The Olympics: England and the Celtic Fringe

Robert Henderson

The final Great Britain tally of medals at the 2012 Olympics was 65  comprised of 29 Gold, 16 Silver, 19 Bronze.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland  managed a grand total of  six medals comprised of 3 gold, two silver and one bronze in individual events.

In group events,  the tally of Celtic Fringe medals was 16 comprised of  7 gold,  6 silver and 3 bronze.   There was no case of an all Celt team  winning.  There were always English competitors with them.


Individual medals  (2)

Chris Hoy, Gold, Cycling, Keirin

Andy Murray, Gold, Tennis, Mens’ Singles

Michael Jamieson, Silver, Swimming, 200m Breaststroke

Medals as part of a group  (11)

Chris Hoy, Gold, Cycling, Team Sprint.

Heather Stanning, Gold, Rowing, Coxless Pair

Katherine Grainger, Gold, Rowing, Double Sculls

Scott Brash, Gold, Equestrian, Team Jumping

Timothy Baillie, Gold, Canoeing Slalom, C-2 team

David Florence, Silver, Canoeing Slalom, C-2 team

Luke Patience, Silver, Sailing, Mens  470

Andy Murray, Silver, Tennis, Mixed Doubles

Daniel Purvis, Bronze, Gymnastics, Team All-round

Laura Bartlett, Bronze, Field Hockey,

Emily Maguire, Bronze, Field Hockey


Individual medals (2)

Jade Jones, Gold, Women’s taekwondo under-57kg

Fred Evans, Silver, Men’s welterweight boxing

Medals as part of a group  (5)

Geraint Thomas,  Gold, Men’s cycling team pursuit

Tom James,  Gold, Men’s coxless four

Chris Bartley,  Silver, Men’s lightweight four rowing

Hannah Mills, Silver,  Women’s sailing 470 class

Sarah Thomas, Bronze, Women’s hockey

Northern Ireland

Individual medals  (1)

Alan Campbell,  bronze ,  the men’s single sculls

Medals as part of a group  (1)

Peter and Richard Chambers   silver,  the men’s lightweight four

How would the four home countries have fared as independent nations?

If the Celtic involvement in team medals had not existed it is probable that England would have been able to fill the places with competitors of equal quality.

If the Celtic nations had to compete as separate nations they would not be able to produce teams from their much smaller populations  to produce  an equivalent number of team medals.  In fact, it is probable that there would have  been  no team medals for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland if they competed as individual nations in 2012.

The other  problem for separate  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland  Olympic teams would be funding and facilities.  The vast majority of money provided for athletes (using the word broadly to include all sports and games involving physical abilities) under the British or UK banner is English.  Independent Celtic nations would not be able to fund Celtic athletes at anything like the same level as Britain currently does.

On top of the immediate funding of  athletes, the Celts would have the problem of facilities. Most of the major facilities are in England and many of the Celtic athletes train and live in England.  Those facilities would not be available without charge or all to athletes from independent Celtic nations. This would not necessarily simply be a matter of England wishing to deny Celtic athletes opportunities to train. It could also be that the facilities would not have the capacity to host more than one team.

How would an independent England fare at the Olympics?  England would probably have come fourth rather than third in the present Olympics if they had competed as an independent nation.  In the longer term it is likely there would be little if any difference because the population  of England is large enough to find talented replacements for the Celts  who would no longer compete under the Great Britain banner.

Appearing simply as England  could t improve English performances. As England provide the large majority of the funding for  British athletes and has almost all of the main training facilities,  the removal of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from the scene  could benefit English athletes as they received more funding and greater training opportunities.

There is a further consideration. Athletes who  say they  are Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland as things stand , might well claim they were English if the Celtic nations were independent to get access to  English funding and facilities.  This is especially true of those  athletes  who are English in culture and upbringing, but who claim to be Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish on tenuous grounds such as a grandparent who was or is Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish.  They would probably have little difficulty in saying they were English.   The lure of English funding and facilities has the potential to significantly reduce the pool of talent available to the Celtic nations.

