Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Team GB

I am a big sports-fan and have been enjoying most of the Olympics despite my problems with the Chinese regime. One thing that has been bothering me is the team being called Team GB; what has happened to the full name "Great Britain and Northern Ireland" I kept wondering. Then I learnt that a boxer, Paddy Barnes, representing Ireland last night is from Belfast; the last time I checked Belfast was in Northern Ireland which is part of the UK not Ireland. What is going on? I checked on Wikipedia and found this
"Athletes from Northern Ireland who also hold Irish citizenship under the pre-1999 article 2 of the Irish constitution can be selected to represent either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympics."
So some citizens of the UK can choose to compete for a foreign country but still get funding from this country, how marvellous.

I was sure that the team used to be called Great Britain and Northern Ireland, back in the days of Mary Peters and since. Then I found this article from 2004 that reports
"According to the International Olympic Committee's existing charter, the Olympic Council of Ireland represents the whole island of Ireland.

However, Northern Ireland athletes have always been able to compete for GB.


It was former Irish IOC member and IOC president Lord Killanin who ensured that the OCI was responsible for all 32 counties on the island.

The OCI charter giving it full responsibility for all of Ireland was agreed by former IOC president Avery Brundage and then re-enforced by Killanin when he became president."

Something odd has happened here, when did Ireland become responsible for all 32 counties in Ireland? What was the position is the past?

Also, the BBC love to push the lie that athletes are "British" when they win and "Scottish" when they lose and I pointed out this lie back in July. Once again in these Olympics, all "English" athletes are described as "British", whilst "Scottish" athletes are described as "Scottish". The BBC, the truth is often the polar opposite of what we tell you.


Letters From A Tory said...

Shouldn't it be 'Team UK'?

Not a sheep said...

But then what about our Manx athletes, I believe there is one. Maybe a correspondent on Archbishop Cranmer's similarly focussed post has the right idea "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the Crown Dependencies". UKGBNICD for short...