Every olympics I spend a lot of time in the rec.sport.olympics news group. There are the usual morons who post such low level garble of dreary prose that I just have to join in and set them on the road of self recognition of their lowly standards of verbal description, and comprehension.

OK, I flame.

But it is all good fun and I make sure there are plenty of smiles around. At least on my side of the screen.

However there are some particularly good posts and a lot of people wanting clarification or discussion on various issues that are important to them. One of the more interesting discussions is of course, who is winning. The one who has the most medals, cries the USA. Some, like many of the Australians there, would like to think you should score on medals per million population. The truth is that it is much more complicated than that, or simple. The simple answer is - measuring who wins is silly; athletes win events - so just stop there. There have been attempts to define a standardising function using population, economy and some other factors to predict what your score will be next games, and it seems that a couple economists have come pretty close.

In the end - we just want to see our countrymen do well. We would like to share in their moment of joy (seeing as usually our tax money went to get them there). We would like to see some spectacular events. We would also like to see sports that are familiar to us. Given all this, the television stations have a pretty hard task ahead of them. However they are stuffing things up. The free to air stations here in Australia have digital bandwidth that they could be filling with events that they don't have time to put into the mainstream feel good sections. They could have a couple other channels dedication to swapping between a full broadcast of the gymnastics, equestrian, shooting, judo, wrestling, team sport matches etc. But they haven't. This had bloody not better be the case in 2008. What a perfectly fantastic opportunity has gone begging for the tv stations to get people to buy digital decoders. Losers.

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