•It beggars belief. It's lunatic. It's farcical. It's downright dishonest. But the EU has actually published, through its Berlin-based agency Euro Informationen, which works for the European Commission and European Parliament, an Olympic medals table which amalgamates the medals for all 27 EU states, and then declares the EU the winner.
After all, the EU tally amounted to 92 Gold medals, and 306 medals in total, way ahead of second-placed United States, with only 46 and 104 respectively. But then as Disraeli remarked, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. And the EU has made an error so elementary as to be unforgivable, and so obvious that it can only be deliberately dishonest. It happens that I read mathematics (including statistics) at Cambridge, but you don't need a maths degree to see through the scam.
In any Olympic event, there will be qualifiers from a number of countries. But other things being equal, you might expect twenty-seven times more qualifiers from the EU than from any random country. Given that some EU countries are rather small (Luxembourg, Malta), the ratio may not be quite twenty-seven times, but it's still substantial. If the number of qualifiers from a notional, virtual quasi-nation like the EU is an order of magnitude greater than from another country, it's scarcely surprising that the EU gets more medals than anyone else.
If (and pray heaven it never happens) the EU were to compete as a single entity under its hated Crown-of-Thorns flag, it would have far fewer qualifiers in any event. As a large-population entity it might do quite well, but nowhere near as well as these fraudulent figures suggest.
That's before you consider motivation. How many of those athletes, who were prepared to sweat their hearts out representing their country, would make quite the same effort for an ersatz entity which has no resonance in hearts and minds? How many spectators would find their eyes filling with tears of pride as the EU's yellow stars were raised over the podium? Not many.