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The Irish Nation and the Olympic Dream


Disgruntled

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There's only 23 or so days left until the 2008 Olympics open stall. Vincent Hogan had a very good article in yesterdays Irish Independent stating the plain and unfortunate facts that we probably won't win anything at the games. He goes on to say that there will be an uproar for about a week afterwards as we complain about the tax money spent and the poor performances but what I want to know is will we even do that?
At the last Olympics Ireland finished bottom of the table with no medals after that whole horse affair. This meant that we finished below Mongolia who won a silver medal, I'm not sure what in. The point is that from the 1920s to the late 90s it had been illegal in Mongolia to have a surname. However the dropping of the ban was ignored until identification cards were introduced in 2004.I know surnames have nothing to do with Olympic titles but for all our economic success (at the time), for all the money John O'Donoughe (at the time) was putting into sports, with all the 'centres of excellence' that have been set up you'd think we would have been able to manage at least one medal if a nation with the economic background of Mongolia could manage one.
Has Ireland lost its drive to present itself on the world stage as a great sporting nation, or indeed, did we ever have that drive in the first place? Are we content to listen to the drivel that John Tracey comes out with, that we are a small nation of untalented inbreeds, destroyed by famine and civil war and sure isn't a wonder we can even qualify to the Olympics? Second last place finishes are our gold medals. Is Ireland at the Olympics turning into Ireland at the Eurovision?
 

NeilW

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Why are you surprised that Ireland wont win a medal in Beijing? It's not exactly unprecedented. Since '72 there have been 9 summer games and we have won legitimate (ie non-drug tainted) medals in only 4 of them. So not winning a medal is more common than winning one.
 

moghroth

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Disgruntled said:
This meant that we finished below Mongolia who won a silver medal, I'm not sure what in. The point is that from the 1920s to the late 90s it had been illegal in Mongolia to have a surname. However the dropping of the ban was ignored until identification cards were introduced in 2004.I know surnames have nothing to do with Olympic titles
Please elaborate why you felt it necessary to make a correlation between the lack of surnames in Mongolia and Ireland's Olympic medal prospects! There must be some reason, let's hope it is interesting.
 

Respvblica

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NeilW said:
Why are you surprised that Ireland wont win a medal in Beijing? It's not exactly unprecedented. Since '72 there have been 9 summer games and we have won legitimate (ie non-drug tainted) medals in only 4 of them. So not winning a medal is more common than winning one.
First off, I consider Michelle Smiths Golds at Atlanta to be legit and as one of the greatest sporting achievements in our History- probably the greatest. Perhaps there was drug taking in her preparation, but I'm sorry that is common practice. Nothing was found at the time, and you can be sure that she was not taking something that others werent. The big countries like America and Australia (who are hypocritis) ran a very effective propaganda campaign against her and most of us bought it. An athlete from a small country is always an easy target.

Secondly, since Michelle's triumph we have been a disgrace. Apart from needing to spend more time and money at developing PE in school and developing facilities acround teh country, we also need to get more "sporting science" expertise into the system. There are plenty of willing triers out there but we need to develop technique. Also there may be many brilliant swimmers or athletes out there who, due to lack of money or facilities will never be discovered.
 

NeilW

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Respvblica said:
First off, I consider Michelle Smiths Golds at Atlanta to be legit and as one of the greatest sporting achievements in our History
It was neither but it's not really a thread about that.

I think we have an over-inflated view of Ireland's true position in world sport. We expect to win Olympic medals and are disappointed when we dont but the stats show that we draw a blank more often than we medal. Which is what you would expect of a nation of our size. There's nothing particularly commendable or shameful about our record.
 

moghroth

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moghroth said:
Disgruntled said:
This meant that we finished below Mongolia who won a silver medal, I'm not sure what in. The point is that from the 1920s to the late 90s it had been illegal in Mongolia to have a surname. However the dropping of the ban was ignored until identification cards were introduced in 2004.I know surnames have nothing to do with Olympic titles
Please elaborate why you felt it necessary to make a correlation between the lack of surnames in Mongolia and Ireland's Olympic medal prospects! There must be some reason, let's hope it is interesting.
Found this article about Mongolian surnames, but still fail to see any correlation with Irish Olympic performance!
 

Disgruntled

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Please elaborate why you felt it necessary to make a correlation between the lack of surnames in Mongolia and Ireland's Olympic medal prospects! There must be some reason, let's hope it is interesting.
And if it's not?

