Given the government's financial predicament, if Leonard Chacon had been in serious contention for the Triathlon then it wouldn't have been the Canadian in front of him crashing his bike and losing him his place, but a government crony with free Olympic tickets sent out with a long pole to give him a shove.
According to law, Ley 7706 of 1977, Costa Rica awards a prize to any one of its nationals winning an Olympic or World championship in the sum of 156,000 colones (equivalent to 300,000 U.S. dollars).
Except it doesn't.
When Nery Brenes won the gold medal in the 400 metres in the world indoor Championships in Turkey in March this year the appropriate ministry said that while it had the legal obligation to pay out, it didn't have any budget allocation to do so.
The same went for Hannah Gabriel, WBO junior middleweight champion in women's boxing.
The government has, amazingly, vast sums available to corrupt officials and contractors to build a road along its border with Nicaragua....but sporting excellence goes by the board.
As neither cricket nor rugby figure in the Olympic sports I haven't followed events closely, but it has been heartening to see and hear how the enthusiasm of ordinary people and dedicated sportsmen and women have overcome the miasma of commercialism to produce an event which has been so good humoured and celebratory.
The participants have every reason to be proud of themselves.
But being in Costa Rica has brought it home to me how little chance poorer countries have of advancing their sports to World and Olympic championship level.
When I read of the funding available to the G.B. cycling group it makes my eyes water...but, realistically, these days it takes more than having the determination to do your best to win medals.
You need backing, organisation and top class coaching, which poorer nations just cannot afford.
So I was wondering, day dreaming rather, how it would be possible to alleviate this problem and it occurred to me that it would be a great gesture if the sports federations of wealthy nations would take under their wing their equivalents in developing and third world countries...let them have access to the training programmes and the equipment...and governments to push multi national companies to sponsor federations from countries in which they operate to allow the sportsmen and women to be able to train properly, to attain the heights of which they are capable.
If McDonalds were to sponsor a Costa Rican sport to allow its participants to train with the worlds best then I'm prepared to buy one of their products each week - a hungry dog would benefit too - and it would be nice to think, for once, that the only gesture made by rich countries to the poor was not one made with the fingers.