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Brock Rogers

Life would be so much easier if we only had the source code.

Who’s Winning the Olympics?

If you’re anything like me, you have been watching the Olympics pretty much nonstop since it started. So far, my favorite part has been watching Oscar Pistorius competing. So inspiring.

One thing that’s always bothered me is the running ‘Medal Count’ that you can find basically everywhere. NBC closes it’s coverage every night with it. Google gives you updated tables if you search for it, embedded right in the top of your results. Sure, China has 34 gold medals right now, and the United States has 30, but which is more impressive? After all, China has more than four times the population of the US. And Cyprus doesn’t have any gold medals, only a silver, but with a population at just over 838,897 people, or about 1/1606th of China’s population, is that significant?

To me, the medal count is somewhat against the ‘Olympic Spirit’ anyway, but even more so because the playing field isn’t really level for all the countries. So I took a few minutes to try to even it out a bit, just for kicks. Simply enough, I took the total number of medals for each country, and divided it by population of the country in millions, giving a ‘Medals per Million’ comparison for all the countries.

One thing to note is that a bronze medal is considered just as valuable as a gold medal. The justification for this is that we can make a relatively safe assumption that we are watching the absolute best athletes in each of their sports, and in a world of over seven billion people, the three best athletes in any individual sport would be the top 0.0000000429%. There just isn’t that much difference in the top three to justify an preference given to any medal color.

So, here it is: Who’s winning the Olympics? (Updated August 7th, 2012)

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total Population Medals/Million
1 Grenada 1 0 0 1 105,000 9.5238
2 New Zealand 3 1 5 9 4,434,310 2.0296
3 Slovenia 1 1 2 4 2,057,870 1.9438
4 Estonia 0 1 1 2 1,294,236 1.5453
5 Jamaica 2 1 1 4 2,705,827 1.4783
6 Denmark 2 4 2 8 5,584,758 1.4325
7 Cyprus 0 1 0 1 838,897 1.1920
8 Qatar 0 0 2 2 1,699,435 1.1769
9 Australia 4 12 9 25 22,689,714 1.1018
10 Armenia 0 1 2 3 3,268,500 0.9179
11 Hungary 4 2 3 9 9,962,000 0.9034
12 Belarus 3 2 3 8 9,458,500 0.8458
13 Netherlands 5 3 6 14 16,736,075 0.8365
14 Great Britain 22 13 13 48 62,262,000 0.7709
15 Trinidad and Tobago 0 0 1 1 1,317,714 0.7589
16 Sweden 1 3 3 7 9,495,113 0.7372
17 Slovakia 0 1 3 4 5,445,324 0.7346
18 Mongolia 0 1 1 2 2,844,000 0.7032
19 Croatia 2 1 0 3 4,290,612 0.6992
20 Georgia 1 1 1 3 4,497,600 0.6670
21 Lithuania 1 0 1 2 3,187,700 0.6274
22 Cuba 3 3 1 7 11,247,925 0.6223
23 Moldova 0 0 2 2 3,559,500 0.5619
24 Czech Republic 1 3 1 5 10,504,203 0.4760
25 Korea 12 5 6 23 48,580,000 0.4734
26 Romania 2 5 2 9 19,042,936 0.4726
27 France 8 9 11 28 65,350,000 0.4285
28 Kazakhstan 6 0 1 7 16,734,000 0.4183
29 Norway 0 1 1 2 5,027,200 0.3978
30 Singapore 0 0 2 2 5,183,700 0.3858
31 Russia 10 18 20 48 143,117,000 0.3354
32 Germany 6 14 7 27 81,859,000 0.3298
33 Azerbaijan 0 1 2 3 9,235,100 0.3248
34 Canada 1 3 7 11 34,877,500 0.3154
35 Serbia 0 1 1 2 7,120,666 0.2809
36 Italy 7 6 4 17 60,813,326 0.2795
37 Belgium 0 1 2 3 10,951,266 0.2739
38 Puerto Rico 0 0 1 1 3,725,789 0.2684
39 Switzerland 1 1 0 2 7,952,600 0.2515
40 Japan 2 13 14 29 127,530,000 0.2274
41 United States 30 19 21 70 314,041,000 0.2229
42 Dominican Republic 1 1 0 2 9,445,281 0.2117
43 Poland 2 1 5 8 38,501,000 0.2078
44 DPR Korea 4 0 1 5 24,544,000 0.2037
45 Ukraine 3 0 6 9 45,589,171 0.1974
46 Tunisia 0 1 1 2 10,673,800 0.1874
47 Greece 0 0 2 2 10,787,690 0.1854
48 Finland 0 1 0 1 5,413,830 0.1847
49 Hong Kong, China 0 0 1 1 7,103,700 0.1408
50 Spain 1 4 1 6 46,185,697 0.1299
51 Kenya 1 2 2 5 42,749,000 0.1170
52 Iran 4 3 1 8 75,149,669 0.1065
53 Colombia 0 3 1 4 46,634,000 0.0858
54 South Africa 3 1 0 4 50,586,757 0.0791
55 Guatemala 0 1 0 1 14,713,763 0.0680
56 China 34 21 18 73 1,347,350,000 0.0542
57 Ethiopia 2 0 2 4 84,320,987 0.0474
58 Mexico 0 3 2 5 112,336,538 0.0445
59 Chinese Taipei 0 1 0 1 23,261,747 0.0430
60 Brazil 2 1 5 8 192,376,496 0.0416
61 Venezuela 1 0 0 1 27,150,095 0.0368
62 Saudi Arabia 0 0 1 1 27,855,153 0.0359
63 Malaysia 0 1 0 1 28,334,135 0.0353
64 Uzbekistan 0 0 1 1 29,123,400 0.0343
65 Morocco 0 0 1 1 32,633,100 0.0306
66 Algeria 1 0 0 1 37,100,000 0.0270
67 Argentina 0 0 1 1 40,117,096 0.0249
68 Egypt 0 2 0 2 82,458,000 0.0243
69 Thailand 0 1 0 1 65,479,453 0.0153
70 Turkey 0 0 1 1 74,724,269 0.0134
71 Indonesia 0 1 1 2 237,641,326 0.0084
72 India 0 1 2 3 1,210,193,422 0.0025

 

So, there you go. Grenada’s one gold medal by Kirani James, in relation to the population of each countries population, if far more significant than even the next closest country, New Zealand’s, 9 total medals. Way to go, Kirani!

Anyway, I thought it was interesting, and perhaps you will, too. Enjoy.