Monday, August 29, 2016

Medals by Population - Rio

Back in 2014, I put together this post in which I figured out how the medal to population ratio played out during the Olympics.  I'm now doing the same thing for the Rio Olympics.  From the Sochi description:
Anyway, the idea was to sort the medals by population of the country. Therefore smaller countries would get more credit per medal. This makes some sense. The larger the country, the easier it should be to find an elite individual. So I decided to crunch some numbers. Note: I'm going to figure medals per million people. My population numbers are from Wikipedia and I'm simply hoping that no one cared enough to mess with this info. Also, I rounded to the nearest million so there may be some messiness with the numbers. Also, I'm not doing the entire medal count. Just the top ten, with a few extras that are special.
This time I'll do the top thirteen.  I have my reasons.

13. China - 19.66 medals per million people.  The Chinese did very well in this Olympics with 70 medals, the second most overall.  They are penalized by their very large population.  In a sense, this measure will never be fair to them.  If they had medaled in each competition, they would have gotten their number down to 4.48.
12. Brazil  - 10.79 medals per million.  Brazil won 19 medals for their 205 million people.  This was their best at a summer Olympics and they won gold in men's soccer, getting revenge over the German team that whipped them a couple of years ago in the World Cup.  I bet they're happy.
11. Japan - 3.1 medals per million.  It will be interesting to compare this number in four years in Tokyo.  In 2016, they won 41 medals.  Can they do better while hosting?
10. United States - 2.68 medals per million people.  The U.S. did a fantastic job at these games.  They won 121 medals for 324 million people.  This included domination in gymnastics and swimming.  I wonder when that domination will stop?
9. Russia - 2.57 medals per million.  It will be interesting to see how much this number changes over the next few years as various athletes are stripped over their medals.  Russia should have been barred from these games.
8. South Korea - 2.43.  I think of South Korea as more of a winter Olympics champion but maybe I have that wrong.  Let's see, in 2012, they actually won 28 medals compared to the 21 this time.  So, yes, I'm wrong.
7. Italy - 2.18 medals per million.  Italy has about 61 million people and they won 28 medals.  I think of any country with a population over 50 mil as being a 'large' country, so they definitely qualify.  Good games for Italy.
6. Germany - 1.95.  The Germans break the '2 medals per million persons' barrier.  I continue to be surprised that Germany has 81 million people.  I don't have a good grasp on the size of various countries, I guess.
5. Canada - 1.64 medals per million.  Canada has about 36 million people, so they are outside of my arbitrary 'large' country category.  In Rio, they won 22 medals and I bet they're happy with how they did.
4. France - 1.60.  A great year for the French, too.  With about 67 million persons, they fall into the 'large' category.  ('Gros'?)  Anyway, very good numbers.
3. United Kingdom - 0.91.  Great Britain won 67 medals for 61 million people, the best ratio for the 'large' countries.  That's two more than they won in 2012, so I'm sure they're happy.
2. Netherlands - 0.89 medals per million people.  Back in Sochi, the Dutch won an insane amount of medals from speed-skating.  This time, they won 6 of their 19 medals for cycling.  Not quite as dominating, and more spread out among other sports.
1. Australia - 0.83  The Aussies won 29 medals for 25 million people.  By my quick count, 21 of those medals had to do with the water (swimming, diving, sailing, etc.).  They are very good in the water.  They have a strong claim to have 'won' the Rio Olympics!

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