Don’t compare London 2012 Brits to 1908 – the playing field was very different then

So Team GB has performed above all expectations in London 2012, achieving 29 Gold medals and 65 medals overall. This has been reported as the most successful year for Britain since 1908, where we collected 56 Golds and 146 overall.

Well this has been by far a greater achievement, and here’s why. Firstly, this year there has been 204 nations competing, compared to just 22 in 1908. Also the level of competition, and restrictions on numbers of athletes per nation, makes the 2012 team’s achievements even more spectacular.

And, just for fun, check out the shambles of the 1908 Tug Of War competition:

7 teams entered (including 3 British teams of Police officers). Germany and Greece quit before competing, America resigned in protest and Sweden never showed up for their Bronze Medal match, meaning all 3 medals when to the British teams.


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