Each European nation publicises its athletes’ Olympic results with joy, despite knowing they will most likely never get to top the medal tally. "Why should this joy be limited by national borders?" asks JEF-Europe Vice-President Pauline Gessant. "Think wider – think European!"
If we, instead of counting each EU country’s medals separately, count them collectively for the EU, the results are impressive indeed: at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the athletes from the EU brought home 108 medals in total (31 golds, 36 silvers, and 41 bronzes), which is almost three times more than the top-ranking USA.
Emphasising the European dimension in this kind of context means showing our attachment to our European identity.
“Emphasising the European dimension in this kind of context means showing our attachment to our European identity. It’s also a way of combatting nationalism, which has a tendency to spread very easily during sports events. The value of the sporting spirit and fair competition lies in promoting tolerance, mutual respect and intercultural understanding.”
"Both as sports fans and as federalists, we want to celebrate the performance of European athletes to promote the European motto "United in diversity" and spread the feeling of belonging to a common set", concludes Pauline Gessant.