Analysis and Comment

Australia’s kayakers paddled their way to gold but don’t expect a huge increase in kayak sales in the next few months. EPA/Robert Ghement

Will the Olympics really inspire more people to play sport?

Did watching the Olympics inspire you to get out and play sport? Perhaps the gold-medal-winning effort of our men’s K4 kayaking team inspired you to take to the water. Or maybe Anna Meares’ gold in the…
Australia’s 4x100 metre medley swimming team with their gold medals. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Dollars and sense: funding and Olympic success

It is now more than 30 years since the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) opened in Canberra, so it was predictable that a modest, rather than overwhelmingly successful campaign at the London Olympics…
Kirani James’s gold medal in the men’s 400m saw Grenada lead the tally for medals won per head of population. EPA/Diego Azubel

Olympics medal count: predictions versus reality

Just before the London Olympic started, I wrote an article for The Conversation about predicting medal success. Now, with the Games behind us, it’s worth considering how well these predictions turned out…
The Olympics won’t have an effect on sport participation after the fact unless time and money are properly invested. EPA/Christian Charisius

The legacy fallacy: the Olympics doesn’t increase sport participation

This is an edited version of a letter sent to UK Prime Minister David Cameron and a number of other officials with connections to the London Olympics. Dear Prime Minister, I have spent the past two weeks…
Sprinter Brendan Cole (left) and swimmer Tomasso D'Orsogna enjoy the recovery facilities at the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Recovery Centre in Canberra. Australian Sports Commission

Australian Olympic athletes – underperforming or underdeveloped?

It’s no secret – Australia underperformed at the 2012 London Olympics. But was the criticism directed at our Olympians unfair on the athletes, coaches, and support staff who worked so hard, and gave up…
The Olympics are at their best they bring people together. EPA/Denis Sabangan

London 2012: an Olympics without controversy … almost

And so the London Olympics are over and we can all sit back and reflect on the past few weeks with some kind of clarity. Compared with the events of previous Games – such as the Munich Massacre of 1972…
Team GB’s medal haul helped derail Australia’s chances of achieving a predicted 15 gold. EPA/Robert Ghement

Why are we so bad at predicting Olympic medal success?

There have been a lot of questions following Australia’s below-expectation performance at the London Olympics. But the question I keep asking myself is, how did so many “experts” get their medal tally…

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