This is 1912 I am referring to (of course), when Britain had ended up behind the United States and Sweden, and not more recent times. A certain Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who you may have heard of) is particuarly upset:
All who have our reputation as athletes at heart owe a debt of gratitude to you Correspondent at the Stockholm Games for his very clear and outspoken comments on the situation. We can now see the causes of past failure.
But he has a solution:
1. The first is the formation of a British Empire Team…
Like the Australians know anything about winning at the Olympics. Ha!
Actually, Sir Arthur is kinda sorta touching on, what is, in 1912, for Britain, a worrisome issue. Britain’s lead is slipping. France, Germany and the US are all catching up. Meanwhile, the colonies, especially Canada and Australia, are becoming less dependent on the Mother Country. Britain wants to retain some influence without getting into the same mess it got into with the Americans. Hence ideas are being floated for a combined tariff wall, a combined defence staff and (in this case) a combined Olympics team. They won’t work, of course, but Britain does, at least, manage to avoid a war of colonial repression. And the colonies manage to show up on time for the world wars.