Olympics and Race: the results

The Olympics are the world`s festival of
human biodiversity. And the medallists in Sydney
largely followed established racial patterns.

In men`s track, the most
universally-contested, most equal opportunity
sport in the world, East Africans dominated the
distance races. From 800 meters through the
marathon, highlanders from the adjoining
countries of Kenya and Ethiopia won 12 of the 18
total medals available. Distance running`s other
hotspot, the Atlas Mountain countries of
Northwest African, Morocco and Algeria, brought
home five medals.

A German won the other endurance medal, in
the white man`s traditional strong suit, the 800
meters. This medium distance race falls between
the sweet spots for West African-descended
blacks (100 to 400 meters), Kenyans (3,000m to
10,000m) and Ethiopians (5,000m to the
marathon). Whites, who tend to be consistently
mediocre at all distances, thus often do well at

In the seven sprints, hurdles, and relay
races from 100 to 400m, blacks of Western
African origin won 18 medals, led by the U.S.
with eight. European whites won one.

(Unfortunately, I don`t know the race of the
Saudi Arabian silver medallist or the South
African bronze medallist in the 400 meters
intermediate hurdles. I suspect the Saudi was of
African descent because the Persian Gulf states
are notoriously sedentary. American reporters
during Desert Storm had a bet going over who
would be the first to see an Arab lift anything
heavier than money. The Saudis traditionally
depended upon their native blacks for
international sports – slavery wasn`t abolished
in Saudi Arabia until 1962. Lately, the oil
states have taken to importing East Africans and
other athletic types to pad their medal totals.)

In women`s track, the racial patterns are
similar if less clear-cut. The biggest
difference is that, due to traditional social
expectations, Kenyan women are only just
beginning to emerge as world-dominating distance
runners. But the success of women from
Ethiopia`s Southern highland tribes has shown
that it`s just a matter of time until women from
related tribes across the Kenyan border begin
winning golds.

In the women`s 4x100m and 4x400m sprint
relays, teams consisting solely of West
African-descended blacks won all medals.
Possibly the single most impressive gold medal
of this entire Olympics was the decisive victory
by the Bahamas (population 270,000 blacks) in
the 4x100m relay. They beat Jamaica (home to 10
times as many blacks) and Marion Jones-anchored
America (with 120 times as many blacks).

Still, the racial patterns seen in the
women`s races are more susceptible to steroid
doping than in the men`s races. Let`s be frank.
With the exception of rhythmic gymnastics,
sports are basically a test of testosterone.
Since women on average only produce 1/10th as
much of the manly molecule as men do, they get a
much bigger bang for their buck from artificial
male hormones. That`s why doped-to-the-eyeballs
East German women were able to dominate women`s
sprinting, until certain American black women
responded in kind in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.
In contrast, white men from East Germany were
never competitive with African American men no
matter how much they juiced themselves.

In general, the lack of world records in
Sydney suggests that the new drug testing
technology is holding doping to a moderate
level. Drugs were a serious distorting factor in
he Olympics from 1976 to 1988. Then better
testing was instituted – and the Communist drug
factories collapsed. Now I suspect that, even if
everybody were clean, the 2000 results wouldn`t
have been all that much different.

Ironically, the more effectively the Olympics
test for drugs, the more American sportswriters
denounce the Games as "hopelessly
tainted" by drugs. In contrast, major
league baseball has no PR problem because it
makes no effort whatsoever to catch its many
obviously-juiced sluggers.

In the national medal totals, the U.S. came
in first. Russia, despite all the chaos at home,
was an impressive second. For third place, the
Chinese edged out the Australians, who benefited
from the home field advantage as well as many of
the finest ex-Eastern Bloc athletes that money
could buy, and the Germans.

The Chinese, though, "failed to make any
impact beyond the sports they traditionally
dominate," in the words of Scott McDonald
of Reuters. "Six sports in which China has
been traditionally strong, such as table tennis,
diving, badminton, and the new women`s
weightlifting competition provided 23 of their
golds. Only one medal, a gold in the women`s 20
km walk, came from athletics and swimming. …
China won all four [women`s weightlifting]
classes they entered."

The introduction of women`s weightlifting is
the most ridiculous example of the Olympics`
trend toward "gender equality." Drugs
corrupt men`s weightlifting enough. But the
women`s version is blatantly a contest to see
who has the cleverest sports chemists.

On the other hand, the Chinese were on their
best behavior in the higher profile sports of
track & field and swimming because they want
to win the 2008 Games for Beijing. Thus they
busted 28 of their athletes before the Games for
doping. And despite having set all sorts of
dubious women`s running and swimming records in
the mid-Nineties, the Chinese only managed a
single medal in Sydney – in the geekish event of

The Chinese do extremely well in sports of
agility and grace – witness another great
performance by diving goddess Fu Ming-xia. But
they don`t appear competitive with blacks, or
even whites, in events demanding size and

Further down the total medal rankings, Cuba
came in eighth to lead the poor countries of the
world. This reflects both the usual totalitarian
ability to mobilize its athletic resources to
maximize its haul of medals and also its large
number of West African-descended blacks. One
thing you have to say for Fidel, though: there`s
no evidence that he doped his women runners
during East Germany`s hey-day. If he had, black
Cuban women would have won all the medals.

Japan came in 14th, much worse than its
population size, wealth, and sports-craziness
would suggest. It finished well behind the
Netherlands with one-eighth the population.
Japan`s fundamental problem appears to be the
small physical size of its people.

Yet the Japanese have fallen apart even in
men`s gymnastics, a sport for short people where
they once won five team gold medals in a row.
The problem may be psychological. An American
teaching college in Japan writes,

When Japanese athletes compete in the
Olympics they feel they are
representing, not only their country,
but also their race and all its members.
When a Japanese is leading in a race the
announcer`s voice becomes flushed with
emotion. When interviewed after
competition, swimmers and judo-ists say
they can`t remember what happened, so
great was their emotion. In fact in the
moments leading up to a competition,
Japanese seem almost paralyzed by
nervousness. They are not competing for
themselves, but for their coach, their
team, their family, and everyone. If
they win, it was not because of their
own effort, but because of everyone`s
support. Their greatest emotion then is
relief from the relentless pressure. If
they lose, they have let everyone down.
They cannot be good sportsmen and
congratulate their opponents with a
smile because their minds are elsewhere
thinking about how they will apologize
to their supporters.

Once again, however, the biggest loser in the
Olympics was India. For the second straight
Games, its one billion people brought home – a
single bronze medal.

Indians just don`t seem to care about any
sports besides cricket. Even in field hockey, a
game they ruled through the middle of the 20th
Century, they stunk up the place again.

Perhaps Indians are just too cheerful,
friendly, and polite to care much about winning
at sports. Interestingly, their few sportsmen
tend to come from the traditional warrior racial
groups like the Sikhs. The British recognized
that the Sikhs, along with the East Asian
Gurkhas of Nepal, made the finest fighting men
in South Asia. Sikhs remain the backbone of
independent India`s officer corps. Similarly,
guys named Singh (i.e. Sikhs) hold about half of
India`s national track records.

It`s long been theorized that militaristic
nations should be best at sports, since sport is
fundamentally training for and recreation from
fighting and hunting. This correlation, however,
has proved hard to test since practically every
nation on Earth has a pugnacious history.
Ancient nations that didn`t like war tended to
be put to the sword.

The most obvious exceptions: the peoples of
India, who have repeatedly been the passive
victims of invaders. So perhaps there is
something to this old saw after all.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

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October 02,