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Are the Winter Olympics getting more diverse?

When the Olympics first started, I directed this blog's readers to "White Snow, Brown Rage," Reihan Salam's Slate opus on diversity and the Winter Olympics. At the time, I wondered how globalization has impacted the winter games -- are more countries participating? Winning medals?

The answer is to both question is yes, as you can see above. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the number of countries participating in the Winter Olympics has skyrocketed -- with the number of medal winners increasing in turn. (It's a bit hard to see on the graph, but the percentage of countries winning medals has held at around 30 percent since 1988.) 

That said, the Winter Olympics are just keeping pace with the Summer Olympics, as you can see on the chart below. Since 1988, the number of countries sending athletes to the summer games has increased around 46 percent, and around 44 percent for the winter games. 

 


 

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This will not end well

Dubai's police chief, Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, probably had most of the world on his side when he first announced that he possessed evidence that a Mossad hit squad had killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Mabhouh was a Hamas military commander, Israel had been suspected of previously waging a campaign against Hamas and Hezbollah operatives across multiple countries -- and Tamim released a video allegedly showing the Mossad hit team as it moved around Dubai.

Developments since this initial revelation, however, have not exactly inspired faith in Tamim. The latest example is his announcement that, in the wake of Mabhouh's assassination, Dubai police will "undergo intensive training to study Israeli people and identify their traits, accents, body language and manners," in order to prevent them from entering the country.

Oh, to be a fly in the wall for that training. How does one study this, exactly? By carefully watching You Don't Mess With the Zohan?