrewM30 wrote:

    This confuses the hell out of me. From the nation that gave the world soccer hooligans you complain about our sportsmanship when we lose?

    From a generation of Australians that grew up post-Montreal, Olympic success is considered almost a birthright. Top 5 medal tally is almost expected. Anything outside of top 10 would be considered disasterous. Our Sports institutes have delivered us to the promised land of sporting glory but now as we see other countries (read UK) copy our model, we feel threatened.

    Having said that, I don't see a lot of the things that people here are saying.

    I work in a hospital where probably 25% of the staff are from the Old country, God Bless them. The Aussies amongs us are getting a bit of cheek back, given what we've given them over the years and that they don't have much opportunity! It's all good fun, we don't kill each other or become sour losers. Most of us know how to lose reasonably gracefully - The Kiwis and the Boks amongst us make sure of that quite.

    I love the Olympics as a spectacle of human endeavour - the incredible performances of Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and even the last dive of Matthew Mitchem. Daley Thompson ranks as one of my greatest Olympic heros - great champion and great guy.

    Beating you is a bonus but not the main game

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  • 361. At 02:16am on 26 Aug 2008, AusCam67 wrote:

    @356

    The day before when Brabants (GB) won his gold medal at the Kyacking - who was the first to congratulate him ? Ken Wallace, the man who beat him to gold the next day. Its pretty easy to write a comment to suit your own arguement.

    The generalisations made by both sides on this argument are laughable.

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  • 362. At 02:47am on 26 Aug 2008, andrewM30 wrote:

    Please No 351 - In Perth its hard to separate the resident poms (ie first generation migrants) from the tourists, there is that bloody many of them! All are welcome down under I can assure you.

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  • 363. At 04:22am on 26 Aug 2008, melbourne1974 wrote:


    More British bashing below :

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/comments/0,22023,24237047-661,00.html

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  • 364. At 3:57pm on 26 Aug 2008, BryantObsessed wrote:

    is there anything funnier than the attempts to establish English heritage using german, dutch, danish and mythological terms.


    I think someone in this long thread even referred to himself as " 4th generation anglo-celtic-saxon-australian".

    Thats a lot of enemies in collusion over this poor chap!

    i think i'd be a "1st generation eire-melita-australian".

    Comrades in arms as cannon fodder for the English...


    Sport is tame compared to real conflict.

    Lest We Forget.

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  • 365. At 05:45am on 28 Aug 2008, Janzoko wrote:

    interesting from an american point of view. perhaps we are more similar to the aussies when it comes to sports. in the u.s. everyone is competitive, with jobs, with education, with everything. that's just how things are here and have always been so. i love the british though, they work very hard and i really enjoyed watching them win their medals, they are very gracious!

    it's interesting as well to see how the media draws out the olympics. it's funny because despite how competitive we are here in the u.s., once the olympics are over, and i seriously mean just a day or so after it ends, people forget about it here. it's no longer in any papers or on the news. the only remanence of the games is that the athletes appear on cereal boxes etc. it's mostly because the baseball season is winding down here during the olympic games. sadly, if you ask a large number of americans, you will find that a majority, and dare i say LARGE majority, of them care more for baseball than the olympics, that's just how it is here in america.

    the uk/aussie rivalry is quite tense.

    also, here in the u.s. we have always used the system of ranking by total medals won (hehe despite the fact the entire world does so differently). it has been this way since the first olympics. we didn't implement this during the beijing games just to come out 'number one.' in fact, if you view a medals table from a u.s. site that also shows previous game's medal's count, you will see for example, that the ussr is ahead of the u.s. in the '64 games, despite the u.s. winning more golds =P

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