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European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

EU the best competitor

, by JEF-Europe

If all the medals won by the EU countries were to be added up, the EU could easily compete with the medal “giants” such as the USA, Russia, or Canada. The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) would like to use this simple thought experiment to promote European spirit in the unlikely area of the sports arena.

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Each European nation publicises its athletes’ Olympic results with joy, despite knowing they will most likely never get to top the medal tally. “Why should this joy be limited by national borders?” asks JEF-Europe Vice-President Pauline Gessant. “Think wider – think European!”

If we, instead of counting each EU country’s medals separately, count them collectively for the EU, the results are impressive indeed: at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the athletes from the EU brought home 108 medals in total (31 golds, 36 silvers, and 41 bronzes), which is almost three times more than the top-ranking USA.

Emphasising the European dimension in this kind of context means showing our attachment to our European identity.

“Emphasising the European dimension in this kind of context means showing our attachment to our European identity. It’s also a way of combatting nationalism, which has a tendency to spread very easily during sports events. The value of the sporting spirit and fair competition lies in promoting tolerance, mutual respect and intercultural understanding.”

“Both as sports fans and as federalists, we want to celebrate the performance of European athletes to promote the European motto ”United in diversity“ and spread the feeling of belonging to a common set”, concludes Pauline Gessant.

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P.S.

http://www.euolympics.eu/, the website set up for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Image: Olympics 2010, source: google images

Your comments

  • On 2 March 2010 at 13:51, by Julien Frisch Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    Putting all EU medals together and comparing numbers with the US or Canada is not a valid comparison, because if there was just one EU team we would have much less starters in the different disciplines.

    Julien, http://julienfrisch.blogspot.com

  • On 3 March 2010 at 01:04, by Martin (http://europaeum.eu) Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    “Emphasising the European dimension in this kind of context means showing our attachment to our European identity.”

    Thus only counting the EU medals, when Europe is more than just the EU? I’m simply not comfortable with such a comparison. Even you took the continents, Europe would be okay in the results, and so would be North-America. But that’s not what counts in my humble opinion.

  • On 3 March 2010 at 23:52, by JE Lyon Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    See this page for the countdown of EU medals: http://jelyon69.wordpress.com/vancouver-2010/

  • On 4 March 2010 at 09:43, by Pauline Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    It is difficult to escape traditional sense of belonging to a group. Counting the EU medals could help to build a sense of belonging to EU, because otherwise, Europe is still very often a concept, an idea with no flavor, no feeling, ...

    Olympics could be thus the opportunity to show the symbols of belonging: EU flag, anthem without removing national symbols. I’m a European born in France, so I’m in the same time French and European.

  • On 5 March 2010 at 09:16, by Hugo LUEDERS Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    Thanks a lot for your nice press release re: EU Vancouver medals: yes, indeed the European dimension should be strengthened and, incl all European countries (and not only EU27 ...) Europeans have got 45 gold medals: quite an achievement! Would encourage you to start finally a campaign to get the European flag to be present with each European Olympic team. This would make a great difference in perception and identity. However, having said that we should be careful not to repeat Nationalism just on a higher level ... Good luck.

    Hugo LUEDERS, Brussels hlueders@scarlet.be

  • On 9 March 2010 at 10:17, by charles Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    Just like the Austrians were cheering and waving in 1938 for a greater Europe - I suppose that started as a “simple thought experiment to promote European spirit”

  • On 9 March 2010 at 11:35, by Convicted European Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    Dear Charles,

    great to see that the UK-based sceptisism towards European integration is alive and kicking but it would be better if you got your facts sorted out and didn’t make unfounded remarks like these. The EU is far from perfect but is at least in many ways more transparent of a system than in many member states of the EU. Feeling proud to be a European is simply a feeling that you don’t share, fair enough. So feel free to lobby for the UK to leave the EU, at least with the new Lisbon Treaty you finally have the legal posibility to do so.

  • On 9 March 2010 at 15:41, by Tomas Replying to: European Olympic Team - Union is Strength

    Dearest Charles,

    As a fellow Brit my initial gut reaction to your comment is to be somewhat horrified and appalled - but with a statement like that, I imagine it was the intended purpose.

    I can fully support the sentiments previously made by ’Convicted European’ in that I think you should fully check your supporting facts. It is precisely such nationalistic unfounded facts, often fed to the Great British public through the gutter press that helps breed what I believe to be a vastly unnecessary anti-European sentiment: whether it be towards the EU, or to the idea of belonging to a wider European community. Like ’Convicted European’ said, you could choose to lobby for the UK to leave the EU; but even with the anti-European Conservative government looming, I can not see this happening in our lifetime.

    I fully accept your right to air your opinion through whatever means you so wish, but please, we are talking about historical events that you really should get over, after all, the rest of Europe has.

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