The poet John Forbes uses an analogy: “like the scattered clapping/ a bronze medal at the Olympics gets/ as you pass muster/ under a distant, benign regard.” He must have felt that keenly, what it’s like to come third. In August the Olympics come around again like a permanent relay race. Is Brazil the third largest country in the world? It must be close. We were always taught the medals are for individual performance, not for country, but still we scan down the medal table to see who won only one bronze. We know Portugal, but where exactly is Kyrgyzstan?