The picture is clear: England would suffer no disadvantage and might well gain by appearing as an independent team: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would  be reduced, at best,  to the status of a Norway or Slovenia.

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27 Responses to The Olympics: England and the Celtic Fringe

  1. james s says:

    My god. Is this the level you’ve stooped to?

    It is staggering for you to suggest England could have replaced the non-Eng contingent and been as successful since they all fought against each other for selection in the first place and the non-Engs were there because they beat the best England had to offer! In many cases by a country mile.

    It would be easy to replace Chris Hoy, the greatest Brit olympian ever? Andy Murray? I’m sure Laura Robson would have got to the final at olympic wimbledon just fine with the best Eng man, numbered 300 odd in the world!

    It may be worth remembering, “England’s” greatest Olympians have actually been predominantly of Afro-Caribbean descent or sons and daughters thereof. I’m sure that sits well with many on this site who resent immigration and long for the mythical days of pearly white people drinking afternoon tea talking about the cricket.

    Let’s not forget also that like the hundreds of millions wasted by tax payers from the “Celtic fringe” redeveloping yet more of the London cesspit in the name of the pathetic “limpics”, their money is similarly used in funding other important “British” venues which almost always ends up down sarf whether that’s in tax or lottery tickets! You like to claim they are “English” when it wasn’t only the English who paid for them! Bit like how you lot manage to claim Mo Farah as English when he is Somalian born with BRITISH citizenship.

    England is bankrupt and hasn’t made a profit in decades yet managed to borrow tens of billions so the few could pat themselves on the back and have their jolly knowing full well it’s the rest of us that will foot the bill, with interest. Nice if you can get it.

    Interesting you quote Norway as a “lowly” country. With each Norwegian citizen on average able to buy and sell their equivalent English citizen they could pay their way to more success. However, they seem more interested in making a profit and securing a good life for their people, something increasingly alien to you Engs.

  2. Pingback: Team England (Still) Finish Third in the 2012 London Olympic Games – No need for the Celts ! «

  3. RedNed says:

    Now you know that any attempt to make any reasonable assessment that doesn’t paint the Scots as walking on water with halos, will bring the wrath of some of the most unpleasant of the cybernats down upon your head. With the likes of this poster I have gone from supporting their independence to absolutely demanding it as soon as possible.

    • james s says:

      Has it ever occurred to you the nonsense posted by Robert is quite insulting to anyone from the UK who isn’t English?

      Don’t worry, I’ll be demanding independence before you! I have a choice, you don’t – having been bent over by your various masters for a 1000 years. You still bow and kneel to this “elite” to this day which makes me pity you.

      There was a study done a couple of years ago concerning population size and wealth and its effect on sporting success and one of the spin off bits of info to be gleaned was that per head of population, England was one of the poorest performers. One of the “Celtic Fringe” nations was top.

      For Robert’s assertion to be right, 85% of the medals had to have been won by Engs. That clearly wasn’t the case by a long way. Not only that, is it right that England claim all the immigrant medals when they are British citizens? Take these out of the equation, or split them equally between the UK countries, your indigenous Eng so to speak did very poorly compared to their Celtic cousins.

      Finally if Robert wants to make such assertions based on race he should at least get his facts right. There is no “Celtic fringe” a headline created by your tabloid filth, there are more Celts in England than the rest combined. Most Scots for instance are not Celts, another misconception.

      One thing that does make me laugh is that reading the posts of many on here it is clear many are at least xenophobic and resent immigration to varying degrees. To know that the immigrants are so outperforming the indigenous English per man at sports is extremely satisfying.

    • They’re all like that, to some degree. Two years working in that dreadful little corner of northern Britain left me in no doubt that no Jock is untouched by Anglophobia.

      • james s says:

        One third of the land mass and two thirds of the coastline a “little corner”? Shows how much you know about the UK or anywhere else for that matter.

