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The Freedom Games

Monday, 13 August, 2012

As George Michael sang Freedom during the closing ceremony of the London Olympics last night, the stadium lighting system flashed the world “Freedom” across the crowded arena. It was a wonderful moment because these really were the Freedom Games. And the proof was provided by the medal table, where the tally of the United States, Great Britain and South Korea in the top five amounted to 197 gold, silver and bronze, while totalitarian China and Russia managed 170 between them. Clearly, freedom won.

“Who is now the most powerful nation on earth? Maybe we will find out on Sunday if China comes top without home advantage.” That’s what Matthew Engel wrote in the Financial Times last Wednesday in a piece titled “Rise and fall of medal empires“. It was typical of the decline-of-the-West nonsense doled out in large dollops before the Games began. But London changed that. Freedom!

London Olympics medal table


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