Ireland has a population just under twice that of Mongolia with a GDP ranking it 50th, Mongolia 143rd. Pricewaterhouse-Cooper, who we shall presume knows more then either of us, has recently declared that medal success "at the games can be linked to factors such as GDP growth, population increases and state aid" according the the Sunday Independent, July 6th.
I mean no offence to any of our Mongolian visiters but the nation is a backward backwater, still recovering from the 'Lets ban surnames' type of communist government that ran the country as oppossed to the 'Lets drug our athletes' type communism that ran the USSR. Yet a nation simular to 1920s Ireland, without the communism, is still capable to sending a better team to the Olympics then this fair naiton. Is this not something to be even slightly embarresed about?
Well moghroth, if my rant has not been interesting enough I shall issue and offical apology and send you a voucher for a meal somewhere.

Which is what you would expect of a nation of our size.
Unfortunatly the batton most often used against that arguement is New Zealand. With a population a few 100k less then Ireland and 8 spots back from us on the overall GDP list New Zealand was able to win 3 gold out of a totel of 5 medals. Not since 2 Gold and a bronze in 1932 has Ireland had such a performance like that.


Why are you surprised that Ireland wont win a medal in Beijing? It's not exactly unprecedented. Since '72 there have been 9 summer games and we have won legitimate (ie non-drug tainted) medals in only 4 of them. So not winning a medal is more common than winning one.
I'm not surprised. But is your above statistic something to be proud of? In 36 years we have won 1 medal less then New Zealand can in a single games, a nation of near identical size and GDP.
 

bullyee

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And in 1996 when we did have an olympic superstar they made up lies about her cus they couldn't believe that our wee country could produce such a talent. and the unpatriatic anti-irish elements that live in our country joined in the whole witch hunt. Fed the lies and took greet relish in knocking our superstar off her well earned pedestal.
 

Greenandred

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bullyee said:
And in 1996 when we did have an olympic superstar they made up lies about her cus they couldn't believe that our wee country could produce such a talent. and the unpatriatic anti-irish elements that live in our country joined in the whole witch hunt. Fed the lies and took greet relish in knocking our superstar off her well earned pedestal.
Come off it Bullyee, she was found to have tampered with her pi55. Not just once, not twice, but thrice.
 

NeilW

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bullyee said:
And in 1996 when we did have an olympic superstar they made up lies about her cus they couldn't believe that our wee country could produce such a talent. and the unpatriatic anti-irish elements that live in our country joined in the whole witch hunt. Fed the lies and took greet relish in knocking our superstar off her well earned pedestal.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

katy brock

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Greenandred said:
bullyee said:
And in 1996 when we did have an olympic superstar they made up lies about her cus they couldn't believe that our wee country could produce such a talent. and the unpatriatic anti-irish elements that live in our country joined in the whole witch hunt. Fed the lies and took greet relish in knocking our superstar off her well earned pedestal.
Come off it Bullyee, she was found to have tampered with her pi55. Not just once, not twice, but thrice.

Not only that, I heard she tampers with her whiskey as well!
 

Greenandred

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I know that I'm taking the discussion slightly off-track here, but I think comparing Ireland's athletic prowess to that of New Zealand is misguided, regardless of the medal counts. New Zealand happen to be near the top table in both rugby codes, cricket and other minor sports, what have we got? Gaelic games?
And I'm sure that if you compared our medal count to other small nations such as Croatia, they'd kick our backsides up and down the road. Does anyone have the medal tables?
 

Disgruntled

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The only near complete table I can find is the one on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Summe ... edal_count). The handy thing about it is you can click on the nation and it tells you what events the medals were won in.
Rugby and cricket aren't competed in at the Olympics so they wouldn't count towards New Zealands standings. NZs medals came in rowing, cycling, triathlon and canoeing. With the exception of triathlon those events are all ones which we have been competing in in Ireland for some years.
Croatia won 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze.
 

blucey

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Greenandred said:
I know that I'm taking the discussion slightly off-track here, but I think comparing Ireland's athletic prowess to that of New Zealand is misguided, regardless of the medal counts. New Zealand happen to be near the top table in both rugby codes, cricket and other minor sports, what have we got? Gaelic games?
And I'm sure that if you compared our medal count to other small nations such as Croatia, they'd kick our backsides up and down the road. Does anyone have the medal tables?
HAve a look at thishttp://www.geocities.com/unclebryan/Polympic.html
 

moghroth

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Disgruntled said:
I mean no offence to any of our Mongolian visitors but the nation is a backward backwater,... Yet a nation similar to 1920s Ireland, without the communism, is still capable to sending a better team to the Olympics then this fair nation.

Well moghroth, if my rant has not been interesting enough I shall issue and official apology and send you a voucher for a meal somewhere.
Why not the City Nomad in Ulan Bator! Then I can check out your assumption that Mongolia is a backward backwater, whilst enjoying my horse stew.