        May I suggest your use of “dreadful” to define the whole Scottish landmass is like me basing the attributes of England on Hull, Bradford or any of the hundreds of shitholes down here. I won’t do that as I like much of England. It’s nothing special or inspiring but it’s ok. In the same way I don’t judge all the people of England from the antics of a cowardly racist like you.

        I’ve received plenty of shit from your fellow Engs over the years because I’m a Scot but I don’t denounce every Eng because of it. There are arseholes everywhere. You being a prime example.

        The fact that you have attributes that clearly led to people disliking you during your two years is probably more about you than anything else. You’ve not exactly been a good example of an Eng with your behaviour on here. I’d guess you were a bullied child, probably fat or nerdy, crippled by shyness and living with your parents for too long such is the huge chip on your shoulder and the obvious need you have for the likes of Robert to convince you you’re special because you’re an Eng. Or was it just that you were named after a Hans Christian Anderson story?

  4. Barry says:

    I told them this on twitter but i had one scottish follower who insisted that Scotland got 50% of all GB medals…what can you do?

  5. Maria says:

    Celtic? But that’s NOT what the Scots, Welsh and Irish are! That tag is an invention of recent centuries!

    • james s says:

      Don’t worry, it’s just a few Engs having a circle-jerk.

    • Englishindependence says:

      Don’t forget the Celtic origins of England as well, most of England spoke a Celtic language until a thousand years, and from names like Kent and Lincoln to Gloucester and Cumbria, England is full of Celtic names.
      Don’t let racist English who are more anti-Celtic then pro-English convince you that we are all like this, there are plenty of moderate English people who believe you can be English without being white, but you won’t find them here:

      • Antony says:

        As an English nationalist I too favour independence, mainly from half-wits like you. People claim to be ‘moderate’ in the same way they claim to be ‘tolerant’, that is to say as an excuse for their own cowardice, in your case presumably the yen for a more fashionable, media-friendly identity that will bring a greater emotional payoff. There were no ‘celts’ in these islands. If there were Scots, Irish and Welsh [British] are quite unrelated to them. England spoke no ‘celtic’ language, furthermore, because England did not exist until Germanic tribes got here to give the land a name, a language and what was once Europe’s pre-eminent culture. The BBC’s habit you’ve adopted, that of appropriating everything into a single timeline in order to portray the English as just one of many settling cultures, is weak because principles applicable everywhere are always used by nitwits like you as weapons against the English alone, although lying works a different magic in Scotland, which may be why it remains the tried and tested basis of history-writing up there and why I suspect you’d fit right in. For example editorial complaints about a[nother] English funded 13-part history of Scotland in 2008 occasioned the remark that half-hour TV episodes were no way to demonstrate ‘5000 years of Scottish history’. You can’t talk to them. All you can do is kill them. Equally while it is untrue that England is ‘full’ of celtic names it is quite true is that Scotland is full of names derived from Anglo Saxon. Anything from ‘Crawford’ to the body of water known as a burn fall under that heading. Then there are the boroughs and the shires. I take it you know that Edinburgh is really Edwin’s burgh, or that the so-called ‘language of Burns’ is almost pure Anglo Saxon? That’s because the Englisc settled and ran Lowland Scotland from the 7th century. Incidentally disputes between England and Scotland are of an ethnic, not racial, nature. That you fail to make even this basic but important distinction tells me you are more than likely young, ignorant and not worth further effort.

  6. John Edwards says:

    I think its getting a bit silly now. There was only one team representing our islands, so get over it. There isnt going to be a Team England at the olympics or a team Wales or Scotland or N. Ireland. How many of you try and break down the armed forces into home nationalalites when something good happens?
    In 2 years time we have the Commonwelth Games in Scotland where we can shout for our own home nation. My St Georges flag will still be flying as it did when the olympics were on. For those of you who havent anything better to do, click on the link to see a breakdown of the last commonwealth games medal table.
    Back in the real world, lets not forget the recession, the euro, Syria etc etc and the fact that our govt’ hasnt got a clue what to do.

