Originally Posted by cghipp
For a select group of countries, the medal count is important. The majority are actually there for something closer to the actual purpose of the Olympics.
In Beijing, only 43 countries won five or more medals of any kind, out of 204 participating nations. 116 countries won no medals. China and the US won 100 and 110, respectively. I think we can let one or two potential medals go as a tradeoff for having some semblance of integrity in our selection process.
I understand your point and do not completely disagree. In fact, France may not let their #1 women's player, Marion Bartoli, compete because she hasn't competed in Fed Cup for years. And she did make it to the Wimbledon final a few years ago. So they are taking altough stand. The Williams sisters have played Fed Cup (most likely to be able to compete in the Olympics). And the process does allow for some leeway.
To your other point, the U.S. is one of the 43 countries that earned more than five medals. In fact, our TV coverage is so American biased because we want to see our boys and girls win medals. Serena Williams is by far one of the best tennis players currently playing today and is a 4 time singles Wimbledon champion (4 time doubles champion).
Maria Sharapova is as Russian as I am and only competed or "made herself available" for Fed Cup to play in the Olympics for Russia. Let's not cut off our nose to spite our face. The U.S. has a deep tennis history with many of the best players to ever play this game. We have 2 of the best grass court players currently in our midst and it would be a shame if these women were not allowed to compete.