Thursday

30th Mar 2017

EU 'wins' 2008 Olympic games

  • Wrestlers at the Beijing games (Photo: wikipedia)

The 27 member states of the EU when counted together won 87 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, dwarfing the individual tallies of China on 51 and the US on 36, as the games closed on Sunday (24 August).

The figures - compiled as a mini-political project by think-tank the Young European Federalists and just for fun by German PR firm Euro-Informationen - also show the EU on 280 medals in total, ahead of China (100) and the US (110).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"The European Union therefore takes the leading position. It's a victory for sport and for the fundamental and common values of the people of the union," French president Nicolas Sarkozy - currently chairing the EU - said.

Mr Sarkozy's statement began by congratulating the French national team first, calling his athletes "the pride of the French people," with the EU message stuck on at the end of his letter as an afterthought.

France won seven golds, but the UK came in as the top European Union country with 23. Germany and Italy also beat France.

"The comparison [of the EU against China or the US] is of course not entirely fair," Euro-Informationen said, explaining that the Olympic system of allocating starting positions by individual country gives the imaginary EU team "a better chance."

Meanwhile, the British press has attacked an open letter written by the Young European Federalists to Mr Sarkozy on 8 July, which had asked for support for a future "EU Olympic Team" to soothe European nationalist sentiments.

"It is frankly bonkers," UK shadow Europe minister Mark Francois told the Press Association, urging the think-tank's EU funding to be revoked. "These people want to create a single country called Europe," eurosceptic MEP Nigel Farage said in the Daily Express.

China on show

The Beijing games drew record high TV-viewing figures among US networks and were seen by most of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, making them "likely" the most widely-watched in history, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said.

Chinese authorities allowed none of the 77 requests to hold political protests during the two-week sporting event, however, with Tibet leader-in-exile the Dalai Lama telling French press that Chinese troops shot at Tibetan protesters while the games were on.

"The IOC and the Olympic Games cannot force changes on sovereign nations or solve all the ills of the world," IOC president Jacques Rogge told Reuters.

Poland snubbed twice in EU summit fiasco

[Updated] Poland tried and failed to block EU summit conclusions shortly after failing to block Tusk’s re-election as Council chief, prompting bitter accusations.

Poland isolated in bid to remove Tusk

Poland appears increasingly isolated in Brussels as it seeks public support to unseat Donald Tusk as president of the European Council.

Rome summit tries to restart EU momentum

EU 27 leaders in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of Treaty of Rome, in bid to counter rising challenges after Brexit. But new ideas are scarce.

News in Brief

  1. UK publishes 'Great Repeal Bill' plan to replace EU laws
  2. Scots share May's vision for Brexit deal, survey says
  3. Coalition talks leader expects Dutch government by summer
  4. EU commission allows ex-member Hill to join law firm
  5. Reuters: Greece and lenders move closer to deal
  6. Italy: Le Pen win would mean 'permanent political risk'
  7. Danish parliament misinformed on Nord Stream 1
  8. UK delivered its Article 50 letter to the EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  2. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  3. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  4. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  5. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  6. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  7. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  9. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  10. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  11. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Latest News

  1. Hungary attempts to stifle Soros-founded university in Budapest
  2. European right shows divisions on EU values after Brexit
  3. Transparency is key EU tactic in Brexit talks
  4. Russia building 'arc of iron' around Europe
  5. Französische und deutsche Wahlen 'entscheidend' für Putin
  6. EU trying to salvage US deal on data privacy
  7. MEPs draw 'red lines' on Brexit deal
  8. MEPs call for reset in relations with Belarus