Category: strategy

Olympic Training for Small Countries

I watched with sympathy the agony of Canada’s dearth of medals for the first week of the Olympics. Based on this and the fact (discussed on television ad nauseum) that smaller countries had won medals, the following is a set of elements which could be used to create a national strategy, beyond exhortation of corporate sponsors and the opportunistic approach of spontaneous discovery and promotion of native sons and daughters.

Take a look at all the various sports, and


  1. Geographic features given advantage or needed by a sport
  2. Sports with strong following within the country and culture
  3. Sports with high degree of competition
  4. Sports dominated by poorer or strife-riven countries
  5. Sports with larger number of medals and higher number of events per athlete
  6. Newer sports
  7. Sports without dominant countries or ones where dominance has changed between countries
  8. Sports with shorter training times
  9. Sports with strong following worldwide
  10. Sports with long careers

With these, the various sports, medals, competitor teams, etc., can be evaluated in terms of a relative attractiveness, much as entrepreneurs and and business strategists use Porters’ Five Force Analysis to evaluate the attractiveness of an industry.

Athletes are products, medal events are markets, coaches and teams are organizations, and countries are large organizations with portfolio strategies.