Thursday, December 22, 2005, posted by jon at 3:53 PM | 0 comments

Worldgineer, a regular visitors to these electronic shores, suggested in a recent comment that I should concentrate on the weaknesses of Belgium in order to identify an Olympic opportunity. It's an excellent suggestion.

The first thing to note is that the Belgians, given the size of their nation, are remarkably strong Olympic competitors, knocking up an impressive 155 summer and 5 winter medals since the beginning of time itself. As hinted at in a previous post, archery is a very strong sport in Belgium accounting for 20 of their summer medals, including 10 gold. I've not a chance of winning anything there - they've got archers coming out of their ears in Belgium.

But what of this nation. Where are the weaknesses? Belgium is a small European nation of 10million or so people. It has 3 official languages - French, Dutch and German but woe betide you should you choose the wrong one in which to converse! A good number of people have a staggering comprehension of English which is humbling and embarrassing as I often feel that my spoken English doesn't quite come up to scratch in comparison. It has a coast, not a strong maritime history, but has never-the-less excelled in rowing, swimming and sailing in the past.

They even have a medal in Design for Town planning and in Sculpture, but that's subject for another posting some other time I think!

There is a clear weakness though for Taekwondo - they've never even had a sniff at a medal. I've identified a club in Brussels that's reasonably close to my office (when I visit). I've written to them asking about the sport and about how I might become Belgian! I can't wait for the reply!

- J


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