With the completion of the last day of sailing in London, the final results can be tallied up - and it certainly was bad for USA sailors this year. Great Britain led (as in 2008, 2004, and 2000) in total medals for the ten events, followed closely by Australia, which took the most gold. Team USA, which won two medals in sailing in both 2008 and 2004, not only failed to win a single medal this year - but ended up no higher than 7th in the final standings for any of the events (and was much lower in most). This in a year that the USA overall won the most medals total and the most gold. What happened to sailing?
Sports commentary is sort of like political commentary, dominated by pundits pushing their own or "collective wisdom" theories to explain things before, during, and after the fact - and I'm sure we'll be hearing explanations varying from geographical (Europeans sail better in their own waters) to cultural (sailing gets less media exposure and respect in the USA) to analysis of individual athletes (X was really off his game, Y far from her personal best) - and everything else. I don't have anything to add into that mix. My one issue is that I wish that somehow sailing got more attention in US media. Think of the next generation of young kids who are all excited about becoming gymnasts or playing the big team sports - I wonder if they even know there is sailing in the Olympics? (I bet they do in Great Britain.)