Right investments in a solid high-performance system plus the talent needed comprise the formula of the success of the British athletes in Rio 2016
While the Rio Olympic Games are over, top Olympic committees are continuing their analysis of what has been achieved there, the failures, the successes, what can be improved for the upcoming Olympic Games etc. These kind of analysis are mainly considered to be the base for the further politic of the respective Olympic committees in terms of making a strategy for sports investments in the period of four or more years.
As internet betting sites in Brazil point out, the case with the British Olympians in Rio can be taken as paradigmatic in this respect. According to the gold medals won the British athletes were second on the table of medalists right behind the USA which won 19 gold medals more than them. In comparison to Rio, at the London Olympics the British team was placed third according to the golden medals won while in Beijing it was fourth with 19 golds won.
The lottery money key factor of the improvement in the British sport
Considering that on the Olympic Games in Sydney and Athens in 2004 and 2000 the British team was on the tenth position according to the golds won many in Britain were asking about the reasons for these success of the Rio Olympics. In articles written for The Guardian, Josh Halliday and Own Gibson tried to reveal some of the reasons. According to them the reasons for the success can be find in the politics of distribution of resources in Britain. However, while some of the sports received incredible investments, others were completely cut off.
It was first, Jon Major, the former prime minister of Great Britain who decided that the embarrassing performance of Great Britain in Atlanta 1996 must not ever be repeated. On the Atlanta Olympics Great Britain won only one gold, being placed on the 36 position on the medal table. The decision of Major was to redistribute the funding from the National Lottery towards elite sports. As online lotto sites in UK stress, more than 20 % of the funds went into sports organizations which, many years after had successful effect.
Nowadays this percentage is even more increased. About the link with the National lottery speak many recent advertisements where top athletes are encouraged to stress the connection between buying a lottery ticket and winning a medal.
• The redistribution of lottery money played an important role in the success of the British sport in general
• The determination of the athletes and their work is the most important factor for success, beside the necessary investments
• The funds were targeted to sports most likely to win medals
Certianly the money were not distributed equally to all sports. A strategy was made for financing those sports that were likely to bring medals. Thus for example in the past four years GBP 350 million were invested such that if we take the investments in separate sports into consideration it turn out that each medal that the British won in Rio is worth GBP 5.5 million.
Constant striving for excellence
But the investment and the right strategy is not everything that contributed to the British success: the high performance system based on stabile structures that follow all the marginal gains in all the sports and try to apply what functions in one sport into the others was also of high importance. This system includes constant work, from talent identification to elite coaching as well imposing a strive for excellence in the young athletes that can function as a self-motivational force.
But this was not the main aim of the system. The talent is certainly a prerequisite for success but not everything can be left to searching talents. The real aim of the system was to create possibilities for regeneration of talents. And that is what the British succeed to achieve in many sports but is most visible in the velodrome, gymnastics and sailing where big figures are replaced being successfully replaced by young talents such as Callum Skinner, Max Whitlocks and other.
The critics of the system
Certainly as with any policy there will be pros and contras. The politics of the British Olympic Committee was strongly criticized by some in the public. As online sportsbooks in EU report, sports such as wrestling, table tennis or volleyball which failed in their attempt to bring medal to Britain in 2012 had either very reduced fund or were completely cut off. Of all the sports with lowered funding it was only swimming that brought more medals then planned, including a long awaited gold by Adam Paety. The complete cut off from investments of some sports is definitely an unpopular measure but at least until this system gives the results, the critics, it seems, must keep silent.