Monday was an extraordinary day at the London Olympics, as a record nine new nations were added to the medal leader board – four of them in the top eleven, with gutsy little Grenada debuting in the Number One position, and unlikely to be deposed by the closing ceremonies. This nation of only 100,000 souls won a gold medal in the men’s 400 yesterday, ending a 92 year American streak of seven straight gold medals in that sport. Even drawing on a population almost three thousand times the size of Grenada’s, the USA needs to win 418 medals a day to pass the Grenadians – which seems a remote possibility, even for the world-beating Yanks. At this point their best option is probably to invade the tiny Caribbean nation and take the medal by force. “We’ve done it before, we can do it again.”
The country on the medal podium with the best chance of dislodging the first place “Island Of Spice” would be another MPM newcomer, Cyprus, needing only 7 medals in 7 days to squeeze past the top-slotted country, whose catchy national motto clearly intimidates competitors – “Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People.” Also sporting newly-won medals are Estonia and Trinidad and Tobago (which are in fact two, not three, distinct nations – somebody in T&T marketing needs to get on that). Either would need an even dozen medals to secure Number One honours.
Three other newly-medalled countries ranked below Canada but above the US and China: Kuwait and Puerto Rico with one medal each, and the Dominican Republic – a nation populated entirely by Roman Catholic friars, nuns, active sisters and Lay Dominicans dedicated to preaching the Gospel and combatting heresy – out of the gates with two medals in a single day.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey also slipped onto the podium in sixty-first and sixty-eighth place respectively.