Olympic success definitely shows the nation’s power. However, some impoverished, even rogue states often achieve Olympic success.
Take two friendly nations standing unified against the rest of the ”evil” world: Iran and North Korea. Their leaders can only laugh at international embargoes as the elite lives very well, while the rest of the population suffers.
To feed the hungry and locked away from the world, the leaders of these states have found ways to kill the appetite. Now, the North Korean and Iranian fans get fascinated by the Olympic success of their athletes.
So far at London Olympics, Iran won 8 medals, including 4 golds. North Korea got 5 (also including 4 Olympic golds).
Another isolated nation, Cuba, as usual, is doing well. Their medal count stands at 7 (3 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze). This is better than performance of many more prosperous countries. Why is that happening?
First, the regimes put money into sports at the expense of the impoverished population. This is the strategy of propaganda: If we win at Olympics, then there is nothing wrong with our system. Also, pursuing sport, not dissent, is an alternative for many youngsters. Seeing their athletes win, makes the youth want to concentrate on sports. (Similar thing happened in East Germany during the Cold War era.)
While North Koreans can get excited about Olympic success, they are far, far away from their compatriots south of the border. And South Korean athletes do even better.
Some of those South Korean punters who wagered money on their athletes, have won their bets as 23 medals (12 gold ones) were taken by the nation so far in London, placing South Korea fourth in the medal table behind China, USA, and Great Britain.
These Olympic golds were achieved in shooting, archery, and fencing. No wonder that punters tend to bet on these events at online sportsbooks in South Korea.
While the South Korean gambling laws, like in most Asian nations, are quite restrictive, the punters there surely like to wager there money on events were their athletes excel.
As few more days are left, the betting in South Korea continues, especially now as Tae Kwon Do events took off.