    • james s says:

      Well said John.

      What a great find with that table, which not only lists the countries in order of medals won but also in terms of medals per head and medals per £.

      If we compare England and Scotland in the last verifiable sample of relative sporting prowess, the 2010 commonwealth games:

      With just 10% of the England’s population, Scotland won 25% of England’s gold tally.

      With just 10% of the England’s population, Scotland won 18% of England’s overall medal tally.

      England needed 359,950 people to choose from to win one medal. Scotland needed just 192,308.

      For every medal England needed £11,954 per capita. Scotland needed just £6312.

      Wales and N.I. did even better per person and per capita.

      On the face of it England are by a long way the poorest performing region of the UK, despite being able to claim practically all of the immigrant population like Mo Farah, who bring skills we Northern Europeans don’t naturally possess to the same degree,

      This sorts of blows Robert’s contention to bits. All things being equal, the bigger countries in population terms more often than not will have the bigger medal haul. It’s not rocket science. To claim some supremacy just because you happen to come from a densely populated country is a wee bit sad imho. But there you go.

      • build your own facilities and have the shits…sorry meant scots live in shitland….sorry scotland…..benefit junkies….rather the muslims than the jocks…

    • Laugh at Racists says:

      John Edwards. You give me hope that there are educated and rational people still in England. Reading some of the comments on here I was beginning to despair that the white-man in England had turned into the typical example of the ill educated buffoon like William Gruff. Well done the British people for the excellent results at the Olympics you should all be proud!!!!

  7. Lionel says:

    Mo Farah was born in England UK he calls himself british which is not a nationality but a citizenship ; The person who said people were here before the “ENGLISH ” is wrong due to New Technology and findings of DNA in bones the English were here First ; read Oxford Prof Stephen Oppenhiemers new book who has put DNA with Archeology, also a study of languages Germanic it appears our language arrived from lower Saxony via the Netherlands just before the ice age.

    • james s says:

      Mo Farah – from Wikipedia:

      “Born in Mogadishu, Somalia on 23 March 1983,[9] Farah spent the early years of his childhood in Djibouti.[10] He later moved to Britain at the age of 8 years old, speaking barely a word of English.”

      He is NOT an Eng, he is an immigrant who became a British citizen but trains in the US, putting paid to alot of the contrived jingoistic nonsense written by Robert above.

      You are right about the indigenous “English” tribes having always been here. The southern tribes that were conquered by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Scandinavians must hugely have outnumbered the newcomers as recent estimates for the numbers involved in the Saxon invasion/immigration for instance cite as few as 5000 immigrants. Evidence seems to suggest the vacuum left by the Roman exodus was filled by the organised and structured European invaders as the indigenous southern population seemed to accept with little resistance the dominance of their new rulers. A reflection perhaps of how successful and overwhelming Roman colonial rule of southern Britain had been.

      The fact the English people of today call themselves “Anglo-Saxon” has always confused me as the bulk of the modern day English will be far more related to the tribes that existed before and after the Saxons etc arrived as they represent by far the bulk of the southern population. The Norman domination of England was far more comprehensive and they lasted as a distinct ruling elite far longer than the Angles and Saxons yet no-one refers to themselves as Norman. Perhaps this is due to the iron fist they used to subdue the English population which, at times, was beyond cruelty.

      What is clear is the effect Roman dominion had on the southern tribes as from that point to even this day the “English” people (as opposed to the ruling elite of the day) have never had an opportunity to have their own voice, their own identity. It’s always been defined by others from outside whether Roman, Saxon, Norman whatever and even when the Norman era faded and an English identity started to form, it was short-lived and absorbed into the new British concept.

