Wednesday, August 8, 2012

day 12

The past two days have seen none of the Medals Per Millions drama of Monday. While six new countries posted medal wins, none were small enough to enter the competition higher than Ireland, debuting at #43 with only a fifth of a medal per million Irelandians.  While Finland (#51), Tajikistan (#53) and Portugal (#57) all hold more medals per million than under-performing China (#60), so what? It's easy to do better, per capita, than a country with over thirteen hundred million people. Of the new podium arrivals, though, it is the bottom two who suggested to drama-hungry MPM researchers the fascinating connection between the Olympics and the world of the movies. Morocco is beautifully showcased in one of the great screenplays of all time (Casablanca), and The Battle Of Algiers was recently released as a handsome Criterion DVD.

As remarkable as those movie tie-ins are, there are films with even stronger Olympic themes. Chariots of Fire (1981) portrays Olympic runners Eric Lidell and Harold Abrahams, who competed for this year's host country 88 years ago. Cool Runnings (1993) is a hard-hitting documentary investigation of the MPM's third-ranked nation Jamaica and their bobsled entry in the 1988 games, while Lake Placid celebrates the American Olympic spirit at the 1980 games.

Here is a rundown of some other Olympic nations, and the films that celebrate their most memorable moments in sport;
#2. New Zealand: Lord of the Rings (men's gymnastics)
#9. Australia: Gallipoli (long distance running)
#15. Netherlands: Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (speed skating)
#20. Georgia: Deliverance (canoeing, archery, wrestling)
#31. Canada: Saint Ralph (long distance running)
#32. Germany: Run Lola Run (long distance running)
#40. Puerto Rico: West Side Story (men's gymnastics)
#60. China: Chinatown (chiefly concerned with the need to stay well hydrated)
#65. Lawrence of Arabia (equestrian)

Medals Per Million - Olympic coverage you won't find anywhere else!


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