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The Globe and Mail

Yorkshire athletes having strong Olympics

Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee, left, displays the gold medal and Great Britain's Jonathan Brownlee displays the bronze medal in a ceremony for the men's triathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, in London.

Kristy Wigglesworth/AP

So how good is Britain feeling about its team in the Olympics? So good the media has taken to reporting how many medals Yorkshire athletes alone have won. And they have done pretty well.

If it was a country, Yorkshire would rank close to top of the medal standings and far ahead of Canada, at least in terms of gold medals.

So far, the white rose county, famous for terriers, pudding and the Bronte sisters, has won five gold, two silver and three bronze. That's more gold medals than Canada, which has one; Australia, four; Japan, two; South Africa, three; and Poland, two. In fact, on gold medals alone Yorkshire would rank 11th at the Games.

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Overall, Yorkshire's 11 medals puts it 13th among all nations at the Olympics, only slightly behind Canada, which has 13, and ahead of Hungary which has 10.

Yorkshire has won almost one-quarter of Britain's 48 medals thanks to stars such as heptathlete Jessica Ennis, who won gold, and the Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan, who took gold and bronze in the triathlon.

Alistair noted that that Yorkshire is the largest county in Britain and so it is only natural that it would lead the way.

But he said the county is blessed with strong sports programs.

"There's a massive sporting heritage in Yorkshire that we use, great swiming clubs, lots and lots of cycling," he said Tuesday after the triathlon. "Just loads of sports. It's a fantastic place to be an athlete and do sports. I think it must be that."

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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