01 July 2010

More on eurocentricity (aka Altitude sickness)

Got to say, this is pretty rich. So the best that commentators caught off guard by Latin American success can do is claim altitude? Argentina and Brazil are "high elevation countries"? That's why they complain about playing qualifiers in Bolivia, right?


Forget about the fact that different teams dealt with acclimatization differently. The US team, for example, spent two weeks prior to the tournament in South Africa acclimatizing. England trained for two weeks in the Austrian Alps. France, according to the Washington Post, trained in the "alpine resort of Tignes," while Italy spent a couple of weeks in Sestriere, in the Italian Alps. Spain and Holland also trained at altitude. Wait, Europe has high elevation?

Let's look at this a little deeper. Here are the elevations of the national team headquarters for the teams that made the final 16 (I've even included Brazil's training center at Teresopolis):

AsunciĆ³n: ~150-300 ft.
Buenos Aires: ~67 ft.
Montevideo: ~ 150 ft.
Rio:avg. alt ~35 ft. ; Terespolis, ~2800 ft.
Santiago: ~ 1,700 ft.

Mexico City: ~7,300 ft.
Washington: ~200 ft.; Carson, CA 28 ft.

Amsterdam: 7 ft.
Berlin: ~350 ft.
Bratislava: ~ 440 ft.
Lisbon: ~404 ft.
London: ~ 79 ft.
Madrid: ~2100 ft.

Accra: ~220 ft.

Seoul: ~300 ft.
Tokyo: ~26 ft.

Well that settles it. Genius analysis from Yahoo! sports.  Latin American teams definitely have the altitude advantage.

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