Medal Charts at the “Colonial Games”

Tally Ho!
Pos Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Australia 42 32 32 106
2 England 31 34 21 86
3 New Zealand 13 7 6 26
4 Canada 11 16 19 46
5 South Africa 6 5 5 16
6 India 5 5 3 13
7 Scotland 3 8 15 26
8 Wales 3 2 8 13
9 Malaysia 3 2 3 8
10 Nigeria 3 1 4 8
11 Cyprus 2 1 4 7
12 Uganda 2 0 0 2
13 Singapore 1 3 1 5
14 Trinidad & Tobago 1 1 1 3
15 Samoa 1 1 0 2
16 Bermuda 1 0 0 1
17 Northern Ireland 0 2 3 5
18 Kenya 0 2 2 4
19 Fiji 0 2 1 3
20 Mauritius 0 1 1 2
21 Guernsey 0 1 0 1
21= Jamaica 0 1 0 1
21= Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 1
21= Tanzania 0 1 0 1
21= The Gambia 0 1 0 1
26 Malta 0 0 1 1
26= Namibia 0 0 1 1
26= Nauru 0 0 1 1
26= Sri Lanka 0 0 1 1


I find it all a bit overblown the way our news media get so hyped up about New Zealand athletes, their medal prospects and then medal results from the Commonwealth Games.

Perhaps it has something to do with the media generally reporting on “bad” news and finding it refreshing to have some “good” news to focus on.

I also get it that for the individual athletes it’s about the peak of their sporting careers, pitting themselves against the other athletes and finishing at or near the top of the competition.

But its more than that. We love to see how our athletes “punch well above their weight” on an international stage and this is where it all gets a bit tacky and self-delusional.

Our cyclists have come away with a big haul of medals – but who were they competing against? Which of the countries at the games are able to provide their athletes with $10,000+ bikes to practice and compete on? Which countries have the range of community sports facilities such as pools, athletics grounds, velodromes etc and the big sums of money needed to drive good coaching and participation programmes from primary school age?

I suspect the medal table could be largely constructed by simply arranging the countries in order of their GDP.

Others have called the Commonwealth Games the “Colonial Games” and this is a more accurate description. It’s also where things get a bit more sensitive. The medal chart puts the countries with European colonists at the top (with their colonised populations for the most part underrepresented in the medal stakes) and those countries which were the victims of European colonisation further down.

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I can hear some readers grumbling “keep politics out of sport” but needless to say, they have always been inextricably linked as the medal chart shows.

It’s best we just enjoy the sport and not get carried away with medal tallies.


  1. New Zealand and Australia also have just about the highest medal count per capita at the Olympic Games (Summer Games). Norway and Finland also do well. As did Fiji and Bermuda in the last Olympic Games. Bermuda because it has a very low population, one medal puts it at the top of the table.

    It is not just per capita income (though that obviously is a factor) it is also because Australia, Finland, Norway and New Zealand have the highest sports participation in the world with a large percentage of the younger population being active in competitive sport.

    Also compare China and India. In the Olympics, China is often at the top of medal count whereas India is near the bottom, even in absolute terms, and is certainly at the bottom on a per capita basis. It is not just an economic difference, it is also cultural.

    Yes, you can sneer at the Commonwealth, but no nation is forced to join. In fact a number of nations in Africa that were never British colonies have chosen to join in recent years.

    • James Brown Thanks for a welcome wee laugh; I also have much empathy with your ( somewhat strident) comment elsewhere about not being inclined to vote – I think it was you.

  2. Which of the countries are able to provide their athletes with $10,000+ bikes? Well John, if you were to study all the start lists you find countries like Zambia and Rwanda. You make it sound like NZ is this rich elite country way ahead of the world. We’re not. We’re 52nd on GDP and 63rd on purchasing power. Wake up. We’re way below where we could and should be.

  3. Oh booo you bitter old man. Given the amount Team GB pump into their cycling program our results are nothing short of extraordinary. I do note you aren’t writing about the gradual implementation of apartheid in New Zealand as we have just seen with this governments latest legislative outrage for ECAN. Didn’t you protest against race based governance at one stage?

      • “See Palestine”…How? It’s not in any Atlas. No apartheid in Israel, then, just amongst the Arabs. Another bullet hole in your foot.

