Belgium is bad at sport: Flemish and Walloon athletes get fewer medals than you would expect for the type of country Belgium is, according to a study. The study, involving 15 countries, was done by the VUB, and the Mediahuis newspapers spoke about it on Thursday. Only Portugal and Estonia perform worse than Belgium in the study. “This comes from our sports policies and mentality: we are satisfied with our performance too soon”, says Professor Veerle De Bosscher.
The researcher compared sports policies in 15 different countries by interviewing 4,000 high-level athletes, trainers/coaches and managers. Spectator numbers were also analysed. It seems that countries where top athletes get the most support do best in international competitions.
Belgium’s results are disappointing. “On the basis of a country’s wealth and population, we can determine a certain number of “medal points” they could hope to achieve at Olympic, World and European Games”, says Veerle De Bosscher. “A gold medal is 3 points, silver is worth 2 points, and a bronze gets you one point. Between 2009 and 2012, Belgium got 18 points, whereas they could have expected to get 29 points”.