diamond geezer

 Monday, August 30, 2004

Medal-ing

After 17 memorable days in Athens that's the final race run and the final Olympic medals awarded. And didn't we do well? No really. Tenth place is so much better than we should have expected given that the UK is only the 21st largest country in the world in terms of population. We thrashed countries twice as big as ourselves (Nigeria, no gold medals), three times as big (Brazil, 4 gold medals), four times as big (Indonesia, one gold medal) and even 17 times as big (India, no gold medals). Just think population before you think medals and we've had a remarkably successful Games. To illustrate what I mean, here's the final medal table with the added statistic of world population ranking:

CountrypopnGSB
1USA3rd353829
2China1st321714
3Russia7th272738
4Australia52nd171616
5Japan10th16  912
6Germany14th141618
7France20th11  913
8South Korea25th  912  9
9Italy23rd  91111
10Great Britain21st  91212

China may be by far the most populous nation on the planet but they didn't manage to top the medal table. In contrast every other country in the top 10 has done better than their population might have suggested, Australia especially so. Our antipodean cousins, with a population of just 20 million, have performed superbly to appear as high as fourth place. The Olympic medal table is therefore fatally flawed. All countries compete in the current table on equal terms, despite the fact that they have vastly different human populations of potential athletes to draw upon. This should be rectified by taking into account the size each country when drawing up the list. I'd like to propose the introduction of 'millions per gold medal' as a much better indication of sporting excellence. China has a population exceeding 1ΒΌ billion, which rates as a massive 40 million citizens required per gold medal. Australia in contrast earned one gold medal for roughly every million inhabitants, a much more impressive ratio. Here's how the revised Olympic medal table would stand if the millions/goldmedal factor were included:

CountryGpopnm/gm
1Bahamas10.3m0.30
2Norway44.5m1.14
3Australia1720m1.17
4Hungary810m1.25
5Cuba911m1.26
6New Zealand34m1.33
7Jamaica22.7m1.36
8Greece610.6m1.77
9Sweden49m2.25
10Georgia24.7m2.35

Congratulations to the Bahamas, the tiny islands whose gold in the women's 400m puts them deservedly at the top of diamond geezer's new medal table, up from a lowly 52nd in the real ranking. Norway leap up to second, and hosts Greece have also done particularly well, their six golds meriting 8th place in the revised list. China, in contrast, plummet from real 2nd to only 53rd in the new table, and the United States tumble from 1st to 34th. That's more like it I think, a much fairer representation of national strength. Maybe we should introduce this new ranking method in time for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. And the UK? Our impressive haul of nine golds rates at just 6.7 million inhabitants per gold medal, which puts us... ah, only 29th. Forget I ever suggested it...


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream