Dingbat opinion writer Adele Horin says that if Australia was bad at the Olympics, like Canada, Australians would be better for it.
Now let's look at some of Horin's claims.
"But little outcry is heard over our failure to be a world-beater in, say, solar technology..." Oh yeah, never heard that one before.
"Years ago the Canadian Government decided to spend more money on community sport to encourage mass participation, and less on its elite athletes." Now that's just vague.
"In Beijing, each gold medal has cost Australia at least $50 million..." Difficult to refute, but this one just sets off the bullshit detectors.
Canadians "have not gone to fat as fast as we have" - Hmmm - dubious.
"Canadians have a higher life expectancy than Australians." Probably not true.
"Of 34 countries surveyed in 2004 by the International Social Survey Program, we ranked third - behind Venezuela and New Zealand - for our sense of pride in sporting achievements. In the US, democratic credentials, political influence, military power and scientific achievements were more important sources of pride than sport."
Hang on Adele - just a minute ago you were criticising Americans for their obesity problems...
Here is the study, with the relevant table on page 13. Horin fails to mention that in terms of world rankings, Australians are equally proud of scientific achievements, and more proud of our democracy. I guess it just doesn't fit with the story.
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