Olympic Wrap-Up: Jamaica Wins; Aussies Are 5th; U.S. Ranks 33rd; China Is 47th


Olympic Wrap-Up: Jamaica Wins; Aussies Are 5th; U.S. Ranks 33rd; China Is 47th

The Olympic Games are now over. All that remains is tallying up which are the greatest sporting nations on earth.
Following the norm of emphasizing the gold medal tally over the total medal count, we can now declare Jamaica the winner; with 2.2 gold medals per million inhabitants, it bolts ahead of any other country.

Second place is a bit more unexpected, with Rashid Ramzi’s victory in the 1,500-meter race giving Bahrain both its first-ever gold medal and a per capita rate of 1.4 gold medals per million.

Estonia is the third-greatest athletic nation, with 0.76 gold medals per million, closely followed by New Zealand (0.73) and those mighty Australians (0.69). [Aside: [URL=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_humour#Sheep_jokes”]Adding sheep

into the population count puts the Australians safely ahead of the New Zealanders.] The next five on the league table are Mongolia, Norway, Georgia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Perhaps these rankings differ a bit from what you have seen in the mainstream press — but all I have done is assess these results in per capita terms, which is how we usually make international comparisons.
By this metric, the U.S. came in 33rd, and the host nation, China, came 47th.

I guess it all depends how you figure it :smiley:

Did not watch it nor read the news papers. Human rights issues made our decision to not support these games this time around.

Agreed. And just the tone of this article makes me glad I have tuned out the Olympics for years.

Yes there are lots of different angles that one could figure. I think one other thing you could figure is that there are lots of regional sports that takes up a lot of athletes, especially if your actually talking about the greatest sporting nation and not just summer Olympics. Another way is to add up medals per medals given – breaking teams down to individuals. Also you could break down dominance per sport, and weight it that way.

Another very interesting thing is methods of training the athletes, I think you really have two different approaches the one from the US, and the other from China, the old USSR system, of finding potential athletes and sending them to training centers.

One limitation I see with the OP’s article, is that for the smaller countries it is very reliant on single individuals. Just because you have a small handful of people with a lot of talent and the drive to become gold medalist, I don’t think really translates into a great sporting country. For my money I think that the Aussies would have to be right up there with the greatest sporting counties on a per capita basis, while meeting a certain threshold of diversity to it’s sports.

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