British athletes are expected to win between 20 and 30 gold medals at the London Olympics, according to predictions by economists who are "tipping democracies with cold climates and single-party communist regimes." The lower end of the predictions would put Britain in fourth place, behind the U.S., China and Russia, but ahead of Germany. U.S. Colorado College Economics Professor Daniel Johnson and his researchers are predicting 34 gold medals for the U.S., 33 for China, 25 for Russia, 20 for Britain and 19 for Germany (GUARDIAN, 7/17).
CHINESE INFLUX: Nearly 250,000 Chinese are expected to descend on London for the Olympics. The "startling prediction" was issued by China Ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, and suggests that "more Chinese could come to London over the Olympic fortnight than would normally come in an entire year" (LONDON TIMES, 7/17).
MEDAL PAYOUT: Making the podium at the Olympics will also result in a large financial reward for Korean athletes. The Korean government will give performance bonuses of 60M won ($52,500) to gold medalists, 30M won ($26,000) for silver and 18M won ($15,700) for bronze. But the money to be won from individual sporting bodies is far bigger. The Korea Football Association has decided to give the South Korean football team 3.2B won ($2.8M), including 200M ($175,000) won to the manager and up to 150M won ($131,000) to each player based on performance, if Korea clinches its first gold in the competition. There will be 2.1B won ($1.8M) set aside for a silver-medal effort (KOREA TIMES, 7/17).