Ya Akhi why do we participate in the greatest sporting competition if we're not really planning to win anything? I can understand the degree of professionalism athletes have worldwide, but that's really the point, being a professional athlete is the road to winning in any competition, certainly the Olympic games, and it's not like you find out 20 minutes before it starts, you've got 4 freaken years to prepare! See the Olympic games are politics wearing shorts, raising national flags and playing national anthems, it's a show of force, albeit soft.
Maybe it's not fair to blame the athletes themselves, as they're just the executors, but failure is a domino effect, so is success, we're just used to failure, as we give it a fatalistic attribute, rather than the product of our mentality. Zimbabwe, one of the poorest most failed states in the world has already won 4 medals.
One last note, notice how the leading countries in the Madel count are all "nation states", national pride is the driving force for success, in politics, sports and everything in between, and it's not an achievement to waltz down the track with the flag at the opening ceremony if that's the only thing you do, once every 4 years.