Chris Froome, born In Kenya where he spent his childhood, first representing his country at the Commonwealth Games, educated in South Africa, wins the Tour de France as a Brit. With his right-hand man from Team Sky on the road, the Aussie Richie Porte. The same kind of mixture applies to almost all of British sporting success stories. England’s cricket team is actually England plus Wales, not to mention more than a handful of batsmen and bowlers who could just as easily represent South Africa. Sport’s version of economic migrants, except their search for a better life delivers a salary of millions and heroic status rather than at best a living wage and ritual demonisation.
Andy Murray, Britain’s first Wimbledon men’s champion since Fred Perry in 1936, or Scotland’s first since Harold Mahony in 1896? Rugby’s Lions complicate matters still further by not only temporarily uniting in one team the fiercely independent rugby home nations of England, Scotland and Wales. But by adding Ireland too as one country ending the division that still defines Irish politics, north and south of a border that rugby wipes off the map.