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Hampden drops ball for North Korea as Scots seek bounce at Games

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John Beattie | 15:59 UK time, Thursday, 26 July 2012

I feel like Captain Kirk on day two of my blog, early afternoon on Thursday 26 July.
How many medals will Scotland win at the games? I'll get to that later.

After my last bit of writing I have suddenly realised that I am spending way too much time with this person: Rhona McLeod. We appear to get on okay despite the age difference, yes, she is 10 years older than me.

Yesterday afternoon was spent in the International Broadcast Centre which is a massive, high-tech, air-conditioned, steel shed within the Olympic park. The BBC has a part of it which is full of buzzing and whirring machines, TV screens, and people feverishly making sure that radio and TV bits work.

There are so many well-known BBC faces walking by that I start to nod to people involuntarily. I know them, but they don't know me. Huw Edwards must think I'm daft, and I nearly asked Sue Barker how her garden was going. She looks like a neighbour.

The links had all been filmed for Sport Nation tonight at 1900 BST on BBC2 Scotland, so later in the afternoon I was testing kit and talking to producers about radio output for the following day.

Then it was on the bus back to our student accommodation for a brief bit of fitness in the local park, and our walk out in the evening for some food was disrupted with the news of "A bad Korea choice".

North Korean athletes hold their national flag

The North Korean delegation at Hampden show off their national flag after the embarrassing blunder by the Olympic organisers

So it was straight to planning for a morning live radio "hit" with Chris McLaughlin on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland.

He wanted to talk about the international reaction to the Korean flag episode at Hampden and medal chances. I wake my producer up and set up in his room.

Kay Adams, who meets me for coffee sometimes, suggested in her trail for her own programme just before I came on that men can't just be "friends" with women. Oh yes we can.

Because of the change in news emphasis now the flag fiasco had changed things, we had to alter a link for the TV programme so went back out into the Olympic park with our camera man, and then we thought we should get some Korean reaction to the Hampden story. As in: "What's the Hampden roar?"

KBS, the South Korean state broadcasters are just down the corridor from us and were delightful in being willing to be interviewed, as were MPC their oldest commercial TV station. Both said they were slightly insulted by what happened.

So I raced to feed the audio back to Scotland as time was tight, tested a new piece of kit ideal for radio outside broadcasts, then went on lunchtime radio with Ken MacDonald.

But back to Scotland's medal tally at the end of these games. There is what they call a "home bounce". Just by having the games here there's an effect.

The Spanish had a home bounce of 1200% for the Barcelona games in 1992. And the last three countries to host the Olympics, Australia, Greece and China, have had improvements in their medal tallies of around 60%
The IOC doesn't believe in medal tables. It's all about taking part they say. But you and me? We look for our medal tally.

Scotland won six of the 47 team GB medals in 2008. Sir Chris Hoy won three, and the others were spread between rower Katherine Grainger, cyclist Ross Edgar, and canoeist David Florence.

But what do the experts think? Some international research from the Madrid Sportometric study group thinks that team GB will win 56 medals based on a range of factors from the sheer size of the country to that much vaunted home bounce.
Proportionally that means that Scotland will win seven medals.

Well, I don't really want to question the experts, but I heard a whisper that the management of team GB reckon they have a chance of 90 medals. If that's the case, it's a doubling which is more in line with the Sportscotland prediction of medals into double figures.

There you are. A home bounce for Scotland to win around 10 medals at London 2012.

Sport Nation will be on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday from 1100 BST
Follow John Beattie on Twitter @bbcjohnbeattie


  • Comment number 1.

    Of course men can be friends with women! (I'll have what she's having). Most of my friends are female women, with whom one can have an interesting conversation. Men just want to talk about sports, cars and other boring stuff.

    P.S. North Korea & South Korea are going head-to-head on the 38th. parallel bars.

  • Comment number 2.

    "How many medals will Scotland win at the games?"

    None; Scotland isn't a competing country.

    How many will be won by Scots is another matter entirely, and I think 11 (with the medal-to-competitor ratio the best of the constituent nations of Team GB).

  • Comment number 3.

    ‘But you and me? We look for our medal tally.’
    No, I don’t. I may catch sight of it sometime, but it’s a crass, vulgar, meaningless, measurement. The large political units will inevitably get more medals, while careful state planning and training can reap a swatch of medals in a sport of minority global interest.
    Two athletes who competed in the 1924 Olympics gave sound judgement on what the Games should be and what they have become. Eric Liddell said, on the day he won his gold medal: ‘The Olympic Games are about individuals competing against each other, not countries’, while Arthur Porritt, third in the 100 metres and later Governor-General of New Zealand, said in an interview in 1984 that the Games suffered from “gigantism, commercialism, nationalism, racism and drugs’.

  • Comment number 4.

    Scotch git: good stuff, imagine being separated by a bit of gym equipment...

    Head in Hands: point taken, Scottish athletes, I am suitably scolded. I think 11 too.

    Freenonbrit: You make a great point. How important are the Olymipcs? Do we make a mistake buying into this in the way we do. Yet 75% of the entire TV watching population of the world will be watching the opening ceremony. I admire Eric Liddell both as a rugby man and as a man of the world. Your other quote from Arthur Porritt might be targeted at many sports, countries, and possibly business too.


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