Could it not also have something to do with the fact that we have become a somewhat lazy nation without any real facilities for young people.

I seem to recall an incident on the Late Late Show in the early 90's when Stephen Roche had decided that he was moving his family (back) to France because of the paucity of (sports) facilities for young people in Ireland. This caused a stir at the time, with a lot of self-righteous indignation, but of course nothing was really done. Government sponsored programmes and centres of sports excellence are sound bites with little or no effect.

Why don't we have GAA sports in the Olympics, soccer is there, why not hurling. It might take a while to develop but then we might be in with a chance. We have a precedent in this regard as hurling was an integral sport in the original Tailteann Games which ran from 1829BC to 1180AD.
 

bullyee

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Come off it Bullyee, she was found to have tampered with her pi55. Not just once, not twice, but thrice.[/quote]

In my opinion it was a whole conspiracy. We have to stand up for our great athletes. There are enough anglosaxons out their willing to take a pop at us. She is Irish and if memory serves me right could speak Gaeilge. That's enough for me to believe that she deserved those gold medals.
I took magic mushrooms years ago. The day before a club hurling championship semi final. I played like a man possessed and marked the opposing star player out of the game. We subsequently one the county final weeks later. in retrospect should we be dethroned of our title just because I was seeing pink elephants and Darby O Gill the night before... Come to think of it those September nights ( magic mushroom season ) were splendid!!!! :D :)
 

louis bernard

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The Olympics have been so badly tainted with drug taking that they are just not worth watching.
 

mairteenpak

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Respvblica said:
NeilW said:
Why are you surprised that Ireland wont win a medal in Beijing? It's not exactly unprecedented. Since '72 there have been 9 summer games and we have won legitimate (ie non-drug tainted) medals in only 4 of them. So not winning a medal is more common than winning one.
First off, I consider Michelle Smiths Golds at Atlanta to be legit and as one of the greatest sporting achievements in our History- probably the greatest. Perhaps there was drug taking in her preparation, but I'm sorry that is common practice. Nothing was found at the time, and you can be sure that she was not taking something that others werent. The big countries like America and Australia (who are hypocritis) ran a very effective propaganda campaign against her and most of us bought it. An athlete from a small country is always an easy target.

Secondly, since Michelle's triumph we have been a disgrace. Apart from needing to spend more time and money at developing PE in school and developing facilities acround teh country, we also need to get more "sporting science" expertise into the system. There are plenty of willing triers out there but we need to develop technique. Also there may be many brilliant swimmers or athletes out there who, due to lack of money or facilities will never be discovered.

We don't do enough to acknowledge the achievement of Michelle Smith. If we did we might inspire more athletes.

How much does it cost to send the team?

Why send people who don't make the grade?
 

bullyee

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That's rich coming from a Toffee whose team allowed Paul Gascoigne (a notorious alcho, drug abuser and hun ) to play for them. However, I still have a soft spot for your wee team after they stuffed those b******ds Rapid Vienna in 1985.

If you want to talk about cheating in sport and aren't old enough to remember they cheated Celtic out of a European Cup Winners Cup semifinal spot... You can castigate performance enhancers but this team had a player who faked injury when a plastic bottle was thrown at him and landed 10 yards away. The Celtic win was reversed and the game was replayed in england with the hoops subsequently loosing.

Sharp, Bracewell, Reid, Trevor Steven, Gary Stevens, Heath, Gray, Sheedy, ratcliffe, Mountfield.... A very good team but not in the same class as the Lisbon Lions..... :)
 

louis bernard

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bullyee said:
That's rich coming from a Toffee whose team allowed Paul Gascoigne (a notorious alcho, drug abuser and hun ) to play for them. However, I still have a soft spot for your wee team after they stuffed those b******ds Rapid Vienna in 1985.

If you want to talk about cheating in sport and aren't old enough to remember they cheated Celtic out of a European Cup Winners Cup semifinal spot... You can castigate performance enhancers but this team had a player who faked injury when a plastic bottle was thrown at him and landed 10 yards away. The Celtic win was reversed and the game was replayed in england with the hoops subsequently loosing.

Sharp, Bracewell, Reid, Trevor Steven, Gary Stevens, Heath, Gray, Sheedy, ratcliffe, Mountfield.... A very good team but not in the same class as the Lisbon Lions..... :)
When you were describing Gaza you forgot to add that he is a tad mad.
The Lisbon lions were a great side, and a real Celtic team. Every one of them came from within a 20 mile radius of the centre of Glasgow. This will never happen again, with any team.
 
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