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British Man to Give Athletes 4th Place Medals
August 5, 2012

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The Olympics organizers hand out medals to the top three finishers, following a well established tradition. Now, a British man is making a case for fourth place.

David Mitchell, who owns a bookshop in the U.K., has made a number of medals engraved with the inscription "In recognition of your 4th Place Olympics Games 2012." Mitchell plans to send one to every fourth-place finisher.

His argument is a simple one: mathematics. The first Summer Olympics, in 1896, featured athletes from 14 nations. The current Olympics involve athletes from 204 countries. Many, many more competitors strive to be the best in the world, and the percentage who do get an Olympic medal is relatively far fewer than it used to be.

Mitchell has spent his own money getting these medals made, and he plans to pay the postage needed to get to the medals to the proper athletes. He insists that he is serious and intends no disrespect. He said that seeing a recent newspaper headline declaring a pair of British divers failures for finishing fourth spurred him into action.

 

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