        • still nothing on my non existant pro palestine posts gaby? ask yourself why anyone should believe anything a proven liar says and have a good talk with yourself

  4. European exceptionalism is ova it’s dying a slow and painful death and good riddance. The Ukraine situation is the fault of the west the ‘Ruskies’ are defending themselves against Western aggression. No ones going to help Ukraine but the Arms dealers, the whole world doesn’t condemn Russia as the west wants us to believe it BS. The rise of the East is inevitable it only makes sense that China and other Asian countries have good trading relationships with NZ after all they’re our closet trading routes with significant human capital and we are in the Asian Economic region are we not?

  5. Oh, thank you. As a non-follower of New Zealand MSM I had no idea that they are reporting on the Commonwealth Games, but why not ? The UK media are, and it’s clearly a great bonding event, so why not ? But the UK media are not referring to the games as “ colonial”, and nor should anybody wanting a united global or local community when “colonial” is now a dirty word used mainly to disparage white people.

  6. Are we allowed to enjoy anything at all in this new form of ‘decolonializing’ puritarianism? Or is it going to be sackcloth for all for ever to atone for the sins of people who lived a few hundred years ago?

    • @ RB.
      You’ve just outed yourself as racist. You do know that, don’t you. The deeply saddening thing is that you’re not alone. Maori were the first human beings here. And we non Maori came here and took Aotearoa off them by force. But wait? There’s more. Not only did we take Aotearoa off Maori, we enslaved Maori too. Many of you are clearly proud of that fact. You puff out our bony little chests and spout dumb wank about how lucky Maori were and are. You’re an embarrassment and I want to go out there and apologise to all Maori on your behalf.
      The commonwealth ‘games’ is a dick and pussy thing, like all sport and than God it’s over.
      The real ‘commonwealth games’ is here, in the City of London.
      ‘The Spiders Web’.
      “Michael Oswald’s film The Spider’s Web reveals how at the demise of empire, City of London financial interests created a web of secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it in a web of offshore islands. Today, up to half of global offshore wealth is hidden in British jurisdictions and Britain and its dependencies are the largest global players in the world of international finance.”

      Good job @ JM.

      • but kiwis are as good as anyone it just embarrass us all by fawning around fishing for complements
        ‘do you like LOTR? what do you think of our cafes?, what do you love about NZ? THE USUAL PATHETIC BEGGING.

  7. Oh well John. The Queen is about to pull up the stumps soon. I guess the empire will finally become something of the passed and the games too will be.

  8. C B slavery was in NZ long before the British arrives as was cannibalism. The country was going to go to a western country at some time so the Maori were lucky the British came first as French and German colonies were far harder on the natives than Britain was . There was a power imbalance but that is history repeating itself as the UK was overrun by invaders for many years. Romans Viking Normans all came saw and conquered . The locals were initially treated bady but slowly through marriage the invader and the conquered became one.

    • not quite trev the UK is still run largely by a ‘norman’ aristocracy with a few krauts thrown in for decorative purposes

    • “The locals were initially treated bady but slowly through marriage the invader and the conquered became one”.

      Just as we were here until the intentional classification of literally everything by ‘race’ / ‘positive’ discrimination etc.

  9. I’m sticking up for RBrat and JMinto. They are both stating facts and honesty is what we need, not more woke. If you can’t take the truth get over yourself!
    All you guys and gals could put your emotions to bed and rise above the name calling. Looking at you CB.
    We’re all effing racists, it’s a natural state of human nature. It’s how it’s managed that counts. Also free speech matters a lot.

  10. Just be positive and not snarkey eh! Praise the athletes, doing their best at what they feel gifted in. And what medal would you moaners like to turn down and what for?

    It gives the world a chance to come together and not be killing each other. A nice change for Sunday tv watching.

  11. Commonwealth games??
    More like DEAD british empire games.
    Sport is an easy resort for media to fill empty media space.

  12. My feeling exactly, John. I’m enjoying it. Did your parents travel down to ChCh for 1974 like mine?

    Malawi almost beating us at netball and Malaysia coming up at bowls is fun. Heard the last from my 90-something bowling customer.


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