Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Worthwhile Investment?

Before the 2008 Bejing Olympics, China mainly focused on rowing- one of the sports that could earn them the most medals due to the sheer quantity of events. This sport however is rather difficult and costs money and effort to achieve perfection. China took initiative on training to win many gold medals on their own soil for the '08 games. China hired a new coach and gave him these specific standards: "one gold medal equals 1,000 silver medals" and the bar was set. The new focus on rowing easily shifted from the previous sports of soccer and basketball and a substitution was made. The Chinese knew that they would have a greater opportunity of winning more medals (specifically gold) if they spend more time and effort on their rowing team. Due to the command economy of China at the time; their government can dictate how they spend their money and the majority was for their rowing program. In comparison to America's mixed economy, our funding is not as exponential as China's because the state does not see it as importaint as alternatives. Since the gold medals are what all countries strive for, the competition for China will be stiff. One could say that gold medals are an inelastic good simply because no matter what the cost is to attain them, everyone still wants one. In 2008, China qualified for nine out of the fourteen events but only won one gold (for the first time ever in a rowing event) and one silver medal. China is still calculating the cost-benefit analysis of their efforts to improve their rowing team and theis reaction will be reflected in their standings in the 2012 Olympics. However, for the 2012 Olympics, China only qualified for eight out of the fourteen events, will they still be able to win any gold? China hopes that their financial investments in their rowing program will finally pay off for the 2012 Olympics in England. China no longer plans to dominate in the soccer fields and the basketball courts, but rather the bodies of water all over the world. Could China capitalize on their efforts to win gold medals, or will their competition's efforts (and results of the cost-benefit analysis) exceed China's expectations?

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