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Is It Important for the US to Win the Most Olympic Medals?

Fifty-three percent of American adults think it's important for the US to bring home the most medals from the Beijing Olympics, with 19 percent saying that it is very important.

While it's one thing to root for the home team, it's another thing to say medal supremacy is "important." Where does the importance lie? Does the winner get to set the agenda for the UN General Assembly? Or could a seemingly public relations victory increase (or save) America's international standing and influence? If America does not hold onto victory on China's home court, has it somehow symbolically passed the torch of preeminent global influence to China?

Since World War II the US has topped the gold medal count in more than half the Olympic Games. In the last three Summer games, the US won the gold medal count, and the overall count. But this year the US Olympic Committee is dimming expectations, saying that China will most likely win the most medals. Do you think it matters? Be honest!


Join The Conversation
Michaelrcks Michaelrcks 9 years
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well medal supremacy at the Olympics is important for pride sake but that's about it. If I need to swallow some pride than so be it.
Bettyjane Bettyjane 9 years
I don't think it is important to the economy or military :). BUT, I think it is great when we can come together as a country and cheer on our athletes. I feel that "winning" is not the important part, coming together during this time is. Winning doesn't hurt though :)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Hmm--that's true, valancyjane.
valancyjane valancyjane 9 years
JudeC said: "I mean, Eastern European athletes have long dominated several of the Olympic events, but you don't see anyone up in arms about them gaining dominance anywhere else, do you?" I seem to remember back in the 80s (when East Germany and the USSR still existed and were scary) that Communist countries were the teams to beat. It seems to be more than coincidence that teams from politically "dangerous" countries end up being our biggest rivals. I like it better when the athletes are just competing for themselves ... not as proxies for their countries.
Fo-show317771 Fo-show317771 9 years
I know they better bring back gold in Basketball!!!!!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
lilkimbo I agree w/ your sentiments and your definition of xenophobia. As for the question, I think winning medals is nice but I don't really care either way.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I guess I don't see the fear of relinquishing world dominance as particularly xenophobic to begin with. Of course if you are in power you want to stay in power and fear losing that power. That doesn't mean you have an unreasonable hatred for those who are different from you/not in power. I do understand more where you are coming from after your explanation, Liberty, though, so thanks for explaining!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
and why would someone be afraid of the warrior princess?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I will only watch the olympics if Tanya Harding is there as our mascot.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Hey everyone! The "no" choice is not calling Americans xenophobic at all. It's describing the fear of losing world dominance as xenophobic. I agree that attitudes toward medal victories cannot make a person inherently xenophobic. But it could imply he/she holds one xenophobic position. :)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I'll just watch and admire from afar ;) (With binoculars.)
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Are those seriously the only two options? Other. Yes, it's important because it's a game and the point is to win. But no, it isn't important in the scheme of international relations. It's just a game. Xenophobic... come on.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
haha you might need to break up another marriage then Jude!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"Now, it is important that the Browns win the Super Bowl before I die, but that's a whole different story." :ROTFL: lil!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Yeah, I'll take Peyton OR Eli. And Cooper's not bad either, even though he doesn't play. I'm from Illinois, but I've hated the Bears since childhood.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I agree, Jude, it's fun to be the country with the most medals, but of course, in the grand scheme of life, it's not important. Now, it is important that the Browns win the Super Bowl before I die, but that's a whole different story.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
haha you say that Manning lover! :love:
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
You've just reminded me of the two consecutive great Super Bowls I've had, hunter ;)
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
haha I just love when we win. It's petty, but it's like when your team wins the World Series, BC Series or Super Bowl-you won THE game of the year. However, I wouldn't know how that feels (thanks Cleveland!)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
It's a great honor for the athletes, and would provide a nice, comforting boost of national (nationalistic?) pride, but I don't think it's important. I also don't think the number of medals a country wins is particularly meaningful with regards to that country. I mean, Eastern European athletes have long dominated several of the Olympic events, but you don't see anyone up in arms about them gaining dominance anywhere else, do you? I thought the same thing about the options, lil. Why can't there just be a "yes/no" type thing, without putting broad generalizations into our mouths? I don't think either of those statements is true.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Grr...I meant to check other! I don't think it's important to win the most medals, but I don't believe that America as a whole has a "xenophobic fear of relinquishing world dominance." Actually, I think it's pretty insulting to refer to America as a whole as xenophobic.
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