It's all about the money, says Fraser Nelson in this week's Spectator about winning Olympic gold medals. And all countries use public funds to increase their medal tally.
Here in the UK a staggering £27 million has been spent on rowing and £23 million on sailing over the past four years to try and retain the medals won in these events at the last games in Beijing.
Naturally you might think, the DCMS should targeted specialist sports we've been successful at in the past. But the end result of course, is that the bulk of funding is going to those sports that are disproportionately enjoyed by the already priviledged and wealthy middle class.
And I thought it was all about social mobility..