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广州英语翻译公司:里约奥运会:英国为何奖牌大丰收?

作者: 来源: 日期:2016/8/18 8:48:57

Yesterday’s politicians fuelled the British gold rush in Rio

里约奥运会:英国为何奖牌大丰收?

 

广州英语翻译公司:从亚特兰大奥运排名第36,到伦敦奥运跃居第三,再到里约奥运超过中国,英国为何突然崛起成为奥运奖牌大国?

 

Sir John Major has salvaged his reputation through the clever public-relations ruse of sitting around, mainly in The Oval, while history notices his good work. The high politics of his premiership has aged gracefully.

英国前首相约翰•梅杰(John Major,见上图)在闲坐时——大部分是在椭圆形体育场(The Oval)——想出的巧妙公关策略挽回了自己的声望,而历史记住了他的功绩。随着时间的推移,他担任首相期间的高阶政治显得越来越高明。广州英语翻译公司。

 

He kept Britain out of the euro. He established the fundaments of the Northern Ireland peace accord. He fought a war in the Gulf that did not become a protracted vision of hell.

他让英国留在了欧元区之外。他为达成北爱尔兰和平协议奠定了基础。他领导英国参加了海湾战争,而这场战争并未变成一幕漫长的噩梦景象。

 

Britain’s resurgence as an Olympic nation, its near-primacy in Rio trace­able to funds from a lottery he set up in 1994, polishes off his arc from national punchline to quiet respectability to the last retired prime minister who can walk into a pub without provoking a wince of pity or a citizen’s arrest.

英国重新崛起为一个奥运强国,借助梅杰在1994年设立的彩票所提供的资金在里约奥运的奖牌榜上名列前茅,成了他从全国笑料升华为受人默默敬重的前首相的弧线上的点睛之笔,如今他是可以信步迈入一家酒吧、而不致招来怜悯眼神甚至“公民逮捕”的最后一位退休首相。广州英语翻译公司。

 

Twenty years ago, Britain consoled itself with gallows humour as it pipped Belarus to 36th place in the medal table of the Atlanta Games. By 2012, it was third, the natural ceiling for a country without the preponderance of China or America. It is now impudently defying that limit in second place. At the start of this week, even a merged mega-state of France and Germany would still trail Britain.

20年前,当英国在亚特兰大奥运奖牌榜上仅以微弱优势超过白俄罗斯排名第36位时,它只能用黑色幽默安慰自己。到2012年,英国的排名已升至第三,这是一个没有像中国或美国那样实力的国家所能达到的天然上限。如今,在里约奥运会,英国居然超越了这一极限,获得的奖牌(包括金牌)数目一度超过了中国,排名升至了第二。截至本周初,甚至法德两国合起来的奖牌数都落在英国后面。

 

As a case study of total and intended success, of a top-down project going to plan, there is little to match this in the annals of British technocracy. Among the wider lessons for government is that money matters. Athletes were victims of a national make-do-and-mend culture that was presumably meant to be charming. They now have expensive coaches, specialised infrastructure and enough direct income to give up other work. There was never a costless route to their present eminence, which the left can cite as a kind of social democracy in action.

作为一项全面且符合初衷的成功(一项自上而下的项目按计划结出硕果)的案例,奥运奖牌丰收在英国技术官僚制度的史册上是难以找到先例的。对政府来说,这件事的普遍教训是资金很重要。以往英国运动员是“修补一下凑合着用”的国家文化的受害者,这种文化的本意想必是为了表现得洒脱。如今这一代运动员有高薪聘请的教练、专门的训练设施以及足以让他们放弃其他工作的直接收入。要达到他们现在所处的荣耀地位,不花钱的途径是从来不存在的;左翼人士可以援引此例说明,社会民主制度是管用的。广州英语翻译公司。

 

Before the implications for public services seem too plain, conservatives should speak up. Investment galvanised British athletics but so did a pitiless elitism. UK Sport, the distributor of lottery funds that was set up in the last months of Sir John’s government, sifted winners from the rest. Money went to plausible finalists and medallists. Even then it was conditional on performance metrics. Lots of dedicated but limited competitors were left to fall out of the system.