      I believe in Scottish independence and I believe in English independence. I feel we would be better served being friendly neighbours rather than uncomfortable and disgruntled flatmates. No matter how fair-minded we all think we are, our attitudes are at least in some way polarised by which side of a line on a map we were born. You can look on any thread in this site and others like it and see it happening in practise. We are tribal in nature and to deny that is like a heterosexual male denying he likes looking at a pretty woman. When the purse is shared like it is in the UK, this polarisation of opinion just causes resentment. Surely it’s better to be able to do our own thing in line with our own values and, when it suits our collective purposes, co-operate on a pan-British basis. Threads like this from Robert immediately demonstrates we are Scottish, English, Welsh etc and not British.

      • I think we can safely assume that ‘Eng‘ is meant to disparage and annoy. All it actually does is show us what a sad little specimen you are, and how typical of your sad and inadequate little race.

  8. james s says:

    The use of the “Scotch” and “Jock” by the likes of you and others isn’t?

    I’m a Scot, an abbreviation of Scottish. You are an Eng, an abbreviation of English. If you don’t like it – tough. You’re too insignificant for me to care.

    I would suggest you referring to others as sad and inadequate is merely projection. Look it up.

    You’re dismissed.

    • Really this is too funny and apart from observing that since it is self evidently ill-informed tosh it is not worth commenting on I would just point out though that Scot is not an abbreviation of Scottish (Scotch in English), it is a noun and Scottish is its adjectival form. So much for that ‘superior’ education you Jocks love to brag about.

      I see that you cannot avoid waspishness, which is a pity as you simply come across as a petulant, frigid old maid.

      Keep it up Jock, we English love to watch you buggers making bloody fools of yourselves.

      • james s says:

        It’s not rocket science little Eng.

        “Scot”, “Fin”, “Swede” etc are abbreviations used as identifying nouns.

        Unless you dispute they’re abbreviations?

        Thought not.


    • i dont say scot…i say what they are….and they smell…lol

  9. uKn_Leo says:

    At best a troll. At worst, seriously mentally ill.

    What is with the obsession with England and the English Mr keyboard warrior james s? Are you Alec Salmond in disguise? or just the petty, arrogant, deluded lunatic you portray on my screen.

    I don’t know why you waste your time Mr Gruff, honestly. The anger, the bile, the pure seething hatred that emanates from the witterings of james s indicates extreme, ‘issues’.

    Everywhere else online the advice is ‘ignore the troll/don’t feed the troll’. I would suggest this applies with james s in extremis.

    Quite why the rest of the world thinks it has the right to line up and tell the English alone what they are, who they are, what they are allowed to think, who they are allowed to associate with, how they are allowed to administer their own country etc etc etc and on and on and on – is quite beyond me.

    I don’t like being bullied, nor do my fellow countrymen. Put this effort into improving your own nations then maybe you won’t have so much cause for your rampant jealousy of mine.

  10. shaunthebrummie says:

    james if you’re living in england pack your bags and f**k off back to shitland…i know one thing about scots…no bottle…never vote for independence…to addicted to the english taxpayer…and as for fatty chris hoy….he should have had to train in shitland and used shittish training centres….and as for the biggest laugh…….the old infirm joining english football…..LMAO+PMSL…..why would we want terrorist lovers down here….and dont start me on the scots led labour party’s illgal wars…..

  11. mad dave says:

    shaunthewalloper oops brummie or is it sparkhill paki your not to bright ,having read your comments ,you have not honestly got a clue about anything ,if a race ever existed like the borg in star trek they they would by pass birmingham cos what a thick bunch you are ,i thought scousers were thick you lot win the gold off by a mile,people from wolverhampton are good people who know all about life but brummies no chance ,as for bottle well guess what we dont run away from terrorists we kill them well, the riots a couple of years ago you idiots rioted for nothing over some drug dealing scumbag in london who got what he deserved,i do not pretend to be pro-police but they got it right ,so the next time you pass a copper ask him to taser you ,well tata for now(sorry indian dude that owns brumland)

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