在这一点对公共服务的潜在影响变得太明显之前,保守党人应大胆直言。投资刺激了英国的竞技体育,但无情的精英主义也起到了作用。在梅杰政府最后几个月期间成立的英国体育局(UK Sport)负责分配彩票资金,该局从大量运动员中遴选出胜者。资金流向有希望进入决赛并获得奖牌的选手。即使那样,待遇也是以成绩为条件的。很多敬业但能力有限的参赛者被这一体制淘汰。

 

The read-across to public administration is performance-related pay, not a rise for every teacher, and hospital league tables, not an article of credulous faith that all providers do an equally fabulous job. The state cannot allow for pure meritocracy and outright failure as sport can. It has a duty of universal provision. But public expenditure tied to strict invigilation of standards — a meeting of New Labour largesse and Sir John’s Citizen’s Charter — is a bipartisan settlement that is always almost ­happening.

公共管理部门从中应该汲取的经验是绩效工资(而不是每位老师都加薪)和医院排行榜(而不是盲目相信所有提供商都做得同样出色)。国家不能像体育那样允许出现纯粹的精英治理和彻底的失败。国家负有照顾全民的普遍义务。但受制于严格监督标准的公共支出——新工党的慷慨与梅杰的公民宪章(Citizens Charter)倡议相遇——是一个永远近乎达成的两党共识。广州英语翻译公司。

 

Even the politicians newly taken with industrial policy have something to crib from our Olympic model. Although Max Whitlock took Britain’s historic total of gymnastic golds from zero to two in the time it takes to watch a film, UK Sport generally builds on areas of strength instead of planting greatness where it has never flowered. The British specialisms are cycling, rowing and bits of track and field. The economic equivalents are financial services, higher education and sophisticated manufactures. It would be nice to win at beach volleyball but then it would be nice to make steel at competitive prices. Neither warrants throwing good and scarce money after bad.

就连那些新近对产业政策产生兴趣的政客们,也可以借鉴我们的奥运模式。尽管马克斯•惠特洛克(Max Whitlock)仅用看一场电影的时间就将英国体操历史上的金牌数从零提升至两块,但英国体育局通常只看重优势项目,而不是在从未开花结果的项目上为将来的伟大成就播种。英国运动员擅长的是自行车、赛艇以及少量田径项目。其在经济上对应的是金融服务、高等教育和高端制造。赢得沙滩排球将是好事,但如果能以有竞争力的价格生产钢铁也是好事。这两个领域都不值得投入宝贵的资金追逐较小的希望。

 

If investment under a discriminating eye is the technical lesson of Britain’s Olympic story, there is a moral too. Anything worth doing takes time to show up in tangible results. In that lag, the authors of the change may be supplanted by do-nothings who reap all the glory. Voters were relaxed about ditching Conservative for Labour rule in 1997 precisely because of the economic tranquility that was hard earned by the outgoing government’s structural reforms.

如果说带着挑剔的眼光投资是英国奥运成功的技术经验,那么还有一条道义上的经验。任何值得做的事情都需要时间才能展现出实实在在的成果。由于这一时间差,变革的始作俑者可能被那些收获所有荣耀却什么都没做的人取代。1997年,英国选民轻松地放弃保守党,转而选择工党,恰恰是因为保守党执政期间推行的结构性改革好不容易实现了经济稳定。广州英语翻译公司。

 

The Tories were helped to victory at the most recent election by an NHS that, improved by years of Labour money, experienced no winter crisis of capacity. Even the London Games, won by a Labour government in 2005, fostered enough national bonhomie to see the Conservatives through the economic stagnation and botched Budgets of 2012.

保守党依托英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)的表现赢得了最近的大选,而NHS恰恰是在工党执政期间多年大举投入之下改进了表现,近年没有出现冬季接诊能力危机。就连工党政府2005年申办成功的伦敦奥运,也培育了足够的举国欢欣鼓舞,让保守党政府挺过了经济停滞以及2012年的糟糕预算。

 

Serious governments are self-abnegating. They know that difficult decisions bring immediate infamy and deferred, if any, acclaim. The trick is to trust history to reach the right verdict in the end. Behind Whitlock, Mo Farah, Sir Bradley Wiggins and the embarrassment of riches slung around their necks are some less famous deeds by some less storied people, including the prime minister of an extravagantly hated government more than 20 years ago. If only to incentivise all politicians to take the long view, we should say so.

认真的政府需要自我否定。他们知道,艰难的决定会立刻带来恶名,并使赞扬(如果有的话)来得更晚。关键在于相信历史最终将作出公正的定论。在惠特洛克、莫•法拉(Mo Farah)、布拉德利•威金斯爵士(Sir Bradley Wiggins)以及他们脖子上挂着的奖牌背后,是一些不那么赫赫有名的人物的不那么出名的事迹,包括20多年前受人憎恨的保守党政府的首相。哪怕只是为了激励所有政客把眼光放长远,我们也应该这么说。

 

广州英语翻译公司

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